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Buenos Vecinos de Boquete

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About Buenos Vecinos de Boquete

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  • Full Real Name:
    Trish Christofferson
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    Live and/or work in Chiriqui
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    In Chiriqui
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  1. View this email in your browser Panama Relocation Tours Our friend Jackie Lange, the owner and tour operator of Panama Relocation Tours, tells us about her business and about her support for Buenos Vecinos de Boquete: “Since 2010 Panama Relocation Tours has been offering six-day all-inclusive tours of Panama for those who are considering relocating. The tour travels throughout Panama while we’re educating people about all the things they need to know to have a smooth stress-free move to Panama. We’ve completed more than one hundred and twenty tours. Sixty-five percent of our clients relocate to Panama within six months, and another ten percent relocate within a year. We’ve taught thousands of people how to relocate to Panama and many have moved to Boquete. Some have even found volunteer opportunities. In fact, I heard about Buenos Vecinos from some of my former clients who had made Boquete their home and then joined BVB as volunteers. Because I am so busy with my tour business I’m not able to donate my time, so I support BVB and other organizations financially instead. I believe that Boquete is blessed to have organizations like BVB and its team of volunteers who go above and beyond to help the needy in our community. It’s one of the many things that makes Boquete a special place to live.” Buenos Vecinos is grateful to Jackie for her commitment and support. We hope Panama Relocation Tours can soon resume its services once again. We extend our best wishes for her continued success bringing new members to our community, people who are well-educated about their new home and who are eager to become involved in the life of our community. To learn more about Jackie’s company, visit PanamaRelocationTours.com Family of the Month June 2020 Valeria’s Family There was excitement and anticipation in the air as Valeria’s children prepared to begin a new school year on March 3rd. Months of saving every dollar, and combining it with the government’s small education subsidy was finally enough so Valeria could purchase new school clothes, shoes and backpacks full of school supplies. However, the excitement was short-lived. The three school-age children, Elmer 9, Abraham 8 and Belkin 7, were only two weeks into this school year when the Covid-19 quarantine closed their school and sent the children into confinement at home. The only one who was happy about the situation was their little eighteen-month old brother Yejon; he had regained his playmates! Home is a large but modest structure made of tin. Though there’s no electricity or running water in the house, they have a propane two-burner stove in their kitchen. This stove gets a real workout because the most remarkable thing about this house is the number of occupants. Twelve! Valeria and her four children have welcomed into their home their grandmother, Valeria’s three sisters and three of a sister’s children. The activity and busyness of this extended family has been a welcome distraction from Valeria’s sadness and financial situation. Sixteen months ago Valeria’s husband and the children’s father died from drowning, a tragic accident that plunged this little family into even greater poverty. Yejon was only three months old, and besides raising children, cooking and washing clothes, Valeria’s only other skills were sewing and crocheting. Now she, her mother and three sisters sew native dresses and crochet small bags to provide a small income for them all. Even so, the appearance of the Buenos Vecinos volunteers bringing food to supplement this family’s meager pantry each month is a very welcome sight. How to Help If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It’s important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase of food for out clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $400 a year or a little more than $33 a month, you become a Coconut Foundation Member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you! Copyright © 2020 Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, All rights reserved. Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
  2. Family of the Month May 2020 Manuel's Family What Manuel lacks in height and weight he makes up in character, heart and humility. Now sixty-two, he has always been the sole income provider for his family. His wife Florentina stays home to care for their two-year old grandson Victor while their daughter Flor attends classes in David. As the only male model in this family, Manuel takes great pride in helping raise, guide and love this little boy. Last fall, before his sudden illness, subsequent surgery and long recovery period, Manuel was the gardener and groundskeeper for three local families. He had already shown himself to be a reliable and capable worker. He ably demonstrated those qualities when one of his employers, an elderly woman in her 70s, fell during the night and lay on the floor until Manuel’s arrival at 7 a.m. After making her comfortable he called the neighbors and an ambulance to take her to the hospital. He is so much more than an “employee”; he is a trusted friend and assistant. All of them very much miss his diligent work on their properties, his cheerful outlook and his thoughtful ideas. Manuel assures them that he is looking forward to resuming his work as soon as he regains his full strength. He says that he is not use to looking to others to help feed his family and he feels embarrassed, but he also admits that he is grateful for every