Royal Caribbean and PADF Launch STEM for Oceans Education in the Bahamas

Royal Caribbean and PADF Launch STEM for Oceans Education in the Bahamas

With support from Royal Caribbean Ltd., the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is launching an innovative STEM for Oceans education initiative in the Bahamas. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education has increasingly been recognized as a key driver for opportunity in countries worldwide. In the Caribbean, the need to develop a STEM-skilled workforce presents a critical challenge.

Correctional Institutions to Begin Collecting DNA Samples as Evidence

Kingston, Jamaica (November 29, 2018) – Correctional Institutions are poised for a new movement of efficiency and accuracy as the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and local justice partners are training Jamaican Corrections Officers to collect DNA samples as evidence.

The training seeks create a robust DNA database of suspects and offenders that allow officials to match identities against crime scene samples, ultimately proving or disproving an individual’s involvement in crime. With the training, Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will have the capacity to capture DNA samples from over 3,500 inmates throughout all of its correctional institutions.

“We aim to see a new wave of efficiency within the Jamaican criminal justice system,” said Roberto Obando, Thematic Leader of Peace, Justice and Security at the Pan American Development Foundation. “Equipping Corrections Officers with new tools and skills will be an enabling factor for more efficient and accurate prosecutions.”

The last of two training seminars for Correctional Officers will take place on December 1-2, 2018 . Media is invited to attend the photo opportunity at Courtyard by Marriott, 1 Park Close, Kingston at 8:50 AM on December 1, 2018.

Acquisition of DNA is enabled by the DNA Evidence Act, enacted on February 17, 2016. It allows trained Detention Officers to take non-intimate samples (Buccal Mouth Swabs) for offences allegedly committed before, on or after the legislation’s commencement date. Resulting profiles are stored in pre-determined indices of the national DNA database. 

The training is part of the PRO-JAM program, funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (DOS/INL). PRO-JAM, implemented by PADF, is a two-year initiative that seeks to make Jamaica’s criminal justice system more efficient, fair, trustworthy and effective. 

PADF continues to invest in the area of Peace, Justice and Security. PADF partners with national and local partners (government and non-government) to strengthen institutions and mechanisms that prevent crime and abuses, respond to violence and illicit economies, and provide alternative social and economic opportunities to vulnerable populations. PADF is committed to promoting peaceful societies, providing access to justice for all, and strengthening law enforcement and justice institutions at all levels.

PADF’s Justice Partners in Jamaica:

  • Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Department of State, US Embassy Kingston

  • Institute of Forensic Science & Legal Medicine, Jamaica

  • Jamaica Constabulary Force

  • Justice Training Institute, Kingston, Jamaica

  • Ministry of National Security, Kingston, Jamaica

  • National Integrity Action, Kingston, Jamaica

  • Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kingston, Jamaica

  • Organization of American States, Kingston, Jamaica


The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) seeks to create a just, peaceful, and prosperous hemisphere where every person has the opportunity to thrive – by promoting human development, strengthening democracy and governance, advancing justice and security, and fostering resilience. Join us! www.padf.org

PADF and City of Coral Gables to Promote STEM Education in Latin America, Caribbean

New partnership advances common goal for more employment opportunities, gender inclusion and innovation through STEM education

Coral Gables, FL (June 22, 2018) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the City of Coral Gables signed an agreement to promote STEM education in the Americas, co-sponsor STEM-related events and promote fundraising through partners that support common objectives.


“Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is key for the future leaders of our great city,” said Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Mayor of Coral Gables, “and advances our mission to make Coral Gables an international hub for innovation and technology.”

Envisioned by City Founder George Merrick as “a gateway to Latin America,” Coral Gables was designed to be an international city. Now, it contains more than 20 consulates and foreign government offices, 150 multinational corporations and prominent education institutions including the University of Miami, a branch of the Kellogg School of Management Executive MBA Program and Coral Gables High School’s flagship STEM academies.

Resulting from the partnership, PADF and the City of Coral Gables plan to hold a joint annual international event to bring stakeholders together to share best practices and experiences in STEM education in the Americas.

“STEM education can help change our future, as STEM students seek to tackle real-world challenges creatively. STEM skills open doors to employment opportunities in infrastructure, technology and engineering,” said Katie Taylor, Executive Director of PADF. “Engaging girls and women in STEM can help us shatter glass ceilings. STEM education could be key to helping women secure employment in industries that don’t have historical gender biases, thereby bridging the digital gender gap.”

