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.
Aug 1, 2016

We continue to add vocabulary to our favorite language: DANCE

After classes with Diego Alvarez Sanou
After classes with Diego Alvarez Sanou

Dance is the language our children have chosen to connect with the world, a beautiful international language. These past few months have been full of new lessons and experiences on and off stage from an ample diversity of cultures, nationalities, dance styles and techniques.

 

Recently our children had the opportunity to receive two master classes from dancer and choreographer Diego Álvarez Sánou from Costa Rica’s Colectivo Clá. With him, they worked on new sequences and movements inspired from hip-hop and urban culture. Additionally, two of our students began classic training once a week with the Ukrainian dancer established in Panama Ilya Kun, who’s also a dancer of Panama’s National Ballet.

 

In order to end the first of the three terms of 2016, the children made a small recital in our Dance Classroom, where they presented a series of theatre sketches and work-in-progress from their ballet and contemporary dance classes. Parents, teachers, volunteers and friends filled the room and the children dazzled us with their concentration and exciting simplicity.

 

Following this, we received the biggest surprise we have received all year: our oldest student, Juan, was selected to participate in OPUS I, an international youth dance competition in nothing less but Slovenia! He traveled with his dance teacher José Leonardo Amaya to this European country. It was a long journey and on their way there, they stopped in Paris for a day and a half, where they visited as much as they could of the iconic sites of this beautiful city. Juan was ecstatic and mentioned it had always been his dream to go there, he could not believe his eyes when he saw the Eiffel Tower and said he would go back in a heartbeat. Once in Slovenia, they were greeted by the competition organizers; they had never received participants from Central America, let alone from Panama. José participated in the dance workshops previous to the competition, and one of his teachers there, the director of the Afro-Contemporary Dance Group Momentum, Mâsa Kagao, invited Juan and his teacher José to dance in her presentation in the Španski Borci theatre of Ljubljana, a day before the competition where Juan presented his solo “Open Waters” in front of more than 500 people. Needless to say, it was a wonderful experience for Juan and for his hosts, who were impressed by his talent and humbleness. Once back in Panama, he was received by his peers and teachers with a lot of excitement and admiration. He said he loved Slovenia, and the fact that he made many new friends that dance too!

 

To continue the journey through performing arts’ diversity, the kids were invited to see the Russian National Ballet from Moscow, in its international tour of the classic “Swan Lake”. They were delighted and startled to see the classic technique in its purest form. They learned about Tchaikovsky’s music and the technical difficulty and high standards this ballet requires. And if that was not enough for this month, the children had the opportunity to see another classic, but from musical theatre: “The Wizard of Oz”, performed by a local theatre group.

 

To end this period on an inspiring note, we also invited the 157 students we work with from the Instituto de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Institute of Our Lady of Mercy), to see the contemporary dance piece “Deesevuelo”, by the Brazilian dancer Carolina Figuereido.

 

Enlaces’ children dance vocabulary is in continuous expansion. Every time they see a new show, learn about classics and dance with other dancers from different backgrounds, not only they accumulate knowledge, but their vision of a brighter future broadens.

Our end of term presentation,credit Alegre Saporta
Our end of term presentation,credit Alegre Saporta
Showing our work-in-progress for our audience
Showing our work-in-progress for our audience
Our end of term presentation
Our end of term presentation
Juan in his day in Paris
Juan in his day in Paris
Juan in his day in Paris
Juan in his day in Paris
Dancing with  Afrocontemporary dancer Masa Kagao
Dancing with Afrocontemporary dancer Masa Kagao
Dancing in Ljiubljana
Dancing in Ljiubljana's Spanski Borci theatre
Juan during his presentation in OPUS I competition
Juan during his presentation in OPUS I competition
Juan during his presentation in OPUS I competition
Juan during his presentation in OPUS I competition
The children in the red carpet for the "Swan Lake"
The children in the red carpet for the "Swan Lake"
Jun 7, 2016

Yanina: The Story Behind a Smile

Yanina is a one of our first graduates in Colon
Yanina is a one of our first graduates in Colon

Dear friends, we have some news to give you since our last report regarding the CAPTA Pilot in Colon: we have graduated 26 women in Colon; 81% of them completed the course with high levels of leadership and a 65% with a significant improvement in their self-esteem. Eleven percent of the women started working after the course and 56% of them are seeking employment, mainly in supermarkets and in the customer service industry.

One of our graduates shares her story . . .

Yanina is a 37 year-old, single mother of three; she lives in Colon and heard about our training program while she was unemployed and paying for her family’s basic needs through informal jobs. The variety of classes that make up the CAPTA program really motived her to enroll in the course, from basic life skills to a technical training at one of the best hotel schools in the country. Yanina likes to learn new things and because education is so important to her she was one of the first students to get a scholarship in Colon.

