About Institute for Democratic Education

What is IFD?

The Instituto de Formación Democrática (Institute for Democratic Education) is a civic education Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), organized as a non-profit, non-sectarian, non-partisan corporation. Its primary objective is to sponsor and strengthen democracy in Latin America and US Hispanic communities around the world. 

The Instituto de Formación Democrática (IFD), was founded in the late-1980’s by former Cuban Ambassador At-Large to Europe and past director of the Inter American Defense Board in Washington D.C., Col. Ramón M. Barquín, in its quest to spread democracy throughout the region and fight totalitarian regimes like the one installed in his native country. Col. Barquín thought the only way to give back to the countries that hosted him as a political exile, the United States and Puerto Rico, was to give back in civic education to safeguard its democratic traditions and in academics. The former Chief of the Army before the communist takeover of Cuba, once founder and director of the War College (Escuela de Guerra) and the Cuban Armed Forces Military Academy (Escuela de Cadetes), laid down his sword and embraced books to lead the way in founding schools, colleges and universities in his adopted country, Puerto Rico.

Since its founding, the IFD has been the affiliate and representative in Latin America and to US Hispanics of the National Student/Parent Mock Election. Together they have trained teachers, parents and students about democracy and how to be better citizens. Overall, more than 50 million students have participated in their Mock Elections in Little over 30 years.

IFD has managed the largest civic education programs in the region working with tens of thousands of volunteers and impacting over 3.7 million participants. IFD has managed the groundbreaking programs of La Juventud Habla; National Issues Forum, Foros de Opinión; Teen Voices of Democracy; National Youth Citizen Journalist Network; OjoVoz; Primera y Segunda Cumbre de Justicia Juvenil y Prevención de la Delincuencia del Gobernador; Simulacros Electoral Estudiantil/National Student Mock Elections; PracticeYourVote; Ensaya Tu Voto; Participación Ciudadana; FoundCare; Yo No Pido, Yo Trabajo; ContactoPYMES; Proyecto Genio Escolar, among others. IFD has had Federal and State funding, as well as recognition awards by numerous National and State organizations.


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