Latin American students continue to rank at the bottom third worldwide in math, reading and science, according to the latest PISA survey. The region’s poorest students are over two years behind their wealthier counterparts, reports the Inter-American Development Bank. As job markets increasingly demand employees with STEM skills, promoting STEM education is vital to the prosperity of future employees and corporations alike.

Under the #STEMamericas initiative, PADF currently implements STEM education programs in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama. Boeing, the Dart Foundation, Exxon and other institutions have partnered with PADF to advance STEM education in the Americas.


The Pan American Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that unites civil society, governments, and the private sector to promote sustainable livelihoods, strengthen democracy, promote justice and security, and improve disaster resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. Last year, more than 10 million people benefited from PADF’s work in sustainable community development. To get involved, visit www.padf.org.

Coral Gables, The City Beautiful, stands out as a rare pearl in South Florida. It is a cohesive community built on a grand scale that blends color, detail, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style to create harmony with the environment. Early city planners and visionaries were influenced by the aesthetics of the City Beautiful Movement that swept across America in the early 1900s. With a population of approximately 51,000 residents, Coral Gables is a world-class city with a hometown feel. For more information, visit www.coralgables.com.

Contact: Luisa Villegas
Pan American Development Foundation
+1.202.458.3969, connect@padf.org

Contact: Maria Higgins Fallon
City of Coral Gables
305-460-5205, mfallon@coragables.com

Ricardo Montaner y PADF Lanzan Campaña Humanitaria para Ayudar a Víctimas de la Erupción del Volcán de Fuego en Guatemala

Lanzan campaña humanitaria dirigida a ayudar a víctimas en las zonas más afectadas por la erupción del Volcán de Fuego en los departamentos de Sacatepéquez, Escuintla y Chimaltenango a 50 kilómetros al oeste de la capital guatemalteca.

Washington, DC (14 de junio de 2018) — La Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (PADF, por sus siglas en inglés), el brazo humanitario de Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), une fuerzas con el cantautor venezolano Ricardo Montaner, para responder con ayuda humanitaria a Guatemala tras la erupción del Volcán de Fuego. El volcán produjo una violenta erupción el pasado domingo 3 de junio, lanzando material volcánico a las aldeas más cercanas, causando la muerte de al menos 110 personas, y dejando a su paso 57 heridos, 197 desaparecidos, 3.652 albergados, 12.823 evacuados, y afectando a más de 1,7 millones de personas.

Por medio de un emotivo mensaje personal, Ricardo Montaner insta a las personas a contribuir. “Queridos amigos, Guatemala ha sufrido una pérdida incalculable, muchísimo dolor. Entre todos podríamos ayudar a muchísima gente.  Ponte la mano en el corazón y date cuenta de lo que eres capaz de conseguir con tu donación,” expresa Montaner.  El cantautor venezolano se ha comprometido a motivar al público y a corporaciones por medio de sus redes y plataformas sociales a donar en apoyo a Guatemala. Para ver el mensaje, visite: https://youtu.be/xHosMaC8dU8

El equipo local de PADF en Guatemala está trabajando con sus aliados locales para dar apoyo a las personas más afectadas. “Esta erupción ha sido la más violenta del volcán en Guatemala en un siglo. Nuestra prioridad es ayudar a los más vulnerables para minimizar el impacto humano, económico y social que este tipo de situaciones provoca en un país,” dijo Katie Taylor, Directora Ejecutiva de PADF. “Nuestra Fundación trabaja con organizaciones locales y grupos comunitarios para asegurar que su donativo llegue eficientemente a donde más se necesita,” recalcó Taylor. 

Las familias que han perdido sus hogares necesitarán apoyo de largo plazo para reconstruir sus viviendas, infraestructuras como escuelas, recuperar el acceso a los servicios y sus medios de vida, y restituir su estabilidad. Enfocados en estos esfuerzos de recuperación y reconstrucción, PADF coordinará con las comunidades y gobiernos locales, así como con los donantes internacionales para ayudar a las comunidades afectadas a recuperarse después de tan trágico incidente.

A través de este esfuerzo apoyado por Ricardo Montaner, el cantante y compositor de reggaetón estadounidense Nicky Jam, el actor y modelo Argentino Horacio Pancheri, entre otras figuras públicas, PADF ha hecho una convocatoria internacional para recaudar un millón de dólares para cubrir las principales necesidades de los más necesitados en Guatemala. 

Para más información y para contribuir, visite:https://www.padf.org/ayuda-guatemala-volcan-fuego

Acerca de PADF
La Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (PADF) es el brazo humanitario de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA).  Establecida en 1962 por medio de un acuerdo especial por la OEA, PADF fomenta el progreso social, fortalece a las comunidades vulnerables, responde a los desastres de origen natural y las crisis humanitarias y promueve los derechos humanos y la democracia. 

Para más información, visite:  www.padf.org.

Contacto para unirse a esta campaña humanitaria:
María-Esmeralda Paguaga,
+1(571)237-2290 |  mepaguaga@yahoo.com

Contacto de prensa:
Luisa Villegas, Oficina de Comunicaciones, PADF
+1(202)458-3969 | connect@padf.org   

Contactos de Ricardo Montaner:

PADF to Help Guatemalans Recover After Volcano Eruption, Accepting Donations

Washington, DC (June 5, 2018) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is accepting public donations to aid recovery and reconstruction efforts in Guatemala after the Fuego volcano eruption on June 3.

The eruption has killed at least 70 people and forced over 3,200 more to evacuate their homes. Now, local residents do not know when they will be able to return home – or if their homes are still standing. Streams of pyroclastic flow destroyed buildings, property, and possessions. The Guatemalan National Disaster Response Agency (CONRED) estimates that over 1.7 million people have been affected by the eruption.

The PADF team in Guatemala is assessing damages on the ground and preparing to assist those who were affected by the disaster. Families who have lost their homes will need long-term support to reconstruct buildings, regain access to services, and reestablish stable lives. Focusing on recovery and reconstruction efforts, PADF coordinates with local communities, local governments, and international donors to help affected communities recover.

“PADF stands in solidarity with victims and their families,” said Katie Taylor, Executive Director at PADF. “We are mobilizing a disaster recovery effort so that families have the means to recover their normal lives and prevent future eruptions from becoming disasters. Everyone can lend a hand in this time of need. Monetary donations will help families recover even faster.”

Donations may be made through this webpage: www.padf.org/help-guatemala-fuego-volcano

PADF has responded to many of the Western Hemisphere’s worst disasters since its founding in 1962. As the humanitarian arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), PADF activates post-disaster recovery efforts and simultaneously promotes disaster preparedness and resilience in vulnerable communities.


The Pan American Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that unites civil society, governments, and the private sector to promote sustainable livelihoods, strengthen democracy, promote justice and security, and improve disaster resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. Last year, more than 10 million people benefited from PADF’s work in sustainable community development. For more information, visit www.padf.org.

PADF and OAS Celebrate Project Successes During Haiti Board Meeting

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (May 10, 2018) – The Pan American Development Foundation’s (PADF) biannual board meeting was held on Thursday in Port-au-Prince, with opening remarks from Michele Sison, Ambassador of the United States to Haiti.

Ambassador Nestor Mendez, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees opened the meeting by celebrating the ongoing collaboration with PADF: “I am proud of the partnership between PADF and the OAS to advance our common goals.”

Ambassador Sison outlined the priorities that PADF and the United States share in Haiti, such as advancing education, security, stability and diaspora engagement.

“PADF is supporting Haiti in achieving the country’s development goals,” said Nadia Cherrouk, PADF Country Director. “We continue to see major opportunities to contribute to Haiti’s prosperity by investing in youth, inspiring business growth and supporting community development.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., represented by PADF board member Federico Gonzalez-Denton, renewed its dedication during the meeting with a $100,000 check to support vulnerable populations.

Board members and Washington DC-based staff attended the meeting on a weeklong trip to Haiti. They visited PADF project sites, including schools, businesses and communities that PADF has served through its dedicated work in sustainable development.

During the meeting, entrepreneurs who participated in the USAID-funded LEAD program shared how PADF provided capital and technical assistance which resulted in the growth of their businesses. The entrepreneurs were selected to participate in a 6-year business investment program that generated $33 million in sales and created over 18,000 jobs in Haiti.

