Message from the Colombia-Purdue Executive Director

Dear friends,

As another productive year draws to an end, I would like to take the time to thank all our hardworking staff and friends for making the Colombia-Purdue Initiative (CPI) possible.

Over the past academic year, our partners, collaborators and staff have supported the growth of several outstanding projects between Purdue and Colombia and initiated new programs. The people that deserve recognition are too numerous to mention here, but I would like to highlight just three.

For the third consecutive year, undergraduate students from Colombian universities have participated in a 6-month research internship at Purdue, as part of a program called Undergraduate Research Experience Purdue-Colombia (UREP-C). This program has proved a success and I look forward to seeing this initiative continue to grow.

Purdue University was also selected to participate in the "Cacao for Peace" project, funded by USDA and USAID. Purdue's goal is to understand the current cacao value chain in Colombia so that cacao production can raise the income of Colombian farmers in a post-conflict scenario. Understanding the baseline serves as a starting point for further stages of the project. I truly believe this strategy will bring opportunities for farmers and help boost Colombia's economy.

The third program of note is the USAID-VEGA "Farmer-to-Farmer" initiative since its inception in 2015. This program seeks to promote a sustainable local food system in Meta, Colombia that benefits both farmers and consumers. Check out our monthly newsletter for more information about these initiatives, and many others.

We are very enthusiastic about the projects coming in 2017. I thank you for being part of the Colombia-Purdue family and we would love to hear your ideas about how to expand our community. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Feliz Navidad y un Prospero Año Nuevo,

Jeff Stuart

Colombia-Purdue Executive Director

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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