Last month we were fortunate enough to have the help of a high school group from Dunbarton High School located in Pickering, Ontario; a suburb of Toronto. They spent ten action packed days with us volunteering and enjoying jungle life on Bastimentos Island. With their help we were able to complete the following: two bathroom/septic tanks for the community, finished the community garden, finished 104 stairs to the playground, cleaned up and prepped the library, collected over 25 bags of trash around the bay, converted preschool walls to all wood, painted preschool walls, and added a mural to our bookshelves. In addition to all their hard work they had great times doing catamaran tour, zip lining, trip to Smithsonian, cave tour, and enjoying the beach. We would like to thank all of you for working so hard during your time here as well as fundraising at home. Of course none of this would be possible without the teachers as well. You are a special group of teachers to have the stamina to keep up with the kids and survive the jungle! Pre-mud group shot Septic Tank Project Library in all its glory Finishing Touches Bathroom/Septic Tank Construction
Last week, Give & Surf had the pleasure of hosting a group of eleven students from Michigan State who opted to volunteer in Panama for their collegiate spring break. Even though Bocas del Toro greeted them with a few rain showers, they worked with smiles on their faces, rain or shine! In just five days, our Michigan State volunteers were able to build a community garden and 102 step stairway, construct furniture for the library, paint a mural in the preschool room, and a few other projects. We could not have asked for a harder working group of students. We were amazed to see what a big difference a group of college students could make. A huge thanks goes out to the guys and gals of Michigan State for your tireless work and contributions to the Bahia Honda community! The Michigan State group posing for a photo on our school's dock. A few volunteers hard at work digging steps for the stairway up to the garden. The guys building new furniture for the library.
On Saturday, February 13 Give & Surf hosted a fundraiser with our friends at the Palmar Tent Lodge to raise money to rebuild the Bahia Roja cafeteria and kitchen. Not only did we have clear skies and a great turnout, we exceeded our goal and raised over $1,000! The fundraiser was a blast and our guests were able to enjoy a full day of festivities such as live music, soccer tournament, slip n' slide, raffle, earth oven pizzas, drink specials, a live coconut oil demonstration, and more. We cannot give enough thanks to all the businesses that donated prizes to our raffle drawing, the volunteers from Palmar Tent Lodge and Give & Surf, and those that donated the funds to get the cafeteria complete!
Only one year ago June You, a Ph. D student from Seoul, South Korea found herself in Bocas del Toro volunteering with Give and Surf for the first time. Today we’re sitting down with June to find out more about her experiences with our program and of course, why she wanted to return. Q: How did you initially find out about Give and Surf? A: Through my friend’s Facebook page. He liked “Give and Surf.” Q: Tell us about your first trip here. A: It was in February of 2012. I had planned to stay here for two weeks but extended my stay for one week longer. Basically I assisted Neil with teaching. And of course, played with the children and had a wonderful time with them. During our free time I went surfing, snorkeling, and enjoyed a cave tour. Q: What did you like best about volunteering with Give and Surf? A: My favorite memory from Give and Surf was playing with the kids. Every moment with them was so special to me. If I had to say one thing, I would say the day we brought them to the beach because we had so much fun that day. Q: How do you feel about being the first volunteer to return to Bocas for a second volunteer experience? A: Hahaha! Is there any recognition or a prize for this? (Just kidding!) I’m sure that there will be more volunteers returning like I did. I hope so! Q: What changes [...]
When Give and Surf started holding summer school classes for the children of Bahia Honda, our goals were to provide them with engaging activities and new experiences to further develop their understanding the world. And most importantly, we aimed for summer school to be fun! Yesterday one of our summer school classes had the opportunity to take a field trip and tour the La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm. The adventurous day was filled with a question and answer session about La Loma and how chocolate is made, a tour of the cacao plantation and gardens, and taste testing the chocolate! All aboard for La Loma! Question and answer session with Kelly. The Give and Surf kids and volunteers listening to a presentation by La Loma workers. The La Loma Chocolate Farm tour begins. Delicious homemade chocolate cookies for our hungry taste testers. Thank you to the knowledgeable staff of La Loma for such an educational afternoon and delicious treats to eat!
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato In Bocas del Toro, Panama we will be sharing music with the children of Bahia Honda and setting flight to future rock and rollers and lovers of all things music. With your support instruments and equipment will be purchased and without delay horns tooted, guitars strummed, and drums beaten...lets not leave out singing. We will be adding this program very soon and will be turning our kids into full fledged musicians. Please help us by sharing and contributing to this future program of ours! Thank you all for your support and we look forward to sharing pictures and videos of our kids rocking out. Donate to Rock and Roll in Bahia Honda at Razoo [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]