Partners of the Americas Annual Report 2017

Our Approach: Partnership

When it comes to changing the world, no one can do it alone. But all too often, the people and institutions working to solve global challenges operate in isolation, leaving community needs unmet and donor dollars underutilized.

At Partners of the Americas, our approach is different. We bring the right mix of players – volunteers, development professionals, governments, businesses, and higher education institutions – to the table in order to match resources, knowledge and passion to need. By connecting local organizations to broader funding opportunities and empowering citizens to become agents of change, we develop lasting solutions to our hemisphere’s toughest challenges, together.

It’s the simple notion of partnership, and we believe it can change everything.

Letter from the Board Chair and President

During this past year at Partners of the Americas, it has been our honor to witness our ever-expanding impact across borders. Partners stays steadfast in our commitment to serve communities throughout the Western hemisphere, with many of our Chapters celebrating 50 years of service. This was a time of innovation and expanding our reach: we grew our child protection unit to combat child labor in four countries, launched the RANFOSE food fortification project in Haiti and hosted the first-ever Higher Education Partnership conference to foster sustainable collaboration across borders. Throughout all of this, Partners remains a linchpin for connecting people and changing lives.

As we have done for over half a century, Partners hones the power of community to realize JFK’s ambition of bringing together people, organizations, and expertise to create lasting solutions. We’ve embodied the core values of education and global citizenship, child protection and economic development and health.

From Colombia to Barbados and Oregon to Paraguay, Partners has opened our network to more volunteers, more projects and more members. As we look ahead, we once again welcome you to join us in keeping our network strong and ever growing. Together, we can inspire meaningful partnerships.

100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund

Partners: U.S. Department of State and NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Innovation Fund Grants fuel strategic university partnerships to increase student exchange and training programs between the Americas. Through a dynamic collaboration with the U.S. government, the private sector, nonprofits, and foundations, we are building a hemisphere of students ready to compete and thrive in the 21st-century workforce.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • $1.2 Million in Grants Awarded
  • 103 Higher Education Institutions
  • 17 Countries
  • 430 Students Have Studied Abroad

Length of Program: 2014 - Present

Capacity-Building Grants

Partner: U.S. Department of State

Capacity Building Grants provide needed resources and know-how to U.S. universities and colleges trying to lower barriers to study abroad. We are expanding diversity in study abroad globally by broadening the number of students who participate in exchange programs as well as the destinations and disciplines in which they study.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 36 Countries Received Students
  • $1.3M Grants Awarded
  • 29 U.S. Colleges & Universities (9 of Which are Minority-Serving Institutions)
  • 370+ Students Have Studied Abroad

Length of Program: 2014 - Present

Panama Teacher Match

Partner: U.S. Embassy, Panama City

We are improving English language capacity in Panamanian public schools by mobilizing U.S. educators to spend six weeks collaborating with Panamanian educators, offering regional teacher training opportunities, modeling new methodologies and activities in the classroom and providing feedback to schools to improve English language curriculum and content delivery.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 58 U.S. Teachers Placed
  • 265 Panamanian Teachers Trained
  • 18 Communities Reached

Length of Program: 2015 - 2017

Youth Ambassadors

Partner: U.S. Department of State

Through cultural exchange, high-school aged youth gain self-confidence, leadership and critical thinking skills as well as discover a passion for lifelong community service. With 1 in every 7 young people unemployed throughout the Americas, we strive to close the opportunity gap and ensure our youth are equipped to meaningfully contribute to their communities.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 33 Youth Participants
  • 3 Participating Countries
  • 3 Follow-on Projects

Length of Program: 2014 - Present

Education & Culture

Partner: U.S. Department of State

We provide our members with the opportunity to be immersed in a new culture, learn a new language and exchange knowledge and ideas through travel, teacher-in-residence, and small project assistance grants. By connecting chapter members to one another, these relationships often lead to enduring partnerships based on a mutual understanding.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 20,200 Volunteers
  • 34 Years
  • 45+ Regional Workshops

Length of Program: 1983 - Present


Partner: U.S. Department of Labor

Since 2012, we have been combating child labor among the most vulnerable populations in Ecuador and Panama. Through a holistic approach, we offer children and youth education services and households alternative income-generating opportunities. Activities also include coordinating actions among key stakeholders and raising awareness to promote the importance of education and the risks and consequences of child labor among Afro-descendant, indigenous and migrant populations in both countries.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 4,802 Children Enrolled in Espacios para Crecer (Spaces to Grow)
  • 1,381 Youth Enrolled in A Ganar
  • 1,762 Beneficiary Households​

Length of Program: 2012 - Present

Paraguay Okakuaa

Partners: U.S. Department of Labor and the Paraguayan Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security

We support Paraguay in its efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor, combat forced labor, and improve labor law compliance and working conditions, with a particular focus on the departments of Guairá in the country’s eastern region, and Boquerón in the western region known as the Chaco. The project seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of the labor inspection system, increase coordination among different institutions in order to combat child labor, and provide educational and vocational training to keep children in school and away from hazardous working conditions.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 1,457 Children Enrolled to Date: 946 Children Five to 10 Years Old and 511 Children 11 to 13 Years Old
  • 509 Youth Aged 14 to 17 Enrolled to Date
  • 189 Households Positively Impacted to Date

Length of Program: 2015 - Present

Colombia Avanza

Partners: U.S. Department of Labor, International Initiative to End Child Labor (IIECL), National Federation of Coffee Growers (FEDECAFE), Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) and Ministry of Labor.

