Give and Surf is an organization Jetset Times is incredibly passionate about. Last year, we traveled to Panama’s Bocas del Toro islands, witnessed a group of young indigenous children receiving outstanding education from G&S. We were so moved by their international volunteers that we asked them to tell their stories. Many have traveled thousands of miles from their hometowns to be involve and teach Panamanian children who otherwise would never have a chance of receiving higher education.
Meet Beatriz Gomes from Brazil, who volunteered earlier in 2014 and is hoping to return and help again this winter. I hope her positive spirit and experience can inspire to make a difference in your own communities. Xo, Wendy
I am Brazilian. I live in São Paulo, the largest city in the country. Unfortunately, social inequality is something that echoes through my town and I am accustomed to stumbling this reality. I had already participated in some social projects in my country, but none have been as intense as this. It was the first time that I left my city life completely to immerse myself into the reality of an indigenous, island community of Bocas del Toro, Panama. I swapped the comfort of my apartment for a house in the jungle, where I had no hot water or electricity. I gave up my shoes and walked barefoot, I dropped my car, bus and metro to adopt the maritime transport as my new commute.
During the period that I spent in Panama I gave 100% of myself to each of the projects: from developing lessons, formulating ideas and organizing the materials. I enjoyed every minute of it, and Bocas del Toro is a piece of paradise. Its natural beauty makes you appreciate the earth even more, but what made me happier was to know that I was giving back to the people who reside there. If I could get one smile from a child a day, it was worth more than a thousand thanks. My contentment is so great that it makes it difficult for me to describe how much the work that I did with Give and Surf changed the way I see my life now. It was an encounter of sensations that were beyond my satisfaction of helping others, but also to meet whom I am personally, to discover myself. I learned to appreciate the small things, to reaffirm my values and the belief that actually, you do not need much to be happy, and that satisfaction is in the little things.
I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in this project at such a young age, it changed my outlook, and now I see that I want to distribute this lesson that I learned in a small community of Panama to many places I will pass in my lifetime.
Jetset Times has partnered with Give and Surf in order to continuously act on our belief that traveling is the best form of education, and that education is a right, not a privilege. Learn more about our “Fuel The Future” fundraiser and donate. Please visit here.