Who We Are

The Physical Activity Network of the Americas (RAFA/PANA), was created in 2000 with the objective of building a “network of national networks” that integrates members of public and private institutions, that aims to improve, recover, maintain or promote, good health and quality of life among the Americas, through regular physical activity practice (PA). RAFA’s position and challenge is to translate theory into action. For this reason the Network aims to integrate, strengthen and disseminate policies and experiences throughout PA national networks in Latin America, as well as to promote the implementation of evidence based strategies within the public health framework to promote healthy lifestyles. Strategic partnerships with other Networks and organizations in the region such as the NCD’s prevention and control Network in the Americas (CARMEN), Healthy Municipalities, Ciclovías Unidas de las Americas, Interamerican Heart Foundation, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), are also utilized to accomplish these goals.


Promote physical activity for better health among all people in the Americas.


To strengthen efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle through participation in regular physical activity by facilitating the integration and dissemination of policies, programs, strategies and experiences of local and national networks and institutions. The network will contribute to maintaining and improving the health and quality of life of individuals and communities throughout the Americas.

Guiding principles

  • We are an inclusive network integrating membres of public, private organizations both nationally and internationally;
  • We focus on population-based public health research and programs;
  • We encourage the exchange of experience and knowledge;
  • We provide an environment that enhances professional development.

Summary of development process: A Network of National Networks

The Physical Activity Network of the Americas was inspired by a combination of local and international factors. Agita São Paulo and other community-based programs in the Americas demonstrated that physical activity promotion was timely and feasible. On the international front, WHO expanded its health promotion efforts into physical activity starting with a planning meeting in Geneva in February 1997. This was followed in September 1998 by a meeting in Ottawa, Canada in which an Active Living National Policy Network was proposed. The concept of starting a regional network in the Americas evolved simultaneously from regional programs and international recommendations.

During the 21st and 22nd International Symposium of Sciences and Sport held in São Paulo (October 1998-1999), representatives from several countries of the Americas discussed and developed the first official document to promote physical activity in the Americas, entitled "The São Paulo Manifesto: Promoting Physical Activity in the Americas".

Since this time, The Manifesto has been translated into English, Spanish and Portuguese and has served as the basis for physical promotion throughout the Americas.

Representatives from the Americas, international institutions and organizations reconvened in São Paulo, Brazil during the International Symposium of Sciences and Sport held in October 2000. During this meeting, it was decided that the Physical Activity Network of the Americas would officially be established as a means for sharing information and strategies to promote physical activity in the Americas. It was agreed that RAFA would develop activities, as much as possible, in synergy with the CARMEN Programs, which are prevention programs for noncommunicable diseades (NCDs) coordinated by PAHO, allowing "better communication and sharing of experiences and knowledge among countries".

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Click the image to download the report of the courses offered by the world.

Archivos para download
Download this file (Position_Statement.pdf)Position Statement RAFA-PANA91 kB
Download this file (RAFAPANA_apresentacion.ppt)RAFAPANA Appresentation (ES)2002 kB



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Founder Members