GFDD Global Foundation for Democracy and Development


Executive Director Welcome
Natasha Despotovic Executive Director WelcomeLet me first begin by extending a warm welcome to all of GFDD's friends and partners. Since the publication of our last newsletter, many exciting developments have occurred that we look forward to sharing with you.

In the months of August and September, GFDD's President, Dr. Leonel Fernández, delivered keynote addresses at a number of instrumental high-level international forums including: the Thirty-fourth Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in San Salvador, El Salvador; the Sixteenth Annual Andean Development Corporation Conference in Washington, DC; the EU-LAC Foundation-GIGA-CAF forum "New Grounds for the Relations between the EU, Latin America and the Caribbean – Towards a Relevant Partnership" in Hamburg, Germany; and the UNESCO high-level debate "Contemporary challenges and approaches to building a lasting culture of peace" in New York, presenting the perspectives of GFDD on critical regional and international issues such as the social and political implications of the global structural crisis; progressive taxation and increased public investment; regional integration and representation; growth-oriented policy implementation; and new paradigms for inter-regional relations.

We also celebrated our annual Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) in the cities of Santo Domingo, San Francisco de Marcorís, Santiago de los Caballeros, Punta Cana, Baní, Puerto Plata and Sosua, Dominican Republic. The Festival was an enormous success, attracting over 4,000 spectators and participants. This year's edition presented a selection of 24 acclaimed films – 13 feature films, 6 short films, 3 Dominican productions and 2 retrospectives. DREFF 2012 also featured 9 panel discussions with national and international experts on topics ranging from the economic value of biodiversity to the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet, as well as 4 workshops on topics including ecological filmmaking, the effects of marine debris, social networks and environmental impact, and artistic recycling.
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First Annual Educational Expedition to Pico Duarte

First Annual Student Expedition to Pico Duarte


The First Annual Student Expedition to Pico Duarte, organized by the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), an initiative of GFDD y FUNGLODE, took place April 2-5, 2012.

DREFF coordinated the four-day trek for sixty-nine students from three Dominican high-schools -- Centro de Excelencia Media Profesora Cristina Billini Morales "Fe y Alegria", Centro de Excelencia República de Colombia and Centro Educativo República de Guatemala, in partnership with Dominican professional mountaineer and seasoned Everest trekker, Karim Mella. The expedition included lectures by the students' teachers on the geography of the Cordillera Mountain Range, rivers, fauna, flora, the climate of the Dominican Republic, environmental protection, forest fires, reforestation and first aid, among other topics.

View our short on the First Annual Student Expedition to Pico Duarte and follow in the footsteps of these sixty-nine students as they embark and realize this once in a lifetime journey!

First Annual Student Expedition to Pico Duarte


Presentation of the Results of Fundación Vida Azul's "2012 Coastal Clean-Up Report" Presentation of the Results of Fundación Vida Azul's "2012 Coastal Clean-Up Report"
Santo Domingo, October 15, 2012
The Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), an initiative of GFDD and FUNGLODE, will partner with Fundación Vida Azul to present Fundación Vida Azul's "2012 Coastal Clean-Up Report." This important report is a statistical assessment of the results of the national coastal clean-up project organized internationally by The Ocean Conservancy. The study analyzes the types of trash collected and the principal sources of contamination.

The event will take place at FUNGLODE Headquarters in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on October 15, beginning at 10:00 am.

For more information, contact Yamile at:
  Dominican Get-Together in Allentown, PA
Allentown, PA, February 28, 2013
Dominican Get-Together in Allentown, PAGFDD will bring its popular Dominican Get-Togethers initiative to Allen High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Thursday, February 28, 2013. The event will feature a presentation of the film The Republic of Baseball, and a panel discussion to follow.

The Republic of Baseball is the story of the epic 1962 World Series as told by brave and talented Dominican stars of baseball, Felipe Alou, Juan Marichal, Manny Mota and Ozzie Virgil. The film masterfully depicts the challenges of dictatorship, poverty, and later racism, overcome by Dominican baseball legends.

For more information, contact Margaret at:
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