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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SOMP: 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: #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  #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 #gratitude2 hours until our 5th Annual Back-to-School Fundraiser held at 🚢 HUNDIDO! 
Special thanks to @barcohundidobar and @bocasbrewery for the space and tasty 🍻! HASTA PRONTO! #giveandsurf🙏

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