Antioquia’s Community-Funded Infrastructure: A Bold Step Forward


In an unprecedented display of civic commitment and regional pride, the people of Antioquia have taken a bold step towards self-funding their infrastructure projects, particularly the much-needed 4G roads. On the first day of a fundraising campaign initiated by Governor Andrés Julián Rendón, an impressive sum of over $700 million Colombian pesos was collected, hitting a quarter of the campaign’s target.

The initiative, warmly dubbed as “la vaca” (the cow) by locals, aims to gather sufficient funds to complete supplementary works for the Túnel del Toyo and the construction of the Bolombolo interchange and the connection with Pacífico 2. This method of funding not only showcases the ingenuity and resilience of the Antioquian people but also serves as a stark reminder of the lengthy delays in receiving financial support from the National Government for these critical projects.

@andresjulianrc Ya aporté el primer milloncito para la “vaca” por las vías: desde Antioquia por Colombia. #MetoPaLaVaca ♬ sonido original – Andrés Julián Rendón

Governor Rendón, leading by example, was the first to contribute to the fund, soon followed by various public figures and hundreds of everyday citizens. Their collective effort underscores a deep-rooted sense of community and a proactive approach to overcoming obstacles that hinder regional development.

The campaign was inspired by an idea from former President Álvaro Uribe, aiming to leverage the spirit of civic pride among Antioquians. Governor Rendón emphasized that this initiative is a testament to the “civismo” of a free people, willing to invest in their region’s future beyond the challenges posed by national policy decisions.

Contributions to the fund can be made through the official website of the Gobernación de Antioquia, with options for donations starting from $10,000 pesos. The process is designed to be straightforward, encouraging widespread participation across the community. For those preferring alternative methods, donations can also be made via Bancolombia branches or banking correspondents under the agreement 883, with more channels expected to open in the coming weeks.

An intensive oversight mechanism is in place to ensure that the funds are used strictly for the intended purposes. This oversight committee includes notable figures such as Lina Vélez, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín; Edward Stiven Pino Graciano, a worker at the Túnel del Toyo; among others, demonstrating a clear commitment to transparency and accountability.

This grassroots funding initiative represents a significant shift in how infrastructure projects could be financed in the future, particularly in regions where government support is insufficient or delayed. The enthusiastic response from the citizens of Antioquia not only highlights their willingness to invest in their community’s progress but also sets a compelling precedent for civic engagement and self-reliance in achieving developmental goals.

As the campaign progresses, it remains to be seen how this innovative approach to funding will impact the completion of the 4G roads and potentially inspire other regions to adopt similar strategies. What is clear, however, is the unmistakable spirit of the Antioquian people, ready to take their destiny into their own hands and pave the way towards a brighter, more connected future.