Press Release

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!

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

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

Contact: Luisa Villegas
Pan American Development Foundation

Contact: Maria Higgins Fallon
City of Coral Gables

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:

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:

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:

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

Contacto de prensa:
Luisa Villegas, Oficina de Comunicaciones, PADF
+1(202)458-3969 |   

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:

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

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.

Embaixador do Canadá Inaugurará Serviços de Ajuda para Imigrantes e Refugiados Venezuelanos

Boa Vista, Roraima (2 de fevereiro de 2018) - A Fundação Pan-Americana para o Desenvolvimento - PADF e a Fraternidade - Federação Humanitária Internacional, têm o prazer de receber o Embaixador Riccardo Savone para inaugurar duas importantes iniciativas humanitárias financiadas pelo Fundo Canadá de Apoio a Iniciativas Locais que ajudarão refugiados e imigrantes venezuelanos no estado de Roraima.

O Sr. Savone, o Embaixador do Canadá no Brasil, irá inaugurar oficialmente uma clínica e uma escola moveis para refugiados e imigrantes venezuelanos abrigados no Centro de Referência ao Imigrante em Boa Vista, em uma cerimônia às 11h na segunda-feira 5 de fevereiro. O Sr. Savone será acompanhado pelo Capitão de Mar e Guerra Réal Brisson, Adido de Defesa, e a Segunda Secretaria Nadine Khoury. A clínica e a escola foram construídas em containers adaptados com capacidade para atendimentos básicos de saúde e sala de aula.

“Por causa do agravamento da situação econômica, política e humanitária na Venezuela, mais de 30,000 venezuelanos e venezuelanas já cruzaram a fronteira para Roraima, buscando melhores condições”, disse Paulo Cavalcanti, o Representante do País da PADF no Brasil. “A PADF está liderando uma resposta internacional para melhorar a qualidade de vida dos refugiados e agradecemos o apoio do Canadá às iniciativas”.

As instalações implementadas pela PADF, servirão aos imigrantes e refugiados no abrigo, que são indígenas. A clínica fornecerá um local privado e higiênico para que médicos e enfermeiras de agências governamentais e organizações sem fins lucrativos tratem os problemas médicos que os imigrantes e refugiados presentam.

Enquanto isso, a escola permitirá que as crianças recebam educação primária e que os adultos recebam cursos profissionalizantes e de idiomas. As aulas na escola serão ministradas por voluntários da ONG local Fraternidade – Federação Humanitária Internacional, da Universidade Federal de Roraima (UFRR), da Casa de los Niños e também professores indígenas.

Ao mesmo tempo, o Sr. Savone anunciará oficialmente um novo projeto com a Fraternidade e também apoiado pela PADF, para doar kits de alimentos e produtos de higiene para mais de mil venezuelanos vivendo no Ginásio Tancredo Neves no bairro Caimbé, também em Boa Vista. “Os venezuelanos a quem servimos, a maioria dos quais são indígenas, têm várias necessidades, como alimentos, alojamento, serviços de saúde, trabalho e assistência legal”, disse a Clara dos Santos, missionária coordenadora da missão da Fraternidade em Roraima.

Os dois abrigos são coordenados pelo Coordenadoria Estadual de Defesa Civil, órgão do governo de Roraima que está liderando e organizando a resposta local. A PADF a Fraternidade irão trabalhar em estreita colaboração com a Defesa Civil, o Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para Refugiados (ACNUR) e outras agências e organizações internacionais e locais para garantir que os imigrantes e refugiados venezuelanos recebam os serviços que precisam.

A Fraternidade Federação Humanitária Internacional é uma organização de ajuda humanitária sem fins lucrativos, com base em Minas Gerais, que realiza missões humanitárias para servir aos mais necessitados no mundo. Desde novembro de 2016, tem fornecido serviços essenciais para venezuelanos morando em Roraima, como alimentos, alojamento, serviços de saúde, cursos, atividades recreativas e assistência de emprego.

A Fundação Pan-Americana para o Desenvolvimento é uma organização não governamental com sede em Washington, DC e escritório de representação no Brasil. Desde o seu estabelecimento pela Organização dos Estados Americanos (OEA) em 1962, a PADF tem trabalhado em todas as regiões da América Latina e do Caribe para ajudar as pessoas vulneráveis e excluídas, inclusive refugiados e imigrantes. A PADF já atendeu a milhares de pessoas deslocadas em países como a Colômbia, Haiti e Brasil.

