An Open Letter by Loren Finnell

We’ve had an incredible response from RPCVs to our site re-launch. We’re slowly getting stories in, and we hope to share some with you. Loren Finnell shared this story of meeting his wife Pilar in Ecuador and their adventures together ever since. Loren Finnell as many of you may know, is the President, CEO, and Founder of The Resource Foundation. He served in Ecuador from 1964-1966. In 1987, he founded The Resource Foundation to leverage the resources and experience of donors worldwide and NGOs in Latin America and the Caribbean to increase the self-reliance and living standards of the disadvantaged.  In honor of his life’s work, The National Peace Corps Association selected Dr. Finnell to receive the 2006 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service at a ceremony in the Senate Caucus Room on Capitol Hill. Friends of Ecuador was thrilled to support his nomination. Click here for a more extended bio.

Here is the text of Loren’s open letter.

Amorcita, 49 years ago today, just two weeks after graduating from Manchester College (now Manchester University), and not having the faintest idea of what was in store for me, I boarded a venerable, DC-3, two-engine prop plane on the tarmac of Chicago’s o’hare airport, on my way to Peace Corps training in Bozeman, Montana and eventually to meeting you in Ecuador, my bride of soon to be 47 years, and someone who has accompanied me around the world and enthusiastically supported all of my dreams to help those less fortunate. without your encouragement, energy and ideas, only a small part of what has transpired during that time would have been accomplished. This sentimental note is but a brief pause to thank you for believing and for sharing in the experience, as I begin my 50th year in international, nonprofit development activities.

Just four years out of college, and two years following our marriage, you and I had literally encircled the globe, lived and worked in a war zone (Vientianne, Laos) for twenty-four months and had the privilege of visiting a gaggle of countries (16 for you, 21 for me) that had previously only been names on a world map; all of this prior to returning to Latin America, where we lived in bLoth Bogota (Colombia) and Cuenca (Ecuador), a period highlighted by the birth of orena del Pilar Finnell Bonilla.

That, and much more, is detailed in the memoir that you encouraged me to write (Still a Country Boy, After Embracing the World), including the creation and development of the Resource Foundation 26 years ago (5/15/87), a legacy that we are in the process of leaving to others to further build upon and improve. It has been a great ride, amorcita, one that we have shared with a plethora of relatives and close friends that are sprinkled around the world, and a trip that i hope still has other chapters yet to write about……..Con mucho amor, Papi


For our Flickr feed of photos from the Resource Foundation, go here

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