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Buenos Vecinos de Boquete Newsletter December 2020


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A Message from our Chairwoman Louise Orr

For all of us, 2020 will be remembered as a most challenging year. For the needy of our community, the challenge was amplified by poverty and isolation. At the beginning of the pandemic, Buenos Vecinos de Boquete realized that we would not be able to meet and pack food as usual. However, with ingenuity and hard work, we were ultimately able to reach about 85% of our families from March through August with their food packs. Many thanks go to Susan Peterson and Migdalia Rios at Fundacion Pro Integracion for arranging the food pick-ups for the families who normally get their packs at the Fundacion. Additional thanks to Carmen and Luis Botero, and the BVB volunteers who live in Portrellios; they managed to juggle schedules and food packs to reach the clients in that area. By September we were able to return to our normal monthly schedule, but within the required MINSA guidelines and those of the Fundacion Pro Integracion, limiting our team members who pack indoors, and conducting an outdoor meeting for the rest of the team. The flood relief effort spurred by our November newsletter was very successful, with close to $3,400 raised to help those in need. What a generous community Boquete always proves itself to be! And our corporate donor, Agronosotros, made 2020 less stressful with their generous financial support. And that doesn’t even include the addition of delicious chocolate bars from their own A Perfect Pair shop to our food packs…..what a sweet note to end a difficult year! The service Buenos Vecinos provides to our needy neighbors would not be possible without the kind hearts and support of you, our Boquete community, as well as our friends in the USA who know and appreciate what we do. Thank you to all, and may your New Year be bright!
Louise Orr Chairwoman,
Buenos Vecinos de Boquete

BVB Flood and Landslide Relief Fund and Volunteer Efforts Help Hundreds of Local Families


Last month we made our newsletter and social media readers aware of the devastating conditions that thousands of local families were now enduring because of massive flooding and landslides up in the farm country of Chiriqui, in the comarca (indigenous reservation) of Soloy, and in the southwestern coastal area of Puerto Armuelles. The dramatic outpouring of concern, almost $3400 dollars in monetary donations, and volunteer labor has made a real difference in the lives of many people in these areas. So many of you gave generously and without reservation. We want to sincerely thank you.

One of our first efforts was organized and executed by BVB member Laura Daniel, whose San Juan Bautista Church in Boquete had already collected clothing and bedding. Laura recommended that BVB supplement her church’s efforts with a food donation from BVB. Given the go-ahead, she ordered the food, packed it for each family, loaded it into the family truck and delivered it to the Catholic church and Padre Adonai in San Felix. They coordinated the delivery to its final destination, Soloy, an isolated comarca whose people suffered great loss of property when the nearby river flooded. The families there were thrilled with all this help coming right to their doorstep.

Within a week, we learned that Global Food Providers, a local organization that teaches locals and international visitors how to grow and preserve super-foods, was donating and distributing these vegetables from their large greenhouse farm to people in the most vulnerable communities. Our donation to their efforts made it possible for them to purchase and transport even more fresh food to these families during GFP’s very next visit.

We also recognized the need to help those impacted by the flooding in the Puerto Armuelles area.  A dam failed and 2000 families were displaced when their homes were swept away. BVB members Carmen and Luis Botero and Trish and Brian Christofferson contacted Padre Teodoro from the Parroquia San Antonio Mission in the area, and with BVB-donated funds they ordered food from a Boquete wholesaler, packed it and personally transported it down to the mission. Even though there was an initial flood relief response from the government and other organizations, there was still a critical need for more food; Padre Teodoro and his staff told our members that their delivery was very timely and deeply appreciated.

On Christmas Eve Day, three BVB members drove to Volcan to underwrite a special meal and meet the staff at Fanny’s Restaurant and Cocina Solidaria as they prepared 250 holiday meals and gift bags for the families of the Tierra Altas District. There are one-hundred affected families in the river valley between Volcan and Cerro Punta, most of them field-workers, who lost everything when the floods and mudslides tore through their humble living quarters. But the community came together with a food prep army known as Cocina Solidaria; three restaurants, including Fanny’s, and three private kitchens prepared 52,197 meals within a 27-day period and served them in community shelters. The remainder of the BVB donation will be monitored by Carla Black, a well-known and respected community member, who will work with the local Representante to insure that the food purchases are distributed to the flood victims in greatest need.

A special thanks goes to the Boquete Knitters (and crocheters) and Quilters organization who donated hundreds of homemade sweaters, hats, booties, blankets, quilts and toys. These much-needed clothes for the kids will keep them warm during the cool mountain nights. Kids and parents eyes lit up as they claimed these soft and colorful items.


Visit our website www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com and go to Gallery to view more photos of kids and families you have helped with your generous donations.

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!
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