January, 2019 [Updated]
In 2017, the board of directors made the difficult but necessary decision to wind down Colforpaz, a 501c3 supporting the work of the Episcopal Church in Colombia. Although we had supported many impactful projects throughout Colombia, it had become apparent that without someone from our team actively and consistently on the ground in Colombia that our model of sustainable project financing was not feasible.
The board also made the decision to use the ~$10,000 of remaining funding for the Episcopal Diocese of Colombia to support their efforts in refugee relief.
Colombia is facing a major crisis with the influx of Venezuelans fleeing economic disaster. UN figures indicate that 1.3 million Venezuelans are now living in Colombia, the vast majority of whom entered through Cucuta, a Colombian border city. Colombia projects the “real” immigrant figure is closer to 3 million, with an estimated 800 entering through Cucuta daily. Colombia’s social services were already seriously strained and unable to cope given the massive population of displaced people from its many years of engagement with the FARC. They are completely ill-equipped to handle this influx of Venezuelans.
Bishop Duque has leveraged Colforpaz support and other Diocesan funds to secure a grant from Trinity Wall Street to build a church center in Cucuta similar to the one built in Pasto in 2015 with UTO and Colforpaz support. The center will have two floors, the first for providing access to needed social services in collaboration with the city of Cucuta and space for Sunday worship, and the second for transitional housing for migrant families.
The Episcopal Church in Colombia would welcome financial and other support for these efforts. Feel free to contact the Reverend Ted Gaiser for additional information.
The board of Colforpaz and the Episcopal Church in Columbia sincerely thank you for all the support that has been given over the past years.