The Pan American Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. In 2017 PADF reached 10.3 million people through sustainable development initiatives in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Disaster Recovery Update: Mexico, Caribbean

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma quickly became the strongest recorded Atlantic hurricane ever, with wind speed - and consequential destruction - rivaling that of a tornado. As it pummeled Caribbean islands, many communities were so damaged that they had to completely evacuate, as in the case of Barbuda. Only a few weeks later, Hurricane Maria followed Irma's path, knocking out power and road access to many parts of Puerto Rico.

During the same month, two earthquakes devastated the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, and then in the Mexico City area. The two earthquakes reduced dozens of buildings to piles of rubble and damaged countless others. The first, which struck the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, was Mexico's strongest earthquake in a century, with powerful aftershocks that were felt for days.

See more: PADF Damage Assessment Photos of Post-Earthquake Oaxaca.

PADF has been orchestrating strategic disaster response since its conception in 1962. We have responded to over 70 of the hemisphere's worst disasters in the last 50+ years. When determining our response to these disasters, we take a number of different criteria into account: How can PADF best serve the most vulnerable affected individuals and communities? Will the solution be sustainable and practical? What practices can we employ that will help communities become more resilient than before the disaster, thereby reducing their risk for future disasters?

PADF's Response

Juchitán, Mexico. After an initial assessment of the earthquake's damage, we are supporting Centro de Atención Múltiple No.8 (C.A.M. No.8) in Juchitán with our reconstruction effort. C.A.M. No.8 is a school that serves students with disabilities and has been instrumental in raising awareness to the need of inclusion of these disadvantaged students in society. Certain damaged areas of the school are at higher risk of crumbling and must be replaced. PADF is helping the school with demolition of damaged infrastructure, replacing water tanks, repairing utilities and, most importantly, rebuilding the main classrooms and therapy room. Our focus is helping to restore normal routines for the students, thereby keeping them in school and advancing their education.

Mexico City area, Mexico. The PepsiCo Foundation has donated $500,000 to be used in the Mexico City area, which has a metro population of over 21 million. PADF has conducted on-the-ground assessments of the damage. We will keep all stakeholders informed as the ground assessment informs our response.

Puerto Rico. PADF has focused on Puerto Rico as a geographic for intervention, given its long list of complex post-disaster needs. In Puerto Rico, we are working with local and international stakeholders to identify our area of intervention. The PepsiCo Foundation has also supported the disaster response in Puerto Rico by donating $500,000 to be pooled with individual contributions.

We will post updates as recovery efforts develop in each of these areas. Thank you again for your donation and for supporting post-crisis communities. With your help, we will support the most vulnerable people in these areas, seeking to make their communities safer and more disaster resilient than ever.

Across Bahamas, Neighbors Gather to Address Gender-Based Violence

In conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW), PADF organized four events in the Bahamas to eliminate gender-based violence. The events gathered neighbors, police, and community leaders to discuss the most pressing issues related to gender-based violence. Convening together allowed neighbors to speak up - in some cases for the first time - about issues that have largely been accepted as a cultural norm.

The Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response. Pervading gender based violence “constitutes a major public health issue” in the Bahamas, according to a 2015 report by the Bahamas Ministry of Social Services and Community Development.

The discussions did not exclusively focus on violence against women. The victims of gender-based violence, as it was pointed out, can be men as well.

Attendees broke off into groups to discuss prevalent issues.

Attendees broke off into groups to discuss prevalent issues.


Intolerable Global Facts on Gender-Based Violence:

  • In developing countries, only half of women aged 15-49 make their own decisions about consensual sex or use of contraceptives.
  • In 2012, half of all female victims of intentional homicide were killed by an intimate partner or family member.
  • Research also shows that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict
    Source: UN

After recording the most pressing issues and potential solutions, each group presented their findings.

After recording the most pressing issues and potential solutions, each group presented their findings.

Achieving violence-free households and communities will require intentional efforts and cooperation from civil society, governments, and police authorities.

“By increasing awareness and uniting the right people, communities can identify actionable steps to eliminate gender based violence," said Roberto Obando, Program Director of the Caribbean at PADF. "Together, we can prevent violence from happening and react appropriately when it occurs.”

Events took place in Cat Island, Exuma Island, Long Island, and New Providence Island during the second week of December, 2017.

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