bag of rice and basket of staples. With Victor standing beside him, Manuel shared how excited everyone gets when the Buenos Vecinos volunteers arrive each month. He added, “We thank God that you always remember us and give us this food with a smile.” How to Help If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It’s important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase of food for out clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $400 a year or a little more than $33 a month, you become a Coconut Foundation Member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  3. View this email in your browser N&N Catering Company N&N Catering Company started in 2015 when two good friends, Nancy Halbert and Nairn Cutten, were discussing how they could contribute to the Boquete community. Both friends are excellent cooks, and Nancy had experience in the States with a Christian ministry that fed the homeless, serving up to 200 meals a day. Soon N&N Catering was born. Over the ensuing years, N&N catered many events, both intimate home dinners and large public occasions. They charged only for their food costs and profits earned from ticketed events were donated to their three chosen beneficiaries: Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, The Handicap Foundation, and Boquete Health and Hospice. On many occasions the ladies absorbed their food costs and catered free of charge. In addition, they donated funds to individuals and groups that needed immediate assistance. Nairn says that “Buenos Vecinos has always been an organization close to our hearts; we love the work BVB does for the community and beyond.” Buenos Vecinos certainly appreciates the generous and consistent support from N&N Catering. The monthly food packs provided by BVB to our families are not as delicious as the food prepared by N&N! But Nancy and Nairn share the BVB focus on food as a tool to assist the needy, or simply for sheer pleasure. Thank you, N&N Catering, for all you do! Family of the Month May 2020 Manuel's Family What Manuel lacks in height and weight he makes up in character, heart and humility. Now sixty-two, he has always been the sole income provider for his family. His wife Florentina stays home to care for their two-year old grandson Victor while their daughter Flor attends classes in David. As the only male model in this family, Manuel takes great pride in helping raise, guide and love this little boy. Last fall, before his sudden illness, subsequent surgery and long recovery period, Manuel was the gardener and groundskeeper for three local families. He had already shown himself to be a reliable and capable worker. He ably demonstrated those qualities when one of his employers, an elderly woman in her 70s, fell during the night and lay on the floor until Manuel’s arrival at 7 a.m. After making her comfortable he called the neighbors and an ambulance to take her to the hospital. He is so much more than an “employee”; he is a trusted friend and assistant. All of them very much miss his diligent work on their properties, his cheerful outlook and his thoughtful ideas. Manuel assures them that he is looking forward to resuming his work as soon as he regains his full strength. He says that he is not use to looking to others to help feed his family and he feels embarrassed, but he also admits that he is grateful for every bag of rice and basket of staples. With Victor standing beside him, Manuel shared how excited everyone gets when the Buenos Vecinos volunteers arrive each month. He added, “We thank God that you always remember us and give us this food with a smile.” Buenos Vecinos and Handicap Foundation Emergency Food Packing The past six weeks have been a challenging time for our community and especially for those who already live in poverty and are served by Buenos Vecinos de Boquete and Fundacion Pro-Integracion (Handicap Foundation). Because of the quarantine and social distancing restrictions we have been unable to provide for our families with our usual food services. We were, however, able to reach a number of our families through the efforts of volunteers in a small community close to Boquete and Migdalia at the Handicap Foundation. In March and April Buenos Vecinos packed and delivered food to 25 families that live in an area just outside of Boquete. Volunteers included BVB members as well as community members. This was accomplished observing the social distancing guidelines and staying within the two hour time allotted to them by the government. In March Migdalia, the office manager of the Handicap Foundation, packed food for families that are clients of Buenos Vecinos and the Handicap Foundation She did the packing alone using her two hours on her allowed day. She was able to get a permit from the mayor on the second packing day to be able to work the full day and complete the job. In total, Migdalia packed food for 39 families with food received from Ro-Her on the Buenos Vecinos de Boquete credit account. In April Migdalia was able to get a permit from the mayor to work all day on “ladies’” days to pack the food. This most recent purchase was paid for by Fundación Pro Integración and will include the 6 families that receive food through Amigos de Boquete, for a total of 45 families. Amigos de Boquete has assumed the responsibility of delivering the food to their people. With our combined efforts we were able to reach most of our clients the past two months. We are looking forward to the day when we can meet and pack for all of our families and make our deliveries as usual. How to Help If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It’s important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase of food for out clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $400 a year or a little more than $33 a month, you become a Coconut Foundation Member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you! Copyright © 2020 Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, All rights reserved. Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
