Coast Guard Cutter Dallas Crew Paints Colombian School

CARIBBEAN SEA – Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter Dallas and the Colombian coast guard worked together to repaint a school in Cartagena, La Institucion Educativa Salim Bechara.

The school serves 300 students from the local community and two neighboring barrios. The two coast guards, allies in the drug war at sea, worked together to paint eight classrooms, the entire perimeter of the school, courtyard, kitchen, and surrounding wall.

“Events like these have a huge impact on international cooperation. Everyone can see that the school is now brighter; it shines, and is more fit for learning. Working on such an important community relations project bonds people closer together, both within our crew, and between Coast Guard and Navy personnel from our two countries. It even helps us establish strong relationships on the water and with the wonderful people of Colombia in general,” Capt. Eric Brown, commanding officer of the Dallas.

Seaman Nick Bartolozzi, one of the most junior volunteers of the event, joined the Coast Guard from Medesa, Calif., only six months ago, to help people.

“It let’s you know what you’ve got back in the (United) States and more importantly helps you respect your home. People are happy here, and I am glad that I have the privilege to help them, and that’s why I joined the Coast Guard,” said Bartolozzi.

Dallas is home ported in Charleston, S.C., and has been underway since the end of May. The cutter participated in two search and rescue cases, a container ship boarding and refueled at sea twice from a Dutch oiler. One port call included spending the Fourth of July in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the crew enjoyed classic American barbecue and fireworks.

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