This past Sunday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day. For over 100 years, this day has and continues to represent an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, marked by thousands of events thrown by organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media to acknowledge the political, economic, and social achievements of women. The theme this year was Make It Happen, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women. All over the world, women are making it happen as teachers, leaders, businesswomen, artists, and activists, as well as one more very important role.
Partners of the Americas was saddened by the death of John (Jack) Manning, longtime member and supporter of the Alabama-Guatemala Partners, who passed away February 26, 2015 at the age of 91.
Jack was a U.S. Navy Veteran serving during World War II. He spent 41 years with the Bell System including AT&T, Southern Bell & South Central Bell and retiring as VP Engineering & Network Planning for BellSouth.
When Claire Orner first learned about the opportunity to volunteer with Partners' Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Guatemala, she was immediately interested. Claire, along with her husband Rusty, and two sons, Walker (16) and Ashton (13) are passionate advocates for sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. For nearly 20 years, the Orners have been stewards of Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living Inc., a 30-acre organic farm in Pennsylvania.
Carlos* nació en 1995 en el norte de Honduras. Viene de una familia disfuncional, su padre no se hizo cargo de él, su madre falleció cuando él era muy pequeño y nunca la conoció. Es por ello que desde su nacimiento, Carlos, convivió con su tía a la cual considera como su madre.
It always starts with an exchange. Through exchange and fellowship programs, Partners of the Americas provides individuals and organizations the opportunity to connect across borders, serve new communities, and ultimately change their life and the lives of others. Over the past 50 years, Partners has used exchanges as a tool to build projects and sustain those projects over time, to leverage contributions from local organizations, to connect people and link them to new opportunities, and to help individuals and organizations build new skills and share knowledge, ultimately allowing them to work better and scale their impact.
Eating is an agricultural act. The link between food and culture has been always present. How we pick and mix ingredients, their origin and seasonality define human behavior, helping sculpt culture. In recent years, advanced urbanization and globalization are pushing people away from the origin of their food and creating a gap between it and culture.
Edited and Published by: Pamela Picon, Intern, Partners of the Americas
Foreword by: Abraham Cisne, Senior Program Officer, Youth Engagement
Partners is proud to highlight that last year´s Youth Ambassadors (YA) program funded by the U.S. State Department was an enormous success, including challenging innovations and involving Partners chapters that haven´t hosted in a long time. The 2014 YA program involved 45 very competitively selected participants from both Venezuela and Colombia who, after a week in Washington, DC, were hosted in three states: Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida. Youth participants ages 15-17 were selected through a process that considered merit, limited income and no previous travel abroad. The program focused on leadership, service/volunteerism, mutual understanding, and long-term engagement. Its sub themes included the environment and public safety.
Partners’ Youth Ambassadors Program, a U.S. State Department sponsored cultural exchange program, brings together youths of limited means and/or with limited international experience, ages 15-18, to build understanding among countries, increase leadership skills, and prepare them to be positive agents of change through volunteer service. In 2012, eleven Guyanese youth and two adult Guyanese mentors participated in the program. While in the U.S., they were engaged with local government and civic organizations, built relationships with host families and youths, and participated in skills-based training that enabled and empowered them to mobilize their communities towards positive change. The youth were empowered to build mutual understanding among countries, enhance leadership skills, be conscious minded, expose themselves to cultures in and out of the country, work and relate with each other, be positive agents of change through volunteer service and replicate what they have learned.
I’ve been a member of the Partners of the Americas’ family since my participation on the Youth Ambassadors program in spring 2010-- five years ago. By that time I had just turned fifteen, and I was a junior in High School in Caracas, Venezuela. Now it’s been almost two years since I’ve been living and studying at university in Montpellier, in the south of France.
Give a young person the chance to travel, and they’ll likely never be the same. I saw this firsthand in the conversations I had with former Youth Ambassadors (YA) and YouthLead SENA participants in a recent 10-day trip to Colombia focusing on productive work meetings with stakeholders such as the U.S. Embassy, Partners Chapters, Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA), Universidad del Norte and other schools.