How you can help vulnerable Bogotanos during the quarantine

By Sanoja Bhaumik March 29, 2020

As Bogotá shuts down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many who were already living day to day are struggling to find food or put a roof over their heads.

Colombia’s national lockdown aims to slow the spread of COVID-19, more commonly known as the novel coronavirus.  But the capital’s 24-day quarantine has quickly pushed many Bogotanos into dire circumstances.

Approximately 10,000 Bogotanos live on the streets and according to recent reports, hundreds of Venezuelans have been evicted from hostels in the centre due to an inability to pay rent. Food and housing insecurity remain a top concern across the board.

Read all our coverage on the coronavirus in Colombia

With non-essential businesses closing during the quarantine, many residents have lost their sources of income. Several local and national organisations have coordinated responses to support vulnerable residents. 

Read below for how you can contribute to the effort: 

Bogotá Solidaria En Casa

Last week, Claudia López announced that the city would guarantee aid for 350,000 families to buy daily necessities during the quarantine. This aid would replace the daily income that many families have lost due to the crisis. The city hopes to expand this aid to 500,000 families and is asking for private donations to contribute to the effort. 

To donate online or through your bank, visit the donation page.

Banco de Alimentos Bogotá

Banco de Alimentos, run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Bogota, distributes food and non-food products (such as cleaning supplies) to vulnerable residents in Bogota. Working with over 1,100 local organisations, the Banco is collecting donations through several major banks, including Bancolombia, Banco de Bogotá, and Banco Caja Social, among others. The organisation hopes to combat food insecurity during this time, and its goal is to support 31,000 families on a day-to-day basis. 

To learn how to donate through your bank, visit their website

TECHO – Colombia 

TECHO, an international organisation that serves to combat poverty in Latin America, has coordinated an effort to deliver emergency food kits to underserved communities in Bogotá. The kits include food products, sanitisers, soaps, and toilet paper, among other necessary goods. The organisation runs mostly on volunteer efforts to distribute the products. Last week, the organisation delivered kits to 400 families in Bogotá.

To support the purchases, visit TECHO’s donation page. To become involved with community initiatives, fill out this form.

Adoptamos un Albergue

Two local restaurants, Chichería Demente and Restaurante El Chato, have decided to use their culinary talents to provide meals for vulnerable residents. The restaurants hope to serve daily lunches for 65 people staying in a shelter located in the 7 de Agosto neighbourhood. A COP$10,000 donation would support one meal for one person. 

To support the initiative, call the coordinators at 320 9373488 or 311 56113106. 

Red Comunitaria Trans

The Red Comunitaria Trans, based in the Santa Fe neighbourhood, has organised a Sex Workers Emergency Fund to support vulnerable sex workers who live on a day-to-day basis during this crisis. The fund hopes to provide 45 food kits worth COP$45,000 for 45 sex workers in Santa Fe, in addition to a COP$17,000 daily allowance for housing costs. 

In order to support the initiative, send non-perishable foods to Calle 21 #16A-66 Apt. 201 Bogotá, Colombia. You can also donate through PayPal. For more information, visit the organisation’s Instagram

Somos Mas

RECON Colombia and the Colombian Red Cross, Cruz Roja, have partnered to create a fund to support vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign is collecting donations for cleaning/health kits and food kits, in order to reduce the social impact of the crisis. The Red Cross is distributing the kits to those with need. 

To donate, visit the donation page