International Affiliates

International Affiliates Activities Committee "COMAAI"

Sharing An International Love Of Gardening

The International garden clubs committee known as COMAAI, is an NGC group formed in 2001 by former NGC President Louis Dupre Shuster, Esther Pliego de Salinas and Gilda Garcia from Mexico. Former COMAAI committee chairman include Sarah Lambarri from Mexico and Cheryl Obediente from Panama.

The initials COMAAI in Spanish identifies this NGC group as the Committee of International Affiliates Activities that represent the three international NGC regions of Mexico, Central America and South America. These regions have more than 3300 international affiliate (IA) Spanish and Portuguese speaking members. COMAAI includes both Flower Show and Educational committees and other parallel NGC committees that meet during Spring NGC Conventions.

Following NGC leadership, Gloria Remedi and Maria Regina Viau, Chairman and Cochairman of COMAAI, have strived in offering NGC Schools educational system at an international level. Outstanding work has been done by IA Silvia Wray, FSS Chairman, who translated the last Handbook for Flower Shows into Spanish and published the Digital Guide to Horticulture. While Patricia Nasrallah, IA Gardening School Chairman and the Digital Schools committee working together with the Monterrey Technological University Campus Tampico have recently develop the first online Gardening School for the international affiliates.

NGC international members depend completely on their digital communication system, it includes comaai.org website that offers all four NGC academical opportunities and serves as an educational tool, last year the site had 46,916 visitors. Social Media groups are also managed in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, these have become vital means of communication for civic participation. The promotion of the Plant America project is an example offering education, digital contests and civic awarding. Plant America program has encouraged creating urban gardens to feed the poor, promoting gardening as a healing therapy in war torn countries, teaching the young how to protect nature and have encouraged garden club members to actively work in obtaining grants from companies to help resolve urgent local environmental concerns.

We could say that the IA are NGC International ambassadors, so please remember to smile and say “HOLA or BUENOS DIAS” to them, for we will continue working together with NGC President Gay Austin to “Plant the American Continent”!

For more information, contact:
Idalia de Aguilar, IA Liaison to NGC President Gay L. Austin