GRACIAS for coming here!
We are a young Colombian-Australian family. In Colombia, I come from a very humble farming family from Pupiales, Narino, on the border with Ecuador.
The conditions in Colombia are very difficult. My siblings and I are immensely fortunate to be part of a family who fought to overcome all the challenges: the lack of security, work, and education, to give their children the best education they could.
My father, a farm worker with only a basic primary school education, had to work from a young age to buy his clothes and contribute to the family income. He had the foresight to take on bigger challenges and more responsibility working as a farmhand. After a few years he had money saved and he took his first steps into logistics by buying a truck.
He grew up in a region where having work is considered a blessing, and his
determination enabled him to become a successful business man in logistics and potato production. He became one of the largest producers of potatoes in Narino.
From my father I learned to be thankful for any work I have, and that I must do my best for myself, my family, and my community. This work ethic is in my blood.
On learning his story, people commonly ask my father, “How did you do it?”
Looking back, I realise he made many friends in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. His friends also started small in logistics, buying one truck each initially. But they were also risk takers. The industry had no government support, nor was money easily made. Through his friendships, my father established a network enabling him to become a supplier to one of the largest potato chip companies in Colombia. Other farmers in the same region were only supplying much smaller markets.
His children have enjoyed the highest quality education in Colombia and Australia. My father’s achievements are an example of how someone with a clear vision and determination can overcome obstacles to accomplish his goals.
As children, we were not allowed to watch much television, and most days were
expected to contribute by doing work. Proud to be part of a privileged family due to the hard work of our parents, unfortunately, being successful in Columbia made us a target
for guerillas and acts of civil terrorism. We had to take extra care every day. Our parents wouldn’t permit us to play on the street. We would never be driven a regular route to school. We were always told “Be home early” and “Don't tell anyone where you are going”.
Our parents received letters with threats: “We will kidnap your beautiful daughter if you do not pay the money we demand”. We were looked after as much as possible but tragically our youngest brother, an extroverted 25 year old, couldnt contain his spirit.
I am still grieving for my little brother…
Although I love my country, my humble origins, and my culture, I am free spirited by nature and felt I could no longer live in Colombia.
I wanted to have freedom of speech. I wanted anonymity, to achieve, and receive praise without being targeted by terrorists.
I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Colombia. My parents worked extremely hard to pay for my English course in Australia.
I did't learn English to the high standard I wished for, and decided by doing a master’s degree I would also improve my English skills, Doing a double Master’s in International Business and Commerce in a second language, was the third toughest challenge in my life!
After finishing my master’s and beginning my new job, I met my now husband.
We have two beautiful girls. My little family is my biggest blessing.
I am extremely grateful to call Australia home, to have drinking water, to have incredible
support for being a mum and an entrepreneur. We try to catch up with my parents once
a year. My kids love going to their farm. We do take extreme care when we go there.
Casa Bonita Lifestyle is my way to give back to my heritage, after being so incredibly fortunate to have had education which I think was the key of my path.