We deliver more than a donation: hope to the Ukrainian people.

We are safe and coming back home from Ukraine.

Second Trip: Mission accomplished. Special Thanks to Thomas, Demian, and all the friends that protect us.

Dear friend

Thanks you for your prayers, patience in waiting for news about myself, and, most of all, for helping me to bring love and aid to the Ukrainian people.

Thanks to all the donors we collected and delivered about $10,000 USD, which will be used for a second oven and a bread delivery van.

We did more

We made it to Bucha and the capital Kyiv.

7 checkpoints during curfew hours (12:00 pm to 5:00 am) and stopped at 4 of the checkpoints.

We met the donation plan and made more.

A portion of the leftover donation money was used to buy bread from other bakeries and donate it to shelters and churches.

Another Oven is Coming

This will significantly increase the production capacity of the first bakery that had the courage to open its doors after the invasion as an example of hope and care for the community.

Five Memories, ten minutes of your attention

The bakery owner asked me if freedom could be taken away. My answer was quick: never!

They can take away material things – they can take away your electricity and even your physical freedom.

But the freedom to sound, to feel, to fight, to love, to laugh. No one can ever take that away from you.

And that is true freedom for me.

“I will build a bigger bakery.”


Manolo and Yurislave
La pequeña cabaña panadería

Yurislave was told by phone that the explosion was so big next to the bakery that he may have not bakery.

“So I seat at the table- I grab a piece of paper and a pen, I started drowning a bigger and nicer bakery.”



Photo: Rocket hit very near the Bakery

“This could had be me.”

Tom seeing this car -photo at the right- it was next to the evacuation route that he took several times to save people from Mariupol to West Ukraineand the border. -Brave-

At that moment, I was talking about the fear of entering the Ukrainian fight ring – already today, I entered and faced my first fights – 7 checkpoints – entering Bucha with that scenery from side to side, and being interrogated outside the bakery.

I feel like my whole life has been training for this.

Even Colombia’s electricity rationing long time ago. Here in Bucha the electricity in Bucha come an go. It went off when we were in the bakery

Leaving the bakery, finding the place where we were going to stay – passing all kinds of military barracks – and no light in the street; this is the violent Colombia we had to live in.

Few weeks ago his body was found- hands tight, foot tight and torture. Why not me- I am 76 years old.”


Like Nazys

Russian soldiers went to our houses. “-Go to the government building; a bus is there waiting for you to be evacuated- I did not go; many of my neighbors went- nobody has return, nobody has called.” Nazys.

She is the woman who tells this sad story.


Ukrainian soldier message to the church:

“I pray for peace and the end of this war. I also pray for the safe return of our soldiers to their homes; and for the safe return of the Russian soldiers, they also have families waiting for them.”


I wrote these words during the trip

Dear Darkness.

Today, you taught me how much power you have. However, you also taught me how dumb you are. You are so dumb that you can’t even realize as the darker you get, the bigger my love for humanity will shine.}

Today I also learned. Christians and non, together in love, love to raise and help the unknown. Unknown to those who create horror. Horror to have a more peaceful world? No!

Children and adults together in prayer. Pray to create an army of faith. Faith for those who are in the field. A field full of wheat- the birth of peace.

Peace and hope together in bread. Bread to God- bread to Ukraine. Ukraine, for those who can’t believe. Believe this war – the free world- will be a win.

Here are a few things I could not tell you before I started this journey.

First, fear has been next to me since the first day I said I would do this. I had nights where I couldn’t sleep – thinking about what if something happened to me. What about my kids? What about my wife? What about my mother? And the list goes on and on.

Say goodbye to my children the night before was one of the most painful and difficult things I have ever done.

Fear leaving Charlotte, leaving London. A cold, intense, dark fear hugged me when I left Poland and crossed the border.

As We -Thomas, my angel, kept driving inside Ukraine- going through 7 checkpoints- during curfew hours (12:00 pm to 5:00 am) and stopped at 4 of the checkpoints- I still had the same fear with me.

Right now- it is my third night sleeping in a place where a, less than a half mile away rocket landed and caused a lot of destruction in a town where many people got killed.

Fear is still with me- fear of expecting what tomorrow will bring us.

So now that I confess to you that I am not a superhero – I am a man who also could feel fear, so why am I doing this?

Well, the answer is more complex- it is a little complicated, and it could be long, but I will do my first to give you my short version. As months passed, I noticed that the world had forgotten that one country had invaded another.

Innocent people die. And they are still getting killed. Destruction is everywhere. The future of this nation -its children- is losing its parents.

The relative balance of universal power in the globe after WW2 was affected by the moment when Russia decided to invade Ukraine.

So my first reason for this trip is to remember the global war still on.

When the war started, and after I came to Poland for the first time, I promised myself if the war was still on, I would keep helping Ukrainian bakeries.

If the belly is full, the spirit is alive. If the spirit is alive, faith and love will never be down.

That is my logic, my belief.

So people say that I’m crazy for doing this, but Tomas, my dear friend, gave me a better answer. The real crazy one here is him because he decides to move me around. 

And because he has been, 20 years, following his heart. So it takes my brain back to what I heard a few weeks ago. The people who really make a change in this world are the ones who are crazy enough to follow their hearts, so if this means being crazy. Happy to be called crazy. And happy to call my local friend Tomas “Crazy”. 

The right kind of crazy. He is the right kind of crazy.

I also heard that too many people were breaking promises in Ukraine.

So I said to myself, no matter what, I will honor my words as I have always done. So now you have the second reason.

I am an idea entrepreneur and an idea baker- as many of you have heard, I run my business around people, not about money.

I bake happiness, and my mission is to change business owners’ mentalities.

So if a small corner bakery in a small city, with the help of a few friends, can do all of this. Imagine all the big things that any business or more big businesses can do worldwide. Or what about all the ultra-rich people- with their huge salaries? -My God, they have a big oportunity to change so many things.

Tomorrow, I will have more time to write- please stay tuned-

Once again, thank you so much


Manolo Betancur

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