20/03/2013 by cc_admin

Estudio Nuboso Leads a Book Binding Workshop!

As part of the Cambio Creativo summer program, Estudio Nuboso offered a bookbinding workshop to compliment a writing class. We made a simple japanese binding to initiate them in the art of making  your own books.

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In this workshop, fine skills and interest were revealed by a number of the students. The possibility of learning to make fanzines and other bindings which will allow them to tell their stories and self-publish is alive and well. We hope to make this happen in the next months.

-Estudio Nuboso

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18/03/2013 by cc_admin

Defining and Building Healthy Communities: Global Brigades visits Coco Solo

During this workshop, staff members from Global Brigades-Panama
organized a workshop with Cambio Creativo teachers and students to
discuss ‘what makes a community,’ and how we can collectively build
healthier social and ecological relationships at home. Global Brigades
is currently the world’s largest student-led health and development
organization, working on rural community development projects in
Panamá, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Ghana.
Team members from GB coordinated with Cambio Creativo teachers
to lead a general discussion, followed by a creative mapping exercise
to define and understand “community.” What elements do you think make
up a healthy community? Students and teachers designed and sketched
their own visions, and shared ideas. Many students, for example, drew
schools, houses, churches, parks, in addition to rivers and lakes to
swim and fish in.
The workshop allowed team members and students from both
organizations to come together and discuss community mobilization
methods used both in urban and rural settings. The question was
raised: ‘how now do we build the community that you’ve just drawn?’
There was an overwhelming feeling of mutual collaboration between Coco
Solo youth and Global Brigades members. The guiding principles in all
community mobilization projects are education and participatory
This was the first activity, in what will hopefully be a long relationship,
between Global Brigades and Cambio Creativo. Next week, Coco Solo
teacher and mentor Jesus David Blanco, for example, will be a Visiting
Fellow on one of Global Brigade’s programs in the Darien region.
During the week, Jesus David will follow GB activities and report back
to Cambio Creativo team members about what he learned about community

-Allen Gula, Solomiya Teterichko, and Abbey Rich

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18/03/2013 by cc_admin

El Sapo y El Caiman

Este año Cambio Creativo está haciendo un gran esfuerzo por promover la alfabetización en Coco Solo. Aparte de participar en talleres sobre la escritura creativa y la lectura, los jovenes crearon su propia cancion del abecedario! Y hicieron fotos que ilustran cada letra para complementar el proyecto! Tambien hemos expandido la biblioteca juvenil y creado un club de lectura.

Entre todo estos esfuerzos, Eduardo Arenas notaba que muchos niños todavia no saben leer y no tienen a nadie quien les lea. De ahi le surgio una grandisima idea: por que no creamos nuestros propios libros de audio?!? De esta forma, los jovenes pueden practicar o aprender a leer solos, ya que ver las letras y escuchar los sonidos es lo primordial a la hora de aprender a leer.

Fue un proceso lindo en el cual 10 participantes entre 8-15 años colaboraron para desarrollar la historia. Luego la ilustraban mientras unos narraban el cuentro y otros graban los efectos de sonido. Los jovenes estaban muy emocionados y orgullosos que su cuento sea publicado. Ademas de herramienta educativa, “El Sapo y el Caiman” es una manifestacion de creatividad, talento y pasion — todos estamos muy orgullosos!


El Sapo y El Caiman from Lorena Endara on Vimeo.

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11/02/2013 by cc_admin

Viva El Bibliobandido: A Workshop on Literacy and Storytelling

We arrived to Coco Solo on November 25th, a year and a half after our
last visit, back in 2011. It was exciting to be working with the kids
again, and to see how much they had grown. It was also impressive to
see the new space of Cambio Creativo. The educational center now has a
second additional classroom, plus a walk-in closet to store Cambio’s
supplies. We spent two weeks in Coco Solo, running a literacy and
storytelling workshop. We brought with us, from the United States,
fifty new children books in Spanish – to add to the growing library.
The kids were enthralled with the books. We, along with the help of
Jesus David and Yamilka Savage, divided the children into small groups
by age, and read each group a selection of the new books. It was a
challenge with the amount of students and the breadth of their ages,
but we all worked together to engage the students.

