For nearly 50 years, Partners of the Americas has made a difference in communities throughout the Western Hemisphere. We’ve expanded our horizons, learned valuable lessons, and created lasting impact. But regardless of our number of years of experience, our focus remains the same- to connect, serve, and change lives. Learn more about Partners’ roots and evolution as an organization through this interactive timeline. Even volunteers who have dedicated much of their lives to volunteer service through Partners will learn something new!
Annual convention held in México D.F., México
Shortly after launching the Alliance for Progress, President John F. Kennedy asks speechwriter Richard Goodwin and William (Bill) Rodgers, the “Coordinator” of the Alliance, to find a way to get people involved in this government-to-government program. Rodgers travels to Peru and finds the beginning of a partnership started by Peace Corps Volunteers from Texas working on rural development projects in the highlands.
Meanwhile, Texan Jim Boren comes up with the idea of a two-way, volunteer-based network of partnerships on a train between Puno and Arequipa, Peru. Boren is serving as Assistant Director for USAID in Lima, Peru, and supports stronger people-to-people linkages between Peru and Texas. The president of Peru (and coincidentally a graduate of the University of Texas) Fernando Belaunde loves this idea. Planning begins for a program to be known as “Partners of the Alliance”.
Bill Rodgers brings Jim Boren to Washington to head up an office at USAID to find preexisting links and build committees in U.S. states. Jim convinces state delegations and governors that Partners of the Alliance is a great idea. Broad-based committees in states across the country form under governors’ leadership. USAID missions throughout Latin America are responsible for building committees in the south.
After Texas, the next partnership is established between Florida and Northeast and Central Colombia, focused on grass-roots projects in education and community development.
Partners of the Alliance office established (with strong support by House Inter-American Affairs Subcommittee Chair Dante Fascell) in March 1964 at the USAID offices in Washington, DC. Partners is given a staff of five people to form initial linkages. Approximately 22 partnerships are formed within the first two years.
The Utah-La Paz & Altiplano Bolivia Chapter is formed.
The following chapters are formed: Alabama-Guatemala •Arkansas-Eastern Bolivia •Colorado-Minas Gerais, Brazil •Connecticut-Paraíba, Brazil •Delaware-Panamá •Idaho-Cuenca & Guayaquil, Ecuador •Illinois-São Paulo, Brazil •Indiana-Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil •Iowa-Yucatán Peninsula, México •Kentucky-Ambato,Quito & Santo Domingo, Ecuador •Maryland-Estado do Rio, Brazil •Massachusetts-Antioquia, Colombia •Ohio-Paraná, Brazil •Oklahoma-Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Jalisco, México, Puebla, Sonora & Tlaxcala, México •Oregon-Costa Rica •Pennsylvania (Eastern)-Bahia, Brazil •Vermont-Honduras •Wisconsin-Nicaragua
There are 15 Partnerships at this point.
Partners’ President Alan Rubin writes a letter to Maine Governor Ken Curtis—the youngest governor in the country at the time—stating that he would help form a partnership between Maine and Rio Grande do Norte, a state in Brazil. Gov. Curtis summons Rubin to say he’s interested. The first Partners meeting in Maine takes place and seven months later and a team led by Governor Curtis leaves for Brazil.