While all over the world in the months following the outbreak of the pandemic of Covid 19, all the hotels and businesses were shutting down and letting go their employees, there was one hotel manager that stood out from the rest and did not close the doors on his hotel. Raúl Bustamante knew that by doing so he would throw not only his hotel workers but all the small businesses that depended on his hotel and tourism into extremely hard times. He was committed to the economic recovery of Cartagena as a tourist destination especially in a year marked by the anniversary of the founding of Cartagena. Part of this recovery was an acknowledgement of the importance of the palenqueras, the fruit seller women who are an intrinsic part of the folkloric tradition of Cartagena.
So Raul Bustamante started the Corazon Solidario initiative and worked tirelessly with his team to raise funds for 260 women who were the heads of their households and who survived by selling fruit, braided hair and other activities on the beaches of Bocagrande and who were negatively affected by the loss of tourism.
Raúl Bustamante was recognised for his altruistic work on the Corazon Solidaria campaign and received the prize Giving for Good 2020 from the Board of Directors of the IHG chain. This award is given by the IHG chain hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean to promote management’s leadership and commitment to less favoured communities that have tourism as their primary source of income.
The Corazon Solidario campaign raised an impressive $10,000,000 pesos and received recognition from the corporate vice president of social responsibility at IHG who recognised the passion, determination and the sensitivity shown through the dissemination of the campaign.