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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Join us in volunteering and leave your mark on Bocas del Toro!

LINK: http://giveandsurf.org/volunteer/  #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #explore #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitudeSOMP: Surf Outreach Mentorship Program has a whole new batch of students that are all surfing for the first time! 
A platform in which local surf mentors cultivate a wonderful learning environment for our students to discover the big 🌊! These same surfers will be receiving their first surfboards in a few weeks thanks to @yehudabenhamo and company who donated to the surfboard drive in San Diego! 
#giveandsurfEverything tastes better from scratch 👨‍🍳. We're cooking up some great things this year!  #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #explore #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitudeWelcome to the Wonderful World of Bocas! There are cuddles all around 🤗  #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #preschool #kindergarten #escuelita #explore #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitudeOmar is so full of excitement 🤸‍♂can you match his energy? #TinyToroThursday🐂  #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #explore #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitudeFound a Red Frog aka Strawberry Poison Dart Frog. This variation of the dart frog is found only on Bastimentos island in Bocas del Toro and is the most toxic. They usually hide under leaves and undergrowth in the tropical rain forest and stay to themselves. We love seeing these guys and treating them with respect! 
#BeautifulBocas #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #ribbit #respectnature #explore #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitudePour Some Spicy Böys on your rice and beans! 🌶#giveandsurfPreschool Project Update:
Thanks to our first group of volunteers from @surfforlifeteam and @salesforce we have made great progress on the new preschool classroom in Bocas. The first bricks have been laid and we are excited for our second of three groups to start work this week! We will keep you updated!
#giveandsurf #surfforlife #panama #bocasdeltoro #nonprofit #volunteer #travel #explore #volunteerabroad #giveback #island #surfing #gopro #adventure👩‍🚒 stop drop and scroll to: http://giveandsurf.org #giveandsurfSaturday’s Back-to-School event recap! The spirited Bocas community showed up in unprecedented fashion as we raised over $10,000 towards educational programs and services in 2018! 
A special salute to each and everyone of you for showing up and a tip of the 🎩 to @barcohundidobar and @bocasbrewery for providing this amazing location! #gratitude 🎬: @zafromannDaily Life of A Volunteer:

We are excited to welcome our new volunteer, Gillian, who is from Ireland and will be with us for the next month! First day of school and she is already fitting right in. Building bonds and spending time with these kids is priceless! 
The application process is simple! Give us your name, contact info, date/desired length of your stay and your reason for volunteering

http://giveandsurf.org/volunteer/  #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #explore #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitudeThe weekly #GiveandSurfReport will keep you in the loop with our many new program updates! 
Check out Bocas del Toro's newest halfpipe heroes getting familiar with our new Skateboarding Program in Old Bank thanks to @owlcat and @welcomeskateboards!  #giveandsurf #panama #bocasdeltoro #giveback  #nonprofit #nonprofitlife #nonprofitorganization #volunteerlife #volunteer #volunteerabroad #explore #skatekids #skateboarding #newexperiences #surf #surfing #travel #grateful #givethanks #gratitude

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