Courage and heart – a decade of community work | World Mosquito Program Skip to main content
Delia Banguera, a community volunteer in Colombia
Delia Banguera, a community volunteer in Colombia

The great urban concert that wakes up the residents of Comuna 13 in Santiago de Cali, Colombia, is a mixture of street conversations, music and loudspeakers with community announcements. These sounds also accompany Delia Banguera in her talks with the vulnerable population in the area.

Delia is considered a leader in Barrio Belisario Betancurt, which she’s very proud of. 

"What I like about working with the community is that I enjoy being recognized. I have been talking to the children and young people of Cinta Larga for more than 10 years and, as the years go by, they continue to recognize and consider me as a leader in the sector," says Delia. 

A community engagement workshop in Cali, Colombia
A community engagement workshop in Cali, Colombia

Delia is a mentor to young people in this neighborhood, located in the Cinta Larga sector,  teaching them that the criminal world is not a way out of poverty. Delia is a well respected and much loved member of the community thanks to her hard work, passion and commitment to improving her neighbourhood.

One day, as part of her activities in the sector, she heard about the World Mosquito Program. Delia attended one of the meetings organized to raise awareness about the Wolbachia method, the fight against mosquito-borne diseases, as well as the importance of community acceptance and participation to achieve success in the project. 

"I was really bitten by curiosity and now I even participate in the Wolbachia mosquito releases."

A fruit vendor next to a sign about Wolbachia in Cali, Colombia
A fruit vendor next to a sign about Wolbachia in Cali, Colombia

Dengue is considered a public health problem for many countries all over the world. In Cali, Colombia, a total of 4,521 cases were registered in communes 13, 15 and 16 between 2019 and 2020. In July of this year, the World Mosquito Program, in alliance with the Red de Salud del Oriente - E.S.E and the Red de Salud del Suroriente - E.S.E., started an education campaign around dengue prevention and control actions. This community engagement work is an essential step to prepare for the release of Wolbachia mosquitoes.

Delia is the mother of Laura and Heiler. She makes sure that they have a social and practical community education, so much so that her daughter Laura is now a volunteer in the program as well. Delia’s desire to study and help the community led her to take courses in personal training, leadership and group dynamics. With her great charisma, she is an example of social transformation and community participation.

"The World Mosquito Program project is a great opportunity to continue improving living conditions in the neighbourhood."
Delia Banguera
Community volunteer