  4. Buenos Vecinos de Boquete April, 2020 Family Update Benilda and Her Family When six-year old Jahicha met us a year and a half ago she told us to “say her name right”. Zha-he’-cha, she insisted with a smile. She told us how excited she was to be joining her brothers and sisters at school the next school year. She loved the smell of their new pencils and notebooks and was eager to have her own. This year, some “angels” in the area bought school supplies for her and her siblings. They had just begun the new school year on March 2nd when a few days later the Panama Department of Education closed the schools to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Not only did school end, so did their education; the public school system does not possess the mechanism to provide on-line education. But she hopes that her older siblings might help her practice her new reading and math skills. Jahicha looks up to her nineteen-year old brother Alexander. He became the “man of the house” three years ago when his father abandoned his mother and seven brothers and sisters. Alexander had enrolled in a trade school in David to become an electrician. He wanted to help his mom, Benilda, and the rest of the family. Bringing home $240 a month, she has been the sole income-provider with her three weekly house-cleaning jobs, but those jobs have now been suspended. And yet, this family feels fortunate. Their bamboo house with its dirt floor and sturdy roof still keeps out the rain and, although there is no running water in the house, they do have electricity so that they can read and play games inside after sunset. Benilda says that she and the children want to thank Buenos Vecinos for the food they provide each month. It’s become a lifeline during this very hard time in their lives. How to help? If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It is important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase or storage of food for our clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $360 a year or $30 a month (about the cost of a daily latte), you will become a Coconut Foundation member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  5. I think a government agency would be able to do something that our small group of volunteers couldn't do. The majority of our families are clients of the Handicap Foundation. It has worked seamlessly to pack the food there and then they pick it up when they come to the Saturday gatherings at the Foundation. They are scattered all about the Boquete area with some of them living in remote areas. With the current restrictions it was an impossible task to get the food to them. We are planning on giving them double allotments when we are able to pack again. We feel terrible about the situation but there weren't any other options for us. I hope that there will be a government agency in our area that will address their food needs. As soon as the restrictions lift to the point where we can do a pack, we will do it.
  6. Buenos Vecinos de Boquete in the Time of Corona Virus March 2020 Our group was unable to pack for the 100+ families that we normally pack for each month in March. The majority of our clients come to the Handicap Foundation to get their food. The Foundation is closed and now the buses aren’t running. We didn’t have a way to deliver to all of those clients. It was with careful thought and consideration that the March food packing was cancelled. We will compensate our clients for the food they missed this month with our future packings. We do, however, have a group of 19 clients concentrated in a rural area within our Boquete designated parameters. The representante of this district identified six other families who are also in dire need of food. The Bunenos Vecinos volunteers living in this area quickly arranged with our wholesale food supplier, Ro-Her, to order and pick up the usual food allotments for the 25 families. The food was picked up and we packed it with the help of some neighbors who volunteered to assist us. It was a local community effort. The food was delivered in the last two days during our allowed two hours to be away from home. We have some photos of some of the grateful families receiving the food while our volunteers kept the recommended social distance. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous donors who have made it possible for us to be a food support service to our community for the past fourteen years. We are especially grateful at this time that we are able to assist at least a portion of our clients and we hope to be back to full support soon. How to help? If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It is important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase or storage of food for our clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $360 a year or $30 a month (about the cost of a daily latte), you will become a Coconut Foundation member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  7. January 2020 Family of the Month Updates Aida has been a Buenos Vecinos client for eight years. When we first met Aida her oldest granddaughter, Danila, was ten and her youngest great-granddaughter, Yorlenys, was three. There were also two other children in the house; a grandson, Davis and a great-granddaughter, Cyndel. Aida cared for these children by herself and has always been appreciative of the food support she receives from Buenos Vecinos. In the ensuing years most of the children have moved away and Aida has developed health problems. She has joint pain and has trouble sleeping. Yorlenys is the remaining child at home and now she is caring for her grandmother instead of her grandmother taking care of her. Of course she still attends school during the day. You will see in the last photo Yorlenys when we met her and