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 23, 2016

Esperanza's 2016 Report: Your Support = Progress!

Summary:

When someone asks how is Esperanza funded, we share with them the unusual fact about you, our amazing supporters spread around the globe, who donate monthly to keep our efforts afloat.

The more often we share this, the more we realize how unique this model of small monthly gestures actually is to the world of fundraising.

The following exciting news is a direct result of what makes your support so meaningful to us. It's the fuel that keeps us going every single day!

1. We Have A New Executive Director

As the Esperanza community continues to grow, and the kinds of transformations begin to vary, our team recognized the need for a true Executive Director. With experience at both USAID and Fundacion Jesus Luz y Oportunidades, Cristina Maduro was our first choice.

Panamanian-born, Cristina brings to our team a much valued sense of order and vision.

We are thrilled to welcome her on board and wanted to thank every single donor for allowing us to make this great step forward and provide even more true opportunities to our beneficiaries.

2. Sharing Our Stories With The World

Over the years, we've found that press does a few things for Esperanza: the obvious is that it helps us form new relationships with new individuals who can help our cause.

The less obvious (although arguably more powerful) benefit of good press is that it lends itself to the reintegration process of our graduates. Recognition is important for individuals of all backgrounds, but it's especially helpful when you are working to reverse the harm you once caused to your community.

For these reasons, we're always appreciative of these sorts of opportunities:

  • Prevue Meetings: "The tour is led by former members of the notorious Ciudad de Dios street gang who now operate Fortaleza Tours within the district, following the intervention of the Esperanza Social Venture Club who work to integrate gang members into formal society."
  • Rickshaw Travel Partnership: "Once a hotbed of gang activity, this is now a thriving district of art, culture, and architecture. In order to preserve an element of human patrimony, Esperanza’s non-profit initiatives assure that young at-risk males get to take part in the neighborhood’s growth, by providing help with mental and physical health as well as coaching to enter the workforce."
  • Yahoo! Travel: "However, these tours are not so visitors can gawk at the poverty-stricken streets that still dominate the area — despite the massive gentrification of the last few years — but rather to highlight what the human spirit, when offered an alternative reality by way of education and hope, can do."

3. Results

Because the transformation process is a patient one, it's extremely exciting to begin to see concrete results from groups that we began with several years back. As we start off 2016, we celebrate the following statistics:

- 43 former gang members graduated

- 74% currently working

- 3 actually working in one business (Super Gourmet)

- 11 started their own businesses through the Esperanza Social Venture Club

When we ask ourselves internally "what good results look like?" the answer is often that if we can change the course of one young man's life, we have solved one community problem.

With these results and with your monthly support, we are more confident now than ever before, that we are moving in the right direction.

4. Gorgeous Photo Exhibition Featuring Esperanza Graduate

Sofia Verzbolovskis is a Panamanian photographer based in New York who recently spent several days getting to know Luis. Following him into and out of neighborhood buildings en route to Lava Auto Plaza Amador, Sofia was able to capture the essence of what makes Luis, his business, and the power of his transformation so unique. You can see all Sofia and Luis' photos here: A Day In The Life Of Luis Moreno.

Thanks again for your ever-lasting support.

And please know that every day when we go to work, we are appreciative of people like you who believe enough to stand beside us.

Links:

Feb 17, 2016

The Beginning Of CAPTA Colon

First group of the year
First group of the year

Calicanto Foundation starts its program CAPTA in the city of Colón with a total of 24 women living at social risk and poverty. With words of welcome by the staff, we had a moment where emotions could not be kept away thanks to our candle ceremony where the women told us their goals and dreams.

In the end, this long-awaited moment became a reality with the beginning of the fundamental cycle. Along with the staff, we had the pleasant visit of members from the US Embassy in Panamá. The US Embassy sponsor this project and we are deeply grateful with them because it is so important to work with the community of Colón to improve the social problematic they are currently dealing with.

These girls spent the day with theatre professor and professional actor Jaime Newball who gave an intense acting and dramatization class to break the ice between the new beneficiaries and the professors.

Women paying attention to the Executive Director
Women paying attention to the Executive Director
The Executive Director providing scholarships
The Executive Director providing scholarships
The girls getting to know each other
The girls getting to know each other
Good luck!
Good luck!

Links:

Feb 9, 2016

Enlaces Summer Program 2016

Volunteers having fun with the kids
Volunteers having fun with the kids

What a great summer we have had!! The past few weeks has been really busy for us, from greeting donors that had visited us from all over the world to planning our 2016 calendar and founding strategies. The good news is that we had the opportunity of upgrading our Enlaces Summer Program, this time with the participation of our Nuestra Señora de la Merced students plus our regular twenty kids.

The importance of creating spaces for recreational activities is that because most of our children lack of places where to play and be kids. They live in one of the most dangerous areas of Panama in houses so small it is almost impossible to play inside. So, every time they go outside, they take the risk of entering zones ruled by gangs.

We strongly believe that children must be children and should have the opportunity of exploring the world and play freely.

With our summer program, we take a stand against violence by taking them to safe places where they can be themselves and enjoy all fun that comes with the summer. On our first trip we visited Parque Omar, a nearby park where they flew kites all day and took a brief class of road safety for children.

Lastly, we conclude the Summer Program with a hike to the 654-foot tall of Ancon Hill that overlooks Panama City. We enjoyed a fun day outside while we admired the beautiful view from the place where our national flag relies. This trip made us appreciate the diverse fauna and flora that inhabits natural areas in our country.

Remember to follow us on our Social Networks to get the latest news about our programs. Thank you!

Almost there!
Almost there!
On top of Ancon where our national flag is located
On top of Ancon where our national flag is located
Hurry up!
Hurry up!
Enlaces and the program coordinator
Enlaces and the program coordinator
Students from Nuestra Senora de la Merced
Students from Nuestra Senora de la Merced
 
   

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