Dear Friends of Colombia,
On May 11th, Ned Chalker and I were honored to be present at the signing of the agreement between Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams and Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Bermúdez at the Colombian Embassy. It was a proud moment.
I don’t believe this would have happened had not FOC members maintained a continuing connection to Colombia and its people through personal friendships and development projects during the 29 years Peace Corps was not in Colombia. During these years Peace Corps goals and spirit continued.
The following week, the Board of Friends of Colombia honored Ambassador Barco, Mercedes Uribe, and Mauricio Suárez at a special dinner. The three finish their service with the Colombian Embassy after summer’s end. It
was a celebration recognizing the wonderful relationship FOC has had with them, a thank you for their efforts to reconnect RPCVs with Colombia by working with us to organize the very successful Cartagena Conference in
2008, and now the return of Peace Corps to Colombia. FOC presented each of them with a certificate of appreciation. Director Williams also attended, and received a certificate of FOC Lifetime Membership.
As a reminder, the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps will be celebrated in Washington, D.C. September 23, 24 and 25, 2011. You can follow Peace Corps plans and those of the National Peace Corps Association by going onto the website www.peacecorpsconnect.org. FOC plans to have a dinner dance on the evening of Saturday the 24th and a country update. We will keep you posted. Please check our website periodically www.friendsofcolombia.org.
It remains in our hands to continue to foster good relations with Colombia, commit to the projects that our membership has developed, and support the PCVs who will break new ground in the fall.
Arleen Stewart Cheston
President, Friends of Colombia