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What is FAVACA?


The Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas, Inc. (FAVACA), is a private not for profit organization formed in 1982 by Florida Governor (now former U.S. Senator) Bob Graham. FAVACA's Florida International Volunteer Corps is the only program of its kind in the country and enjoys statutory authority under Section 288.0251 Florida Statutes. A state appropriation, voted annually since 1986, provides a funding base for an estimated 100 volunteer missions to Latin America and the Caribbean each year.

Florida is a Caribbean State. Florida's International Volunteer Corps is a unique development partnership with the Caribbean and Central America. Its aim is, through training and technical assistance, to improve environmental, social and economic conditions in the region. Volunteers are top experts in their fields and are thus able to impart invaluable knowledge and information to their international counterparts.

FAVACA establishes sustainable partnerships between non-governmental organizations, universities, government agencies and businesses in Florida and the Caribbean and Latin America. In response to requests from partner organizations throughout the region, FAVACA has conducted more than 2,500 technical assistance and training volunteer missions reaching approximately 50,000 individuals in 30 countries over the past 25 years- living proof of Florida's commitment to the well-being of the region. These activities also help to mitigate threats to Florida's agriculture, health, and the environment before they reach critical proportions.

Some of FAVACA's programs that benefit the State of Florida:

  • Air and seaport authorities and customs officials ensure the region complies with US Department of Homeland Security Mandates.
  • Florida mayors and emergency planners show municipal authorities in the region to effectively protect against, plan for and manage disasters.
  • Public health officials provide education in preventative healthcare and HIV/AIDs to community caregivers.
  • Florida entomologists work with small farmers and agricultural associations to discover and eliminate Medfly, citrus-leaf eating butterflies and other threats to food sources in the region and in Florida.
  • Florida entrepreneurs and planners share expertise on economic development and business planning techniques with their Caribbean counterparts.
  • Marine scientists teach Caribbean counterparts to protect coral reefs and mangrove areas critical to their tourism sector as well as Florida's tourism and seafood industries.
  • Florida regulators teach counterpart banks, commercial enterprises and regulators to recognize and interdict money-laundering and guard against corruption.
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