We are seeking assistance towards the purchase and operation of a school boat, to be used to take children from isolated island communities to the programs we teach and schools we have built for the indigenous Ngobe people. The area we work in does not have roads so all transportation is by boat and without a reliable means of transportation the effectiveness of the organization is jeopardized. The organization’s ability to serve is only as strong as its weakest link and our boat has been the achilles heel, threatening the very function of the organization.
We transport students ages 3-16 for every program initiative, from preschool to building new schools and libraries. We believe in teaching and implementing an active lifestyle, developing curriculum based on experiential learning and hands-on-activities.
A new boat will replace our broken one, and allow us the necessary vehicle towards transforming children’s lives and rebuilding a community. For an island community, the boat is a necessity for education, as the alternatives are dugout canoes called cayucos. This is an extremely dangerous way for the children to travel to school and for many of the students it is over an hour long commute by cayuco. The area of Panama has patterns of bad weather that can last for weeks at a time and without a school boat to pick them up the students remain in their homes. A school boat provides a safe transportation environment and reduces the hour long trip to less than ten minutes.
Programs to benefit from this
1. Pre-School Education: Classes and education fully funded and staffed by Education is Power, La Loma Jungle Lodge, and Give & Surf.
2. After School Program: 30 First-Sixth grade students join us for hands on learning and education.
3. Summer School: Provides continued education for students on school breaks, allowing parents to continue working.
4. ESL classes for Adults: Three times a week, we teach evening classes for adults to empower and enhance their marketable skills through english advancement.
5. Community Infrastructure Development: Our projects engage the community and range from building schools and libraries, to community gardens and cafeterias.
6. Teacher Training: Our volunteers work with local teachers to enhance their techniques, including hands-on learning and curriculum development.
7. Music Program: Our newest program featured an intern from Princeton who taught music on fundraised instruments to our primary school kids.
8. Environment and Leadership: We organize field trips for our students, teaching them about nutrition, active lifestyles, tourism, recycling and conservation.
9. Trips to town for the community. We are continually asked by our neighbors for help with getting to town since paddling by boat takes upwards of four hours one way and is extremely dangerous.
10. Transportation for the Bahia Honda/Bahia Roja Baseball Team.