To commemorate the International Year of Cooperatives, the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia created the “RYMEL SERRANO URIBE” prize to promote academic efforts and production in the Social and Cooperative Economy. Rymel Serrano Uribe, University co-founder, is a lawyer specialized in the solidarity economy and cooperativism with experience in the cooperative sector for over 60 years in both the public and private sector, in the national and international arena.

The contest invites researchers and students to promote their activities developing Cooperativism, the Solidarity Economy, and its organizations. The aim is to raise awareness of the role of cooperatives in economic and social development, promote their growth, and encourage policies, laws, and regulations that help strengthen the sector.

The “researcher” category of the contest includes instructors and researchers from the universities across Colombia, post-graduate students, and fellows in research centers who have worked with and studied in the topics of the social, solidarity and cooperative economy. Participants submitted a scientific article stimulating the strengthening, visibility, and development of the sector.

The “Students” category awards a prize to the best video describing the functioning of a cooperative, made by students from the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, a university with over 50,000 students in 18 different cities across the country. The winning video will be submitted to to support the global initiative and raise visibility of the video.

The prize and the initiative motivated youth from across the university to discover the history of local cooperatives, organize the information, and participate in the contest. In the first phase of the contest, 30 videos were selected, which were then narrowed down to 11 finalists. The final prize will be awarded on November 22nd.

Some of the cooperatives featured in the contest include:

• Cooperativa Multiactiva de Comerciantes de San Victorino by student Samira Kader Díaz ( )

• Cooperativa COOPSERFUN by student Mario Estrada – story published on

• Cooperativa de Recicladores de Córdoba by student Juan Carlos Garrido (Parte 1. ; Parte 2:

• Cooperativa COOCUMBRE by student Fanny Natalia Sánchez (

• Asociación Amigos Campesinos de la Sierra by student Mayra Alejandra Mejia ( )

• Fundación Somos Pacifico by student Claude Patrick (

• Cooperativa de Paleros del Municipio de Arauca by student Pamela Campos Vargas (

• Cooperativa Latinoamericana de Ahorro y Crédito-UTRAHUILCA by student Yulieth Melissa Charry Montealegre

• Cooperativa CONFECOOP Tolima by student Juan Manuel Estrada ( )

• Cooperativa de trabajadores de Banacol- Cootraban by student Gustavo Alberto Salazar Jiménez

• Cooperativa Multiactiva Cooperadores y Asociados by student Judy Melissa Hoyos Catañeda