1.17.2015

The Village of San Antonio

Today my mom and I had the opportunity to visit our friends in the village of San Antonio. We have known Luz and her family for ten years now, since we first came to Panama. One of Luz's daughters, Kenia, is my age. A couple years ago I made a video where she showed me her life in San Antonio and the obstacles she must overcome to get to school. These obstacles include an arduous multi hour journey to school everyday, monetary struggles, and Spanish as a second language. Kenia and her sister Nair were part of the first generation from the village to get an education. Kenia just had a beautiful, healthy baby boy on December 29, 2014. Kenia's sister, Nair, is 21 years old and has three daughters. They are five, three, and two. The five year old will be starting school this March. Nair, too, is in school now. She graduated with a diploma from high school and is now seeking a degree in nursing. Her family sees the importance of her education in the changing landscape of their lives. San Antonio is only a five minute boat ride from the town of Gamboa. This means, unlike some of the other Wounaan villages in the Darien, the people of San Antonio have constant contact with the economy of Panama. One of the largest struggles for the forty person village is health care due to the distance from care and the costs. When Nair gets her nursing degree it will benefit not only her and her three daughters—financially and educationally— but an entire village of people. Nair and Kenia's father, Filipe, calls the work Nair is doing to get a nursing degree "un sacrificio," a sacrifice. Nair is working now on earning this degree, on top of her job working with the frogs for STRI (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) which means long commutes and long days of work and school. The village, however, is struggling with the money to send her to school. They just payed to bring one of Luz's older daughters and her ten children from Columbia to Panama, an expensive, but necessary endeavor that drained San Antonio of their money. That is why I am asking you to consider donating to Nair's education fund. The money she needs is only 3,588. While it is a forbidding number for the village, it is a small price for the monumental improvements it will cause to the lives of Nair, her family, and the rest of the village.
Taking the boat out to San Antonio
 Luz with Nair's youngest

 Luz, Filipe, Nair's two older daughters, and me
Nair was not in San Antonio the day we came, due to her busy schedule of work and school. Above is a photo of her working with the feed for the frogs in Gamboa.

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