Altamar Seafood Company
San Jose, Costa Rica
Written by Cristian Bolanos
With more than ten years since its birth, ALTAMAR has focused on becoming an industry leader in the seafood industry’s distribution supply chain. Our company has been instrumental in creating a sustainable pathway, linking the hard-working artisanal fishermen in hard-hit coastal communities with the end client interested in a high-quality, eco-friendly product.
ALTAMAR has grown from humble beginnings, first serving small restaurants and hotels to eventually becoming certified as a trusted supplier of the Costa Rican government and Presidential Palace. Nevertheless, it is important to note that recently our company had to be reinvented from the ground up as we were hit gravely due to COVID-19. Focused mainly on distribution to large government entities such as schools, hospitals, and police stations, we lost 90% of our revenue stream in one day when the lockdowns began without notice.
With certainty and faith, we took the first step and eventually the business changed from wholesale to personalized retail. Through GOD's grace, we were not only able to keep supporting all of our employees, collaborators and fishermen but also to provide a much-needed service to a new customer base. Successfully reinventing the business model to a home delivery service also allowed us to make an impact by relieving clients of the fear and risks associated with COVID-19.
The key aspect of ALTAMAR is that the company belongs only to GOD and that our only role is to manage according to the teachings of CHRIST. The members of our team seek to serve each other, creating a culture of empowerment through training and tools that reflect CHRIST’s leadership values. This message then gets passed to our families and even reaches the clients themselves. We emphatically believe that if we lead with our hearts, through GOD's love, we will generate a lasting impact on the community as a whole.
It begins by acknowledging that we don’t own anything, but rather everything belongs to GOD. We simply have the responsibility to manage the blessings HE has provided for the benefit of everyone. Therefore, we intend to be able to extend HIS blessings to everyone we can, not only those in our close circle of family and friends but also looking to impact the community as a whole; collaborators, clients, our church and beyond.
A business is only a tool to showcase GOD's work, through which, our commitment and devotion can demonstrate what it means to live in GOD's love. Providing work and opportunities, we can help others live in HIS grace and providence.
In business, being a follower of CHRIST offers the unique opportunity to do things differently. Regular self-serving business practices that are focused on economic profits and self-gain must be exchanged for those that benefit all as we aim to serve one another. Economic sustainability and growth come as a side effect of doing GOD's work, and that is the blessing of following in HIS footsteps. One day, one sale, and one task at a time we give our hearts to present GOD's love and grace.
ALTAMAR’s values are bases on CHRIST's teachings and therefore honesty, hard work, mercy, kindness, solidarity, humility and service are at our core. This is evident in our commitment to social sustainability and long-term relationships by providing fair trade prices to fishermen and living wages to our collaborators. Ecological awareness is also critical to the business model and it is demonstrated through our requirements of responsible fishing practices.
Furthermore, our clients not only receive the best product possible with a great service but also feel proud to support a company that creates a real impact in at-risk communities. Some of the ways we relieve real needs are through food provision, medical health care, education, and oceans protection.
GOD has made it possible for ALTAMAR to develop a business model based on HIS teaching and has demonstrated to us the value and power of spiritual practices. This revelation has given birth to a bigger dream of creating centers around the world focused on teaching and developing spiritual disciplines. These “Mission Camps” will have the purpose of creating fertile ground for the journey to spiritual maturity in Christ-followers who will then have the proper tools to share the GOOD NEWS.
I accepted JESUS as my savior 10 years ago and have chosen to follow HIM every day since. As a troubled youth, I walked in darkness until HIS precious hands gave me eternal rescue, and from then on my process of redemption started. By HIS grace I realized JESUS as the missing piece in every aspect of my life and my most valued treasure.
The truth that “we should not try to make the gospel fit our lives, but that we should make our lives fit in the Gospel”, is a guiding principle in my faith and leadership practices. GOD allows us to live the Gospel hundreds of times every single day. Being a Christian leader means using the HOLY SCRIPTURES as your daily manual, and being able to appreciate the opportunities to learn and teach others the values of JESUS.
Humility, service, mercy, tenderness, kindness and empathy among others are characteristics JESUS lived by. Christian leaders understand that these are powerful tools that need to be put into practice to create deep, meaningful, and transformational impact all around them.
GOD has blessed me with my wife, Paula, a beautiful, supportive, caring and loving follower of Christ. HE has also entrusted me with the guidance of our two incredible sons, Mateo and Gabriel. My life is full of blessings, and day in and day out I truly give my best to put it all in GOD's service.