May 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 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 mutually beneficial for our volunteers and the Bahia Honda community where the workshops are based. This program not only gives our volunteers a unique, culturally immersive experience, but also provides an income source for the local women that run these workshops! Some of the available activities include coconut bread making, coconut oil making, or traditional Ngobe bag making. After seeing the success of this program we decided to invite Dylan back as our Development Coordinator in partnership with La Loma Jungle Lodge. Dylan is now tasked with implementing an evaluation system for our different educational programs, further developing the community workshops with local women, and conducting an impact analysis of our work, as well as tourism in general, in the communities that we serve!

Bocas School Meals and More

This year we are teaming up with Margo Carey from Bocas School Meals and More, raising money and collecting food donations to provide over 40,000 meals for the school children of Bocas in 2017! These meals will reach students in on Isla Colon, Carernero, Solarte, Bastimentos, and San Cristobal, and will help the ensure the children of Bocas are not studying on empty stomaches! 

Project Highlight:
San Cristobal Preschool with Surf for Life

The island of San Cristobal is home to a Ngobe community that over 800 people call home. With only one small classroom to fit 37 preschoolers, their teacher, Clara, expressed to us the need for a second classroom. In conjunction with Surf for Life and the fathers and mothers from the community that helped with this project, plus Give & Surf staff and volunteers, we were able to make this dream a reality! Construction is set to be completed by the middle of May and will mark our 3rd successful project with Surf for Life!

Volunteer Story: Hélène Chaynes

Having had the possibility to be part of the volunteer team with Give & Surf was an extraordinary experience for me, probably something that I will remember all my life. I’m used to traveling a lot abroad, but it was my first volunteering experience. Meeting the communities of Bahia Roja and Bahia Honda was definitely one of the most unbelievable experiences I have ever had, especially in such a beautiful place as Isla Bastimentos.

I feel really blessed to have had the possibility to meet and work with incredible people, very dedicated and professional in the Escuelita and to have had the chance to help in the classes with all the kids of the communities. The daily routine was really special from picking up the kids to go to school with the boat and working with them in the school. One of my favorite memories of the volunteering was probably one of the last days I helped in Bahia Roja and we were stuck in the classroom because of the heavy rain. Jazmin started to put some music on and we just stayed singing and dancing with the kids for an hour until it stopped raining. This was one of my favorite moments because I really enjoy bonding with the kids, always full of joy, energy and with massive smiles on their faces. They were super proud to sing the songs they love and to teach them to us.

Besides the wonderful experience with the kids, the life at the volunteer house was really peaceful and awesome. I’m really grateful of having the opportunity to meet and work with Nico, Jazmin, Maria-Elena, Drew and Emily and had the chance to meet fantastic volunteers from around the world. This volunteering experience with Give and Surf was a blast and I’m really hoping one day I’ll get back to the island and meet the kids again.




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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 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,, 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! 
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#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.

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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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