District 6080 International Experience Opportunity
Colombia Project Fair (Districts 4271 and 4281)
January 29 – February 3, 2020
As you may know, one of my goals for my year as our District Governor is to encourage our Rotarians to experience a meaningful international experience through Rotary. I am pleased to offer a unique opportunity to do just that by attending the fifth annual project fair sponsored by the clubs in two districts in the beautiful country of Colombia.
I am very familiar with Colombia, a love affair that began with my spending my second year as a college student in the city of Cali on a foreign study program. My passion for Latin America and for the warm people of Colombia have not left me over the years. I am fortunate that I have been able to return often.
The project fair will allow us to meet Rotarians from all over the country as they come together to present project opportunities their areas. We will be joined by Rotarians from other parts of the world and have a chance to establish relationships that could lead to lasting friendships and close future collaboration opportunities.
Perhaps more importantly, we will be able to get a taste of Cali, its culture and its people in a way few tourists are able to experience. I have been in close personal contact with the two district governors along with Carlos Saavedra, a Past DG who is the Chair for the project fair event. He assures me we will be warmly welcomed.
Wednesday January 29 – travel to Cali. See the registration details document for further information on booking flights. I will travel several days earlier and make sure all arrangements are confirmed. I will be joined by local Rotarians with mini buses to meet travelers at the airport for transportation to the Dann Carlton Hotel which is the venue for the project fair.
Thursday January 30 – We will have tour options to see the sites of the city, do some shopping and enjoy some Colombian food. We will plan an evening event for the group, and while I have some ideas, it is not finalized so I will leave you in suspense.
Friday, January 31 and Saturday February 1 – The Project Fair will be in full swing. There will be activities associated with the Fair that will be available for our enjoyment. Here again, details are not yet available, but I wouldn’t worry – Colombians know how to entertain.
Sunday February 2 – We will have various tour options to choose from, including visiting some historic nearby cities that have their own sites and charm.
Monday February 3 – We will depart home and connect to our final destinations in Missouri, arriving the same evening.
The following are approximations based on my best available information at this time.
Airfare – currently around $900 per person round trip.
Hotel Dann Carlton Cali for 5 nights – approx. $90 per night including taxes and fees.
Project Fair Registration, ground transportation, some meals and activities – $180 per person.
Please let me know if any questions. Our group is growing, although there is still plenty of time to join in!
District Governor 2019 – 2020
I am happy that you are joining this adventure for Rotarians from the Midwest – USA to visit the Colombia project fair. Here are instructions for you as we prepare for this trip.
Attached you will find the official flyer for the Project Fair along with a Registration Form to be completed and submitted. Please print out the registration form and complete all requested info, scan and return to me. I will group them and submit them. Note that there is a US$180 registration fee that will cover all meals and activities in connection with the actual fair along with transfers from/to the airport. The hosts will be contacting you regarding submission of the registration fee, or I will see if it makes more sense for me to coordinate for all of us. Do not send any money now.
There are two principal options for travel from Missouri to Cali, one on American Airlines through Miami arriving Cali at 9:26pm on AA921, and the other on United through Houston and connect in Panama arriving at 8:29pm (there actually is a possible earlier connection arriving at 5:20 that might be worth trying although the connection time looks a little tight). Based on the fares below, the United connection looks preferable except no option to leave directly from COMO.
I will be traveling to Colombia several days prior to your arrival so will not be with you on the outbound travel, however, I will be meeting you at the Cali airport on your arrival. If no objections to the United routing, I would then suggest that you book your flights at your earliest convenience. These rates appear pretty good and I would not expect them to go much lower.
We will be staying at the Hotel Dann Carlton in Cali. This is where the Project Fair Venue is located and is a different Hotel from the Dann Cali. Be careful on this when making reservations. Below is the current pricing for five nights including taxes and fees at current exchange rates that are variable and may change, although Colombia has been very stable for a number of years. This is a quality hotel and reflects the inexpensive cost in Colombia and currently a strong USD exchange rate.
Current exchange rate $1 = COP 3,442.
There are suites available also. To book your room, go to the website hotelesdanncali.com and select the Dann Carlton hotel for the dates January 29 through February 3.
I will be bringing district banners and you should consider having some club banners to give away. I also would suggest having some inexpensive mementos from Missouri as gifts for our hosts. Please let me know if you have any other questions.