Maureen Orth received Colombian citizenship from President Duque in recognition of the work of the Marina Orth Foundation, a longtime FOC partner. Maureen says the celebration at the Ambassador’s Residence was “the most beautiful and overwhelming night. It was my great honor to accept Colombian citizenship in the name of all Colombia Peace Corps Volunteers. The Peace Corps in Colombia is an important piece of our two hundred years of bilateral relations.”

From the Colombian Embassy:

As part of the celebration of the 200-year of history of the relationship between Colombia and the United States, high-level audiences in Washington have been delighted with the best samples of Colombian music, flavors, and culture.

Thanks to the Embassy of Colombia to the United States, US government officials, opinion leaders and high-level figures in the society of the US capital have taste Colombian cuisine, rhythms and dances representative of the country.

In each of the events held, the audiences have witnessed and experience firsthand the deep connection to the United States and the influence of both cultures in personal relationships.

When journalist Maureen Orth, a native of Berkley, California who has donated hours and hours of her time to communities of young people in Colombia was granted Colombian nationality, on April 26, 2022, guests were able to dance to the rhythm of Joropo, thanks to the Academy Cabrestero, that has been recognized as one of the best in teaching this rhythm.

In the celebration for Orth, President of Colombia Ivan Duque recognized her work and her passion for the country in a moving video call from the capital of the country.

Once the ceremony finished, the dancers – three couples – stomped their feet in the floor of the main hall of the residence in front of the audience that little by little became infected with the flavor and sound of the traditional rhythm. So much so that the honoree, and the Colombian Ambassador to the United States, Juan Carlos Pinzón tried to follow the steps that have made this one of the most representative dances in ​​the country.

Between tears of emotion, the honoree took photos with the members of the dance group and with the musicians who played various traditional melodies from the Colombian eastern plains.

To complete the special night, chef Maria Camila Garcia traveled from Villavicencio to present daily dishes from the area, such as mamona, or Llanera veal that was served with avocado mousse, plantain gnocchi, bathed in garlic sauce, roasted, basil sprouts, garlic flowers and serrano ham. The menu also included fish fillet glazed in cocona jam, with fresh sprouts of coriander, basil, pansy, lemon ant and mashed yucca. People also tasted a special coffee from Amor Perfecto cultivated in el Meta.