Earth Train in La Zahina to Help Facilitate a Town Meeting

By Kael Shipman 19 October, 2014

This Sunday we went to the rural valley community of La Zahina to work with local political voice Vicente Miranda in the formation of a Committee to agitate for the paving and regular maintenance of the road from the Panamerican Highway to the community. The road—a 22 kilometer stretch through rural Panama and a relic from the military rule of Manuel Noriega—is sorely neglected, and its poor conditions is a major hindrance to the prospects of economic development in the valley, leaving residents of La Zahina and other valley communities with few options other than subsistence farming.

Earth Train has been working with valley communities, and La Zahina in particular, to promote community and political organization, with hopes that increased structure will create not only stronger relationships between community members, but also increased chances of joining the political process down in the bustling urban sphere.

With the formation of this committee, democratically elected community representatives will be able to hold regular meetings with representatives in the regional capital, Chepo, and will be able to track progress on their requests for a paved road to their community.

Earth Train staff Gerardo Ochoa has been leading this initiative, with funds generously donated by the Alstom Corporation for community engagement.

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