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No to Child Labor, Yes to Education!

In Latin America and the Caribbean, an estimated 13 million children are involved in child labor. Many of them come from poor, low-educated families, aren’t enrolled in school and endure dangerous working conditions. Often, they work for their families, whose economic survival depends on the additional income their children bring in.

Transforming Families Through Education

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When Mateo and Kevin first started attending Espacios Para Crecer (EpC), an after-school program led by Partners of the Americas’ Proyecto EducaFuturo, life changed for their entire family.

Two brothers in a family of 6, Mateo and Kevin grew up in La Dolorosa, Ecuador, a poor, low-educated neighborhood where few opportunities exist for families to find work. Faced with severe economic pressure, families who do manage to secure work often rely on their children to work as well, in order to earn enough for the family to live on.

Ecuador World Cup Coach Counts U.S. Trip Among Important Firsts in Her Life

26-year-old Coach Uses Lessons from Sports-based Exchange in Life and with Team

Vanessa Arauz has blazed a trail of firsts leading up to becoming head coach of Ecuador’s Women’s National Soccer Team.

As a child, she was the only girl on her local soccer teams in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She is the first female soccer coach certified by the Ecuadorian Soccer Federation’s official coaches training center. Now, she leads Ecuador in it’s first-ever Women’s World Cup appearance and, at 26, is the youngest coach to ever head a World Cup team.

#Just1Thing Can Make a Difference

       

Today is World Environment Day (WED), and this year’s theme is Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. In honor of the day, the UN is asking for everyone to pledge to doing “one thing less” to help reduce our negative environmental impact. Why? Because, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon puts it: "Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference."

How Youth Ambassadors Changed My Life

Partners of the Americas’ Youth Ambassadors program was much more than just a simple trip; I grew, I was challenged, and succeeded in more ways than I ever thought I could. It was the first time I got on a plane, traveled outside of my country, interacted with deaf students and above all my first time representing my country abroad. 

A Smarter Path Forward for Study Abroad in the Americas

The atmosphere at the onset of the second 100,000 Strong in the Americas Capacity Building Workshop, supported by the U.S. Department of State, was contagious – the room swelled with hundreds of higher education experts eager to explore what works in student exchange. The turnout revealed the deep-seated interest in the hemisphere to improve educational opportunities – an interest that, as the past five years indicate, will only continue to grow.

A Ganar Presents at the United Nations

It’s not every day you receive an opportunity to speak at the United Nations, but last month, we were two of the lucky few. On Wednesday, April 15, we were invited to represent A Ganar at the United Nations’ “United Action towards Sustainable Development for All Through Sport” celebration in New York.

In front of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, and several diplomats and world class athletes, we shared our life-changing experiences through A Ganar and hopes for the future of sport-for-development. 

Celebrating 100,000 Strong at the VII Summit of the Americas

Six years ago, I, along with Melissa Golladay, Partners' then Director of Youth Exchanges, had the honor of joining an amazing group of young leaders at the VII Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mama Knows Best: Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day, a day to honor all the special mamas in our lives. At Partners, we treasure mothers, and strongly believe empowering and educating women - especially mothers - leads to healthier children, families and communities.

The VII Summit of the Americas: A Reflection

It’s been just over two weeks since I returned home from the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, and I’m still recovering from what could only be described as an “out of body experience.” It was the third Summit I’ve attended, but by far the most historic. This Summit marked the first time all 35 nations of the Americas have come together – and the end of a decades-long standstill in U.S.-C

Partners, iEARN Seeking Teachers to Expand Online Youth Exchange

Travel grants available for teachers from U.S. Chapters with Brazilian Partners to attend the Annual International Education & Resource Network (iEARN) Conference

Partners of the Americas is expanding opportunities for online youth exchanges through a preferred partner agreement with iEARN, a leader in K-12 virtual exchange and project-based learning. iEARN has affiliates in approximately 140 countries and 33,000 schools worldwide.

Reaching New Summits With SENA

Mountain climbers often speak of false summits; those hills you see that you believe represent the culmination of your voyage, only to find that there is another steeper climb to follow. For Partners, I want to tell you about one first summit that, as real and amazing as it was, was indeed false with respect to the slow and gradual process of building a multifaceted international partnership.

This Earth Day, It's Our Turn to Lead!

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, and this year's theme is "It's our turn to lead!" It's an important year for the environment - one that could bring a new global climate change treaty, continued divestment from fossil fuels and investment in renewable energy, and a stronger link between economic growth and sustainability. But to achieve these goals requires each of us - individuals, governments, corporations, universities and civil society included - to take a stand and do our part. It can start by protecting our trees.

Winning Institutions of 100,000 Strong in the Americas Funding Announced Today at the Summit of the Americas

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA, April 9, 2015: Today, at the Summit of the Americas, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the winners of the Santander Bank-sponsored competition of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. The nine winning institutions involve university partnerships between the United States and Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, and Paraguay. Winners will be celebrated at a reception on April 10 at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Earl S. Tupper Research and Conference Center in Panama City, Panama. The reception, hosted by Partners of the Americas and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, will honor current strategic commitments to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund including: CAF Development Bank of Latin America, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Exxon Mobil Foundation, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation, Santander Bank, and Sempra International.

Sport for Community Mentor Exchanges Ideas, Skills in Brazil

Multiple disciplines – sports, the arts, STEM, music – have the power to change lives, particularly the lives of under-resourced youth. Because many sports are so familiar to children and families, however, they provide an especially easy draw. Once engaged, research demonstrates – over and over – that sports can positively impact cooperation, self-confidence, perseverance, and several additional non-cognitive skills; as well as physical attributes such as stamina, optimal body weight, and general health and fitness. This combination of mental/emotional/social/physical strength can be transferred to other life situations including school, work, civic engagement, and self-efficacy – all of which can ultimately contribute to personal empowerment and social impact.

This World Health Day, Meet Simone

Simone Fertile lived a life similar to many women in her community in Haiti – she’s married, has four children, goes to church, and is involved in minor commercial activities. But everything changed for Simone when she was chosen by her community to take on the role as a Mother Leader with Partners of the Americas’ Nutrition Security Program.

A Ganar: Not Just For Youth

Every young person deserves the chance to succeed, and empowered with the right tools, they can. Through A Ganar, we equip youth with the skills - communication, teamwork, respect, discipline, continual self-improvement, and a focus on results - to successfully return to school, gain employment, or start their own business. A Ganar makes a tremendous difference in the lives of young people, but it's not just youth that benefit from A Ganar.

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