Restautante Mana’s Christmas Party

Another post that has been waiting to be posted is related to Restaurante Mana’s Christmas Party for underprivileged kids. On December 12, 2009 the preparations had been made, the kids had been notified, packages had been wrapped and food had been bought and prepared.

Several Chiriquí Chatter readers showed up to help and I think all that participated felt a real joy of giving after seeing the sparkle in all the children’s eyes.

The activities that had been planned were games, a feast, cake and ice cream and gifts based on age groups.

A tent had been setup in an open area next to the restaurant. It was a warm day and the shade was needed and appreciated. Three tents had been ordered. One tent came


While the food was being prepared the children were led in children’s songs.

A preacher talked to the children about the Christmas story.

One of the games that was played while waiting, was marching around the chairs. One less chair than contestants.

And the winner was…

The food was ready. The first course was rice with chicken and potato salad. As you can see, the plate held a lot. This young girl in the blue shirt was ready to eat.

They waited in an orderly line for their turn.

I saw one young lad go through the line and soon as he had his plate he ran up the street. He was apparently taking it to someone in his house that he felt needed food more than he did. He returned shortly.

This young lad seems to be saying, “Look! I got a special cup with juice.”

This little one enjoyed her drink as well.

Following the first course, there was piñatas.


I have to tell you, I was completely amazed. When I heard how much food Jorge and Vicky were preparing, I thought there was no way that it would all be eaten. When the next course of food (hamburgers) came out, the lines reformed. No one turned down a hamburger.

After the hamburgers had disappeared, then out came cake and ice cream. Again, the lines were full.

Do you think they enjoyed their party? A pictures says it best.

Following the cake and ice cream, each child received a gift. They had been wrapped and labeled according to age. Besides this being the best meal many of the kids had in a long time, this may have been the only Christmas gift that some had ever received.

So many happy faces. So many full tummies. I declare the party a major success. I think in final count, there were over 80 children that showed up with at least 20 adults.

I would like to express my appreciation to Jorge and Vicky and Restaurante Mana for taking on this task of bringing happiness to so many. For Jorge and Vicky, I would like to say, “THANK YOU” to all that donated their time, money, gifts, food and other items for the party.

I have a lot more photos and when I have time, I will try to get them put into a photo album.

8 thoughts on “Restautante Mana’s Christmas Party

  1. Wonderful post Don!
    This is a real labor of love to Thy Neighbor!
    Jorge & Vicky, Don and all who contributed to this Christmas Party, this is really what Christmas is about.
    Many many blessings to you all.
    Lilia

  2. Don,

    Thanks for this nice little story. I only wish there were more stories like this (and not just in Panama!). T

  3. Hi Tambopaxi. I know there were other groups that held Christmas events in the David area. This is the one I participated it and knew about.

  4. Hi Don,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to take pictures and write about this wonderful event we all had for these beautiful kids … as you mentioned, there were 20 adults but “102 children” showed up!
    This event was posible, thanks to our loyal friends, clients and even people we met for the first time to drop things! It speaks highly of people who live in our community, who many are your readers.
    Vicky and I are humbled by the generocity of those who gave of their time, gifts and money. May God keep blessing all of you!
    We are planning to have these kids back at the end of every month to have someone from this community come and talk to them about moral and spiritual values or just to give them hope. We also are planning a fund raiser to purchase 10 sewing machines and teach parents to sew and possibly start their own small businesses. If anyone is intrested in helping organize this endevour, please contact us at 775-2506, 6038-6239 or jlca.mana@gmail.com.
    Don, thank you again for you willingness to be so helpful and we thank all of our friends for your generocity and service.
    Vicky and Jorge
    I will try to post some pictures that Don does not have 😉

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