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An Update On Projects With The Ngobe of Panama

This is just a general update for everyone´s benefit about the projects in the comarca of Panama.

Everyone´s asking, ¨Well, that´s great! I want to help, but how?¨

There are three ways you can help.

1. Donation after paypal and or non profit staus set up (this is taking some time)

2. Donation to the two smaller projects(how to do this is below)

3. Volunteering(details below as well)

What I am working on right now is setting up paypal for Medo, the organization I am working with. I am also hoping for a progress report on their nonprofit status, as this was process was just starting when I left.

One thing to understand, is that while in our culture, things happen pretty quickly, things in other places don´t happen quite as quickly. It doesn´t mean that the people in other places don´t want or deserve your help, it just means its a slower culture in general.

There is also alot more red tape for people in indigenous groups to get things done. They might not have access to everything someone in more mainstream culture has.

The bridge project is such a large project that it may take up to a year to organize it, and it requires more money than the others, so it´s funding..and donations to it specifically, will have to wait for the non profit status to come thru. (Which I´ve been told can take a year in Panama).

So, that´s the state of affairs at the moment. I´m just waiting.

I have told the Ngobe that the two smaller projects (the midwife house and the women´s coop), which together totoal 2,000.00 for everything, could hopefully be completed in a year. This means that they would be done with monies collected before official non profit status happens for Medo.

What I would like to focus on now is these two projects, because they are:

1. Urgent.

2. Showing the people of Cerro Limon and the other communities that they can accomplish something positive, and that their efforts to date will not go unrewarded. (They have been holding community meetings, have donated land, and have found cheap local sources for materials).

The amount of money needed for each project isn´t much, so what I´m trying to do is set up a site about the two projects, which will have a paypal on it, so that you can directly donate to them specifically. Once again, this is taking some time. It seems like I will have more time once in England to really set up both projects and get things done.

Volunteering is also another way to help. You can do this by applying specifically to Medo as a volunteer-just go to, scroll to Panama, then scroll to Medo. All the volunteer applications are sent to me at this point since I am the volunteer coordinator.

Another thing I am thinking about is getting together a group of skilled people from around the world to visit the Ngobe I was working with in 3 years time. The bridge project will be done by then, and the coop and women´s health center will have been up and running for two years, so it would be a good time to visit and evaluate whats next.

Anyone who is interested in something like this should contact me. By keeping the visit within a group context, the visit could be very well coordinated and so on.

So, for those of you who wish to help, please have patience. I will be closely following Medo´s progress regarding the paypal feature and the non profit status of the organization, and depending on how things go in the next few months I will either decide to create my own organization to fund the projects or rely on Medo exclusively.

Thanks for all of the interest….from Girl Scouts to a group of quilters in Iowa to women Buddhist monks in Vietnam, the willingness of all of you to help people less fortunate than yourselves has really moved me.

I have sent some of your responses on to the Ngobe themselves, and it moves them that other people would think their problems are important when they thought they were somewhat forgotten.

I will keep you posted on the progress of the projects and the needs that need to be met.There will be a progress report every few weeks, and as soon as I have a place that you can safely donate, it will be posted on this site. 




5 responses to “An Update On Projects With The Ngobe of Panama”

  1. Tom Stone says:


    What exactly does the bridge project encompass?


  2. I just wanted to thank you very much for this illuminating article. I have already bookmarked your site, when I have more free time I am going to have to do some further browsing. Well back to my dreaming of Panama or back to the books – I wonder which one is going to win out. 🙂

  3. Your post has verified helpful to me. Its really informative and you are obviously really knowledgeable in this area. You have got opened my eyes to varying views on this topic with interesting and solid content material.

  4. Willis Rueb says:

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  5. Regards for helping out, superb info. “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” by William Blake.

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