Our founder Johana Bahamón
Creator of second opportunities, defender of the rights of the prison population of Colombia. Actress, entrepreneur, founder and Executive Director of the Acción Interna Foundation, appointed by the Ministry of Justice and law as Goodwill Ambassador to promote the rehabilitation and humanization of the penitentiary system (2014).
Johana studied Business Administration at CESA (Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administración). In 2000, she began her acting career and she complemented her studies with courses and workshops in Bogotá, Cuba and New York. After participating in 15 TV productions and being her last starring role in the series “3 milagros”, she quit acting to dedicate her time to the prison population. In 2012 she created a theater group at the women’s penitentiary “El Buen Pastor” in Bogotá boosting her connection to the prison sector.
- In 2013, she founded “Fundación Acción Interna” and has worked in 29 prisons with more tan 30.000 inmates.
- Member of the Dignity Prison Committee, part of the Ministry of Justice and Law (2013).
- Creator of the I, II and III National festival of Prison Theatre, where 18 prisons have participated.
- Organizer of the first TEDx in a Latin American prison (TEDx Buen Pastor ‘ How to turn mistakes into opportunities).
- Co-founder of Casa Libertad, a place for second opportunities for ex convicted population. (2015)
- Founder and creator of Interno, the first restaurant in the world open to public in a women prison.
- She has participated as speaker at important international events such as the Women’s Forum for Society and Economy in Deauville, France and Sao Paulo (2014), the True North Woman in Guanajuato, Mexico (2015), Tedx Mujeres Bogotá, Demand Solution in Miami.
- In 2018 she started working in juvenile detention centers.
Recognitions and Awards
- Member of the Top 30 Leaders of Colombia 2014, prize awarded by “Revista Semana” , Telefónica and “La Fundación de Liderazgo y Democracia” (Foundation of Leadership and Democracy;”) a recognition to public leaders who have taken steps to make positive changes in the Colombian society during the period 2013-2014.
- In 2015, Johana was highlighted in “Mujeres que le aportan a Colombia” (“Women who give to Colombia”) “Revista Semana.
- In 2017, she was appointed as “Ambassador of Reconciliation” by the OEI and “Reconciliacion Colombia”
- Winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the year EY Colombia 2017.
- Portafolio Award for “Aporte a la Comunidad”(“Community Support”) 2017
- Founder and creator of Interno, the first restaurant open to public in a women prison, selected as one the TIME Magazine´s 2018 World´s Greatest Places.
- Best Entrepreneur – Politika awards 2018