Journal 2017-06-12T03:36:19+00:00
707, 2017

July 2017 NewsWave


  JULY 2017 NEWSWAVE  View this email in your browser Welcome to our monthly newsletter where we keep you up to date on all the latest happenings in Panama. In this edition we highlight our awesome summer intern team, a presidential wedding, the launch of our graphic design contest, and a water sanitation project! Neil and Katherine got Married! It was a very special month for us here in Bocas as our beloved President and Founder, Neil Christiansen, got married to his soul mate right here on Bastimentos! Family and Friends from both sides, along with Give & Surf staff, got to witness and partake in a magical evening filled with love, dancing, and plenty of laughter in classic Neil and Katherine style! We wish you two all the best in your future endeavors and are forever grateful for everything you have done, and continue to do for the Bocas community! Thank You Volunteers! June Volunteers: Maddie Foster, Kansas Richard Kneece, South Carolina Chris Kirk-Fisher, Winnipeg  June Interns: Ross Owyoung, Clinton School of Public Service Emilie Street, Clinton School of Public Service Rosa Johnson, George Washington University Holden Taylor, Indiana University Erum Savja, Ryerson University Reesha Patel, Lehigh University Paul Capobianco, University of Iowa June Groups: Basic Needs, Simple Solutions, Indianapolis Boys & Girls Club, Long Island Project Highlight: Bathroom & Wash Basin on San Cristobal In early June we teamed up with Basic Needs, Simple Solutions out of Indianapolis for a water sanitation project on the island of San Cristobal. The project consisted of constructing [...]

706, 2017

June 2017 NewsWave


    JUNE 2017 NEWSWAVE  View this email in your browser Welcome to our monthly newsletter where we keep you up to date on all the latest happenings in Panama. In this edition we highlight our new Volunteer Coordinator, an English program for Police, the launch of WOMP, and a volunteer testimonial! Thank You Volunteers! May Volunteers: Tim Born, Switzerland Hugh Meehan, Chicago Justine Abad, London Claudia Prettner, Belgium May Interns: Ross Owyoung, Arkansas Emilie Street, Mississippi Rosa Johnson, New Jersey May Groups: United States Naval Academy, Maryland Program Highlight: English for the Police of Bocas! [Photo] We have extended our ESL program in Bocas once again, this time reaching out to the various Police departments and offering an English program twice a week! The class is taught by Cynthia Montgomery, an American Ex-Pat with 20+ years of language teaching experience! The course is a collaboration between Give & Surf and Habla Ya Spanish Schools and aims to bridge the gap between the large population of english speaking tourists and the Police tasked with keeping everyone safe! Staff Highlight Our new Volunteer Coordinator, Eddie, has come to us from the United States, although we're not sure where. He grew up outside of Washington D.C., studied in Colorado, kayak guided in Delaware, managed a business in Wyoming, ran a haunted forest in Maryland and guided adrenaline sports for kids along the Potomac River. Eddie is amazed that he gets to share his passion for making other people happy, working with children, building relationships and giving back to [...]

705, 2017

May 2017 NewsWave


    MAY 2017 NEWSWAVE  View this email in your browser Welcome to our monthly newsletter where we keep you up to date on all the latest happenings in Panama. In this edition we have highlighter Development Coordinator, Dylan Vahradin, our After School Program in Old Bank, the construction of a new preschool classroom, the Bocas School Meals and more! Thank You Volunteers! March & April Volunteers Kristy Lockyer, Vancouver Lara Bourdon, France Helene Cheynes, Frances Elena Batzioanouli, Greece Griffin Garner, Connecticut Gibson Cooper, Los Angeles March & April Interns Georgie Garner, Connecticut Jenny Koll, Portland March & April Groups Surf for Life Vanderbilt MANA Project Grauer School Program Highlight: Old Bank After School Program Our after school program based out of the Sunshine Hero's Community Center in Old Bank on Bastimentos is in full swing! This program is headed by Zuli and runs from 3-6pm, Monday to Friday for the entire school year! The program aims to support what the students are learning in school with homework help, tutoring, arts and science projects, sports and other outdoor activities. A healthy snack of fresh fruits is also provided each day. Zuli is supported by our Director of Education, Jazmin, as well as a group of high school students who help in exchange for school credit and work experience! Staff Highlight Dylan Vahradian is our Development Coordinator hailing from Santa Cruz, California! Dylan came down for one month to do an internship with us and managed to implement an entirely new cultural workshop program that has been [...]

703, 2017

March 2017 NewsWave


    MARCH 2017 NEWSWAVE  View this email in your browser We will be sending out monthly newsletters in 2017 to keep you up to date on the latest news about projects, programs and students! Featured in this edition is a new staff member, the completion of a new community center, our Higher Education Scholarship fund, and a testimonial from one of our Volunteer English Teachers! Thank You Volunteers! January & February Volunteers Eunho Lee, London John Doyle, San Diego Bianca Hernandez, San Diego Mora Levis, Buenos Aires Nina Levis, Buenos Aires Hoda Men, Toronto Jennifer Drouin, Austria Katharina Drouin, Austria Thomas Garvey, Long Island Carl Von Mertens Peter Von Mertens Ken Talentino Bill Talentino Bob Christiansen Sarah & Peter Sandback Sarah Andersen Ari & Moira Kurtz David Speert January & February Interns Kate Reed, New Jersey, University of Delaware Heather Morris, San Diego, University of San Diego Jackie Bira, Missouri Pamela Beltowski Staff Highlight We are proud to welcome Zuleika Batista a.k.a., Zuli, to the Give & Surf Team! Zuli has been brought on for 2017 as our Lead Teacher for the Summer Camp in the Old Bank Community on Bastimentos. Zuli's high energy and positive attitude are the perfect match for the youth of Old Bank. Along with the help of our other amazing volunteers: Carlotta (Hostel Bastimentos), Georgina (The Sea Turtle Conservancy), and Carolina (Carole's Body Therapist), we were able to successfully launch our first ever summer camp in this community! We look forward to having Zuli's continued [...]

2301, 2017



  Eli Kurtz Gap Year Volunteer This past year, I was lucky enough to spend three short months of my life in Bocas del Toro, Panama, with the Give and Surf team. Back in June, after graduating high school, I had decided that I wanted to take a year off before going to college. With no defined plans, I kept the idea of making the most of my time front and center. It was amazing how a relatively short plane ride to Panama, took me from a place where I felt like the world moved around me indifferently, to somewhere where I felt I had a part to play. Not only that, but I noticed other patterns falling into place, as I continued my stay. I ate, but I ate differently than at home, catching lobster and fish that became my dinner. I slept, but differently, going to bed early and getting up even earlier so as not to let any part of the day go to waste. And I worked, but this was different too. Boating every morning through the mangroves to a small school, jutting out of the coastline into the bay, was relaxing. More relaxing than any other “work” I had done before. Not just relaxing, but meaningful as well. I genuinely impacted the community I lived in, in a positive way. And at the same time, I was discovering for myself a new way of living. The things I put my time and energy into seemed actually [...]

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