Fundacion Calicanto

Calicanto is a community based organization dedicated to safeguarding the historic and human heritage of Panama City's inner city historic district through social, educational, cultural, and conservation programs and initiatives.
Feb 19, 2013

Difficulties Encountered Enrolling Domaira

Dear friend,

Can you imagine the happiness Domaira felt when she heard that you had sponsored her education? 

We gave Domaira the great news that her scholarship had been paid for by a Global Giving donor and she was so thrilled that her eyes began to water. Since she graduated CAPTA, she has been working as a housekeeper in a hotel near her home and doing very well for herself. She has established several goals, including completing her education; so it came as a shock to her to hear that a friend of Fundacion Calicanto would sponsor her.

Domaira studied in a remote area in Panama called Darien and only reached the second grade. She tried to contact the small school where she studied but they could not locate any records for her. Her family has no knowledge of where this documentation could be and without it, she cannot enroll in school. Domaira was very disappointed to learn that this would become another challenge for her but we are keeping her motivated and helping her find other alternatives. She is now contacting the Ministry of Education to see if they can help her find the documentation she needs.

Unfortunately, not all stories can always be great stories. Fundacion Calicanto is helping Domaira as much as possible to guide her in the right direction and we are searching for schools that will allow her to enroll without transcripts.  We are considering, having her start from first grade since this search has not lead us to any documentation that will prove she studied at all.

As a donor and a person clearly interested in supporting this young girl complete her education, I ask you to be a little more patient. We are searching all possible avenues to enroll Domaira in school but it may be another month until we get any clear response from the Ministry of Education.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fundacioncalicanto.org

Jan 10, 2013

Fundacion Calicanto Celebrates 15 Years!

President Vasquez and CAPTA graduates
President Vasquez and CAPTA graduates

2012 marked 15 years of successful community work with Fundacion Calicanto. Our end of year celebration for these 15 years was shared with volunteers, beneficiaries and personnel who all shared with us one night of food, prizes and music!

The end of year celebration counted with over 70 guests including the first CAPTA participants who are now sharing stories about their jobs and the houses they are buying. ENLACES parents shared stories about their children growth in the program. And the ENLACES children sneaked in to celebrate too! 

Fundacion Calicanto’s president Hildegard Vasquez thanked everyone present and gave away appreciation tokens to our volunteers and partners. 

We have big goals for 2013! We want to make the CONEXION project grow and reach more individuals.

For example we will now offer a school for parents so that ENLACES parents also get the training and support they need to escape poverty. We will offer them parent training, conflict management, communication skills, English and basic computer courses. 

We are looking forward to this project and will be in touch with all the fun updates and accomplishments!

We thank you for your support and ask that you keep contributing so that you can help us make all this possible. 

Happy New Year!!

President gives prize to volunteer
President gives prize to volunteer
President Vasques and ENLACES moms
President Vasques and ENLACES moms
CAPTA girls and teachers
CAPTA girls and teachers
Party Cake!
Party Cake!
Dec 27, 2012

UNESCO Finally Speaks (sort of)

Current Status
Current Status

The fight to save Casco Viejo from the Cinta Costera III continued into December, with a few things becoming much more clear, though there is still a lot to be decided and a lot left to fight for.

Where We Are Today

What is clear, and what everyone who has pitched in on this fight should be proud of, is that the worst case scenario, a landfill around Casco Viejo, looks to have been averted. This was the government's first option and without the groups and individuals who came together at critical moments we are quite sure it would have become a reality. The final version is moving ahead quickly and it will be an elevated viaduct just off the coast. It is still about as mediocre as infrastructure gets, but much, much better than the alternative.

UNESCO's technical and advisory bodies issued their annual State of Conservation report taking the government and Odebrecht to task for pushing ahead without considering alternatives and indicating that a delisting at the June 2013 meeting of the World Heritage Committee is a real possibility. While we appreciate UNESCO finally acknowleding that the project is moving forward (six months after it began), we cannot help feeling somewhat betrayed by UNESCO's inability to use its strongest weapon--the voice of its Executive Director--to denouce the project.  We wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, requesting that the Security Council itself take up the matter, as we believe that the right of peoples to protect their heritage when their governmetns fail to do so is a fundamental human right and therefore within the Security Council's purvue. 

Where We Are Headed

Stopping the completion of the project now looks next to impossible, however, there is still a lot to fight for.  Our two primary goals now are to keep the project from creeping back to a landfill (see the jaw dropping newly proposed "Presidential Island" below) and to begin to lay the legal foundation for the eventual removal of the viaduct at some point in the future. Removal is not something we expect to happen for many years, but history has shown that one generation's misconcieved highway is often removed by later generations so preparing the groundwork now is key. At a more philisophical level, we hope that by continuing to push we send a message to future governments that destroying cultural heritage has consequences. 

Your donations have been key to keeping us in this struggle and averting the worst case scenario. Being able to have lawyers on call, send messags to the public and be ready with materials for peaceful protests at critical moments made the difference and we are grateful. 

Final Form
Final Form
Worst Case Scenario Averted
Worst Case Scenario Averted
Proposed Presidential Island
Proposed Presidential Island

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