she was only three. Aida was an exemplary caregiver of her charges. She was determined that they studied and did well in school. Danila has greatly benefitted from this expectation. When she finished elementary and it was time to go to high school, she received scholarships first to a Catholic boarding school and then because of her outstanding grades she had a full scholarship to a government boarding school that specializes in agriculture. She recently graduated from this school with a high school diploma. She excelled in both schools she attended and is eligible for a scholarship to study in the United States. Portugal or Mexico. Danila now has a wonderful opportunity for higher education because of the encouragement and support Aida gave her when she was younger. There is another family that we have been delivering food to for a number of years. The father is disabled and there is one child left living at home. She recently graduated from high school. She has a full scholarship based on academic achievement and plans to attend university in David. Her father proudly told us today that his daughter is going to have a better life. It has been inspiring watching these young people grow up and to see the value that has been placed on education for them. Even though Buenos Vecinos is strictly a food charity it is clear that we are in some small way supporting families who value education by providing help for their nutritional needs. In the next two photos below you will see Aida’s family when we first met them and Yorlenys and Danila with Aida today. It is clear to see that hard work and caring for others shows on Aida’s face. How to help? If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It is important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase or storage of food for our clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $360 a year or $30 a month (about the cost of a daily latte), you will become a Coconut Foundation member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  8. View this email in your browser BVB Posts a YouTube Video with “Oscar On the Streets” Recently, Oscar Peña, talented interviewer and Boquete Ning personality, visited Buenos Vecinos de Boquete on one of our food-packing days to find out more about the organization, its mission and who it serves, how it operates and how it delivers its food to the client families. He spoke with Louise Orr, our chairwoman, and visited the homes of three of our families. Click on the video below to view the short eleven-minute presentation and to see how Oscar illuminates the highlights of BVB. Many of our Spanish-speaking “Good Neighbors” might learn some new things about Buenos Vecinos they hadn't known before. Gracias, Oscar! Louise Orr and Oscar Peña Family of the Month- December 2019 Meet Marcelina’s Family Tucked away in the remote highlands is a one room 12X12 foot wooden structure. Marcelina and her six children call this humble dwelling home. When we arrived for the first food delivery only the three younger children, six-year-old identical twin girls and a 2-year-old boy with solemn brown eyes, were there with their mom. The three older children are boys aged 10-16 who were all in school. When asked why the girls weren’t in school Marcelina sadly replied that they couldn’t go to school because they didn’t have shoes. The wooden structure is situated on agricultural property with tomato plants and various vegetables being grown for commercial use. The family doesn’t own the property and they are being allowed to live there. Marcelina is unable to work because she is caring for her children. She doesn’t receive any child support and essentially has no income. The electricity that is available to them comes from an extension cord connected to her mother’s house about 100 meters away. It is obvious that Marcelina values education and encourages her children to go to school. Her oldest son lives with a relative who resides closer to the high school he attends. The younger brother attends the same high school but, because he prefers to live at home with his mother and siblings, he has to get up at four each morning to catch two buses to get there on time. The 10-year-old son attends the local school which is still a long trek from his home. Measures will be taken to insure that the two girls, Raquel and Daniela, have shoes to wear to school when the next term begins. In spite of what would be for us dire living conditions, the girls and little boy seem happy. The girls gave us a lively tour of the trail between their house and their grandmother’s house through the sugar cane. At one point Raquel snatched a piece of fruit from a sour orange tree and ate it like candy. It makes one pucker just to think of it. The little boy, Esteban, had a broken cell phone that he held up to his face like he was taking photos of us. He never changed his serious demeanor. This is another one of our families that truly benefit from the food supplement received from Buenos Vecinos. Hopefully, families who live in such poverty at the very least will not have to worry about having food for their children. It is a goal to help our families to encourage their children to pursue education as a means of improving their lives. Marcelina is a good example of a mother who places importance on education and the future when her older sons go to school when they could be working to provide income to the family. How to Help If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It’s important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase of food for out clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $400 a year or a little more than $33 a month, you become a Coconut Foundation Member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you! Copyright © 2019 Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, All rights reserved. Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.