During our second week, we conducted a special Bibliobandido workshop,
inspired by a program by the same name in Honduras. See,
http://vimeo.com/43641161 Pastor Michael Brown was a great help to us,
as he dressed up as the mysterious book bandit and told the kids a
fantastic story about his ravenous desire for children’s stories. “Soy
El Bibliobandido. Tengo ganas a comer los cuentos. Los cuentos son mi
alimentacíon. Los que no me cuentan. Ten cuidado!!!” He asked the
children to write books for him to eat. The moment he left, the
children quickly got to creating their books. They each used one of
the new books from the library to influence their stories. It was a
really fun experience.

A few weeks after the Bibliobandido workshop, we visited Coco Solo for
one last day, on what was the U.S. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
We worked with the students, discussing the story of Martin Luther
King Jr.’s life’s work battling discrimination against black people.
The kids really identified with the struggles of African Americans,
and it made them think of their own identities as people of African
descent. At the end of the workshop, each student wrote a short “I
Have a Dream” speech, with their own vision for the future. They had
in common a dream that one day they would be able to escape poverty.

-Wendy & Blake

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09/02/2013 by cc_admin

Cambio Creativo!

Music by youth of Coco Solo
Mixing by Eduardo Arenas
Animation by Lorena Endara

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28/12/2012 by cc_admin

Christmas Party at Coco Solo

“The Gospel states that God blesses a happy giver and we have received every detail big or small with all our hearts and love. We do not possess gold or silver but in appreciation you will always be present in our blessings. And in this upcoming year, may you be full of blessings with every step you take.”

- Pastor Mikey & the community of Coco Solo

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12/11/2012 by cc_admin

Guided Study Hall Sessions

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26/09/2012 by cc_admin

UDELAS students at Coco Solo!

A group of university  students from the Universidad Especializada de las Americas (UDELAS) began volunteering at Coco Solo. They facilitate study hall sessions twice a week to the youth that visit the community center. It is a true blessing to have them present and see them establishing caring relationships with the youth. They mutually exchange smiles, share stories, and learn together.

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26/09/2012 by cc_admin

The Magic of Numbers

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20/09/2012 by cc_admin

Cambio Creativo End of Year Party at El Museo Afro-Antillano in Panama City

We had so much to celebrate and be thankful for this year. This was the first year Cambio Creativo was able to facilitate one workshop a month, every month for a whole year. We also were able to facilitate a study hall program five days a week. This study hall program provided a space for the kids to come everyday after school to work on homework, read books from the library, or work on special projects that the teachers would design. These sessions were a great addition to our monthly programming of workshops. As for the workshops, we facilitated workshops in a variety of subjects such as Music, Health, Computer Literacy, Sports and more… The workshops were made possible by the generous support of the US Embassy in Panama and we were glad  to have the opportunity to celebrate with them at our “End of the Year” Party.

This celebration was hosted by SAMAAP and the Afro-Antillian Museum in Panama City. We are thankful for their continued collaboration. It was attended by 25 Coco Solo youth, The US Embassador to Panama, his wife and other embassy guests, as well as SAMAAP members and other invited mentors and friends of Cambio Creativo. We had a great crowd. The event was to have two parts, the first was to consist of the presentations and the second was to consist of games. The kids spent the last two weeks preparing oral presentations about what they enjoyed about Cambio Creativo programming, and what their dreams for the future are. They did fantastic, all of them memorized by heart what they were to say and were articulate and confident. We were very proud.  We then presented a new alphabet song created by the youth in collaboration with Cambio Creativo mentor Eduardo Arenas. The song was played in conjunction with a slideshow of photographs made by the kids in which each photograph stood for a letter in the alphabet. The crowd was thoroughly impressed. This was our first presentation of this work, and we soon plan to package and market it as an educational tool, with the proceeds benefiting future Cambio Creativo programming. Next we had the opportunity to hear a few retired Panamanian Olympic athletes make short presentations, and then we headed outside for Olympic style games of our own!

For the next two hours the kids got to participate in an African dance workshops, eat lunch and snacks, draw with chalk, and play a wide variety of Mini-Olympics games. We had hoola hoops, relay races, jumping contests and more. The kids were so happy and the weather was perfect. The day left us with a great feeling of accomplishment, a great feeling of the community that surrounds us and supports us in our work, and a great feeling of hope for what is to come in the future.
-Rose Cromwell

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