Global star Shakira returned to her home country of Colombia on Monday (Feb. 24) to inaugurate the eighth school funded by her non profit foundation, Pies Descalzos (Bare Feet). The school and community center, located in the low-income neighborhood of Lomas del Peyé in Cartagena, the tourist destination in the Atlantic Coast of Colombia, will serve 1,700 needy children ranging from day care to high school age.
"This is part of my advocacy: Promote access to universal education," Shakira told Billboard a few days earlier in an interview. The Lomás del Peyé school and community center, Shakira's sixth school in Colombia, continues her vision of making the school the center of the community.
"I want to demonstrate through the Pies Descalzos model how we can change the lives, not only of the children who come to school, but also their families. Entire communities can be transformed when you have a school that functions properly," said the singer, noting that when she built a school in her hometown of Barranquilla, there were no paved roads in the area. In Lomas del Peye, one of Cartagena's poorest neighborhoods, much of the community had no water or power.