Welcome to OAA
Our organization was founded in 1994 as EchoCuba by our CEO, Dr. Teo Babun, and a group of North American Christians. Our initial goal was to support the church in Cuba, a country whose political and economic conditions impede the growth and development of the faith community.
EchoCuba grew into a prominent non-profit organization, demonstrating the ability to work in the difficult on-island setting. However, our growth did not stop at Cuba as we expanded our focus to the needs of vulnerable groups in the rest of the Caribbean and Central America. Our organization’s name was later changed to Outreach Aid to the Americas to reflect the larger geographical area where we now work.
Over the next 26 years the scope of our work also expanded to new areas of need: disaster preparedness, post-disaster recovery and humanitarian relief; broad-based community development; entrepreneurship and small business development; civil society strengthening; and human rights advocacy through the promotion of freedom of religion, expression and assembly.
OAA’s program expansion has relied on a network of collaborating partners in the U.S. and in the countries in which we work. Many of our joint efforts have focused on the development of faith-based organizations (FBOs) which OAA supports to advocate and provide essential services for the most vulnerable members of their communities. OAA’s technical assistance and donations are often complemented by FBO basic infrastructure, such as warehouses, for on-site work such as distribution of donated relief goods. With OAA’s investment in long-term capacity building of the FBOs, the partnership achieves not only short-term results, but also lasting, sustainable impacts.
EchoCuba, which started as the primary organization, is today but just one of the initiatives of Outreach Aid to the Americas, which also includes our Community and Port Resiliency Program (C-PReP), Americas Relief Team and Explore International.
After celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2019, we continue to serve the most vulnerable, especially children, elderly, the poor, and the hungry.
Below are some key events during OAA’s history of working for the communities and individuals in need in Latin America and the Caribbean:
- 1994: We were founded as EchoCuba by a group of North American Christians to support the emerging independent Cuban church.
- 2004: We Introduced “Business in a Box” and “P.A.I.L.S. 4 Haiti” as self-employment initiatives and effective tools for reconstruction and development.
- 2008: We carried out our first disaster relief response (117,000 victims assisted) after hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Cuba’s worst natural disasters in history.
- 2014: We partnered with Feed My Starving Children, Mathew 25 Ministries, and Feeding the Nations to provide over 4 million pre-packaged meals to persecuted individuals, vulnerable children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
- 2019: We collaborated with the Red Cross, USAID and Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to distribute trailer-mounted diesel generator sets in the Bahamas islands following the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian