Staff at the restaurant Interno in Cartegena, Colombia
Kike Calvo—Redux


Cartagena, Colombia

With its pink steel bars, exposed brick and piping, and wall paintings of jungle plants, Interno could be any other hip Colombian restaurant. But the employees inside aren’t just prepping food—they’re serving time. The 60-seat restaurant is located in a cordoned-off area of Cartagena’s San Diego prison, a minimum-security facility that’s the last stop for women before they’re released. Since opening in December 2016, it has helped dozens of inmates learn skills designed to aid reintegration into society—including everything from cooking (some trained under Michelin-starred chef Koldo Miranda) to customer service—while earning praise for its locally sourced dishes, such as ceviche in coconut milk and posta cartagenera, a Colombian beef dish. Now Acción Interna, the inmate-advocacy group that runs Interno, says it plans to open a sister restaurant, Externa, staffed by former prisoners. —Ashley Mateo

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