CLICK HERE FOR FUNDRAISER 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 [...]
As part of our blog we want to share our stories and its me toca to give mine. Enjoy it. Timid Hector Meet Hector: the first kid in Bocas I met nearly three years ago. I remember our first interaction like it was yesterday. Hector was only two at the time. While sweating in the Panamanian heat building a playground, Hector approached timidly with a death grip on his Uncle’s leg (first encounter pictured above). I figured a funny face could get him to open up. I was wrong. It only made him terrified of the scene and me, a foreigner in his backyard building an unidentified foreign object or playground to us westerners. We had many more encounters of terror and tears for the next few months. Fast forward to the opening of the preschool: the first education program started in Bahia Honda. Hector was of course the perfect age for this program, but only that. He was watched over by his older cousin Ana everyday and would not dare leave her side. I repeatedly tried to encourage him to participate, but he would not budge. He sat in the corner attached to Ana and as a first time teacher I felt helpless. Little did I know he was observing and taking everything in. Slowly Hector made the decision to become part of the classroom environment. First step was sitting down for circle time, our way to start every morning. It seemed like with each passing [...]
Three weeks ago we finished up a monster of a project: a new school for Bahia Roja. It was fundraised by a group of high schoolers from Gill St. Bernards who volunteered with us in May. These awesome kids and our family of supporters raised over $10,000 to provide a proper school for the deserving children of this community. They were previously taught in a collapsed school building so this upgrade is a huge addition to education in this indigenous community. In just three weeks we completed the schools, big ups to Daniel, Eddie, all the volunteers, and the community of Bahia Roja for all your hard work! This was a team effort and was completed in less than a month. We are incredibly grateful for the support of this project and look forward to future structural improvements to to the education facilities in the area. Take a look at the old and new pics of the school.
Are you looking for a career in international project, development, non-profit management, or education? Browse our internship positions and apply for the opportunity to gain experience in your field and boost your resume while working with an international non-profit organization. Give and Surf is proud to offer a new platform of growth for our programs and volunteers. We are partnering with undergraduate and graduate students to create community-based internships; positions that allow students and graduates to enrich their knowledge of community development, Spanish, non-profit administration, education, and more. Our Internship Program enables participants to engage in hands-on international work, a critical and life-changing experience for anyone seeking a career in international affairs, non-profit management or teaching. Give and Surf will select highly qualified candidates for positions at home and abroad. Domestic internships will offer individuals invaluable experience in non-profit management, fundraising, marketing and business development. International internships will be focused on grassroots organizing, field work, and teaching. - See more at: http://giveandsurf.org/internships/#sthash.EKIPJiRN.dpuf [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
We recently featured Give and Surf, a non-profit based in Panama, who’s mission is to empower the people of Bocas del Toro, through education, infrastructure and surf. After reading the article we had posted, Neil (founder of G ive and Surf) made contact with us and we were able to learn more about him personally as well as the great initiatives the organization is conducting. This is what he had to say… Where did your love for surf come from and what is your earliest surf memory? My love of surfing and the ocean started in the quintessential Jersey Shore town of Deauville Beach. Thanks granddaddy for being a genius and building this sea cottage fifty-five years ago. As for my early childhood it was spent doing all things Jersey: drizzle castles, sandy pants, yelling ice cream man, shake and baking friends, and surfing on my boogey board. That’s how kids started surfing when I was a child, not air reverses before the age of braces. For us it was surf on your boogey board until you were too heavy to do so anymore and then take out your brother’s Christian Fletcher Model T&C. So this upgrade came at the age of 12 and I was immediately hooked to a life in which surfing dictated all decisions. I spent the next 6 years in Jersey with great friends having too much fun through flat spells and obsessing over when the wind would blow hard enough to bring mediocre waves followed by one [...]
A lot has happened since our last post. Before we get serious and start talking about our most recent undertaking: new school in Bahia Roja lets lighten the mood with a little Saturday fun. A few weeks back we scooped up our 4-6th graders for a day of yoga, beach, and baseball. The morning started off like many do in Panama; rain, thunder, and a bleak outlook on the day we had planned for the kids. As always we push through rain or shine in Bocas and the rain gods gave way to sunny skies and new experiences. The 4th-6th graders are in the midst of learning English and our most recent topic is sports so this day was ideally focused on stretching, batting, and sweating. After a great session with yoga instructor Amy from Palmar we grubbed on some food in the great room of Palmar, relaxed on the beach, and took off for Bahia Roja. Bahia Roja is located within a fifteen minute walk of the beach and is the location of our most recent construction projects: a new dining hall, bathroom/septic tank, and now a NEW SCHOOL. That's right people, a new school. It was great to bring both the communities together especially since we have started to work closely with Bahia Roja. Our first construction projects have now given way to English classes for the adults two days a week and regular activities for the children of this quaint village tucked beneath the mangroves of Bastimentos. [...]