Our Stories

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One year after Sandy, solidarity and preparedness help Cuba rebuild

“I am one of the lucky ones. The damages to my own home were minimal; I have neighbors who lost everything,” says Maria Elena Valle Ortega, a resident of ‘30 de noviembre’, a neighborhood in Santiago de Cuba province in the south-east of the island, reflecting on the night Hurricane Sandy lashed themore

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Panama: Islanders integrate biodiversity conservation

Residents of the Pearl Islands and other archipelagoes in the Gulf of Panama always got everything from the sea. But, according to the islanders, fish population has been steadily declining, and so have jobs. Andrés Ramirez, a boat captain who services commuters between the islands, faces a diminismore

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Peru: 2,500 families in the High Andes make tradition a way of life

“My grandma prepared her chicha. She bottled it and sold it,” María Farroñan says, remembering how she learned to make chicha de jora, a traditional beverage in many towns in Peru. She was born in Mórrope, a district in the coastal region of Lambayeque that keeps up the old artisanal traditions. Witmore

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Peru: Improving cook stoves and access to energy

by James Leslie Cooking on a wood fire has always required a great deal of effort for 48-year-old Pilar Valladolid. She is supported in this duty by her 8-year-old daughter, Pamela. Together they have to walk more than an hour to collect the firewood they will use to cook with during the coming daysmore

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Peru: Rebuilding communities through volunteerism

Sebastiàn Escajadillo Saire, a resident of Santa Barbara’s village south of Lima, Peru, lost everything when his house was destroyed by a magnitude 8 earthquake in 2007, which left tens of thousands homeless across the region. In October 2011, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the Frencmore

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Playing soccer for peace in Colombia

Only eleven, Kevin Dagua is quite familiar with war. At the slightest sound of gunfire, he and his family run for shelter. Kevin lives in the northern part of the Cauca department in Colombia, one of the areas hit hardest by the dispute between armed groups, including the FARC and the Colombian Armymore

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Reforestation project brings life and growth to Haitian communities

“Reforestation, that’s life. By reforesting the mountains, water sources will be protected and that will prevent landslides,” says Troimène Siméon, a member of a group of women working for the reforestation of the town of Aquin. “We had problems sending our kids to school. The reforestation project more