Sergio represented Colombia at the International Summit for Leadership in the U.S., and plans to get married soon. With his work savings, Diego bought an apartment. Eyner finished high school, and now intends to study auto-mechanics and open a small business.
Sergio, Diego and Eyner are Juan Valdez® Cafe employees and part of Best Buddies, a program that offers employment to more than 500 Colombians with cognitive disabilities.
People from Best Buddies have been working in our stores for over nine years. They serve customers, prepare beverages and go about the same tasks as other employees.
Witnessing how these men and women are able to transcend their disabilities and perform their tasks has inspired their fellow coworkers.
“The program is changing our perceptions of disabled persons. I have experienced this personally," says one Juan Valdez® Cafe Team Leader. "Working alongside them means understanding another way of living, and their contributions are very beneficial to the business."
The coordinator of the Best Buddies program at Juan Valdez® Cafe believes it's important for businesses to be aware of the benefits of employing people with cognitive disabilities. She notes that she herself has come to understand that there are no limits to human determination, and that those with disabilities have the same desire to learn and grow.
This is why, at Juan Valdez® Café, we continue to support workplace inclusion