A team of FARC former combatants is currently in Tully, Australia, where they are participating in the 2019 World Rafting Championships. Although the team is not in the official competition, they have been invited to represent peace in Colombia.
The team is formed of five former guerrillas and three members of the Miravalle community in the department of Caquetá. They trained as rafting instructors following the 2016 peace agreement which has seen thousands of former guerrillas put down their weapons as they undergo the transition to civil society. The qualified rafting instructors will work in tourism once the reincorporation process is completed.
The rafting reincorporation project is supported by the United Nations and Colombia’s tourism ministry. It is one of multiple projects designed to provide support and livelihoods for FARC members who in many cases have little vocational training. The peace process depends on finding economic opportunities and sustainable projects for thousands of people. Other FARC projects include a beer brewery, a clothing line, ecotourism and farming.
JFC wishes the FARC peace team the best of luck on their amazing journey to represent Colombia on the international stage!
To stay up to date with team FARC’s fortunes in Australia, visit their Facebook page Rafting for Peace.