The Alvaralice Foundation celebrates two decades of work in the peace building and equity in the city of Cali


Thursday, 27 July 2023


Fundación Alvaralice

The Alvaralice Foundation will commemorate its twentieth anniversary in an event including founders, partners, project participants and friends of the organization. The Foundation was created in 2003 by the Garcés Echavarría siblings to honor the memory and philanthropy of their parents, Alvaro Garces Giraldo and Alice Echavarría Olozaga. Since its creation, the Foundation has committed itself to promoting peace and generating opportunities for vulnerable communities, working tirelessly to create a more inclusive and peaceful society.

Foundation president, María Eugenia Garces Echavarría, highlights the vision she and her siblings had when they established the organization, “We proposed to create an organization that would help generate opportunities and contribute to building a more just and peaceful society.”

In its twenty years of existence, the Alvaralice Foundation has had a significant impact in its chosen sphere. It pioneered promotion of restorative justice and microfinance in Colombia by organizing large symposiums on these topics.

Among the Alvaralice Foundation’s most exceptional projects is creation of the Tecnocentro Cultural Somos Pacífico (We are the Pacific Cultural Technocenter); the Foundation played a significant role in construction management. Currently, the Tecnocentro Cultural (Cultural Technocenter) is eastern Cali’s preeminent educational community center for the arts, music, dance, and technology. It directly and indirectly benefits more than 3900 children, youth, and senior citizens. From the moment of construction, we have supported the Tecnocentro (Technocenter), managing and mobilizing considerable resources for its day-to-day operations, sustainability, and maintenance.

The Alvaralice Foundation has also spearheaded development of methods to reduce conflict and provide opportunities for youth in urban areas characterized by elevated levels of violence.  In 2018, it launched Abriendo Caminos (Opening Pathways), a project which targets providing alternative justice options, strengthening trust within communities, promoting social inclusion and peacefully mediating conflict. Its impact has led to increased social cohesion and improved relations between communities and institutions in specific territories.  Successfully operating a network of mediators made up of volunteers and leaders, Abriendo Caminos (Opening Pathways) has guided 1,775 young people toward lawful, peaceful lifestyles, with an average reduction of 58% in consumption of illegal substances, an increase of 68% of lawful income through employment or self-employment, an 83% increase in development of participant use of conflict resolution skills.  Impressively, 13,412 conflicts – more than 50% of which were at risk of escalated violence – were resolved, with an average success rate of 83%.

The Foundation has also provided youth with opportunities through its income generation program, Rumbo Joven (Youth on Course), which during nine years of existence has focused on training and development for vulnerable youth. It focuses on socio-emotional development and job skills, emphasizing training, connection and support. Since its inception, 964 young people have found formal employment through the program.

In 2006, the Foundation began to operate Premio Civico Por Una Mejor Ciudad (Civic Prize for a Better City), in collaboration with partners and allies in Cali. The program seeks to recognize, highlight and strengthen the impact of innovative social initiatives which address the city’s problems in a sustainable and replicable manner.  The program has recognized more than 1100 social initiatives, strengthened 131 organizations, and provided more than 400,000,000 Colombian pesos seed capital given in kind to 70 prize winners.

The Alvaralice Foundation is one of the founders and an implementing organization of Compromiso Valle (Commitment to Valle), the most ambitious social transformation effort in recent years, which unites efforts of companies, individuals, social leaders and civil society organizations.

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