FOC awards five small grants in 2022!
FOC is pleased to announce that we awarded five grants, totaling $7,500 USD to inspiring Colombian community-based groups. Congratulations to our grant competition winners! Learn more about each winner and their projects below. Additional photos along with further detailed descriptions of each project will be in FOC’s 2022 Annual Report, which will be published in December. 2022 FOC Small Grant Project Winners Fun Tayrona Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Magdalena $1,500 USD Train indigenous Wiwa women in the ancestral practice of harvesting color dye for use in mochila textiles. The Stories of Love Movement Maria La Baja, Bolívar $1,500 USD
Celebrating 200 years of US-Colombia relations at the Kennedy Center
In June 2022, Colombia and the US celebrated the 200 year anniversary of both countries working together. The Colombian Embassy in DC hosted an event at the John F. Kennedy Center and Alexandra Tracy, Colombia RPCV (2016-2018) and dual US-Colombian citizen, was invited to dance at the event. Below is her account of the night: "As an empath and an energy worker, I have not shared enough about my experiences with energy while entertaining/dancing, but I have to this time. It’s fascinating to me to dissect the term 'star struck,' the excited feelings that surge after meeting a celebrity but
Peace Corps Volunteers Return to Colombia
Volunteers have arrived in Colombia for the first time in over two years! While volunteers will continue to serve in the Education and Community Economic Development sectors, there will also be a focus on working alongside our partner communities as they address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2022, the seventeen volunteers completed pre-service training and were sworn in. They will continue to serve in the Caribbean region as well as new sites in the Department of Boyacá. Stay tuned to follow their journey with us! (from the Peace Corps Colombia Facebook page)
Maureen Orth Receives Colombian Citizenship
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
2021 President’s Letter & Annual Report
Dear Friends of Colombia, I never could have imagined a global pandemic dramatically changing our daily lives and impacting our partners and friends in nuestra querida Colombia when I became FOC President in 2020. COVID-19 reached the most remote corners of Colombia, disproportionately impacting those living in poverty. Over 125,000 people lost their lives from COVID in Colombia, and at least 1.45 million Colombians have fallen into poverty during the pandemic. Despite the immense challenges—fueled as always by our mission to support community-based projects and organizations committed to the peace and prosperity of Colombia—we pushed forward and increased our impact
2021 Social Events: 60th Anniversary, Embassy Visits & More!
Celebrating 60 Years of Peace Corps Colombia Group 1 June 25, 2021 marked the 60th anniversary of the first Peace Corps group to begin pre-service training, our very own Colombia I cohort. To celebrate this anniversary, FOC provided a free online screening of A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps and hosted a panel discussion with: Tom Mullins, Peace Corps Colombia I group member Alana DeJoseph, Film Director, A Towering Task Matthew Carlson, Country Director, Peace Corps Colombia Daniel Avila-Camacho, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Colombia in the U.S. A recording of the event is available here.
Cooking with Care Returns – Increasing Community Consciousness of Environmental Care
Over the past several decades, human activity has led to progressive environmental deterioration in the Sinú River Basin. Overfishing, the drying of swamps, and hydroelectric projects are just a few of the activities disrupting the river’s natural flow. On top of this, there is little environmental consciousness in the area that could lead to community mitigation efforts. While large-scale climate change trends are more difficult to overcome, localized mitigation actions can be executed through increased awareness of caring for natural resources. Specifically environmental education among children, starting in the early years, equips local populations with the awareness, knowledge, interest and
English Mentors program with the Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA)!
LALA is a non-profit organization in Medellín, working for sustainable economic development and democratic governance in South America. Launched only in 2018, LALA delivers a range of programming for Latin American youth to build skills and networks in entrepreneurship and social innovation. You can learn more about their mission and accomplishments at their website: https://www.latinamericanleadershipacademy.org/. FOC is proud to partner with LALA on our first pilot initiative: English Mentors '21. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our FOC volunteers, we were able to match 12 mentors and mentees from the United States, Colombia, Brazil, and Paraguay! These pairs meet virtually
FOC announces 7 grant winners for 2021!
FOC is pleased to announce that we awarded seven grants, totaling $10,250, to inspiring Colombian community-based groups. A BIG thank you to FOC's Grantmaking Team for all of their hard work: - Brianna Castro (CII-4) - Danny Butterfoss (PC Response 2014-2015) - Christina Kuntz (CII-3) And congratulations to our grant competition winners! FOC's Grantmaking Team held a Welcome Call with the seven winning organizations. Learn more about each winner and their projects below. Additional photos along with further detailed descriptions of each project will be included in future social media posts and in FOC's 2021 Annual Report, which will be published in December. 2021 FOC Small Grant
FOC supports emergency aid in Cali and 3 other cities
Thanks to your generosity FOC was able to donate a total of $6,150 to the Rotary Club in Cali. With FOC's financial assistance, our partners in Cali were able to purchase and deliver food and medical supplies to families in Cali, Pasto, Popayán, and Buga - four cities that have been hit especially hard by the current crisis in Colombia. Beneficiaries of these important deliveries include: individual families, nursing homes, soup kitchens, and a homeless shelter. Message to FOC members from Rotary Club Cali's Laura Guevara Ardila: "Thank you for the solidarity, empathy and support that you have shown our country in this difficult situation. Without your