I just received the following email for support for some of the indigenous in Panama. Sounds like a worthwhile project and I am in for $100. However, I will just give it as a donation, because I have gotten rid of all my ties. 🙂
Mindy’s email follows:
From……: Mindy Spice
We know that there are several opportunities to contribute to the people of the country that we all have adopted but we have a special need for you to consider. The indigenous in Panama live in various areas in this country referred to as the comarca. They are often out of site and living in conditions that are hard to imagine unless you have visited. There is one specific area named Alto Guayabal that a group of Gringos and Panamanians together have not only visited but are working to help.
After repeated visits to Alto Guayabal, the group has formed a coalition called A.C.T. Now! (Assistance for Comarca Teachers Now!) and they have taken on a specific and ambitious project. There are many needs including basic food, shelter and education for the Ngobe Bugles of Alto Guayabal. As we all know, education is the key to permanent change. These trips have revealed that the teachers that educate the children to facilitate this change must also live there during their tenure. The travel to and from is so difficult that they must stay there weeks at a time in the housing provided. (Last year 3 teachers were swept away by a rising river and died trying to cross a river to go home.) That housing, to put it bluntly, is deplorable. There are dirt floors, metal roofs, no indoor bathroom facilities, no enclosed windows and when it rains often the faculties possessions are wet and may be damaged.
Over the last several months A.C.T. Now! has been working together with the governmental agency, Social Investment Fund (FIS), to remedy this situation. Recently the Panamanian government has approved the funding for simple dormitory type housing for the staff of 20 teachers. In fact FIS has agreed to provide and transport all the materials to build the dorms to the Alto Guayabal site. You can see the plans and photos of the current teacher housing on the A.C.T. Now! facebook page. The caveat is that A.C.T. Now! must obtain the funds to assist in the construction and furnish the building. Items like simple beds, lockers for teachers to store their belongings, desks to prepare class plans, etc. The cost for the ACT Now’s share to bring this to fruition is approximately $10,000.
A.C.T. Now! is hopeful that a large portion of the necessary funds can be obtained through a joint fund raising project with our Panamanian neighbors in David on June 19th. The concept is to have an event that is a unique opportunity to have a very special formal night out at the Club David. This black tie event will feature a great meal, wine, music and dancing. There will a chance to learn more about this special project and see pictures displayed that were taken by the children of Alto Guayabal with cameras provided by A.C.T. Now! The volunteers taught the children how to use the cameras then asked them to capture what their lives were like. There will also be a few art items for sale that were created by or about the Nobe Bugle. The cost for this special event is $100 per couple, the arrangements allow us to have only 100 couples. If you are interested in lending your support and enjoying a real chance to put on the Ritz please join us by contacting Yamel Gozaine at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mindy Spice at email@example.com for tickets and answers to any questions that you may have.
The special event at the Club David is coming together and we are excited and appreciative of your participation. Here are some specifics for your information and planning:
1. The menu is set and promises to be a great meal.
2. The band will be “Orquestra Sabor” They are a 9 piece orchestra and will have a piano and sax for dinner music then dancing to a wide variety of music. If you have a favorite you would like to hear they have asked us for a list so send it to us and we will see what we can do. We have heard great things about their music.
3. A number of people have asked about room arrangements so that they do not have to drive home that night. We have checked with a number of places and have found a new hotel “Hotel Los Rivera” firstname.lastname@example.org . They have comfortable air-conditioned rooms, an attached restaurant and parking behind the hotel. (left at the Shell station, right at the Romero’s intersection and about a kilometer down on the right) The cost is $38 for the night and we have a block of rooms reserved under the name of A.C.T Now! The owner is bilingual and can be reached at 6615-8648.
4. The tuxedo rental (optional but available) can be found at Confecciones Aguirre (San Mateo Plaza near Deposito del IMA) 774-0498. We have not been there yet but Mike is going down Tuesday to rent his and will have more information after that if you have questions. His cell is 6669-2963.
5. If you decide to forgo the tux please remember that the theme for the evening is “Black & White with a dash of Red”
There are still tickets available and we appreciate your help in continuing to spread the word to your friends about this very worthy event that should be a wonderful experience for all. We will have tickets with us as we travel around until the event. In the next few days will be at the Wine Tasting at Felipe Motta, the Friday Night Happy Hour at Los Molinos, Bailando por los Ninos, and Tuesday Morning Meeting. In addition you may contact any one of us by email and we will make arrangements to meet you.