What does every person across the globe have in common, aside from our species classification as Homo sapiens? You guessed it – we are all vulnerable to climate change!
Volunteering abroad is a great way to explore the world while also making a positive impact on local communities, allowing you to immerse yourself with the local people and cultures, learn a new language, and gain a real understanding of the issues at hand. But first, there are many things to know before jumping on an airplane.
Aaron Gorenc, International Activities and Education Abroad Manager at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in Appleton, WI, is passionate about students having the opportunity to study abroad. In high school, Gorenc participated in two study abroad exchanges to Germany, and as an undergraduate he studied abroad in Switzerland. Gorenc’s experiences led him to be passionate about the imperative role study abroad plays in a person’s education. “From early on, I wanted to talk with students about how and why a study abroad experience is necessary in the global economy we are in,” Gorenc said.
I first visited Panamá in 1989 to see my Salvadoran aunt who had started her family there. However, I first experienced Panamá in 1979 as a child in Orange County, California through the loving and inspiring late Panamanian Archbishop Tomás Clavel. Clavel had been exiled to Los Angeles in the 1970’s after a change in the Panamanian government, where he spent his remaining years uplifting countless people, including my own family.
Since 1960, the United Nations dubs each year a new topic that deserves international awareness or appreciation. In 2015 we celebrated the International Year of Soils, and this year, the United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses!
Last summer, Colorado-Minas Gerais Partners launched “Improve Your English,” a teacher exchange program for English teaches in Colorado and Brazil. Improve Your English initially brought four Brazilian middle school English teachers to Greeley, CO, where they lived with homestays and took classes at a local community college. This past summer, it was Colorado's turn to send one American English teacher to Diamantina, Brazil. The chapter had just the candidate.
“Farmer-to-Farmer puts a face on U.S. foreign assistance,” the Honorable Douglas Bereuter, former Member of Congress and Farmer-to-Farmer founder, remarked to the room of staff and volunteers who had gathered to celebrate the program’s 30th Anniversary in Washington D.C on Dec. 3.
What a week for climate and energy!
We at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Senior Fellows Program have been anticipating the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris (COP21) all year. As you may know, world leaders, decision-makers, businesses, and activists have gathered in Paris for COP21, running from November 30 – December 11. The event has been the subject of high media scrutiny, as a select group decides the future of our planet for the rest of us.
Happy International Volunteer Day to all volunteers! If you are a volunteer, take today to celebrate yourself as the world recognizes your selfless contributions and expertise. Here at Partners of the Americas, we know our work is solely made possible because of their efforts. You are what make change possible. We THANK YOU endlessly!