Colombia Purdue Initiative — CPI

SADCO: Sociedad de Amigos de Colombia


What started as just a group of friends meeting to socialize has become a community with strong philanthropic ideals. Sociedad de Amigos de Colombia (SADCO), or the Society of Friends of Colombia in Indianapolis, is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1984 by Bill Hardy, Lucy Romero, Clara Hernández, Alicia Garca, Dorothy Serrano, Bertha Torres, and Clara Urrea with the purpose of promoting the Colombian culture in Indiana through artistic, cultural and educational activities. Twelve years after its establishment, SADCO members created a scholarship fund to support college education of Hispanic students in Central Indiana. This initiative has grown exponentially and has become one of their most prominent projects.

Some SADCO members at the Annual Gala Dinner Dance. From left to right: Vicente Giordanelli, Alfredo Lopez-Yunez, Fernando Otero, Juan Gonzalez, Claudia White, David Llewellyn, Martha McCoy, Karem Montenegro (standing); Sandra Rueda, Carmen DeRusha, Bertha Torres, Liliana Nuñez (seated).

Today, SADCO is an epicenter for friends of Colombia in Central Indiana. All members work voluntarily towards the same goal: promoting Hispanic culture, and facilitating financial and educational support to Latinos in Indiana. Claudia White, SADCO's president since 2015 highlights the importance of having younger generations committed to this philanthropic cause. "The success of SADCO is due to the commitment of all the Hispanic community in Indianapolis," says White. "I specially encourage younger generations to bring fresh ideas and get involved with the Association." As of today, SADCO has granted a total of over $400,000 USD in scholarships to first, second and third generation Hispanic students. "This work could only have been accomplished as a group. We hope to have made life better for others and to have become better people from the work we have done," explains Mrs. Bertha Torres, co-founder of SADCO.

SADCO hosts a variety of events throughout the year that are open to the public. These events aim to celebrate Hispanic culture, and recognize the special work of SADCO members who have distinguished themselves within the community. The Annual Gala Dinner Dance is generally held in November in commemoration of the Independence of Cartagena, over 500 people attend every year. Another event with great acceptance within the SADCO community is the Colombian Independence Picnic, which hosts over 300 people. The picnic is a family event with special activities for children. It is held in Broad Ripple Park in Indianapolis in July. All the money collected from tickets and donations at these events goes to SADCO's scholarship fund and to charity organizations in Indiana and Colombia.

SADCO created the Bertha Torres Award in 2013, with the purpose of honoring and remembering the contributions that individuals and organizations perform towards the well-being of the Latino community in Central Indiana. The Colombia-Purdue Initiative (CPI) was recipient of this award during the Annual Gala Dinner Dance in 2014, for catalyzing a series of partnerships between Purdue and Colombian institutions, and for facilitating joint educational initiatives and collaborative research. During this same event, SADCO provided $5,000 in scholarships to high school students from Medellín, Colombia, to participate in Purdue's Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) in July 2015. Proud SADCO member, Alfredo Lopez-Yunez, visited Purdue University during the summer of 2015 to welcome  the Colombian GERI camp students, including the recipients of SADCO's scholarships. This was an unforgettable experience for both, the students and Dr. Lopez-Yunez.

Claudia White has extended a special invitation to all the Purdue-Colombia community to attend to SADCO's events, and to work together to create a stronger relationship. If you would like to know more about SADCO's scholarships, events and volunteer opportunities, you can visit their website.



Help us build our Colombia Purdue history!


We found this photograph within the  Purdue Library’s Archives and Special Collections. It was taken September 1969 in BOGOTA during a Purdue Alumni Club meeting. However, we do not know the people or story of this image -- do you recognize someone (maybe yourself) in the picture? What is your story? Or your friend’s story? What is the history of the Purdue Bogota Alumni Club? Who organized it? What did they do and why did it stop?

Por Favor, HELP us build the story of the Colombia Purdue legacy and SHARE what you know about this picture. Click HERE to write to us and to upload other photos and stories that you saved from your Purdue adventures as a student and your family and life experiences after Purdue.


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