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Patricia Henao Saavedra

country director

Since 2013, Pact has worked in Colombia to help the country overcome the effects of decades of armed conflict. Pact focuses on rural and vulnerable communities, building the capacity of Colombian citizens, especially groups that historically have been excluded, to raise their voices and gain the skills and resources needed to thrive and be prosperous.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Labor and USAID, and in partnership with local organizations, Pact leads several projects in Colombia that are reducing child labor in mining, building the capacity of civil society to combat child labor and improve working conditions, strengthening the capacity of indigenous peoples’ organizations in the Amazon to effectively advocate for the rights of indigenous people, and reducing the risk of child labor, forced labor and other rights violations among vulnerable women and girls in agriculture.

The Pilares project is increasing the capacity of civil society to understand and address child labor and promote better working conditions in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

Pact is also supporting indigenous people's organizations to increase their influence in the governance of the Amazon region, with the goal of protecting indigenous people's rights and the environment in the Amazon rainforest of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Suriname and Guyana.

Our Vamos Tejiendo project is improving the economic participation of vulnerable women and adolescent girls in quality jobs within the agricultural sector, specifically the cut flower and unrefined sugar industries. Vamos Tejiendo engages government, the private sector and civil society organizations to improve labor practices and increase economic opportunities for vulnerable women and girls. 

Pact’s newest project supports Colombia’s efforts to prevent and respond to human rights violations, particularly among Venezuelan migrants, Colombian returnees and receptor communities, increasing community cohesion and citizen security. 

Our Somos Tesoro project, or "We are Treasure," recently closed after seven years. The project was Colombia's leading initiative to reduce child labor in artisanal and small-scale mining communities. In addition to addressing health and safety issues in mining, Somos Tesoro helped communities to overcome the many factors that lead to child labor, including economic instability, challenges in implementing public policies favoring child protection, and a lack of quality education in rural mining areas.

Stories and Highlights

With capacity development, a Colombian NGO helps Venezuelan migrants heal, access rights

July 31, 2023
Virgenid Chinchilla has been victimized her whole life, but for years, she never talked about it. Chinchilla grew up in Colombia but fled to Venezuela when her home country became too violent. Then,...

Princesas Guerreras: A safe space for girls from migrant families in Colombia

July 19, 2023
In Cúcuta, Colombia, on the Venezuelan border, girls from migrant families face many challenges. Fundación Princesas Guerreras gives them skills and resources to overcome them and thrive. Pact and...

Amid a migration crisis, a border community in Colombia takes charge of its own development

June 8, 2023
Brisas del Norte isn’t an easy place to live. Tucked along the Caribbean coast in Riohacha, Colombia, 90 kilometers from the Venezuelan border, the neighborhood is deeply impoverished. Most houses...

What does politically smart support to democracy and human rights look like?

May 24, 2023
Political economy analysis (PEA) has become more common in the design and implementation of development programmes. But is it just another donor tick-box exercise, or does it add value? In a nutshell...

From Venezuela to Colombia: Steven's story

April 12, 2023
Since 2015, more than 6 million migrants have fled Venezuela's humanitarian crisis, with many seeking refuge in Colombia. One of them is Steven Moreno. In addition to facing xenophobia in his new...

From words to action: A public policy for the rights of rural women in Colombia

April 3, 2023
  Edilia del Consuelo lives in San Roque, Antioquia, Colombia, with her daughter and three grandchildren. She is part of the municipality’s Women's Network, and she is thrilled that San Roque has...

To improve security among Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, Pact develops innovative index

March 16, 2023
Since 2015, more than 6 million migrants have fled Venezuela's humanitarian crisis, with many seeking refuge in neighboring countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. So far, Colombian...

Conectando Caminos por los Derechos: Responding to gender-based violence in Colombia

November 1, 2022
In Colombia, through the Conectando Caminos por los Derechos project, Pact and its partners are working to prevent violence against migrant women, children and LGBTI people, and to protect and...

Redefining the future through Indigenous concepts from the Amazon

September 28, 2022
Development can be dangerous, even as it aims to bring growth to Indigenous communities. Development can also undermine the authority and independence of Indigenous communities by forcing a certain...

Public policies for gender equality: An opportunity to strengthen democracy in Colombia

September 15, 2022
Public policies on gender equality are one of the main tools that women have to access their rights and through which states reflect their political will to strengthen democracy.  Such...