Peace Corps Activities in Chiriquí

Last week I was sent the following information’

From……: Courtney

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.

From……: Leslie

Hello Don

Here is a link to Panama Peace Corps projects that need funding.

10 thoughts on “Peace Corps Activities in Chiriquí

  1. Don: I will be more than happy to assist in your support of Courtney’s efforts. Plus I invite your thoughts on possibly pursuing taking it a step farther.

    When I came to David 3+ years ago the Peace Corps had fallen off my radar screen. Seems like the last time I had heard of them was back when Pres. Carter’s mother (Lillian?) joined the Peace Corps. I got re-introduced to them here because there is a group of the P.C. volunteers that occasionally use the bar on the 2nd story of the Iris Hotel as kind of an R&R get way from their normal duties. I don’t mind telling you that I am very impressed with this group of young people! Yes, the U.S. does still produce bright-eyed, busy-tailed, go-getter young folks who are motivated to ‘make a difference’! Impressive group!

    My point is that in all my conversations with some of them, it never occured to me that they could use ‘some assistance’ such as requested by Courtney. I guess I had just assumed the a U.S. government program would cover all the bases. I will ask some questions the next time I see some of them to see if there are other requirements of this nature. And I will also ‘talk up’ this possibility with some of my fellow ‘gringo geezers’ that frequent the Iris.

    I would also welcome the idea of publishing (or republishing) Courtney’s tales on my blog and any similar stories from any of her fellow volunteers.

    Thanks for shedding light on this subject.

  2. Hi Larry,

    I will let Cortney respond to her other needs or needs of her counterparts in other provinces. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  3. As a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of America (USA), and a current resident of Boquete, I would LOVE to get involved with the Muchachas Guias! I am not fluent in Spanish, but I am fluent in smiles and laughter and encouragement. I also have contact with a couple of Girl Scout troops in the USA. Maybe the troops could work out some sort of pen pal relationship… How can I help?

  4. Happy to help. My sister was Peace Corps in Ecuador, and I feel it is important to support your efforts and the efforts of your fellow volunteers. If there are peace corps panama volunteers that have blogs, and the links were on chiriqui chatter we could follow your progress. And find out who needs help with what project. What do you think Don?

    All the best

  5. Information needed,
    I have a house in Divala, Chiriqui that is in great conditions and my family would like to lend it to the peace corp. My father wanted to join the peace corp when he was young and never got a chance to do so. I plan to join once I graduate college however, in the mean time we want to help our community in someway. We are currently in Panama and would like to get in touch with the peace corp leader of the Chiriqui region. Can someone please guide me?

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