Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program
Aura Bolaños / Colombia

Province: Huila
City: Pitalito
Age: 19

Class of 2013-2016

Scholar: Astrid Vargas Nina Scholar: Benito Perez

Aura grew up near the town of Pitalito in the coffee growing Huila region of Colombia.

In Colombia, “The farmer’s work is the least valued kind in my part of the country. They are the ones who wake up at dawn, work hard, labor all day, and are hardly paid.” Aura has plans to change the way farmers are treated. She wants to go home and strengthen coffee production and agriculture in and around her community. One of the big problems Aura has noticed at home is that small producers are forced to sell at a low price and buyers in turn sell the produce at too high of price. Aura wants to help small producers find alternative markets. As much as she loves coffee production, she also wants to encourage people to grow alternative crops and to find alternatives to the harmful fertilizers that farmers tend to use in her part of the country.