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.
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.
|Our 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.”|
So approaching the close of 2012, we continue with this on-going mission.
WHO WE ARE NOW
The women and men of our membership reflect diversity:
In recent times, volunteers from our Chapter have initiated, organized, and supported numerous Partners-related activities, including: