It all began a couple of weeks ago when Starr asked her able and enthusiastic assistant, Lloel, to visit the schools in the San Carlos area to invite the students to the weekly Saturday classes at Finca La Maya. The local school and teachers were supportive, and as of Saturday morning, there were 35+ local students signed up for the classes. Those students, coupled with the regular attendees on Saturdays, brought a record number of local people to the Saturday programs and introduced them to all Finca La Maya has to offer.
The day was off to a great start with an exciting English class, illustrated with songs, activities and ‘exercises’ in English. The students all enjoyed a game of ‘Pass the Balloon’, ‘Simon Says’ and had an exciting time learning the ‘Hokey Pokey’ which emphasized the parts of the body they had learned in the morning class.
At noon, a delicious lunch was prepared and served by Starr and her staff. The attendees had some time to relax, get to know each other, plus have an opportunity to practice their English because, for many of us, our Spanish is very limited. By default, they had to speak with us in English!! And then the afternoon activities began.
For the Art class, Starr, along with her assistant, Lloel, and PCIS assistant, Kassy Ajax, designed and made bracelets with fabric and ribbon. What a great time each one had carefully making a unique bracelet for someone special: friend, family and each other. Everyone went home with a present for either him/herself or someone important to them. The end to a perfect day!
And, while the Art class was going on in the classroom, Alexander was working in the library helping all of those who were interested in learning how to use a computer. Finca La Maya is fortunate to have a number of computers donated by Dell to help local students who may not have access to a computer of their own. And Alexander, a local Panamanian who is definitely a Finca La Maya ‘success story’, is the right person to help them.
The real “PLUS” was that the attendees got to experience all that Finca La Maya brings to the local communities on a weekly basis and to tour the facility to see all of the resources which are available to them. And, as a bonus, they were all given complimentary library cards by Starr.
A BIG THANK YOU to those who are committed to helping weekly with our program: Barb Williams, Lloel, Kassy and Alexander. AND, there is an opportunity for YOU to volunteer!! We can always use help in the English, Art and Computer classes. No experience or Spanish is necessary!! If you want to get involved in the development of local people and can spend a couple of hours a week helping, please contact Starr at
Finca La Maya is a non-profit activity in Panama. Its goal is to enhance educational and vocational opportunities for local Panamanians by providing free enrichment programs in language, culture and the arts. La Maya’s programs include English language courses, “Art for Kids”, a computer lab and a“Family Movie Night”. Last year, La Maya opened a new community library offering bi-lingual books and DVDs. Up to one hundred participants have attended the weekly free community programs at the facility in San Carlos, coming from Panama’s Pacific coast interior communities as far away as Chorrera and Rio Hato.
La Maya welcomes local families and residents as well as those who want to learn more about how these extraordinary programs are changing the lives of local families. For more information, please call (507) 240-8281, email
, or visit the web site at http://www.fincalamaya.com/?p=19