PADF – 60 Years Building a Hemisphere of Opportunity, For All

  • 1962

    The Organization of American States (OAS) creates PADF in support of President John F. Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress. PADF is established to complement programs of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) by mobilizing private sector support for community-based initiatives.

  • 1963

    Based on experiences from the late 1950s, the Guatemala Penny Foundation is founded to support low-income people with no access to credit. It served as the model for PADF’s National Development Foundation movement. That year, PADF received a seed grant of $5,000 from the Sloan Foundation and donations from Caterpillar and Pfizer.

  • 1964


    which provided funds for school construction, teaching materials, potable water systems, and hot lunches.

  • 1965


    ...which provide a mechanism to mobilize local private-sector leaders to support microenterprise and community development. PADF receives the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins from Chile for its response to the country’s earthquake.

  • 1966


    PADF helps establish the first National Development Foundation in the Dominican Republic.

  • 1967

    PADF joins forces with the "Tools for Freedom" program to deliver vocational equipment from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean. Later renamed "Tools for Training", this program has served thousands of underserved students learning trades and seeking jobs. PADF’s new "Health Services" program sends its first shipment to Chile.

  • 1969

    PADF-supported National Development Foundations are initiated in other countries, such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. PADF also provides humanitarian assistance for the first time to El Salvador and Honduras.

  • 1970

    The United States government establishes the Inter-American Foundation to promote grassroots community activism, similar to programs pioneered by PADF.

  • 1974

    PADF is highlighted as a model program for the United States Congress New Directions legislation because of its focus on working with the “poor majority” on income generation and productive enterprises.

  • 1975

    The OAS names PADF a “special purpose foundation” and a “service foundation,” recognizing its focus on poverty alleviation and services to the poor. PADF registers with USAID as a private voluntary organization and achieves consultative status with the United Nations.

  • 1977

    PADF signs an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization for technical cooperation and evaluation of health programs.

  • 1981

    A four-year agroforestry program begins in Haiti, and the Haitian Development Foundation is established.

  • 1982

    The OAS and PADF sign a formal cooperative agreement ratified by the Permanent Council. PADF remains the only OAS foundation approved by the General Secretariat and the Permanent Council.

  • 1983

    PADF begins agriculture and rural development projects in the Eastern Caribbean, Belize, and Honduras.

  • 1984


    PADF holds the first Contact Forum for Latin American and Caribbean nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

  • 1987

    The final National Development Foundations are created in Honduras and in Guatemala. PADF expands its program in Honduras, increasing support to microenterprises, strengthening civil society, and developing the country’s first federation of NGOs (FOPRIDEH). Honduras becomes one of PADF’s largest programs.

  • 1988


    The “Children’s Surgical” program begins in Nicaragua with PADF support.

  • 1990


    International NGOs, such as Action International, begin replicating microenterprise programs pioneered by PADF in earlier decades.

  • 1993


    A $30 million PADF program for job creation begins in Haiti with USAID funding.

  • 1994


    PADF initiates efforts to build linkages between local governments and NGOs.

  • 1995


    The World Bank and the Haitian government fund a second $30 million job creation program in Haiti.

  • 1998


    The United Nations and philanthropists such as Ted Turner use PADF and its relationship with the OAS as a model for creating the United Nations Foundation.

  • 2000

    PADF begins an employment project with internally displaced Colombians. PADF also signs a regional strategic alliance for disaster assistance with the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA).

  • 2001

    USAID establishes its Global Development Alliance (GDA) to promote public-private partnerships and corporate social responsbility, similar to initiatives implemented by PADF in the prior four decades.

  • 2002

    The "Health Services" program generates more then $615,000 in in-kind donations, which include hospital equipment and supplies distributed to medical institutions in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela. PADF’s USAID-funded "Hillside Agriculture Project", which runs until 2006, rejuvenates Haiti’s exports of premium specialty coffee sold in the United States, Europe, and Japan, resulting in assistance to more than 58,000 people, crop revenue increases of $1.14 million, and facilitation of $795,000 in farmer loans.

  • 2003

    PADF launches a remittance-based economic development initiative that supports U.S.-based immigrant groups from El Salvador, Haiti, and Mexico who are working to improve education and infrastructure, generate jobs, increase incomes, and provide sustainable opportunities for communities in their countries of origin.

  • 2004

    With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Haitian government, PADF promotes rural development in Haiti by improving roads, repairing irrigation systems, retrofitting primary schools, planting more than 200,000 trees, and protecting and reclaiming arable land.

  • 2006


    In addition, PADF implements a major program for productive rural development in Bolivia, in partnership with the Bolivian government and 180 municipalities.

  • 2007

    Through the "Our Border" program, PADF reaches more than 100,000 Haitians and Dominicans by strengthening 43 local civil society organizations in the cross-border region. PADF also assists the Haitian Parliament to create a special border commission that results in a significant increase in funding for the border region.

  • 2008


    PADF’s "In-Kind Donations" program reaches more than 1 million people in nine countries with medical equipment and tools for training.

  • 2009

    PADF benefits more than 17,500 students, teachers, and parents through the "Manos Unidas por El Salvador" program, which serves as a model for improving education. In Colombia, more than 289,500 internally displaced persons receive support ranging from educational and psychological services to new infrastructure and job training.

  • 2010

    After the deadly January 12 Haiti earthquake, PADF delivers $2.2 million in private sector and individual aid to more than 1.7 million people. PADF partners with the Ministry of Public Works and Miyamoto International to develop a program to inspect the safety of more than 412,000 buildings impacted by the earthquake.

  • 2011

    In Haiti, PADF speeds up efforts to repair multifamily homes in Léogâne, the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake, with a $1.98 million grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and a $1 million grant from equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. PADF also announces a $1.2 million expansion of Colombia’s "South-South Cooperation" program, funded by Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • 2012

    The Colombian government expands its partnership with PADF by providing funds for developing microenterprises among the country’s displaced population and implementing income-generation projects with Afro-Colombians and indigenous groups.

  • 2013

    Through the "Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investment" (LEAD) program in Haiti, PADF catalyzes investments in small-size and medium-size businesses to create jobs and drive innovation.

  • 2014

    PADF and the Colombian government join forces again to assist more than 38,800 families displaced by the country’s decadeslong civil conflict.

  • 2015

    The Taiwan-PADF Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Fund is established. The five-year partnership empowers communities to prepare for and respond to disasters.

  • 2016

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, many homes need roof repairs. PADF supports community-driven recovery through technology. Using drone imagery, open data platforms, and e-vouchers, thousands of community members support their own housing upgrades. With generous funding from Boeing, PADF launches the "STEM Americas" program in response to the increasing importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to the economies of Latin America.

  • 2017

    PADF introduces a violence prevention program targeting youth in the Caribbean through a multidisciplinary approach to raise awareness of the role of police and the community’s involvement in crime prevention.

  • 2018

    In its first year, the system raised awareness and shared data about the region’s progress toward freedom of expression in seven countries.

  • 2019

    PADF expands its support to vulnerable Venezuelan migrants and refugees as they search for safety throughout the region. Our programs seek to provide protection, enhance integration, and foster sustainable solutions.

  • 2020

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, PADF adapted its program delivery and continued to support the most vulnerable communities with innovative approaches, reaching 1.1 million people with wash, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and infection prevention supplies, awareness messages, psychosocial support, and primary health care.

  • 2021

    PADF launches Juntas de Norte a Sur, the hemisphere’s largest geo-referenced directory of gender-based violence service providers. This online, interactive map offers lifesaving information for victims of gender-based violence.

  • 2022


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