A PADF e a Fraternidade agradecem a Defesa Civil e a ACNUR pela sua coordenação para fazer destes projetos uma realidade. Para mais informações, acesse o site

Facebook: Fundação Pan-Americana Para o Desenvolvimento Brasil

Ambassador of Canada to Inaugurate Critical Services to Assist Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees

Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil (February 2, 2018) - The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation are proud to welcome Ambassador Riccardo Savone to inaugurate two pressing humanitarian initiatives funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) that will assist Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Brazil’s Roraima state.

Mr. Savone, the Ambassador of Canada to the Federative Republic of Brazil, will inaugurate a clinic and a school for Venezuelans refugees and migrants living at the Immigrant Reference Center in Boa Vista at ceremony on Monday, February 5 at 11 a.m. Mr. Savone will be accompanied by Captain Réal Brisson, Army, Navy, and Air Force Attaché, as well as Nadine Khoury, Second Secretary for Political and Public Affairs. The school and clinic were constructed from converted shipping containers. 

“Due to the worsening economic, political, and humanitarian situation in Venezuela, more than 30,000 Venezuelans have crossed the border into Roraima, searching for better conditions,” said Paulo Cavalcanti, PADF’s Country Representative in Brazil. “PADF is spearheading an international response to improve their quality of life, and we are grateful for Canada’s support to this initiative.”

The school and clinic, implemented by PADF, will serve primarily indigenous migrants and refugees at the shelter. The clinic will provide a private and sanitary location for doctors and nurses form government agencies and non-profit organizations to treat medical problems.

Meanwhile, the school will allow children to receive primary education and allow adults to receive language and workforce preparedness classes. Classes at the school will be led by volunteers from local NGO Fraternidade, the Federal University of Roraima (UFRR), and the Casa de los Niños, along with indigenous professors.

At the same time, Ambassador Savone will officially announce a new project with Fraternidade, also supported by PADF, to provide food and hygiene kits to more than 1,000 Venezuelans living at the Tancredo Neves Gymnasium in the Caimbé neighborhood, also in Boa Vista. “The Venezuelans we serve, the majority of whom are indigenous, have myriad needs such as food, housing, healthcare, employment, and legal assistance,” said Clara dos Santos, head of Fraternidade’s mission in Roraima. 

The two shelters are coordinated by the State Civil Defense Office of Coordination (CEDEC), the state government agency leading and organizing local response. PADF and Fraternidade will work in coordination with CEDEC, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and local and international agencies and organizations to ensure Venezuelan migrants and refugees receive the services they need.

Fraternidade International Humanitarian Federation is non-profit humanitarian assistance organization based in Minas Gerais that sends humanitarian missions to serve the needy around the world. Since November 2016, it has been providing essential services for Venezuelans living in Roraima, such as meals, refuge, health services, recreational activities, and employment assistance.

The Pan American Development Foundation is a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Washington and a local office in Brazil. Since its founding by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1962, PADF has worked across Latin America and the Caribbean to assist vulnerable and excluded individuals, including refugees and migrants. PADF has helped serve the needs of thousands of displaced people in Colombia, Haiti and Brazil.

PADF and Fraternidade thank CEDEC and UNHCR for coordinating to make these projects possible. For more information about this project, visit

Local Leaders, Community Members to Unite in Conferences Against Gender Violence

#16days, #OrangeTheWorld, #EndGBV

Nassau, Bahamas (December 5, 2017) — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is hosting four events in the Bahamas to combat gender based violence with funds from the U.S. Government.

The events seek to unite local police, raise awareness and discuss issues surrounding violence against women and girls. 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 Bahamas ranks among the highest in recorded incidents of rape in the world, beckoning an urgent response.

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

The events are part of the Women’s Initiative for Non-Violence and Development (WIND), an 18-month project which seeks to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, the justice sector and communities to respond to and prevent gender based violence in the Bahamas.

PADF will hold conferences in Nassau, Exuma, Long Island and Cat Island, coinciding with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW). This year, the IDEVAW campaign focuses on “Leaving no one Behind,” especially women and girls who are underserved and marginalized, including victims of disaster and conflict.

“Violence against women is a global problem,” said Penny Rechkemmer, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas. “Our hope is that through WIND events, stakeholders will receive the tools needed to take the message of prevention back to their own communities. We are also committed to providing nonprofits in the Bahamas with the information needed to succeed and grow.”

All events are free. Registration is required. To participate, please e-mail

Conference Schedule:

Nassau, New Providence
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
9:00 am - 3:15 pm. Registration starts at 8:30 am
The Paul Farquharson Center

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 9:30 am
The Resource Center
George Town

Long Island
Friday, December 8, 2017
10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 9:30 am
Community Center
Clarence Town Long Island

Cat Island
Saturday, December 9, 2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Registration starts at 8:30am
Knowles Media Center  

About PADF

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 the last decade, PADF has reached more than 92 million people, investing over $600 million in development resources throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit