Dear Friends of Colombia,
2018 marked the 30th anniversary of FOC. Tom Bauder began the organization in 1988 and Bob Colombo carried it forward from 1990 to 2000. I inherited the leadership in 2000.
The year 2019 will see the beginning of a period of transition for FOC. We are welcoming the recently returned RPCVs from Colombia, known as Colombia II, to participate in the FOC Board. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, Jenna Glickman Restrepo is now treasurer and most recently we have added Andrea Doyle as the newsletter editor, replacing Pat Kelly. Andrea served with C-II-4 as an English Teacher Trainer from 2012-2014 in the Colegio Distrital de Barranquilla in barrio San Jose. Currently Andrea is a Senior Placement and Assessment Specialist at Peace Corps headquarters, assessing and selecting Peace Corps Volunteers for service in the Dominican Republic.
I would like to thank Pat Kelly for her remarkable contribution as editor of the FOC newsletter. She has provided our membership with a very informative, interesting, and attractive newsletter. She has skillfully incorporated the many facets of Friends of Colombia, keeping us in touch with Peace Corps Colombia today and current RPCV projects, as well as with long term friends and their reminiscences of the past. Thank you very much, Pat.
I would also like to thank Jim Todd for his many years of insightful contributions to the FOC Board and his comprehensive notes of our meetings which have enabled us not to lose track of our momentum. Thank you, Jim.
Mary Ray is also stepping down from the Board. I wish to thank her for her contributions and leadership in our teacher training project in Colombia. She originated and coordinated the project in Manazales, Medellin and its surrounding area. Thank you Mary.
I would like to bring your attention to a synopsis of a white paper prepared by Jerry Norris regarding the prevalence of misinformation and implications of Peace Corps Volunteers in the drug trade in Colombia which have appeared in literature and film. FOC is trying to set the story straight and calls upon its members to aid in the process. If you would like a copy of the full white paper you may contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership renewals are due January 1. Donations may be made at any time and can be specified for a particular project. You may use PayPal on our website, friendsofcolombia.org, to renew and donate. We have recently joined Amazon Smile. If you use the website smile.amazon.com, FOC will receive a donation from Amazon. Select “supporting” from the top of the screen and choose Friends of Colombia. Every penny counts toward our projects. You will find a recent report on the status of our projects within this newsletter.
Wishing you the best of the New Year,
Arleen Stewart Cheston
President, Friends of Colombia