The idea to create Callia Foundation arose now 10 years ago during a trip I made through Ibero-America with the purpose of writing a book. A book that answered a question that I kept repeating to myself back then: What takes a great businessman to share his wealth with others? A wealth often acquired with great effort and sacrifice.
Through that trip I spoke with philanthropists and patrons in Spain, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, the United States, etc. From the answers I received from all them came the title of the book that I had in my head and heart: “The Luck of Giving”. I had discovered an amazing thing: all the people who had shared their experience with me agreed on one common thing. It was the feeling that they themselves were the lucky ones because of the enormous satisfaction of “giving”.
That trip also revealed another conclusion about the way of being of Ibero-Americans. While in the United States and entrepreneur who starts his professional activity in a garage and become on of the richest entrepreneurs in the world and dedicate the rest of his life to eradicate the polio is seen as a hero, in Latin America someone similar is seen, as minimum, as someone suspicious.
From that learning the Ibero-American Patronage Awards were born, with the intention, from humility, to recognize the work carried out by these GREAT PEOPLE, in capital letters, capable of putting their heritage and time at the service of the common good.
When the Patronage Laws finally come to equate us with the benchmarks of the Anglo-Saxon world, these will not be decisive unless a cultural change has taken place in our societies that recognizes and identifies itself with the figure of one who shares his wealth with others as a source of individual fulfilment.
All people must have, whatever we do, a philanthropic reason for being. For self-esteem and because we all change the world: society, companies, and institutions.
I wrote one day that “art is an activity only for the brave”. I want to repeat it in this letter, convinced that few adventures and discoveries are worth as much as the encounter with the other. On that meeting, I think, the buildings of philanthropy and patronage are founded, and are writing, in capital letters, the best chapters in the history of the human being.
President Callia Foundation