Social Communication – Journalism Strategic Communications Management Research Group presents the first results of the Social Responsibility Appropriation process in the Candelaria

On August 22, 2017, the first results of the project developed by the Faculty, together with the Externado de Colombia Rectory, with the micro-entrepreneurs community of the Tourism Cluster of La Candelaria, were presented.

The Social Responsibility project, “Encontraste La Candelaria” (Discovering La Candelaria), initiated last year, is coordinated by Sonia García, together with Marisol Sanchez and Jorge Cubides, professors of the young researchers’ internal communications and La Candelaria Network management groups, respectively.

Currently, the Faculty is working to maximize the actions initiated the previous year, promoting the growth of this civil society organization.  As a result, an artisan alliance has been formed, uniting several businesses and self-employed individuals seeking to create a new tourist experience in La Candelaria. As stated by Professor García, “the appropriation experience is necessary, so civil society individuals can take control of ideas and instruments, and thus, enable the generation of results benefiting the residents and those of us who come to this district on a daily basis.”

The first stage of the project consisted of researching the needs of the locality, the selection of projects, and the consolidation of the Candelaria Tourism Cluster, an internal communications protocol for an association of micro-entrepreneurs.  This association will afford collective tourism development in this area of the city, under cooperation and improvement parameters. The project involves participation by the district and surrounding areas residents, made up of seven associations from different economic sectors, such as gastronomy, hospitality, arts, and crafts, among others.

Also, the bases and elements for the visualization of the territory were established through the creation of the web portal www.encontrastelacandelaria.com, containing information on the Candelaria from different perspectives, such as gastronomic experiences, historical tours, the richness of its cultural expressions, among others.

Additionally, Social Communication – Journalism students have participated actively in this project, starting with two research groups: One, the Cluster’s internal communication, which supported the creation of partnerships to improve the tourist experience in la Candelaria. They carried out activities uniting the residents to improve service, encouraged tourism innovation, and proposed the creation of a participative intranet, applying a series of strategic planning work principles.

Secondly, the internal communications young researchers group continues to work on the territory visualization process. They have created contents, worked on networks management for positioning, and aim to ensure these entrepreneurs prepare and train to maintain the web site.

Student Gabriela Vasco, a member of the last group, described the opportunity as “a very rewarding experience, but we had to struggle” due to the Cluster’s resistance to change when initiating the project. However, she highlights that during the process, and thanks to the support and guidance offered, the micro-entrepreneurs began to be “quite responsive and have dared to take risks in the communication that has brought them remarkable progress.” The presentation of the final project will be held November 2017.