Introduction.....................' Boo Yala' SCHOOL & CHILDREN'S CENTRE is in the Boo Yala community of Arraijan jungle to the north of Panama City, Panama. Our aim is to give aid and support to the indigenous children of the Kuna families who left their Sanblas Island sanctuary on the other side of the Istmas, in order to live closer to the market opportunities available in the capital..Bruce Panama have agreed to provide basic education to the Kuna children, respecting their ancient native culture, and not putting pressure on them to assimilate into the larger Panamanian multicultural society..
The Boo Yala Children's Centre is housed in a raw brick building
which also serves as a community centre.
Besides these activities, we welcome new ideas to make our project most effective for the children. Volunteering at Bruce Panama Panama City can be a tiring but immensely rewarding experience. You should be able to cope with big groups of street children demanding a lot of attention and enthusiasm. You will have to be a team worker, working together with Panaman and international volunteers. In the centre you will be a representative of the project and are expected to be responsible and behave as an example for the children. What you do in your free time outside the centre is up to you.
Volunteering at ' Boo Yala' is a fantastic way of getting to know Panama, of improving your Spanish, and above all, of interacting with the community and with the children of the city in a positive and helpful way.
The Region:Panama begins in the mists of pre-Columbian times among the Kuna indians of Kuna Yala. Here, on a shining archipielago where there are more islands than there are days in a year, the Kunas still make their colourful Molas..West of Kuna Yala you will find the country's early Spanish beginnings at Portobelo. It was so named by Columbus on his 4th voyage to the New World. Portobelo has a history rich in treasure. Real action as the Spaniards plundered Peru of its Inca riches, a constant stream of booty began to flow north to Portobelo where it was stored, before its long way to Europe.
The Programme:The Children's Centre is located in a reed hut at the centre of a poor people's township. It has no water or electricity, but classes are in the mornings when there is always light, and we bring in buckets of water. Our international volunteers leave Miraflores at 8:AM and are in class teaching the children by 9:AM. Children attend the centre between 9 AM and 12:00 PM, (ending with lunch). Durting the morning volunteers and local teachers organise a range of classes, all designed to prepare the children for a future in the National Curriculum. Groups are divided up according to age or ability. None of these children go to school, so an important aspect of our program is teaching them group discipline and study habits. We regularly plan trips outside the centre, to play football and other games and activities..
The Language School:In the evenings English-speaking and French-speaking volunteers give English and French classes to adults in our Miraflores campus in Panama City (where also our international volunteers live). The small donation our language students make is a contribution to the work of the Satellite Children's Centres.. Our students know that their tuition goes towards our work with the children and enables us to participate in the activities and expenses of the Children's Centre and our volunteers. Volunteers are therefore obliged to give at least one class per night to maintain our Language School.
Spanish classes are offered for free to all our volunteers.