Fundación Mambe Director Jesús García speaks at the inauguration of the photography exhibition, “Women, Conflict, and Land.”

On November 17 and 18, 2016, the USAID-funded Program of Alliances for Reconciliation (PAR) followed its Bogotá launch with a regional event in Florencia, Caquetá. For decades, this area in southwestern Colombia suffered greatly in the Colombian conflict. As such, the launch of PAR in Florencia holds tremendous symbolic significance, and speaks to the program’s commitment to invest in the country’s war-torn municipalities, changing perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors in a manner conducive to reconciliation.

Various leaders attended the two-day event, including USAID Legal Officer Rebecca Himmel, PAR Chief of Party Juan Camilo Potes, Caquetá’s Secretary for Departmental Planning Oscar Raúl Rojas Peña, the Mayor of Florencia Andrés Mauricio Perdomo, Florencia’s Secretary of Tourism and New Business Magda Triana, and Fundación Mambe Director Jesús García. ACDI/VOCA Headquarters staff Maura Allen, Senior Vice President, Project Management, and Victoria Norelid, Director, Resilience and Growth, also attended.

Florencia residents sign a poster signifying their commitment to reconciliation

Young residents of Florencia sign a poster signifying their commitment to reconciliation.

The regional launch featured several activities that serve as examples of the work the program will carry out in Florencia. Conflict victims and demobilized persons shared personal accounts in the play Victus. Photos submitted as part of Fundación Mambe’s photography contest “Women, Conflict, and Land” were on display. Multiple indigenous communities performed and the artists’ collective Fundación Afrocolombiana Unidos por la Cultura y los Derechos Humanos del Caquetá (FUNAMU) offered a vocal and dance performance.

The Florencia PAR launch also garnered robust media coverage from well-known media channels in Colombia, including the following: