Cambio Creativo Christmas Appeal

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The 2013 Christmas appeal by Cambio Creativo is even more ambitious than last year’s, with a donations target of $10,000 to help the children and youths of this deprived community in one of the poorest parts of Panama.

The generous people who donated last year (THANK YOU!!!) will be interested to learn how their money has helped this community grow and expand and is enabling the people of the community to feel connected even though they have been divided. The Panamanian government has claimed part of their land to expand the port of Colon, meaning some Coco Solo residents have been relocated some distance away.

Thank you from Coco Solo!

Thank you from Coco Solo!

Giving what you can to these great people, to this great community, is such a worthwhile Christmas present! A Christmas present for the deserving of Coco Solo, who are learning thanks to libraries provided by Cambio Creativo who next year are looking to provide sponsorships for fourteen students during 2014.

Many thanks in advance for your generosity – this is a phenomenal charity, and one where you know the money is going direct to where it is needed the most – an important consideration in these days of vast charitable organizations with poor accountability. Here is the donation page, which I hope you will be inspired to visit after reading this, the appeal letter, which says everything better than I ever could!:

cambio creativo: an unwavering vision
Dear Friends of Cambio Creativo:

Cambio Creativo has an unlikely story. Our organization started against all odds, without funds or much experience. But we have an unwavering vision and this has been priceless. We envisioned an organization driven by the serious needs of the youth in the community, run by Coco Solo residents, and that also created an international network of solidarity. We wanted to create a space open to cross-cultural collaboration, where community members and visitors could exchange knowledge and skills. We wanted to break stereotypes through consciousness-raising and work together to empower Coco Solo youth.

Today we are doing just that, our vision has come together.

We now have an educational center and a library open to 150+ students who attend after-school classes 3 times a week. We facilitate monthly workshops, training programs, and field trips. We host international volunteers including consultants from the University of Texas. And we collaborate with such amazing and diverse organizations such as Roba Morena, Bio Museo, Earth Train, Estudio Nuboso, and Festival Abierto. All of our paid staff are Coco Solo residents, thanks to a number of prestigious grants.

However, this year will be one of our most challenging. But our vision and commitment has not wavered.

The Panamanian government has sold the land in Coco Solo to an international shipping company so they can expand their ports and yards. Over half the Coco Solo population have been relocated to a new community to Buena Vista, some 25 miles away.The rest of the Coco Solo community, however, is still waiting for their houses to be constructed. Our community has been divided, and yet Cambio Creativo is still operating educational programming in both communities.

To face these challenges and continue to improve the quality of educational opportunity for our students, we need your help more than ever. We need you to be in solidarity with the youth of Coco Solo and be part of our international community.

Please donate to our materializing vision. For this year, we need to raise $10,000 for student scholarships, program operating costs, our emergency fund, and our annual Christmas party. We truly appreciate your support.

Happy Holidays! And much love,

Cambio Creativo Family

Coco Solo Christmas Appeal Update

I am very pleased to announce that Cambio Creativo have not only reached, but exceeded their $4000 target! Thanks to people’s outstanding generosity, this has been achieved in time for Christmas Day, which should make tomorrow an extra special celebration for the people of Coco Solo.

I would like to thank all the family and friends and readers of my blog who have donated so generously to this outstandingly worthy cause. Also I would like to thank my Panama friends and neighbours and my son’s Pre-K who gave such amazing donations of toys, books, household items and foodstuffs. We even received a bicycle, which was super exciting for the children!

I hope to visit Coco Solo early in the New Year to see how all our donations are being used. Photos to follow.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me, currently spending time with my family in chilly Scotland!

¡Feliz Navidad y un próspero año nuevo!

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Coco Solo Christmas Appeal

Hello everyone! A bit of a different type of post, especially for this festive season!

The Cambio Creativo (Creative Change) team at Coco Solo, a deprived area near to Colón, have asked me to be an Ambassador for them. Amongst other things, they run educational programmes and creative classes, including art and photography, for the children and young people of this area.

Here is some information about this project:

Cambio Creativo home page

I am helping Cambio Creativo raise $4000 for the Coco Solo community by the end of the year, as well as by arranging a collection of toys, books and food for the youngsters.

My husband and I have requested that this year, instead of giving us presents, our relatives donate to this fantastic cause instead. Also, instead of buying each other a load of things we do not need, we are donating the money we would have spent on each other to this extremely worthy cause.

This community really needs your help, so it would be amazing if you could do something similar in your family, or individually. Here is the donations page, which also details how the funding will be used, including a Christmas party, soup kitchen and emergency fund.

Cambio Creativo donations page

Also, if anyone has any toys, books or non-perishable food items they would like to donate and you are near the Clayton area of Panama City, please contact me through the comments section.

Thank you so much in advance! And a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Cambio Creativo, Coco Solo!

P.S. Another excellent way to help this community is through these photographs taken by the young people of Coco Solo and available for purchase here:

Cambio Creativo Art for Sale

Here is a photograph taken, appropriately enough, by a boy named Jesus:

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For more information on the background to Coco Solo, please see my previous post on the area, here:

Coco Solo: The Other Side of Paradise