“Is everything forbidden to us except to fold our arms? Poverty is not written in the stars, under development is not one of god’s mysterious designs” -Eduardo Galeano

Today we visited the town of Paritilla that consists of only about 800 people. Throughout our visit, we learned that the town of Paritilla isn’t as fortunate as we are in having things which occupy us and comfort us. Also, we learned that the people of Paritilla don’t have the luxury of having lots of places to socialize with friends and family. While on our hike we discovered that the people of Paritilla wish to make it more tourist-friendly, agriculturally habitable, and engaging.

We were especially inspired by the children who came on the hike with us, as it was their first time trekking the mountain and they didn’t mind or give up because of obstacles like rain, mud, and dangerous plants. At our visit we also met the Paritilla Peace Corps representative here in Panama, Isabelle, who introduced us to the local children and adults as well.

As Lideres del Dia, we were challenged as we worked continuously to maintain and engage our peers to focus. For example, the food schedule was a bit off today due to how busy the restaurant was, and we had to encourage the team to push through for a few more minutes. We managed to overcome all the other minor challenges during the day since we had some help from our friend Ibrahima, GGLs, and others.

Tomorrow we’ll be waking up at 7 AM for our Living Like a Local day in the beach town of Pedasi. We’ll be eating lunch with local families and learning more about their lifestyle. Tomorrow’s Lideres del Dia will be Sebastian and Addie.