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Protectors of Colombia’s Elderly: Albeiro Vargas and the Guardian Angels Foundation

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Today, we are excited to present the inspiring, special and wonderful work of the Albeiro Vargas and the Guardian Angels Foundation. It is located in the city of Bucaramanga, that is part of Colombia’s department of Santander. Albeiro Vargas is a gerontologist well known for his life-long dedication to transforming the lives of seniors in Colombia.

Albeiro was born in a large, humble family, the seventh of eight children where he was raised and educated with much love and respect. With the help of his mother, he slowly started to realize a dream that was born in his heart: to provide love and care to other elderly people in his neighborhood. Living in such a marginalized neighborhood and being such a young child, it was challenging to receive the help needed to assist the grandparents of his community. However, thanks to the journalist Euclides Ardila of the “Vanguardia Liberal” newspaper, who interviewed him in 1988 when Albeiro was only 10 years old, his work became well known in the city of Bucaramanga and in other countries.

As a result of Euclides Ardila’s interview, a journalist traveled from France to Bucaramanga to make a documentary about the daily life of Albeiro Vargas. He titled it “Little Angel of Colombia.” Thanks to the exposure from the film, Albeiro obtained financial assistance from people in France for his project. With the support of his charitable and affectionate mother, he began working on this selfless, generous path.

Discovering that he alone could not carry out all the tasks required, he approached his peers, motivating them, in turn, to help out with those so desperately in need of caring hands and hearts. Gradually, an affectionate and dedicated group was assembled. The Guardian Angels then began to enthusiastically support his objective of providing basic care infused with love, safety and respect to the elders of the area. Perseverance and great effort resulted in Mr. Vargas’s dream coming true: a suitable space affording the elderly with comforts where they can remain active, perform different cultural, artistic and recreational activities was established.

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