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Buenos Vecinos de Boquete Newsletter July 2020


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The Boquete Bridge Club


The Boquete Bridge Club was started about fifteen year ago by Penny Barrett and the late Irene Haines; the current president is John Sandeen. The club for intermediate players of duplicate bridge usually hosts sixteen to twenty players, although the participant numbers can increase by another four to eight during the winter months when visitors from the North come to Boquete to escape the cold.

All the players put in a dollar before the beginning of the game which is donated to the Handicap Foundation and to Buenos Vecinos de Boquete. This is a unique way for a social group to support a local charity. Both Penny and Irene found BVB to be a natural choice for this generous and consistent donation, as both women have been involved with both Buenos Vecinos and the Handicap Foundation. Indeed, Irene was the co-founder of BVB in the early 2000’s, and its chairman for many years. Her legacy lives on and her devotion to Buenos Vecinos is well-remembered. We at BVB thank the Bridge Club members for their continued financial support.

If you are interested in joining the club, contact John at dvjackson@earthlink.net. The group enjoys lunch on Wednesdays at noon at Big Daddy’s and then plays bridge from 1 PM-4 PM.

Family of the Month July 2020 Brayen’s Family


When Briseida was twelve-years old, her mother Raquel gave birth to a baby boy she named Brayen. Two months later the infant contracted meningitis and was taken to a Panama City hospital where he slipped into a coma. Weeks later when he recovered, the doctors diagnosed him with meningitis and a hydropcephalic condition that would require several surgeries throughout the years to insert and replace shunts. However, Brayen was now blind, and later was unable to speak or walk. He also required frequent medication to control convulsions caused by the meningitis. At the time, the doctor gave Raquel his samples of this medicine, but now that source is not available and she has no way to pay for it.

Today Brayen, now fourteen, and his mother Raquel live with Briseida and her four children in a small makeshift tin and bamboo house surrounded by sugarcane fields. The landowner has granted her the right to live in this house and tend a small garden rent-free. Brayen’s time is spent inside his tiny windowless bedroom or outside in his donated wheelchair. He delights at the vibrations when the children tap on the arms of his chair and embrace or tickle him. Besides his mother who devotes all her time to him, Britany, Briseida’s ten-year old daughter, is Brayen’s most abiding playmate and companion.

Britany is a bright curious child who loves school and learning; she keenly misses attending school during this pandemic. She says that she wants to learn English so she can go to the United States and become a doctor one day. Then she would return to Panama and help people like her Uncle Brayen, she added.

Britany, her four-year old sister Kristel and her two-year old brother Kristian, welcomed another sibling to the family when Briseida gave birth to Edward three months ago. Kristian and Edward’s father gives Briseida $70 a month for their care and this is currently her only income. However, he is also paying $20 a month for Briseida’s new sewing machine. She is now making dresses for her family and plans to make naguas (indigenous dresses) to sell to other ladies in the area. This income will help her not only afford food for the family, but will also cover her $6 monthly electric bill, as well as Brayen’s adult diapers and convulsion medicine. Briseida and her family are BVB’s most recent clients and they are about to receive their first food basket this month. Raquel speaks for the entire family when she says, “This is going to make our family so happy!”

Our Food Packs Return to Normal

Buenos Vecinos de Boquete had our first official packing for all of our clients at the end of June. The three previous months we were able to reach almost all of our families with the efforts of our volunteers and Migdalia at the Handicap Foundation (FPI). In June we had a small group of volunteers to ensure social distancing while packing the food and we all wore face masks. It was gratifying to know that all of our families received food in June. We were also able to add six new families for our packing. A small group of us are planning this week to do another full packing with all of the precautions in place. We have added even more families since our last packing and thanks to many generous donations we have received we hope to continue to serve even more families.
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:
Thank you!
Copyright © 2020 Buenos Vecinos de Boquete, All rights reserved.
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Buenos Vecinos de Boquete
Boquete, Chiriqui
Panama City

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