Crossroads 2015 - Building on Success for Biocultural Leadership

By Kael Shipman 18 January, 2015

With the last ecos of the 2015 Panama Jazz Festival fading away, we step back to get a bigger perspective on another very successful visit from the Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences from Los Angeles, CA. This was Crossroads' third time to Panama and the Mamoní Valley Preserve, and we even had the pleasure of receiving several students who had attended last year's trip.

This year's curriculum began with a stay at Earth Train's Centro Mamoní, then included a city program to complement the students' experiences at the Panama Jazz Festival. We leveraged our time in the city to analyze the enormous changes—both positive and negative—that Panama is experiencing, and we took the kids on an intellectual journey through the contrasts between what they had experienced in the Mamoní Valley Preserve and what they were seeing in Panama's rapidly expanding urban sphere.

Here, a photo recap of the students' adventures in Panama:

Does everyone remember how Leo got THREE ENTREES? The first trip in our faithful yellow bus. Crossing the Río Mamoní Aaron beating the rapids TEAMWORK. Way to go, guys. Don't they look a little like seals sunning themselves? Just a liiiiittle bit of work to make it mean something... Signing the Junglewood Cornerstone Kids from Colon's Cambio Creativo Cambio Creativo's act Followed by Crossroads' act Finally, the CC kids cranked the tunes and started up the Panamanian typical dance. Aaron quickly jumped on the opportunity Then Bella got a skirt on and the cultures swirled... Crossroads drew quite a crowd for their Master Class The kids even got to sign some autographs at the end! And then the red carpet unrolled... for Crossroads! (Gala opening event at the National Theater) Performance day and Blake is ripping Sol can't help but get down There was an art group there sketching the performance Shea followed with contributions from various Panamanian artists And then we saw RUBEN BLADES with DANILO PÉREZ! And then we got BACK STAGE WITH DANILO PÉREZ! The following day was the performance of the Pan-American Millennial All-Stars Danilo and John Patitucci were in attendance Kind of Blue, at the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal Leo taking "Selfie with Ship" - part of his newest exhibit, "Selfie with __________" Fantastically, we discovered a whole floor that was open and no one knew about - our own private viewing deck. Then we rushed off to the Reception at Earth Train's Casa Arias Bella singing with Panamanian star vocalist Yomira John And then there was a HUGE DANCE PARTY at the Ateneo, as Pedrito Martínez lit it up. Our last day started off with an extensive tour of the Biomuseo The Panamarama, about to begin Panama: Bridge of Life And here's Aaron with a bunch of fish heads Lunch was simple Finally, a shot with Pedrito Martínez!! Shea was invited on stage for the final performance of the festival

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