Recent News

Come to our Music Awareness Workshop with Yomira John!

By Atala Beckford 15 January, 2016

Yomira John Music Sensibilization Workshop Flier

Official Release: The Mamoni Valley Preserve Video

By Kael Shipman 15 August, 2015

Corazones Contentos Plants New Seeds

By Elliot Blumberg 28 July, 2015

Today, in the ongoing effort to promote food security in the Mamoní Valley, co-directors of food production and community management - Pablo Tocalini and Rachel Worthington - ventured out to El Valle to start talks with the local teacher about building community gardens there in the future. The plan is to replicate the success of San José’s community gardens in every community. They also spoke to locals about their own agricultural ventures and to get the town buzzing about the prospect of a public garden. Finally, the duo distributed food donated from the International School of Panama. We hope to find contented hearts in El Valle soon enough!

GRIT Graduation

By Elliot Blumberg 23 July, 2015

Greetings from GRIT! The participants for GRIT’s pilot program graduated to the city this evening after a four-day, three-night hiking and kayaking adventure that took them through the rainforest, into Guna Yala and out onto the region’s islands.

The journey commenced with a four-hour hike from Centro Mamoní to the Mamoní River. After practicing for a bit, GRIT dove in and spent the rest of the day on the river paddling to the campsite, where we got our tarps, hammocks and tents set up.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast of oats and peanut butter, the GRIT squad stepped back onto the ultra lightweight kayaks and set off for Cangandí. After a light lunch at Cangandí Falls, the group surged on to the town, where the village kids met them to play in the river. The playing and dancing laster long into the night.

The final day and night were spent on the Guna Islands, where GRIT got an insider’s look into one of the Guna traditions of communal creation and imbibing of chicha fuerte - or fermented sugarcane (sorry, no photos were allowed!). And finally, the crew snorkeled, showered, relaxed and bedded down on Isla Aroma.

Gritchallenge.org

Contented Hearts on Children's Day

By Elliot Blumberg 22 July, 2015

Despite an enormous rainstorm that made complicated transport, Children’s Day at Centro Mamoní went off without a hitch. We picked up the students, parents and teacher from San José and returned for a day of coloring, cartoons, piñatas, food and playing in the pool.

Kael, Rachel and our awesome volunteers - Bonnie, Devon and Kirsten - colored with the kids while the parents prepped lunch. Afterwards, Pablo premiered the animated film Tarzan for the kids - a visual delicacy for people in the valley, many of whom don’t have access to TV or the internet. Everyone took special care while playing in the pool, but that didn’t stop us having fun, which continued with breaking the piñata.

Overall, it was a positive day and we can’t wait for the next excuse to bring up San José’s students!

Corazones Contentos Meet the GRIT-lings

By Elliot Blumberg 19 July, 2015

Another synergistic energy between Earth Train programs has descended upon San José! Corazones Contentos has teamed up with GRIT to build four more raised beds to provide future food security in San José and alleviate the town’s dependence on food donations. This (and all other work on the garden) are the product of hours of work from Earth Train’s co-directors of food production systems and community management, Rachel Worthington and Pablo Tocalini. Way to go, team!

Corazones Contentos hopes to replicate this technique in all four villages of the valley, bringing food security and a big boost in quality of life to everyone in Mamoní.

Happy Children's Day!

By Elliot Blumberg 16 July, 2015

Here in Panama, Dia Del Niño(a) is celebrated with gifts, food and a community gathering. Rainforest Capital, Earth Train’s closest partner, celebrated it with the students in El Valle. Our crew provided the piñata, food and gifts, but the children brought the spirit!

Emerging Enviromental Leaders Are in the City for Part Two of Our Urban+Environment Summer Program

By Elliot Blumberg 13 July, 2015

Photo of EEL Group at BioMuseo

The EEL students stand beneath an enormous fig tree at Panama's Biomuseo

Foto: Elliot Blumberg

Salutations from Casco Viejo! To update all the parents and loved ones, our intrepid EELs conquered their adventures in the Mamoní Valley and Linton Island, and are now back in the city ready for their last day in Panama. We’ll be heading out to the Miraflores locks on the Panama Canal today, so watch out for tonight’s update and the ensuing album jam-packed with EEL adventures.

Back in the City

By Elliot Blumberg 13 July, 2015

After the exhausting (but fun!) days spent at Centro Mamoní and Linton Island, you would think that the EELs would earn a relaxing break in Panama City upon their return, right? Wrong!

For the last two days, EEL visited three museums, three markets and Panama’s own interoceanic canal. It was a packed 48 hours.

The Biodiversity Museum - or Biomuseo - was our first stop, where students learned about the geological history of Panama’s emergence as an isthmus and the biological and environmental impact that the tiny country has on a global scale. Later on we checked out the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), where they keep and study amphibians susceptible to a deadly fungus. And to top off the day, we checked out a market with all sorts of indigenous and traditional crafts and artwork.

EEL spent the final day (::sniff sniff::) walking through a fruit and vegetable market, receiving a tour of Casco Viejo from the architect Patrick Dillon, eating fresh ceviche in the fish market, and (finally!) visiting the famed Panama Canal.

We’re so sad to see this group leave, but ecstatic that a few are sticking around to experience more in Centro Mamoní! Good on you, guys!

Linton Island and the Colon Coast

By Elliot Blumberg 11 July, 2015

“MONKEYS!” Would be the main headline following Linton Island.

After the packed days at Centro Mamoní, the EELs headed out to Hinton Island, where a failed scientific effort to reintroduce spider monkeys (who were bred in captivity) to the wild has left the remaining critically endangered primates to fend for themselves - and steal food from visitors. We roughed it in the tents under a couple of tarp roofs and tried not to bother our fellow primate friends.

The next day, we packed up and napped on our way to Safarick’s Zoo, where the EELs, through help from our own Halit Khoshen, made enrichment meals for various species. Thanks so much, Halit!

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