  9. Thank you Oscar for your latest Oscar on the Streets video featuring Buenos Vecinos de Boqute!!
  10. September 2019 Family of the Month Update Jon’s Family Four-year old Jon is still too little to join his five brothers on the long walk to school each day, but he is eagerly looking forward to next year when he can dress in a white shirt, long pants, and put on his first pair of real shoes. He and his family live in a two-room corrugated tin house held together with bamboo strips. Only the door lets in fresh air and light during the day. The dirt floor is uneven and becomes muddy during the rainy season even where the tin and tarp roof doesn’t leak. With no source of running water indoors, showering and other hygiene activities are difficult. And without electricity bedtime comes early for this family. Jon’s mom cooks in an outdoor shack on a wood stove. The cauldron on the open fire goes from sun-up to sundown cooking beans, rice and root vegetables for this hungry household. Occasionally an old hen becomes the prized centerpiece of the meal. Everything and everyone smells like the campfire. The family is oblivious to the smoke and its hazard to their current and long-term health. Jon’s dad is a machete worker just as his own father was. Sometimes he helps neighbors harvest sugar cane, chayote or tomatoes. Now that his oldest son, Adrian, will pass the sixth grade in December and will no longer be required to attend school, he and his father will soon work together in the fields. Jon’s family illustrates why Buenos Vecinos de Boquete is so important to this community. There is little support from the government for those who are near or at the poverty level. The family has made little progress toward a better future for the boys, but Buenos Vecinos has been a source of encouragement and monthly supplemental food, a consistent and dependable lifeline. BVB supplements the food store for this family and almost a hundred others every month. How to Help If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It’s important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase of food for out clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $400 a year or a little more than $33 a month, you become a Coconut Foundation Member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  11. Stop by Romero in Boquete between 9 AM and 5 PM on Saturday, September 14, to support Buenos Vecinos de Boquete during our upcoming Food Drive. Our locally-based effort assists needy community families with monthly, non-perishable food supplies. We will have samples of what you can buy at Romero to aid our work, and of course, financial assistance is always appreciated. Shop for food that you (and we) need, and meet members of our team! See below a photo of the food our clients receive each month:
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    Stop by Romero in Boquete between 9 AM and 5 PM on Saturday, September 14, to support Buenos Vecinos de Boquete during our upcoming Food Drive. Our locally-based effort assists needy community families with monthly, non-perishable food supplies. We will have samples of what you can buy at Romero to aid our work, and of course, financial assistance is always appreciated. Shop for food that you (and we) need, and meet members of our team!
