Today was the first day of our community action project, which took place at IPHE. The community action project is designed to help people within the community of Chitre. Today we started with scraping the gates, painting classrooms, and digging up dirt in the garden at a school for people with special needs. It was hot and sunny but we worked through the heat and sweat, hydrating along the way. There was an issue regarding the paint color chosen for the classroom. The color did not meet the expectations that the staff had requested so the group painting the walls decided to adjust the color and repaint the room, undaunted by the set back. Initially, we believed the garden pathway group would only need two workers and it would be an easy job to complete, however, it proved to be much more difficult and the compacted earth needed to be tilled up and redistributed. Although, everything did not go as planned, everyone was still able to maintain and help out with a positive attitude. In future, for our CAP project, we hope that we impact the community by engaging them and allowing them to know that not only are we here to help out, but also try to give them hope and things that they need.
We, also, had another day of English tutoring with local university English Language Learners. We and our students are more comfortable with each other and are teaching skills have developed and improved. The shy teachers have stepped out of their comfort skills and have improved their leadership skills taking the lead in the lessons we have been teaching and inspiring their students.
As our time here slowly ends in Panama, we have become more aware of the environment and our roll in protecting it; limiting our waste and our consumption. The students on this trip have created lasting friendships and are growing closer together. We look forward to spending our last remaining days together and completing the CAP project for our community partners.