June 2017 NewsWave

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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!


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 the communities that we work with and with volunteers from around the world. We are very excited to welcome Eddie to the team and can’t wait to see the impact he will have in the communities!

Program Highlight:
Launch of WOMP: Women’s Outreach & Mentorship Program


          We are thrilled to share with you a new program that is underway here in Panama, WOMP: Women’s Outreach Mentorship Program. This is made possible thanks to our dear friends and partners at Changing Tides Foundation and Beyond the Surface International who held a fundraiser in San Diego on March 23rd to fund the creation of this program!

WOMP is part of Give & Surf’s extracurricular programs and held twice a week for 10 weeks, Thursdays and Fridays, for teenage girls of Old Bank and led by our Director of Education, Jaz Levis, along with Zuleika Batista, who runs education programs at Old Bank’s Community Center! Its mission is to empower the students to connect to their environment through swimming, SUP, and eventually surfing all while developing character and strong relationships with their peers. Some of the goals for this program are to:

  • Provide the students with the tools and skills to develop into strong community leaders
  • Teach students proper swimming and SUP techniques and engage them to the sport
  • Promote awareness of the student’s own impacts on their local environment and how to reduce them
  • Use local resources in order to provide further insight and education for the students

We are excited to be hosting the founders of both Changing Tides Foundation and Beyond the Surface International next week to be part of this wonderful program.

Be sure to follow us over the next few months at hashtag #WOMPBocas !!

Volunteer Testimonial: Hugh Meehan

    The two weeks I spent in Bocas del Toro working for Give and Surf has been truly unforgettable. From the incredible tropical environment, to the daily interactions with locals, I was able to obtain a unique perspective on this part of Panama. While most venture to Bocas in search of great waves, drinks by the beach, and an overall sublime vacation spot; my time as a volunteer allowed me to witness a side of Bocas most travelers rarely get to see. In years’ past, I have worked with kids of all ages. However, having the opportunity to work with the indigenous children of the Ngobe community was both an eye opening and impactful experience, unlike anything that I have done before. Every single day was filled with challenging yet meaningful experiences in hopes of providing a brighter future, not only for the children, but also their community as a whole. By instilling a love for learning amongst the children, we sought to encourage the importance of a continuance of education within this community.
I saw this love for education best demonstrated within the children during my second week in Bocas. During this time period, a cold ran through the children in the Bahia Roja community, causing high fevers which coupled by the tropical environment, made doing the simplest of tasks arduous. Yet despite their sickness, many of the children showed up ready to eagerly learn day in and day out. This determination to learn astounded me and demonstrates that these kids are ready to confront and overcome the challenges which they will face during their path to higher education and an improvement of their local community.  I am so grateful to Give & Surf for facilitating this meaningful experience and applaud their adherence to improving the lives of those often overlooked. Moreover, the idea that everyone deserves a chance at a prosperous future could not be better exemplified than within the mission of the Give and Surf Organization, and I encourage all to take part in this truly impactful volunteer experience.

Hugh Meehan




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Be here! Este Viernes para beneficiar la educación en Bocas del Toro, Panamá.

Póngase en contacto con Casa Nolita para hacer su reserva.

La noche incluye comida por Javier Lamarca de El Mercadito Biologico, un bar abierto, y un after party (desliza hacia la derecha) para celebrar el Birthday Boy @ciciliani!Sending✌🏾to the world from Bocas Del Toro 🇵🇦! 📷 : @barkerfoto 
#giveandsurfTake the leap in 2018 to join us as a volunteer, intern, gap year student, or one of our TEFL (teach English as a foreign language) courses! 
Learn more at Giveandsurf.org to dive in! 🌊#giveandsurf 🌊Come be a part of our world at Give & Surf! 🙏
¡Ven a ser parte de nuestro mundo en Give & Surf! 🙏
#giveandsurf 🎥 por Isa {@sisamitty}Splish splashing around with Dora and her Bahia Roja classmates during our monthly field trip! 
At Give & Surf we focus on opening our students up to feeling comfortable in and around the water whether it is in our preschools, SOMP: surf outreach mentorship program, WOMP: women’s outreach mentor ship program, or our swim program! 
We have had the pleasure of teaching over 80 children how to swim, surf, and stand up paddle board! #staysalty #giveandsurfA standing ovation to the Jones’ Family who came down two weeks ago to not only share some Panama good times with their son, friend, brother, and our volunteer coordinator @party_over_here7, but who also whipped up this beautiful remake of the Bahia Honda bathroom and water system! 🙏
Good choice of color too! #gratitude #giveandsurfWe are riding high! New Give and Surf vessel is on its way 🏠! Dream Boat made possible by @blueparroteasthampton and ambassadors @ashleigh_s_rodman and @caverodman 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏! We are over the moon excited to see all that will be made possible in the years to come for education in Bocas because of our new 🚣‍♀️! #gratitudeAs part of Old Bank’s after school program we have introduced Zuli’s students to life on the water. Here we are SUPing thanks to our partners @changingtidesfoundation! #giveandsurfSurround yourself with people who reflect what you want to be just like the 🌊 and 🌌 are with one another! 
Thank you to all those that made #GivingTuesday a day of gratitude as we reflect on all that has been made possible by our family of support this year. 
Every year we roll #GivingTuesday in #GivingDecember so our fundraiser in our profile and link, https://www.razoo.com/story/Giving2017, is open to receive your support till the end of the year! #gratitude #giveandsurfJust a few hours left to be part of our #GivingTuesday! 🙏and 👏 to all those that have give thus far on this all important day that supports non-profits around the world! #gratitude

Check link in bio 🔝Please consider giving ❤️ to your favorite non-profit on this #GivingTuesday! 
Just $10 will feed 30+ preschoolers for a day of education and fun at school! 
LINK in bio 🔝
#giveandsurfA very sweet morning alert that Giving Tuesday is TODAY; an internationally celebrated day to support non-profits from around the world!

Every year we at Give & Surf ask our supporters on this day to support our continued efforts with a donation to leave the world a better place for the communities and individuals we cherish in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Link in Bio🔝

Every individual who donates $50 or more will receive a special hand-crafted token of our appreciation by longtime ambassador Eric Adams! #giveandsurf #givingtuesday

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