Panama Project Summer 2018 Travel Update
Summer has been a great season for the Panama Project and Team! We had teams travel from June 9 through July 9, 2018 to finish grading, pour the concrete slab, and begin building CMU walls and columns. Over 4 weeks, the entire concrete slab and two concrete columns were poured, and roughly 300 blocks were placed.
Weeks 1-3 were mainly focused on pouring the concrete slab, which required a lot of work, including hand mixing concrete, gathering aggregate and sand, and creating an adequate cover on site to protect from some of the downpours we expected, as the rainy season was in full effect. The teams persevered through the rains and were able to pour the entire slab over a three week period, which allowed for week 4 to move on to the walls. Week 4 focused on the southeast corner of the building, where the storage room will be located, so that we could pour the interior columns.
Not only did we make great progress on the construction of the building, but we also started bringing laptops down to the community and began training sessions with the adults and children. Thanks to WJE, we were able to bring 8 laptops to the community, and during the last travel week we held 4 training sessions, two with the adults and two with the students. This was a great opportunity for the community to start working with the computers, and the excitement was tangible. The kids had a great time exploring drawing programs and practicing their typing skills. The teachers in the school were already brainstorming ways they could use the computers to enhance their lessons, including PowerPoints and encouraging their students to type papers rather than handwriting them. This was a great first step in the computer literacy aspect of the CREER project, and we have a list of lessons learned for our next trip down to the community.
This summer was filled with work and fun! We will be focusing on fundraising and research for the remainder of 2018 in order to set up for another successful year in 2019. Please reach out if you are interested in more information!