Aboard the US Naval Ship Comfort


I hope you had a fantastic New Year and a great start to 2019. Right before the holidays, I had the privilege of traveling to Colombia to meet with US Navy sailors aboard the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort, which had docked in Riohacha, a northern Colombian city not far from the Venezuelan border.

Leaving the US on October 10 and only returning to port a few weeks ago, the USNS Comfort embarked on an 11-week medical assistance mission to Central and South America.

The USNS Comfort, en route to South America.

This aid couldn’t have come at a better time, as the region is in the midst of a refugee crisis. Millions of people have fled Venezuela in the wake of fierce political oppression and economic devastation, leaving little choice but to leave their homes. Basic necessities like food and medicine are nigh impossible to come by, resulting in reduced life expectancy, increased infant mortality rates, and widespread viral outbreaks.

A mother and young child receiving medical care from our sailors at the improvised facility

At the forefront of this crisis is Riohacha, where our Navy sailors set up a temporary medical treatment site at a local school. When they did, however, they quickly found that just about every desk there was in poor condition and practically unusable.

Classrooms at the school are full of damaged, destroyed, and graffiti-covered desks like these.

That’s where we come in. To help build a stronger relationship between US troops and their Colombian partners and to support our sailors aboard the Comfort, Spirit of America is donating 140 school desks to this school.

Please consider partnering with us to help make this possible; one desk only costs $45, although any amount helps make a difference. Help us bring hope to this region that has become so prone to violence and turmoil, and yet is so close to home.

Thank you for your continued support,

Dan Hewitt
Project Manager – Latin America

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