We seek to improve the capacity of civil society to better understand and address child labor and promote acceptable conditions of work in Colombia’s coffee sector. The project has a tripartite approach, focusing on improving the capacity of civil society to identify and document accurate, independent and objective information on the nature and scope of child labor and labor violations in the coffee sector and improving the capacity of civil society to raise awareness.

Length of Program: 2017 - Present

Implementing a Culture of Labor Compliance in Costa Rica's Agricultural Exporting Sector

Partners: U.S. Department of Labor, Fundación para la Paz y la Democracia (FUNPADEM) (Prime) and Ministry of Labor and Social Security

We are working to improve the enforcement of minimum wage, hours of work and occupational safety and health (OSH) laws in the agricultural export sector in Costa Rica through the strengthening of effective mechanisms to complement, create and strengthen legal instruments and administrative procedures; and promote a sustainable labor law compliance culture.

Length of Program: 2017 - Present

Asegurando La Educación

Partners: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) (Prime)

We seek to mitigate school-based violence (SBV) while improving student academic performance, school enrollments rates, transition students into secondary education and increase secondary completion rates. Partners’ role in the project is to implement its sports-for-development methodology, A Ganar Escuela, providing quality life skills and technical training to youth in Honduras's vulnerable communities.

Length of Program: 2017 - Present

A Ganar

Youth Workforce Development Through Sport

Partners: Barbados METI, U.S. Embassy Bolivia, Inter-American Development Bank, Servicio de Aprendizaje Nacional (SENA), Starbucks and ESPN, Inc.

In some of the toughest communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, we use lessons learned from playing sports to help at-risk youth find employment or return to school. Playing sports is more than just a game – it is an effective tool for breaking down barriers and tackling social challenges, and youth transfer lessons like teamwork, communication, and leadership into market-driven skills and attitudes.

Project Impact by the Numbers:

  • 3,100 Youth Participating in Sports Programs
  • 5 Countries Involved in the Project

Length of Program: 2015 - Present


Partner: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

We mobilize the skills of specialized agriculture and natural resource management volunteers from the United States to meet local needs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Connected with the right resources and training, rural farmers, farm organizations and agribusinesses can improve production and business practices and gain greater access to economic opportunities.

Project Impact by the Numbers

  • 145 Volunteers Sent to Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 166,000+ People Trained
  • 900,000+ Hectares Improved

Length of Program: 1991 - Present

RANFOSE: Ranfose Abitid Nitrisyon pou Fe Ogmante Sante

Partner: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

RANFOSE aims to address micronutrient deficiencies in Haiti by increasing the availability of high-quality fortified foods throughout the country. Alongside the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Partners is using a multipronged, participatory approach to identify constraints and target key stakeholders in the public sector, private sector, and civil society to build a sustainable national program for fortified staple foods.

Length of Program: 2017 - Present

Laschober Endowment

Eighteen years ago, the family of Madelyn L. Laschober (mother of long-time Partners volunteer and Board Member Paula J. Laschober) established an endowment fund to honor her passion for Latin America and membership in the Washington/Chile Partners Chapter. These grants support innovative projects that serve to advance youth, education, small business and micro-enterprise programs, such as the Learning Center program in Nicaragua. Today, there are over 100 self-sustaining community-led centers throughout Nicaragua that help to generate income for women.

Impact by the Numbers:

  • 28 Projects
  • 11 Countries
  • $30,000 Granted

Travel Blogger Summit

In September 2017, Partners of the Americas and Hostelling International USA co-hosted the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship. The 2017 Summit convened 100 of the top journalists, bloggers and digital media influencers in travel, as well as organizations in the field of global exchanges and travel, in order to provide a platform for the public and private sector to engage in the discussion of the transformative power that global travel and study abroad have on youth expanding their education.

What Works Medellín

Photos by: Daniela Zuluaga

The third What Works Conference was hosted in Medellín, Colombia by the Antioquia Chapter with support from PartnersCampus EAFIT and the Municipality of Envigado. Over two days, more than 250 people from six countries shared best practices for promoting local, national and international cooperation around innovation in higher education, climate action and peacebuilding. Youth participated in a leadership workshop following the conference.

Higher Education Partnership Conference

On October 17-19, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Partners of the Americas hosted the first Higher Education Partnership Conference, where 210 attendees from more than 120 higher education institutions in 12 countries spent three days advancing new partnerships for internationalization in the Americas.

The 2017 event highlighted the theme of workforce development, with a special focus on building international partnerships between the technical/vocational institutions that serve and prepare tomorrow’s workforce, such as community colleges, technical universities and institutes, and public sector workforce development agencies, in addition to four-year colleges and universities.

2017 Financial Statement

Donors & Stategic Partners

Original mural of Partners of the America's growth since 1964

Partners of the Americas connects people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners of the Americas is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.

Partners of the Americas

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