Our Changemarkers Awards honoured the dedication and impact of remarkable Colombians in the UK

Celebrating the talent and dedication of remarkable Colombians in the UK

At the beginning of June, we hosted the first edition of the Colombian Changemakers Awards, an initiative that we’ve launched to honour and celebrate the diverse talent and dedication of remarkable Colombians in the UK.

This event was more than just an award ceremony. It was a way for us to gather the community together and pay tribute to the exceptional commitment of Colombians in the UK who have excelled in areas such as the arts, academia, entrepreneurship and corporate leadership. 

Recognising the diverse achievements of Colombians in the UK

In collaboration with the Anglo Colombian Society and the Colombian Consulate, we conducted a thorough search for outstanding Colombians in the UK working across various fields. With the support of these organisations, we discovered some remarkable individuals.

The jury was composed of Carolina Giraldo, the Chair of our Board of trustees, Felipe Alviar-Baquero and Richard McColl, members of our Board of Trustees, and Yvonne Velásquez, Co-Chair of the Anglo Colombian Society. Together, they considered the overall impact of each person, their commitment to Colombia and their potential for inspirational leadership.

The nominees were picked for six distinct categories, which were created to reflect the diverse ways that Colombians are making an impact on the global stage.

  1. Cultural Changemaker: celebrating a standout figure in the arts who has enhanced the cultural dialogue between the UK and Colombia.
  2. Academic Changemaker: celebrating those who have forged intellectual and cultural connections.
  3. Impactful Leader Changemaker: recognising a leader who has used their influence to strengthen ties and contribute significantly to Colombia’s development. 
  4. Entrepreneurship Changemaker: honouring a business leader for their entrepreneurial success and economic connections.
  5. British Changemaker: celebrating a British individual who has played a pivotal role in building bridges between the UK and Colombia.
  6. Lifetime Changemaker Award: honouring a Colombian who has lived in the UK for decades and has shown an exceptional level of commitment to their homeland.

The award ceremony

On June 4th 2024, we hosted over 100 guests in London to celebrate the amazing nominees of the Colombian Changemakers Awards. The actress Monica Lopera was the host of the evening, and the renowned author and academic Oscar Guardiola-Rivera delivered the keynote speech, sharing his feelings on what it means to be a Colombian in the UK. Our Executive Director, Ángela Carreño, also shared her motivation for working to help children in Colombia and the ways in which she keeps Colombia in her heart from abroad.

Following these amazing speeches, Monica invited  accomplished and inspiring figures to the stage to introduce the nominees and award the winners of each category.

The winners of the Colombian Changemakers 2024 were: 

During the ceremony, we also presented a special ‘Lifetime of Contribution to Colombia’ award to Yvonne Velásquez. After moving speeches from the incredible winners, the night wrapped up with guests mingling and sharing their experiences as Colombians in the UK

Inspiring Colombians in the UK

The Colombian Changemakers Awards was a wonderful opportunity to bring together inspiring Colombians in the UK, and we hope future editions of this event will continue to inspire and connect the community in the UK to Colombia, as well work for the betterment of our beautiful country. 

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