Fondo Esperanza supports inmates in the Puente Alto prison in promoting their enterprises

The Preventive Detention Center in this community is the first penitentiary in the metropolitan region to sign an agreement with Fondo Esperanza to benefit entrepreneurs in the prison community.

27 November 2015
Fondo Esperanza

The partnership was signed between these two institutions at an event headed by Colonel Ricardo Bravo Palma, warden of the Puente Alto Penitentiary (CDP), and representatives of Fondo Esperanza (FE). This initiative will benefit entrepreneurs serving their sentences in this prison.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us in this institution to support the prison population. We believe it will help improve the quality of life of the inmates and their families, and that once they have completed their sentence, they will be able to re-enter society in a dignified way and with all their rights”, said Warden Ricardo Bravo.

The FE’s first community-district bank in the Puente Alto penitentiary comprises 12 inmates who will have access to microcredits and training in order to empower them and their businesses and give them the tools they can use when re-entering society. “Work confers dignity. Wherever you may be, what really matters is the determination to better yourself and move forward”, said Pilar Egaña, Communications Manager at Fondo Esperanza.

Andrea Gutiérrez, Technical Head of the Puente Alto penitentiary, who was involved coordinating the police, FE and the inmates to help bring about this partnership, said: “We are extremely satisfied that Fondo Esperanza will give the participants advice about entrepreneurship and handling finances so that they can get ahead when they rejoin society”.

The people in this community-district bank express their satisfaction with the possibilities it offers them. “I think it’s a great opportunity, and one that can open a lot of doors. We are really grateful for the trust that’s been placed in us, and for the fact they believe we can succeed in this”, says Luis Droguett, one of the inmates taking part in the program.

His companion Carlos Saavedra agrees, and says: “This helps us become more independent and gives us more opportunities to get ahead”. For his part, Patricio Paz highlights that this support will allow them to generate more resources for their families. “With this funding we can make more products to sell and give money to our families, and provide support for our households. This way we can prove that we can turn our lives around”.

Francisco Rubio, who works in the penitentiary making pictures, frames and mirrors, says that this partnership will encourage him to continue his work as an entrepreneur once he has completed his sentence. “My goal when I get out of here is to get together with my father so we can continue working as entrepreneurs in this business, because I have to make the most of these opportunities and all the things I’ve learned”.

The Puente Alto Preventive Detention Center is the first penitentiary in the metropolitan region to join forces with FE to support the enterprises of its prison population. This experience has also been successfully replicated in prisons in Osorno, Victoria, Traiguén and Limache. “The work of Fondo Esperanza in the regions, and for the first time in Santiago, is a call for other prisons to come forward and work with this institution in order to achieve more effective reinsertion in the workplace”, concludes Colonel Ricardo Bravo.