Yesterday Heifer Village hosted a session of Experience America, a State Department program designed to introduce members of the Diplomatic Corps and their spouses to U.S. cities to cultivate relationships and promote partnership opportunities. The spouses arrived at Heifer Village and were greeted by Heifer International President and CEO, Pierre Ferrari along with some friends of the animal variety from nearby Heifer Ranch.
The more than 40 attendees listened to Ferraris overview of Heifers project work, then the group self-selected to learn more about projects organized by area programs -- Central and Eastern Europe, Asia/South Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.
In addition to Heifer Village, the group visited the Clinton Presidential Center, the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock Central High School and the Governors mansion. The groups two-day visit also includes a trip to Fayetteville to tour the University of Arkansas facilities, explore Crystal Bridges Museum of Art and meet with local and regional business representatives.
According to the State Department website:
In bringing these distinguished diplomats to The Natural State, the Office of the Chief of Protocol seeks to strengthen Americas relationships with countries around the world by planting the seeds for new international partnerships and providing our visitors with a deeper understanding of our nations people and heritage.
Experience America is organized by the Diplomatic Partnerships Division of the Office of the Chief of Protocol, whose mission is to foster international goodwill and cultivate relationships between the Diplomatic Corps and the people and institutions of the United States through an exchange of ideas, cultures, and traditions. This is the eleventh Experience America trip since 2007, and previous destinations include Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, as well as multiple cities in Alaska, California, Florida, Texas, and Wyoming. Since 2009, ambassadors from more than 100 countries have participated in Experience America trips.
While their time at Heifer Village was brief -- only about 60 mins -- we were honored to host this very special group of international visitors to educate them about Heifer's work and the great city of Little Rock.