News & Events2021-04-10T06:16:50+00:00

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: 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 [...]

Rumbaterapia class raises $2,300 for La Guajira organization

During our virtual dance party therapy event FOC raised a total of $2,300 for an inspiring organization selected by our dance instructor, Alé Tracy Chavarriaga, who worked with them as a Peace Corps Volunteer (2016-2018) in La Guajira: Mata e Pelo in Riohacha, La Guajira is a community action group that promotes Afro-Colombian identity and self-acceptance among women and youth. Thank you to Camp GLOW participants that also joined the Rumbaterapia class! Alexandra leads virtual dance workshops with a mix of Latin American music genres and dance styles like Dominican Merengue, Puerto Rican Salsa, Dominican Bachata, Colombian Cumbia, Afro-Latinx beats, [...]

Panel: Discussing Race and Gender in 21st-Century Colombia

On February 5, 2021 - FOC hosted the panel "Discussing Race and Gender in 21st-Century Colombia." FOC's very own Dr. Taylor Owen Ramsey, Ph.D. moderated a timely and important discussion, "Race and Gender in 21st-Century Colombia," with three esteemed guests: - Dr. Ángela Castro from Colorado College - Dr. Monica Styles from College of Charleston - Dr. Katherine Anson from St. Mark's School of Texas This event was free but any donations went directly to Batambora and Asociación de Mujeres Afro-Colombianas, Colombian charities chosen by our guest speakers. Additionally, FOC matched $1,000 in order to send $2,000 total to the [...]

FOC more than doubled our end of year fundraising goal!

Thanks to the generosity of our AMAZING members, FOC's recent End of Year campaign broke multiple fundraising records. Over the past two months, a total of 183 individual donations helped FOC raise $30,481, both high-water marks in the organization's 30+ year history! Not in our wildest dreams did we anticipate more than doubling the ambitious $13,000 goal we set in November. Your support has allowed FOC to start the year by making donations to these inspiring organizations: La Asociación de Mujeres Indígenas (ASOMI) Paso a Paso The Marina Orth Foundation The Magdalena Foundation The Colombia Project On behalf of the entire FOC Team, THANK YOU, THANK [...]

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