“We are worthy” she said, “if you want to become someone you have to be prepared for what life brings you” that is why she invites all women who are in the same position as her to join the program.

For Yanina, one of the most notable changes in her life was the relationship with her children. “I wasn't listening to them" she says, in turn this was emotionally pushing her away from her children. The Family Relations class helped Yanina change her communication style with her children, making up for all the years she was absent from them. “For example, when we sit at the table, they ask me about my day and I ask about theirs, our communication is better now” she adds, “As a single mother I have to be a role model for them”.

She believes that CAPTA can make major changes in Colon, “the program has a lot to offer to women like me who were self-conscious and insecure; often times when we get stepped on by men, we are afraid to go on by ourselves and afraid to fail. With this course, I learned that you have to work hard if you want to succeed, so “I dare those women who are afraid and self-conscious like I was, to join CAPTA because the course is amazing and they will love it!” concludes Yanina.

Executive Director, Dalys Rodriguez, says that “in every tear and every smile we see genuine change in the lives of each of these women… Together we are changing Colon”.

You can see the full video in Spanish on the following link: CAPTA Women Testimonial.

 

For more information, visit:

www.fundacioncalicanto.org

www.facebook.com/fundacioncalicanto.org

@fundcalicanto

First recruitment of CAPTA in Colon.
First recruitment of CAPTA in Colon.
Receiving her scholarship.
Receiving her scholarship.
Our beneficiaries in their vocational training
Our beneficiaries in their vocational training
Proud to be a CAPTA graduate!
Proud to be a CAPTA graduate!
May 24, 2016

Esperanza San Felipe 2016 Quarterly Report [May, 2016]

Samuel & Delivery Del Casco
Samuel & Delivery Del Casco

It's been a tremendous last few months here at Esperanza San Felipe. Between bringing on Margaret (our new full time Energizer battery) and preparing big new alliances and partnerships with individuals and corporations that think differently, we are full-speed assuring that Casco Viejo's marginalized young men have real opportunities to integrate and permanetly thrive. Here are some specific victories from the last few months worth sharing:

Once A Hustler, Always...

When Esperanza graduate Alexis of Servicios Elektron Handyman (see photo below) began running a program that would pay for neighborhood clean-up projects using donated second-hands gifts, we thought that was pretty cool. But upon being featured in CC-TV America's mini documentary, Alexis realized his concept has touristic potential too. With the assistance of a famed Panamanian, Alexis will offer a 1 hour tour of the Buenas Obras system (including the community store, his house, several project sites). He will be offering his tour to Esperanza supporters over the next few weeks (no fixed fee, donations only) so please call him to reserve your spot: 6886-5591. The tour is totally fascinating and Alexis is one of Esperanza's most deserving beneficiaries.

You Support, We Deliver!

One of our community's more incredible success stories is Samuel and his company Delivery del Casco (see photo below), a convenience service in the historic district. This coming month, Samuel is on track to make his final payment on the seed capital loan that he received from Esperanza Social Venture Club and this will make him a true pioneer in our eyes: the first graduate to pass through each phase of Esperanza and rise to the very top. In true trailblazing fashion, Samuel also just signed an agreement with El Rey Supermarket for the exclusive rights to all their Casco deliveries. We are so thrilled to support prototypes like Samuel: if anyone with experience in small business would like to help support Samuel's next business move, please contact margaret@esperanzasvc.org for more details. If you'd like to support by using Samuel's Delivery, simply give him a call: 6344-1812

Esperanza In The Press

We are always honored to be mentioned in different press outlets and have the pleasure of sharing with you a few from the past month:

  1. Atlas Obscura: We leave the hotel, pushing past tanned men and women in flowing dresses and linen shirts. Some of them sling camera equipment around their necks. It’s opening weekend of Panama City’s international film festival..
  2. A Travel Broad: Panama is a city of contrast.  Favelas in between skyscrapers.  Modern technology with rolling blackouts.  Locals wearing high end fashion brands, while others wear traditional Panamanian garb.  Global banks and deadly gangs (200 still active in Panama City, to be exact).
  3. Copa Airlines: A video about Esperanza's very own Antonio of Fortaleza Tours. This video was presented at the Panama Film Festival and got raving reviews. Amidst Panama's negative press of late, this is the kind of work ethic and values we believe should be promoted heavily.

As always, it goes without saying, your support is arguably the most unique thing that Esperanza has going for it: a group of alternative thinkers around the world who believe in solving our own problems in innovative ways. Thank you from the bottom of our community.

Alexis Quintero & Buenas Obras Tours
Alexis Quintero & Buenas Obras Tours
Antonio Janes & Fortaleza Tours
Antonio Janes & Fortaleza Tours
Once A Hustler...
Once A Hustler...

Links:

 
   

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