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This week has been a fun and exciting week for Coclé with a lot of different adventures and opportunities for our volunteers.

June 24th was an almost statewide celebration for San Juan in Panama where most of the students didn’t have school because of the celebration. For this festival the students dressed up as cowboys, all the students had wooden horses and raced each other all day and this event also included lots of good Panamanian food. Almost every volunteer participated in this in their host community. Of course the host communities made the volunteers race the wooden horses as well!

Besides the big festival for San Juan, most of the volunteers have started their projects in their communities. The community projects vary: from a fence around the local school, painting and building a roof over the cafeteria, to starting a local garden and painting a mural in their community. All of these projects were picked by community members and volunteers are ready to get their hands dirty and help where they can.

In addition to working on their projects, volunteers are running day camps, called campamentos, that have all started up and are a success. The past two weeks they have covered the topics of deforestation and leadership. This coming week, they will touch on water conservation.

nother big event that occurred this week was the volunteers all coming to Penonomé

and participating in midterm. They were able to call home, stock up on snacks (like Oreos and Kraft Mac & Cheese) and catch up with their friends that are in different communities. We ended the day with Domino’s Pizza and lots of stories about hikes in their communities, bonding with their host family, and their favorite Panamanian cuisine.

Next week the volunteers will come to Penonomé to plant trees with youth from their community and present on their project in their communities to other volunteers.