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This blog was written by two volunteers, Nikhil and Aidan.

 

My name is Nikhil. I am 14 years old, and I live in San Diego, California. I’m staying in the community of El Barrero. I also enjoy reading.

My name is Aidan. I am 14 years old, and I live in San Francisco, California. I am also staying in El Barrero.

 

Today the whole AMIGOS group got together and hiked through the mountains of El Barrero. The trail up to the top was very steep, but the view and the top was worth the burn. From the top, you could see mountains stretching for miles around and the small community of El Barrero below. We got to take many photos with our friends, host family, and the group.

 

On the way down, we talked with the locals. When we got to the bottom, we were pleasantly surprised with cold drinks and snacks. After the little reunion, everyone went their separate ways and the participants of El Barrero got back to work.

 

We painted signs to hang around the community and raise awareness about littering. The signs turned out very nice, even though we made some mistakes and had to repaint. We hoped that the signs would prevent littering so that future Amigos would not have to do the same work we did.

One thing I have learned during my stay in Panama is to never take things for granted. Getting the full experience of how it is to live in the communities really changes your perspective on life and how lucky you are to have items such as clean water, an abundance of food, and even in some cases, running water. I expected that Panama City wouldn’t be as developed as other cities but is quite the contrary. The huge skyscrapers and modern technology continues to amaze me.

 

I will never forget playing soccer on the beach with the locals. They are always so nice and cheerful, despite the struggles they encounter every day. It has also been great to make new friends. Spending time with my other fellow AMIGOS volunteers has been a joyful experience.