  13. Family of the Month Update Diana’s Family It’s gratifying to revisit our clients and to see their progress over the years. Many have either moved up to become financially self-sufficient or have simply moved out of the Buenos Vecinos service area. Diana is an example of someone who did both. She recently reached out to BVB to tell us how life has changed for her and her sons, six year-old Angel and eight year-old Bryan. When they first became Buenos Vecinos recipients in 2015 they were renting a 10 x 12 room from a family who paid her $10 a day to clean their house. Even with a meager monthly contribution from the boys’ father, she was barely able to pay the modest rent and other monthly living expenses. As sometimes happens, concerned neighbors referred her to BVB volunteers who vet our prospective clients, and she was quickly accepted. However, Diana’s greatest challenge was Angel’s medical condition and accompanying expenses. Born with a severe cleft palate and lip, he had feeding and sleeping problems, frequent ear infections and asthma. He wore a small green palate protection device at home or, when away from home, a tape over his lip to hide the defect from curious stares. At that time, as seen in the photo on the left, four year-old Bryan was learning how to make funny faces and two year-old Angel was already becoming self-conscious around cameras. In 2016 a doctor at the local medical clinic helped Diana contact Operation Smile, an international medical charity based in Virginia. They provide free surgeries in developing countries for young adults and children requiring maxillofacial reconstruction. After a series of three incremental surgeries and a year and a half of speech therapy, Angel is on his way to a complete recovery. His appearance and health have dramatically improved as you can see in the photo on the right. Diana and the boys now live in a house that she shares with another single mom. She has a full-time housekeeping job in a nearby hotel. Both boys are doing well in school, although Bryan has needed some help learning to read. Diana is proud that she can now support her family and looks forward to a better future for them all. She has never forgotten how BVB helped her family eat during a difficult time in their lives. She wants our donors to know how grateful she has been for their help. How to Help If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It’s important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase of food for out clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $400 a year or a little more than $33 a month, you become a Coconut Foundation Member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  14. Family of the Month- April 2019 Meet Mariano's Family Mariano lives with his mother Iris and four siblings in a two room house provided by the government. It has no indoor bath room, no indoor water and no electricity. Iris struggles to feed and clothe her children, ages one to seventeen but she knows that education is important for all of them. Eleven year old Elizabet and five year old Eric have just begun their school year. However, Mariano’s older brother, Rogelio, was not able to afford school clothes and materials last semester or for this semester. He is endeavoring to find a way to return this year by finding nearby work, but has not yet been successful. Mariano, seen here on the left, is a typical sixteen year-old boy. He loves to hang out with his friends, to play jokes on his siblings, and to “fit in” with the people around him. He is a bright, attentive, and happy young man, but he lives with a disability that affects him every day. When he was three weeks old he suffered an ear infection and high fever that went undiagnosed for two months, leaving him almost completely deaf; now he can communicate only with sign language and gestures. Until recently he depended on the Handicap Center (FPI) for transportation expenses to the public school a few days each week where he participated in special education classes for the hearing impaired. This year is beginning well for Mariano; he is now starting to take a welding course at the Obispado in David. Currently FPI is supporting him, but ideally some person or organization will step forward to take over this modest financial commitment to Mariano’s future and to also provide him some attention and the encouragement that he needs to follow this important path. Iris believes that despite his disability, this training could prepare him to live a full, happy and productive life. Iris says that she is grateful to FPI for all the things they do for Mariano and to Buenos Vecinos for providing her family non-perishable food. This BVB donation to their pantry is one they can depend on every month, she said with a smile. How to help? If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It is important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase or storage of food for our clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $360 a year or $30 a month, you will become a Coconut Foundation member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you!
