Florida Colombia Partners

INTRODUCTION

Although the Florida/Colombia Chapter is the oldest of all the Partners Chapters and has accomplished much over the 49 years of its existence, it is the future which presents our greatest challenge, and we are committed to the ongoing process of finding ways to remain relevant and successful in a rapidly changing world.

Florida POA slideshow

HISTORY

The Florida-Colombia Chapter was born in 1963 as the “Florida-Colombia Alliance”, but shortly thereafter absorbed into Partners of the Americas when POA was created in 1984. Thus the Florida-Colombia Chapter enjoys the status of being the most senior of the Chapters in the Partners of the Americas family. It started as the result of a goodwill meeting between the Florida Secretary of State and the President of Colombia, an initiative sponsored by the Organization of American States with the purpose of stimulating economic assistance and social and cultural understanding. Over the years, the “headquarters” of the Chapter has been located at Stetson University in DeLand, where most regular meetings are held.

From the beginning, this people-to-people endeavor has sustained a key relationship with a counterpart Chapter, the Colombia/Florida Chapter for Central and Eastern Colombia in Bogota. A few years ago, a parallel relationship was established with a new Chapter created in Barranquilla at the university of UNINORTE.

MISSION

Partners of the Americas’ purpose is captured in our name:  we build partnerships that create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems.  The Partners Network is comprised of volunteers and development professionals who are committed to serving others.  Our partnerships are built around the core structure of chapters in countries and states that form north/south partnerships.  In addition, we form inter-institutional partnerships between northern and southern universities, development agencies and civic organizations.  Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC.

Mission Statement:
Connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships.

Vision:
Partners envisions an interconnected global neighborhood where people and organizations reach their fullest potential through long-lasting partnerships.

Core Values/ Belief Statements:
• We believe that social and economic prosperity are not limited to just one  country, region or group of people
• We believe that volunteer service is capable of transforming lives and communities
• We believe that each individual, regardless of age or any other factor, has the power to realize their dreams and make a difference
• We believe that we learn more about ourselves when we learn to work together with others

img_0203 copyOur mission is epitomized in the following observation made in 1996 by founding member and first President of the Chapter, Dr. Jerome Keuper:“For thirty-three years, the Florida-Colombia Partners…has utilized, brightened and solidified people-to-people relations between Florida and Colombia with hundreds of devoted volunteers exchanging training, know-how, assistance and achievements in many areas of life and human endeavor.”

Partners of the Americas welcomes all individuals and organizations willing to share their skills and work toward greater international cooperation among the people of the Western Hemisphere.  Join us today!

WHO WE ARE NOW

The women and men of our membership reflect diversity:

  • College and University professors
  • Elementary and high-school teachers
  • Artists in various fields
  • University students
  • Returned Peace Corps volunteers
  • Lawyers and legal professionals
  • Medical field professionals
  • Agricultural professionals
  • Business and Management professionals
  • Retirees
  • Elementary, middle, and high school students
  • Biologists, ecologists, climatologists, and other science-related professionals
  • IT specialists
  • Consultants

RECENT ACTIVITIES

In recent times, volunteers from our Chapter have initiated, organized, and supported numerous Partners-related activities, including:

  • Youth Ambassadors program
  • Youth Sports Management Exchange program
  • Climate Change Fellows program
  • Bi-national and International POA Conferences
  • IAVE Youth Conference in Barranquilla
  • “Our Birds are Your Birds Too” school-to-school environmental exchange program
  • Hip-Hop artist exchanges
  • Various POA Fellowship programs
  • Member and Counterpart Chapter member visits to Colombia-Florida to collaborate planning and execution of projects of mutual interest
  • Fire-fighting equipment donation to Colombian fire departments
  • Student interchanges with featured Colombian guests
  • Partners Campus Program facilitation
  • Bi-lingual Education programs support
  • Computer-based and internet learning programs support
  • “Framework for Empowering Mujeres” (FEMS) project

If you are interested in joining us, visit our membership page.