Last week I was sent the following information’
Hello Don Ray,
My name is Courtney (last name removed by DRW), and I am a Peace Corps Volunteer from the state of Georgia working in a community here in the province of Chiriqui in Panama.
I am currently working with a Girl Scout (Muchachas Guias) Group. Right now the group has 14 participants from the ages of 5 to 15. The goal of the group is to help the girls to develop positive life skills and self-esteem while also positively contributing to the community in which they live. For example, at Christmas the girls raised funds and asked for the donation of toys in order to organize and put on a Christmas party complete with arroz, pollo guisado, potato salad, and chicha for all of the members of their sector of the community. The girls wrapped the toys and called the children of the community up one-by-one to present them with their gift. This event made Christmas special for many children who, due to poverty, would otherwise have not had a Christmas celebration.
There is a $5 annual membership fee that must be paid for each girl so that she is a an official member of the Muchachas Guias de Panama and receives her membership card. The girls work very hard to raise the money to fund their own activities and are currently making and selling beaded jewelry with the hope of putting on more community events and of attending the National Girl Scout Panama Camp next year. However, we are currently hoping to find a donor who might be willing to pay the membership fee of $70 total for the 14 girls for the current year. It would be great to find a donor who could make this commitment annually but even finding someone for the current year only would be huge help! I spoke with a friend of yours who suggested that I contact you as you might be able to help find a donor by posting a request on your blog or by some other means through your community contacts. Any assistance that you could provide would be great! Also, if you have any suggestions about others that I should contact to make this request then that would be very helpful.
Thank you very much for your time and help. I will not be at a computer with internet again until next Wednesday, but I will respond to any email that you send me at that time. Also, you can contact me by cell phone with any questions. Thanks again and I hope to hear from you soon!
Courtney (Last name removed by DRW)
I told Courtney that I would take care of the 2011 membership fee, but I would like to have something posted on the group’s activity and invited Courtney to be a guest author, on Chiriquí Chatter, to share her experiences with the rest of us. Since the group is located a fair distance from me, it would not be all that easy for me to take the needed photos and I suggested that she might do the honors of reporting on their activities. I don’t believe that the Peace Corps and its volunteers get enough recognition for what they do and this would be my way of giving some Internet Space to do that.
Anyway, if you would like to see Courtney participate as a guest author and document her time in Chiriquí, you might comment and let her know that you are interested in reading about her activities.
UPDATE: I received the following email related to current Peace Corps Projects that need funding. If you go to the link you can find several that are in Panama.
Here is a link to Panama Peace Corps projects that need funding.