  15. View this email in your browser Buenos Vecinos de Boquete Newsletter April 2019 International Coffee Farms Corporations Joins Buenos Vecinos Food Delivery Representatives of International Coffee Farms Corporation Luz and Sawang joined Buenos Vecinos members on a food delivery in March. We are grateful to have ICFC as our corporate sponsors. It was a pleasure to have Luz and Sawang meet our clients and help with the delivery. All of the clients we delivered to on this trip are elderly and do not have a financial safety net. The majority of them are bachelors without any close family members to live with and care for them. The rest are elderly women whose families are struggling to provide for them. They all welcome the food support they receive from Buenos Vecinos every month. One of our stops was at Chichi’s. He lives alone in a tin house, suffers from diabetes and is unable to work. There is a government program in the area to build small cinder block houses for qualifying residents who are living on a poverty level. Chichi tells us that he is going to be living in one of those houses soon. Luz is pictured in the photos and Sawang was the photographer. We delivered food to Octavio’s niece Mariela. Octavio is in his 80s and lives in a one room house provided by government next door to Mariela. Mariela cooks the food that we deliver for Octavio. A resident of Potrerillos, Nino Espinosa, has been helping with our food deliveries for eleven years. We appreciate his involvement and help with our program. Aida has been one of our clients for nine years. Over the years she has been the caregiver for numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Now Aida is starting to lose her mobility and her grandchildren need to help take care of her. Rosa is a breast cancer survivor. Her caregiver is her daughter who has a disabled child. Rosa is always happy to see us. Boquete Has Heart Sponsors Another Successful Fund-Raiser Last month’s Casino Night was not only an evening of wonderful food and fun, it also provided two local charities, Amigos de Animales de Boquete and Buenos Vecinos de Boquete some much-appreciated funding for their programs. The proceeds from the event admissions and, most especially from the silent action, will purchase the non-perishable food BVB provides on a monthly basis for eight families for an entire year. This is a tremendous boost and we want to thank not only those who attended and bid on the silent auction items, but also all the volunteers who spent months planning and then executing this event. And at the top of the list, a heart-felt thank you goes out to each of our generous donors who have shown us how much they care about our programs and our community. Bamboo Spa Look Good Panama Beth Abrahams Lori Cloutier Niscoromni Big Daddy's Janie Pageau Bocas Del Mar Hotel and Resort John and Liz Wiseman Boulder 54 Maria Bonita Taqueria Boquete Outdoor Adventure Morton's Bakehouse Byron and Dede Basden N&N Catering Cafe Central at Hotel Central Boquete Perfect Pair Casa Viejo Season's Restaurant /Lucero Golf Club Chop Sticks Restaurant Sharon Ball Dra. Vanessa Lambiz Show Pony Resort Fabric Art by Sylvette Day Sugar amd Spice Felipe Motta Terrace Bistro in Volcan George's Fireside Grill The Boquete Sandwich Shop Gijs and Hanny Hoogerkamp The Tree House at Rio Encantado Gluten Free Gold Bakery and Restaurant Las Olas Resort The Garden Restaurant and Country Yolanda Vega Store Family of the Month- April 2019 Meet Mariano's Family Mariano lives with his mother Iris and four siblings in a two room house provided by the government. It has no indoor bath room, no indoor water and no electricity. Iris struggles to feed and clothe her children, ages one to seventeen but she knows that education is important for all of them. Eleven year old Elizabet and five year old Eric have just begun their school year. However, Mariano’s older brother, Rogelio, was not able to afford school clothes and materials last semester or for this semester. He is endeavoring to find a way to return this year by finding nearby work, but has not yet been successful. Mariano, seen here on the left, is a typical sixteen year-old boy. He loves to hang out with his friends, to play jokes on his siblings, and to “fit in” with the people around him. He is a bright, attentive, and happy young man, but he lives with a disability that affects him every day. When he was three weeks old he suffered an ear infection and high fever that went undiagnosed for two months, leaving him almost completely deaf; now he can communicate only with sign language and gestures. Until recently he depended on the Handicap Center (FPI) for transportation expenses to the public school a few days each week where he participated in special education classes for the hearing impaired. This year is beginning well for Mariano; he is now starting to take a welding course at the Obispado in David. Currently FPI is supporting him, but ideally some person or organization will step forward to take over this modest financial commitment to Mariano’s future and to also provide him some attention and the encouragement that he needs to follow this important path. Iris believes that despite his disability, this training could prepare him to live a full, happy and productive life. Iris says that she is grateful to FPI for all the things they do for Mariano and to Buenos Vecinos for providing her family non-perishable food. This BVB donation to their pantry is one they can depend on every month, she said with a smile. How to help? If you would like to help our clients and the efforts of Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, we would appreciate your donation of any size. It is important for you to know that we are a small all-volunteer force with no administrative or overhead costs. Every dollar of your donation goes to the purchase or storage of food for our clients. When you make that important decision to help feed the less fortunate in our community, you have truly become a “good neighbor”. When you donate $360 a year or $30 a month, you will become a Coconut Foundation member as an acknowledgment of your concern and generosity. Donate Online: We use PayPal for easy and secure transactions. If you prefer to donate by cash or local check, please contact Louise Orr panamaleo@gmail.com for arrangements. Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page: Face book page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/ Website: http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/ Thank you! This email was sent to trishchristofferson@gmail.com why did I get this? unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences Buenos Vecinos de Boquete · Boquete, Chiriqui · Panama City · Panama
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