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An exceptional journey: from sponsored child to member of the International Committee

Colombia is a country with many inequalities and great extremes between wealth and poverty. Today it is still a part of the world’s countries list with the highest Gini coefficient. However, Colombia is full of vibrating stories, joyful and successful, like the one of Carlos Aparicio that seems to be a fairy tale: the one kind starting with “once upon a time” and finishing with “they lived happily ever after”.

Before being the successful professional he is today, Carlos crossed a path full of experiences and encounters that allowed him to get the necessary tools to realize all of his childhood’s desires. Despite the numerous obstacles found on his ascension towards success, Carlos always knew that he had to keep going the right way. Better than anyone, he knows that the right support and education are fundamentals and make the difference. “A hand in the right place changes one’s life”, affirmed Carlos.

48 years ago, the course of his life was uncertain; he was born in a humble family that lived in Bogota in a small house that his father covered with paper. With his 5 brothers, he shared one room and they slept in the same bed, but Carlos never saw this as a bad thing, rather, he saw this as an opportunity for improvement. Even though the economic conditions of his home were hard, the perspective got better when he met PLAN.


When he was 5 years old, PLAN arrived at his community with education, health, and familial orientation projects, between others. “Since this time, I can say that my life has changed”. Thanks to PLAN my family had access to a doctor, especially in this time when nor SISBEN nor social security existed. PLAN taught me to break the limits and to go the farthest possible.

During the 70’s decade, at the same time that he was part of the PLAN program, Nina, the woman that will become his wife, later on, was also listed, and without knowing it at the time, they were both sponsored by the foundation. Some time later, their path crossed and they realized what a coincidence it was, as well as the impact that PLAN had in their lives.

As the years went by, the course of Carlos’ leadership and his possibility to access education, his life radically changed; he finished secondary school and became the pride of his family. “When I got my diploma, I received a lot of praise because I became the family member with the highest level of education,, ” he tells with great satisfaction.

Carlos’ dreams did not stop here. He worked and studied at the same time until the obtention of his Public Accountant title; this diploma was one of the first accomplishment that started to feed his CV, until he became “Member of the International Committee of PLAN”.

This was one of the most significant and special step for Carlos because he became the first and unique PLAN’s sponsored child in the whole world to be part of the International Committee. In November last year, the Mondial Assembly of PLAN named him International Board Member. With this new charge, he can keep helping youth and children, influencing in the decision taking and in the future of the organization, as well as being part of the Board of directors of PLAN in Colombia.

His rise went progressively, from waiter, cashier, accountant assistant, and many other charges, in his 18 years at the University of Los Andes, where he succeeded to get the highest post as Head of Financial Support, or Coordinator of Administration and Finance, among others.

“Transformation can be achieved only if we give a little hand to the great potential that have boys and girls. I experienced it, I hope that with my experience I can be the reflection of what PLAN can bring to youth” he concluded.