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Heroes of the Hemisphere

Mario Diaz Balart Signs Britto Painting

Jimmy Jean-Louis Fingerprints Britto Painting

Tim Hardaway and friends

More than 400 VIPs celebrated the achievements of five extraordinary people from Haiti, Colombia, Cuba and El Salvador at the 2009 Heroes of the Hemisphere, which was held on the luxurious Liberty of the Seas cruise ship docked at the Port of Miami.

"We're honoring these five unique people because they took the initiative to create a better world for the least fortunate around them. None of them set out to be a hero. But through their efforts, they lifted up the hopes, dreams and realities of so many people. They have made a mark on humanity," said Philippe Armand, First Vice President of the Pan American Development Foundation's (PADF) Board of Trustees, when introducing the awards in Miami.

Organized by PADF and hosted by Royal Caribbean International, the Heroes of the Hemisphere was the first major Miami event by the 48-year-old non-profit organization. It raised awareness of PADF's tremendous work in economic development, enhancing civil society and responding to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. During the past year, PADF's programs reached more than 5.6 million people in 18 countries.

The list of distinguished guests included: PADF Goodwill Ambassador and actor Jimmy Jean Louis ("The Haitian" in NBC's Heroes); actor-comedian Rainn Wilson ("Dwight" in NBC's The Office); former NBA star Tim Hardaway; Teresa Rodriguez (Univision's host of Aqui y Ahora); Ambassador Albert Ramdin (Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States); and Miami-based writer Carlos Alberto Montaner. The emcee was Satcha Pretto Padilla (Univision's anchor of Primer Impacto Fin de Semana).

PADF's 2009 Heroes of the Hemisphere honorees are: Yoani Sánchez of Havana; Nicole Muller César of Tabarre, Haiti; Andrea González of Bogotá; José Silvestre Sánchez of Cáceres, Colombia; and Juan Ayala of Santa Marta, El Salvador

Read their compelling stories online at PADF's special website.

PADF was honored to have the support of the internationally acclaimed contemporary artist Romero Britto. Always the artistic innovator, Romero Britto unleashed his brilliant, colorful style on the Heroes of the Hemisphere signature logo of a thumbprint and its tagline "Make Your Mark on Humanity." While Britto's canvas was on display, a group of VIPs placed their own fingerprint on it to symbolize their personal "Mark on Humanity."

In addition to Royal Caribbean Cruises, PADF's partners at the 2009 Heroes of the Hemisphere include Chevron, MTV, Sony Music, Univision, IMCA, Greenberg-Traurig, the University of Miami Center for Hemispheric Policy, San Antonio-based Interlex, Star Services Events of Miami, RD Event Consulting of Pinecrest, Fla., Caribbean Magazine, Citi and Caterpillar.

PADF is an independent, non-profit organization that creates public-private partnerships that assist the least advantaged people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Having worked in every country in the hemisphere, PADF engages community-based groups, governments and the private sector in the process of implementing appropriate solutions for sustainable development. PADF is an independent affiliate of the OAS.

Ana Oz, Calvin Harris, Xiomara Harris

Dr. Barth Green, Ellen Powers, Elizabeth Greig, & Amb. Raymond Joseph

Don A’Adesky, Clive D’Adesky

Gilson & Daniela Ribeiro, Alexandra Valderrama, Mariette Storr, Rafael Jaen Williamson & Sarah Yearwood

Andrea Gonzalez Fingerprints Britto Painting

Adam Goldstein Awards Ceremony

Carlos Montaner Keynote Speaker

Giselle Recarey, Gorki Aguila

Holly Reinhorn, Rainn Wilson, Juan Ayala

Ish Santiago, Kim Bacardi, Geo Darder, Meme Ferre

Jacqueline Hea, Marylin Blanco-Reyes and Ivelisse Estrada with Guest

Jimmy Jean-Louis, Nicole Muller Cesar

John Sanbrailo, Patrick Delatour

John Sanbrailo, Frank Kanayet, Andrea Gonzalez, Mario Cader Frech

John Sanbrailo, Frank Kanayet, Jose Silvestre Sanchez, Rainn Wilson

Jorge Mejia and Mario Cader Frech

Juan Ayala Argueta, Albert Ramdin

Juan Ayala, Teresa Rodriguez, Jose Silvestre Sanchez, Ivelisse Estrada, Ines Vasquez Garcia

Juan Mora, Lorena Guille Laris

Mauricio Nicholls

Mike Ronan, Kathleen Barclay, Alexander Watson

Satcha Pretto Padilla

Philippe Armand, Thomas Gales, John Sanbrailo

Pierre Boulos, Gladys Coupet, Philippe Armand

Jimmy Jean-Louis and Patrick Delatour

Rachel Denis, Max Antoine

Robert, Mary McGee

Susan Davis, Alexander Watson, Susan Purcell, Erica and Maria Williams

Nadia Pierre, Angel Garrido

Alicia Janzen with friend, Connis Brown

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