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Photography: PLEIA

The project turned into the PLEIA company was born in 2012 when Daniel Correa Jaramillo was completing his professional career in Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics at the CES University of Medellín. From here arises the sustainable ideal for caring for the environment and preserving the memory of deceased pets.

Daniel Correa had the initiative to transform the bodies of deceased pets into compost so that trees of species such as yellow guayacanes, ceibas, succulents, which are the plants commonly planted in the Antioquia region, grow.

However, the venture was not launched until Melissa Naranjo Hoyos, current partner of the company and also a graduate of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics of CES University, lost her faithful companion Rosita, a French Poodle who was during 18 years by his side.

In 2015 I was traveling when I received a call from my family telling me that Rosita had been euthanized. She was already very ill and therefore the decision. I came from the trip to see my deceased dog and I only found some ashes, without a photo, or anything to remind me of it; the feeling in me was frustration and sadness, ”Naranjo said.

Rosita had been in Melissa's life since she was 6 years old, the bond of pet and owner was turned into a connection of friendship and love. The day of his death he could not say goodbye to her, her body was no longer there when she arrived in Medellín.

“Hence my impulse to start the PLEIA project was born, so that the owners find a place where they can visit their most faithful companions who have already passed away,” Naranjo commented.

After their experiences, in 2016 Melissa and Daniel with the help of Carolina Cataño Gil, manager of the CVZ (Veterinary and Zootechnical Center of the CES University), decided to start and create Animal Compost, which is currently PLEIA.

The CVZ has been a great friend to PLEIA, from the beginning we received their support and empathy for offering our services to their clients, apart from the fact that our project grew within the CVZ "Naranjo said.

The main headquarters of the enterprise was located in the district of Santa Elena, in the Centro Oriente de Medellín. They were looking for a quiet place in which to plant a tree, flower or plant that germinated with the compost from the pet's body.

“The composting process begins when the pet dies and lasts approximately 4-5 weeks while the body decomposes. Through biotechnology, natural principles are applied that help the body break down and that it does not emit bad odors, allowing it to return to the earth. The pet is buried from the first week to provide energy and matter rich in nutrients and minerals for the biotransformation process in the plant that the owner wishes to plant, ”said Daniel Correa.

The name of PLEIA in 2020, refers to a cluster of stars in the universe and the state of going back to the beginning of things, life. For this reason its motto is, “life after life”, Life after life.

Since the beginning of the project, they have achieved a reduction of 52 tons of CO2 emissions, because when the animals are cremated they emit gases that pollute and the composting process helps to avoid this.

They are currently located in the Guarne municipality, in eastern Antioquia, where there are about 5,000 buried pets and almost 4,000 thousand trees that grew out of the ground where the animal's body lies.

“We intend not to be a traditional funeral home where everything is dark and dreary. We want to be a living space, where there is not a tombstone but a tree in which the pet is. This is PLEIA, transformation ” , concluded Correa.

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