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Friends of FANA News - January 2006

New Colombian Ambassador

Washington has welcomed a new Ambassador, Andrés Pastrana, to represent Colombia with the U.S. Ambassador Pastrana was President of Colombia from 1998-2002. He replaces former Ambassador Luis Moreno who has stayed in Washington to become the head of the InterAmerican Development Bank. Welcome to Ambassador Pastrana and his wife, Nohra Puyana de Pastrana! For more information on the Ambassador, see this Colombian Embassy website link.

Fiesta Highlights "Alborada"

The Andean musical group "Alborada" will perform at this year's Friends of FANA Fiesta, Saturday February 25th from 2-5pm at the Reston Community Center in Reston, VA. The group will perform from 2:20 until 3:00, so plan to be there early to hear traditional Andean and Colombian music. Colombian food, crafts activities for kids, and an opportunity to visit with old friends will make this a great outing for the family. We will have a selection of Colombian items for sale to benefit FANA. If your children are shy about going, ask them to bring a friend too.

Donations for FANA at Fiesta

Tina Giordano, a 15 year old adoptee from FANA, is doing a special project for the older children at FANA. She is collecting school and art supplies and will deliver them personally this summer when she and her family go to Bogotá with the Barker Colombia Homeland Tour. Please bring donations with you to Fiesta (or contact Friends of FANA about other options). The following is a wish list provided by FANA for children ages 2-11: new crayons, glue sticks, construction paper, kid scissors; bingo-card games to identify plants, animals, flowers and colors; puzzles, dominos, blocks in different colors, and legos. Items should be new or in like-new condition. For more information, contact info@friendsoffana.org.

News from Colombia

Betty and Rafa Castillo, familiar to many FANA families as hosts of "Betty's Place", a residence for adopting families, stopped briefly in Washington in late December and managed to see a few of our local families. Betty reported that FANA continues to care for many foster children placed there by Bienestar, the Colombian welfare agency. Elena Martinez, Mercedes Martinez's daughter is now Director of FANA. Betty and Rafa took back a check with them for FANA that included the initial donations from our annual fundraising campaign.

Colombia Homeland Tour

The Barker Foundation is planning another homeland tour for early July 2006. Six families participated in last year and some said it was the trip of a lifetime. If you would like more information on future trips, please contact Colleen McLain at Barker at cmclain@barkerfoundation.org.

Gold Museum Exhibit In Washington

"The Spirit of Ancient Colombian Gold" is now open at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. The exhibit includes items never seen before in the United States. The descriptions are detailed in English and Spanish and include information about the indigenous peoples of the Colombian regions. The exhibit is well worth the trip to Washington and will be here until April 9, 2006. For more information, see www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/gold/index.htm.

Fundraising Update

It's not too late to contribute. Our annual fundraising campaign for FANA has raised over $30,000 for FANA. The first $10,000 is earmarked for renovating the toddler play room at FANA and other improvements for the children. Additional funds received are being forwarded to FANA for operational needs. A contribution form is attached to this mailing.

International Theater Festival

"Teatro de la Luna" presents its IX International Festival, February 1- March 11 at the Gunston Arts Center in Arlington, VA. For the first time, they are including a play from Colombia. All performances are in Spanish with live English dubbing. For more information, call 703-548-3092.

Membership Request!

If you haven't already done so, it's time to renew your membership with Friends of FANA. Your dues help support our many activities - "Colombia for Kids" educational events, the Annual Fiesta, picnics, evenings at the Embassy, a Membership Directory - as well as cover our general operating costs. Please, keep us growing with your dues payment! Click here to become a member, or email info@fanafriendsdc.org for a membership form. Please take a moment to fill it out and return it to us.

Board News

Board elections are scheduled for Feb. 25, 2006. Board members serve for two year terms (officers are elected each year). If you are interested in being nominated to the Board or just want more information, please contact info@friendsoffana.org or talk to a current Board member - Laura Capaldini, Jennifer Cofone, Valerie Light, Ricardo Nunez, Jeanette Ryan, Tracy Stanton, Brenda Ulrich, Maria Van Wie, and Lisa White. We also welcome volunteers to help at our events and with mailings and other tasks. If you haven't been asked to help, and would like to, please contact info@friendsoffana.org.

Email List Update

If your email address has changed in the last year or you haven't received an email from us in the past 60 days, we may not have your current email. Please send it to us at info@friendsoffana.org.

Friends of FANA is a parent group which provides Colombian educational, cultural, and social activities for the families of children from Colombia. We also support FANA, the Fundacion para la Asistencia de la Ninez Abandonada. Friends of FANA is a 501c(3) member organization.