November 28, 2018

“Working with the community, my great learning”: Keyla Palmezano

Originally born in the community of Chancleta located in Barrancas, La Guajira, Keyla Palmezano is a 25-year old, energetic and full-of-desires-to-explore-the-world young woman, the main motivation and engine of whom is her daughter Maria José.  Currently, she is finishing her education as technologist of Social Promotion at Universidad de La Guajira and is very proud of that because her greatest dream has always been to become a professional.

Her life has been marked by large challenges, ups and downs and successes, which she has been able to handle and succeed, always fighting to comply with her life purposes.  When she was very little, after suffering multiple economic difficulties in her family, she decided that the only way she should follow to go forward was to study and become a professional.

“I am passionate about studying; I have been very fortunate because not everybody has the opportunity to do it.  Initially, I wanted to study Psychology, but God gave me the opportunity to study Social Promotion, which at the beginning I took as another option.  Nowadays, I love it very much and am sure that it is the perfect means to give a better future to my parents and my daughter; further, I am certain that, through my career, I can manage projects that improve the quality of life of my community”, assures Palmezano.

And without any fear of obtaining what she has proposed to do, Keyla was hired to participate in the socialization process of the new water treatment plant implemented by Cerrejón for the production of 180,000 liters of water a day that allows supplying this resource to 142 families of the resettled communities of Roche, Patilla, Chancleta and Las Casitas, inhabited by approximately 800 persons. The compact, conventional plant allows treating surface waters thus delivering a product fit for human consumption through the coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtering and disinfection processes, and it is operated by the community association Asoawinka.

“It was a process carried out together with Cerrejón, in which community people were in charge of socializing with the rest of our neighbors the step-by-step and the conditions under which they delivered to us that benefit. No doubt, it was satisfactory to me having been able to work for my community; I had not worked before for any company so, this has been my great learning”, says the young woman.

Keyla likes literature, the movies and organizing things; she considers herself to be a happy and very responsible person; in addition, she has two big dreams: discover Paris, France and work at Cerrejón. “A place where I dream of working in is Cerrejón because it is a good, responsible company that helps us strengthen our knowledge and it is recognized worldwide by its good practices with people and the environment”.

Additionally, Keyla is a beneficiary of the School Allowance (“Auxilio Educativo”) program that Cerrejón grants the resettled communities and, through which, since 2012 more than 250 people have been able to access technical, technological, higher and advanced education, thus promoting the improvement of their quality of life and the access to better opportunities.

“I am very grateful with Cerrejón for the opportunity it gave me to perform my skills.  The fact that it was in my community was a great challenge because, normally, they mistrust things, but I also had the advantage that they have known me forever.  Thanks a lot for the trust you placed in me”, ends Keyla.