In Colombia, Soup Nourishes Bodies and Community

6:55 pm, Colombia (near the border of Venezuela)

“You are just on time. The last bag of soup you provided ran out this week.”

The Colombia team has continued building stronger and deeper relationships with this hillside community. We shared previously that we received a donation [locally] of dehydrated soup for vulnerable communities. We organized a community soup where we got to see the community coming together to make a delicious meal and we got to share with them. 

This time, we wanted to visit families in their homes. We took the time to talk to them, to listen to their stories.

This is a community of around 1,200 people, mostly migrants from Venezuela. They all live in a settlement that is organized by “manzanas” or blocks. There are 10 blocks, and around 30 or 35 families live in each block. We set the goal to visit each block to provide the bags of soup directly to the families. 

Because the community is so organized, each block has a leader and each leader helped us pick three families that are in urgent need. We wanted to provide some food for the families, but most of all we wanted to get to know each other, we wanted them to feel listened to and to know that we care. 

Distributing relief aid to vulnerable families is only one aspect of our work. Listening, building relationships, and supporting community—these are at the heart of what we do. Photo by Sofía Ramírez Muñoz / Preemptive Love.

We visited each block, and walked through the sand, uphill and downhill, carrying as many bags of soup as we could at a time under the burning sun. We were happy to see some residents already recognized us, some were surprised we remembered who they were and remembered their stories from our previous activities in the settlement. 

That day, Laura and I visited 23 families and provided them with 160 meals. We also provided more bags of soup for other community events that will be happening in the coming weeks. 

They were grateful and happy that we took the time not only to provide the food but to talk to them. We were grateful that they opened up and were willing to share with us. We were even offered blackberry and guava juice, which was so refreshing in the very hot weather. 

We left that day exhausted, yet thrilled that we can continue learning from this community, getting to know each other, and working with them to see the community thrive.