Elsa Noguera: when disability becomes an opportunity

Elsa Noguera: great difficulties, great achievements | Her performance as a Governor

Elsa Noguera is the first woman governor of Atlántico, a department on the Caribbean Coast.This is not a small achievement. Not many Colombian women are successful in the political field compared to men. According to Colombian stereotypes, women belong to the private sphere and men to the public. There are significant exceptions, especially in the last years, but not many women choose the political arena.

Elsa Noguera: great difficulties, great achievements

First, Elsa Noguera started her political career when she was still young. In 2010, she ran for Vice-president when she was in her 30’s. Her career had started before, though, at the local level. In 2008, she was Secretary of Finance in the Mayor’s Office. Her performance was brilliant: she purged Barranquillas´s finances, and people were thankful (La Silla Vacía, 2021).

Later on, Noguera was the mayor of Barranquilla in 2012, Minister of Housing in 2015, and in 2019 was elected governor of Atlántico.

This may sound like a direct road to the moon, but not everything has been so easy for Elsa. She was born with a disabling disease. Her bones are very fragile, and she has been forced to use crutches and even wheelchairs. This disability has not stopped her. On the contrary, and as she states: “disability is not an obstacle. It is a great opportunity to be better” (El Tiempo, 2020). 

Her performance as a Governor

Pandemic times have been a trial for many politicians and influential people. It was unexpected, and not many tools were readily available. For some, it was a time to show their good qualities and abilities, and for some, it was a disaster. That was not Elsa Noguera’s case. According to Invamer, an important survey firm, in a recent poll, Elsa reached 80% of approval and is nominated to be elected as the best governor of the country (El Heraldo, n.d.).  In conclusion, Elsa Noguera may not be one of the most famous Colombian women, but she is undoubtedly brave. Like many other Colombian women, for example, María Cano, one of the most renowned activists in Colombia, Elsa has used her strength and intelligence to work for others. Above all, we hope she continues growing as a person and politician with the call to help others. 


El Heraldo (n.d.). Elsa Noguera lidera aprobación como mejor gobernadora del país. Retrieved from: https://www.elheraldo.co/atlantico/elsa-noguera-lidera-aprobacion-como-mejor-gobernadora-del-pais-888328

El Tiempo (2020). Mis muletas no son un obstáculo. Retrieved from: https://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/barranquilla/elsa-noguera-su-historia-de-discapacidad-como-oportunidad-552825

La Silla Vacía (2021). Elsa Noguera de la Espriella. Retrieved from: https://www.lasillavacia.com/quien-es-quien/elsa-noguera-de-la-espriella