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Buenos Vecinos de Boquete Newsletter October 2022


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Our new logo represents a Buenos Vecinos family with a basket of food facing the sunrise and a new day of hope. It was designed and provided at no charge to BVB by the generous and creative team at Chiriqui Media Factory who also produce our newsletter each month. Thank you! You are certainly good neighbors to us!


Family of the Month- Raul’s Family


Up a treacherous road through three running rivers are the two bamboo houses that Raul, 36 years old, his brother Oscar, and Emilio his brother-in-law built when Raul inherited this little tract of land two years ago. Even though there is no electricity or indoor running water, the family does not sleep on the dirt floor. All nine members sleep in hammocks which are stored away on the walls during the day. Currently only Raul’s brother is earning any income. Raul contributes to the family a small monthly disability payment that he receives from the government because he is blind. None of the adults can read or write.

Raul’s mother Cecilia 52, cooks the meals and washes clothes for the family. She hopes one day to have a two-burner propane stove top so she doesn’t have to cook over the outdoor wood stove any longer. She sees that the three school-age children Deika 7, Melquisidet 10 and Carlos 11 are out early enough to make the long and difficult walk to school. Our BVB volunteer who discovered the plight of this family wanted to help them with their most immediate problem, the kids could not attend school because they had no shoes. He drove Raul and the children into the city to a department store, took them on the elevator to the second floor where they bought new shoes and then out to a restaurant for lunch and a strawberry dessert. All of these were new experiences for this family, and he captured a little of the happiness in the photo of Carlos and his new shoes.

Because of the size of Raul’s family, they are receiving a double portion of food each month and will hopefully begin growing their own food from our Food Starter program. These are the types of families in crisis that get our immediate attention.

The Food Starter Program Shows Promise


John Rhoades, Food Starter Coordinator for BVB, reports that after three months of sweet potato slips in all 135 bags, we are beginning to hear about clients who are seeing successful starts in their new gardens. Some of these will be ready to harvest next month. We are also hearing of plants being washed out from the excessive rain, and others being trampled by dogs or kids or eaten by the family’s chickens. Despite these mixed reviews we want to say a heartfelt “Thank you” to our generous donors from Potrerillos Arriba for these more than 400 sweet potato slips. Though they wish to remain anonymous, we won’t forget that that they were our first enthusiastic supporters of this program.

John’s friend Thomas and his employee Tito in Palmira who are helping with this project have now devised a clever way to grow the plants, by planting them in large 1-gallon water jugs filled with amended soil and assisted by plant-starter solution. These vegetables do not need to be transplanted but can grow and produce from the hanging jugs for the entire life of the plants, making it very easy for our clients who only need to water and care for them. We need your help with collecting the one gallon water jugs. Please donate your jugs, like those shown above with the strong handles. Drop them off at the BVB table at the BCP Tuesday Market at the Feria, or email John john@rhoadesdev.com.


Our Sponsors Make Our Work Possible


As you know, Buenos Vecinos de Boquete works ambitiously to serve the community.  Our most important sponsors, however, make our work possible.  As we introduced previously, AgroNosotros is one of our very valued sponsors.  AgroNosotros is a group, composed of a few smaller companies. 

One of these companies is International Coffee Farms, whose coffee is commercialized under the brand Cuatro Caminos.  This company strives to own and operate Specialty Coffee farms in Panama that are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Sustainability is the cornerstone of their business model.  It is not just a buzzword thrown around or a marketing tool.  AgroNosotros believes that with these 3 pillars of sustainability they can produce amazing Specialty Coffee now and for generations to come.  

Another division of AgroNosotros is The Perfect Pair, which serves Cuatro Caminos coffee and who also makes delicious chocolate treats. Every month they make sure that each family we support enjoys their tasty chocolate treats through their product donations. If you want to try some of their specialty coffee and chocolate treats, head right on over to The Perfect Pair in the heart of Boquete, Panama!

Learn more at: https://cuatrocaminoscoffee.com/


IG: perfectpairpanama

Buenos Vecinos de Boquete exists to help people like this, who are unable to meet their basic food needs. We have provided emergency food support on many occasions and have been successful in helping families through hard times. We will help them with food support until the working age adults in the family can find enough income to become self-sustaining.

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If you prefer to donate by cash or local check you can see Louise Orr at the Tuesday Market or contact Trish at buenosvecinos79@gmail.com

Be sure to check out our website and Facebook page:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BuenosVecinosDeBoquete/
Website:  http://www.buenosvecinosdeboquete.com/
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