“Find your inner peace, discover the power that lies within your heart and become a channel of peace in the world"
Jaime Jaramillo was born in Manizales, Colombia, and as a boy discovered the social injustices that existed in his country and decided to position himself on the side of the weak. Throughout his life he has received various signs, which in one way or another have inspired him to dream and to act.
Walking through his farm’s coffee plantation at the age of 7, Jaime came across two children playing with a tatty old doll and a broken wooden toy lorry. Consequently he asked his father to allow him to sew some coffee himself and to use the income from these plants to buy a new doll and lorry for those children.
At Christmas 1973, the sign was so strong that it illuminated the path of his true purpose in life. Jaime still recalls the homeless girl who, full of hope, picked up the empty packaging of a doll that had fallen from a car window. He was walking past her, and as she looked up at him the girl was distracted and did not notice the lorry that was approaching at speed. It hit her, snatching her life and her dreams.
From that moment on he began to visit children living on the streets, taking them food, trying to soothe their pain, cure their wounded souls and give them a light of hope to guide them out of the darkness in which they lived.
From then on, while he pursued postgraduate study in geophysical prospection and petroleum exploration at the Universities of Mainz and Montana, he though up a way to help children with health problems, be they disabled, epileptic, deaf–mute, mentally handicapped or with genetic deformities, as well as those who had begun a life of drug addiction and delinquency.
Years later, back in Colombia, another homeless girl appeared in his path and took him for the first time to the dark world of the sewers, were she slept. At that moment, down in that place reigned by eternal night, desperation and fear, he dreamt of rescuing all the children of the darkness in his beloved Colombia from the abandonment they suffered. Thanks to this decision, thousands of children and young people who once lived in darkness have learnt to dream with the Fundación Niños de los Andes.
His humanitarian work would continue to grow day by day with his visits to rubbish dumps, sewers, underground tunnels and marginal neighbourhoods, where he generated such trust that he became known lovingly as “Papa Jaime”, the father of society’s untouchables.
He continued his work as a geophysicist exploring petroleum for more than 20 years, all the time helping the Fundación Niños de los Andes to grow. More than 65.000 children have benefited from the Foundation’s support and it currently helps 6000 people per year.
His children Esteban and Alejandra have been at his side all these years, accompanying, supporting and inspiring him in his life’s mission.
12 Years ago he decided to spread his message around the world and created Papa Jaime Leadership, an organisation through which he delivers conferences, workshops and seminars. Millions of people have heard his inspiring message of peace and love, a message which has helped many of them to rediscover the potential that lies within their hearts and to change their lives.
Jaime’s messages also reach the world through his daily participation in television and radio programmes, his contributions to newspapers and magazines, and his books and CDs.