Last month I was fortunate to be invited to the Handicap Foundation of Panama Boquete Chapter). This was a followup to my visiting Buenos Vecinos de Boquete in February.
The Handicap Foundation of Panama, as the name implies, focuses on the handicapped population. To get a real appreciation of the aid that is provided and to feel the sense of gratefulness from the clients, you really have to visit the site in Boquete.
I met Gail Cody at the Branding Iron restaurant and followed her to The Foundation’s Boquete Site. Following is a photo of the entrance.
The first thing I noticed upon entering was the distributions for Buenos Vecinos de Boquete.
BVB has been packing food at the Handicap center for about 4 years. It is convenient for the Handicap members to pick their food up when they come for their weekly meeting, Buenos Vecinos packs for 45 members currently. They represent over half of our clients. BVB appreciates having the use of their facility.
It is also easier for BVB to have the large volume of food delivered there and much better for packing. They buy in bulk so they get more food for our $$$.
Volunteers were helping in all sorts of activities. Here puzzles were being assembled.
I got to meet Rodny Moreno, who is the voice you talk to when you call 911 Alta al Crimen. Not only does he answer all calls, but he manages the resident database and contact list. Good English, Great Attitude and an inspiration to those of us that sometimes need push to help others.
I visited a room where clients were getting physical therapy. Many of the clients have more than one handicap. They may be blind and crippled. Human touch is very important for them to feel loved.
You will have to take my word for it, the young boy on the left had been waiting for this person to give him his therapy. When she started, he was overcome with laughter. You cannot be near a situation like this and feel no emotion. At least I can’t.
Two more clients of the Foundation.
I visited the kitchen. Family members are required to help in anyway they can. This is not a drop off babysitting site. Care and attention are provided for all, but participation is expected. There was a wood fire going outside and soon rice would start being cooked.
I got a photo of three of the honchos of The Boquete Foundation. Susan Peterson is on the right and she provided me a writeup on The Handicap Foundation. I am going to attach it at the end of this post.
The next two photos were taken in the language class for deaf people. In this class, the individuals are given the tools to function in a sound oriented world. Can you imagine the difficulty of learning a language without being able to hear?
To do this, they have to learn to sign and as they learn the sign, they also must lern how to write the word. In the next photo you see the instructor doing the instruction and she has an assistant that is writing the words on the board.
Here are a couple photos taken in an English class.
The following photos provide an interesting story. The lady you see here is a volunteer that comes and gives massages to the clients. The young boy is also a client here that is deaf and has had a difficult time learning to participate. While watching the massages being given he started wanting to help and now enjoys massaging lotion. He is now calmer and has probably gained a sense of accomplishment.
I want to thank The Handicap foundation for inviting me and Gail Cody for making sure I didn’t get lost. If you sometimes feel lost and are not feeling a real sense of value in your retirement days, this is a place that will remove that feeling. I encourage you to participate with this worthwhile community project either in time or with financial assistance.
Following is Susan Peterson’s writeup on The Handicap Foundation. Continue reading