Find out why Johana Bahamón Decided to Quit Television

Meet Johana Bahamón | The social activism

You probably know Johana Bahamón‘s artistic career, as she was one of the most important Colombian women on TV, butdid you know that she has a much more  profound life? We tell you all about the social facet of this artist who left acting to dedicate herself to humanistic causes.

Meet Johana Bahamón and her trajectory in the world of acting

Johana was born in Cali, Colombia. She graduated in Business Administration from the Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administración (CESA). However, since 2000 she decided to focus on acting, with acting workshops in Bogota and at the New York Film Academy (Revista Credencial, 2020). 

In 2004 she began her career in TV, with the soap opera La viuda de la mafia, from Canal RCN. From then on, she was a well-known actress in different shows, such as Amores Cruzados, Cómplices, Sin Retorno, Niños ricos y pobres padres, and Tres Milagros, among others (La FM, 2020). 

Johana was, for a long time, one of the icons of Colombian television. However, suddenly she began to be more relevant in a different set.   She started working with inmates and became a social activist for their rights. Joanna also became prominent in this new field.  

The social activism of this actress

In 2012, this famous actress visited a prison for the first time.  At that very moment, her life changed. She  noticed that the judicial system in Colombia is very slow, while the prison system is punitive and not  restorative. Thus,  she felt she could do something to improve the  prisoners’ lives.

In 2021, she launched her book “Historias privadas de la libertad” (Stories with No freedom ). In the book, Johana tells the life stories of eight people she met in prison. Throughout the pages, she mentions that she discovered her true call: social activism for prisoners (BBC, 2021). 

She believes that prisoners deserve a second chance . For this reason, she created a foundation known as Acción Interna. It is a productive center with different departments: a theatre, a tattoo workshop, a clothing workshop, a barbershop, and an advertising agency, among others  (El País, 2021). 

The objective of Johana’s project is to provide opportunities for ex-convicts to work after they are released from prison. Thanks to this work, she was awarded the Recognition of Good Practices in Sustainable Development by  Bogota Chamber of Commerce (El Tiempo, 2020). 

And that was not the only award. Joanna has won several prizes: the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017, the Inclusive Leader Award from the NADI Foundation in 2019 andthe Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2020 (World Economic Forum, 2020).   Johana Bahamon’s lifeshows that the social commitment of Colombian women is one of their best traces. 


BBC. (2021, February 10). Johana Bahamón, la famosa actriz que abandonó la televisión para darles “segundas oportunidades” a los presos en Colombia. Retrieved from:

El Tiempo. (2020, July 24). Fundación de Johana Bahamón gana nuevo premio. Retrieved from:

El País. (2021, January 30). Johana Bahamón, artífice de las oportunidades en las cárceles de Colombia. Retrieved from:

La FM. (2020, March 10). Johana Bahamón, de vuelta a la televisión en capítulo de ‘Enfermeras’. Retrieved from:

Revista Credencial. (2020, March 6). “Los presos me transformaron”: Johana Bahamón. Retrieved from:

World Economic Forum. (2020, May 1). Johana Bahamón y Romero Britto: el cuarto episodio de #JuntosEnCasa. Retrieved from: