03/04/2014 by cc_admin

YOUTH GROUP INFORMATION

YOUTH GROUP INFORMATION

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In the Coco Solo Community, seeing the need to help the youth and continue with a positive change, we have gathered a group of young people that we consider, have great potential to influence the others in their circles, with the support of all the people that make up the Cambio Creativo team.

We have been meeting, after school, with a group of 12 young people every thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. since February 10th.

The objective is to work with necessary subjects for the personal training, instilling values and practical advice to coexist and to know how to deal with real life around us. We know that it is necessary to educate the young, so that when they are adults, they don’t stray from the correct path. We have decided on a name for the youth group that identifies us and it is: JOVENES LUCHADORES. We decided on this name after several votes, with the objective of identifying ourselves with the daily struggles that each and every one of them has to confront to get ahead in life, most do not have the economic resources to be able to study and reach their dreams of becoming a professional.

Now, every member is creating a logo that represents de name we have chosen and on the next meeting, we will vote for the best one

We are all very motivated and we want to train them with the knowledge and necessary tools for them to:

-educate other young people and also become part of this new iniative of change
-be able to satisfactorily develop themselves intellectually as well as in other comprehensive formation areas
-represent the Community and the Foundation and
-be able to make correct desicions wherever life leads them.

Jesús Blanco
Cambio Creativo

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26/03/2014 by cc_admin

Cambio Creativo participates in the 3rd Annual Festival Abierto in Panama City

Festival Abierto is a colorful and art-filled festival centered around protecting the environment and fostering eco-friendly lifestyles through culture, science, and education. Non-profits and ONGs are the backbone of Festival Abierto, presenting and expressing what they are doing to participants through creative, physical, and artistic activities. This huge outdoor 2-day event took place in Parque Omar, with lots of music, activities, and tons of incredible energy. Cambio Creativo was able to participate this year for the third time in a row with great success.

Saturday, March 22, we set up our booth at Parque Omar at 9 am, completely unaware that the day would be filled with so many new opportunities and future connections. Other participating ONGs had incredible set-ups and engaging activities, which to be honest, was slightly intimidating because we were more modest in comparison, but this did not hold us back at all….the people were all so drawn to WHO we are, WHAT we are doing, and HOW they could help. Our story, our history, and what we have accomplished holds more weight than any activity or display. And it was incredible to see how evident this was to those around us and the impact it has.

In particular, festival goers were drawn to our Alphabet Song, a project in which students chose words to represent each letter, photographed a visual representation of these words, and then wrote and recorded an accompanying song. People from all ages and backgrounds stopped to take pictures of it, ask how it was made, and were in awe that the children of Coco Solo MADE it!

Pose, smile, snap!

The children painted a canvas picture frame to be displayed for passerbys to take “selfies” in. Another success! So many people wanted to take pictures: “¿Puedo tomarme una foto?”

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“¡Sí! ¡Claro que sí!”

Some even chose to wear the masks the student created in a taller last year.

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Sunday, March 23, on the final day of the festival, we were approached by TVN Channel 2 news for an interview! As the day proceeded, more festival goers stopped by to spend time with us. Some of the Cambio Creativo students also came, and they had a blast! They interacted with almost every single they came into contact with, opening their eyes to new opportunities and drawing more people in to work with us.

Through our participation at Festival Abierto it was evident that we are making a difference: one small step at a time, and in a way that is fun, touching, and will have a long term effect on these children’s lives through interactive and creative exchanges.

By the end of the weekend, we had a list of folks who are interested in volunteering with Cambio Creativo through workshops! What a wonderful weekend. I can’t wait for all the new volunteers and fun to come. Here we go, Cambio Creativo!

-Jacquelin Tancredi

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18/01/2014 by cc_admin

Uncovering the History and Geography of Coco Solo

_DSC0485 On January 7, 2014, I had the pleasure of organizing a workshop on the history and geography of Coco Solo. Joined by valiant guests Ela Spalding of Estudio Nuboso and Project Suelo residents Claire Pentecost and Brian Holmes, as well as our team of consultants from the University of Texas at Austin, we embarked on a boisterous tour to learn about the people and buildings that once occupied this place. _DSC0509 Coco Solo was built in 1918 as a submarine base of the US Navy. In 1957, the area was transferred to the Panama Canal Company (which later became the Panama Canal Commission) for staff housing. PCC employees and their families lived in the 285 living quarters of the Coco Solo townsite until the mid-1990s. We visited the locations of the former Coco Solo store, supermarket, post office, gymnasium, and theatre. We also learned that the area had once been home to a church and an elementary school. Children and adults alike were excited to see old maps and photos of their community. _DSC0505 After the walk, youth used paints to create maps of the community, marking out places of significance to them and sites we had visited on the tour. The workshop helped them connect with the history of their home and its importance as part of the former American-controlled Panama Canal Zone. P1110667 -Martin Danyluk

 

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03/12/2013 by cc_admin

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

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29/11/2013 by cc_admin

Cambio Creativo performs at the Bio Museum at event hosted by Jane Goodall

Greetings to all and blessings, it has been and uplifting experience for me being the responsible person for the presentation made at the Panama City Bio Museum by Cambio Creativo foundation. This event was organized by Earth Train foundation for the arrival of biologist Jane Goodall to Panama, with the purpose that the children of other foundations and all the representatives of the indigenous ethnic groups in the country could join and expose their experiences.

This was an unforgettable experience for our team and the 14 young participants from Coco Solo since we learned a lot about our country. We created, organized and performed a play whose title was “Love for Nature instead of Love for Money”. The play tells the story of the relationship that exists between mankind, the animals, nature and God. We also performed a Congo Folk Dance, with a song created by us, where the love of God and respect for Nature is also expressed. It was a great pleasure being able to personally meet Dr. Jane Goodall and we give a special thank you to Mrs. Halit, organizer of this event. Always giving thanks to God for taking us and bringing us back in health in these two days that we spent out of our homes.

-Jesus David Castro


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27/11/2013 by cc_admin

Congo Dance & Music Workshop

The Congo dance is an ethnic dance that comes from Africa that is performed in the area of Colon. Nueva Jerusalen and Cambio Creativo want to accomplish that the children and young people of our foundation identify themselves with the culture and folklore of the region where they have grown up. I think that if we accomplish this goal we will be able to say that a great change is really manifesting itself in the mentality of the community since we have been losing these roots. In the community of Coco Solo only the old people know these traditions. They have belonged to folkloric organizations and we want them to join the vision that we have and participate in an active way as an entity of positive change, sharing their experiences with the young ones. Like the case of Mrs. Gloria Forsythe, who was a Congo queen and represented her culture for many years. This lady has been working with us, forming a group with the children that participated in a performance at the Bio Museum on November 14th. Because of this, many children and youngsters are very excited and want to be part of this project that complements the education. This cultural project includes training in percussion, dance, choreography and dance in the Congo culture.

- Jesus David Castro


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27/10/2013 by cc_admin

A Day for Community Gathering

After the moving of some neighbors from Coco Solo to Buena Vista, the majority of the children that we help in the center are already in Buena Vista. For this reason we had a family get-together at the church of Colon city. We hired a bus to bring and take back the children and youngsters and thank God we had a pleasant moment. We remembered old times and rejoiced in the Lord. I take the opportunity to extend our gratitude to all the people that makes this a reality, for all the support they provide, may God bless you all.
- Pastor Michael Brown



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19/09/2013 by cc_admin

Family Day in Buena Vista

We took the opportunity to share a family day in the grounds that the Government is handing over to us for the construction of our Buena Vista Center. We had a special moment with the neighbors in the area. The amazing thing that day, was noticing that it was very hot because of the sun, nevertheless, the children didn’t even notice, they were so happy. We sang Church songs, we prayed and shared the food that we brought which was rice with chicken. Everybody ate and some had seconds, nobody was left without food.
- Pastor Michael Brown


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17/09/2013 by cc_admin

Un Buen Futuro: video made by Coco Solo youth is presented in Toronto, Canada

A few months ago, I received an email from a colleague of mine from Syracuse University, Katie Micak. She was organizing a night of video performance at The Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto. This event  was part of Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche Arts Festival which took place on October 5, 2013. She asked me to send video work that would be shown alongside the work of very successful and compelling artists. Also, the world renown Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was headlining the festival.

The theme of the video exhibition was “13”. Most of the kids we work with are around this age, so we decided to concentrate thematically on what it means to be this age. During the video workshop, which we facilitated to produce our video piece, youth became familiar with the video camera functions and began practicing in the classroom. They then ventured out to interview young and old Coco Solo residents about how they envisioned their life to be when they turned 13 or what they remember from being 13 years old.

The youth made a number of successful interviews, but the more interesting footage recorded moments when the youth were performing for the camera in their own voice. This footage really gives the viewer compelling insight of what it means to be 13.  As viewers we are privileged to have the opportunity to see these youths interactions among themselves, and their humor, creativity, and precociousness.

- Rose Marie Cromwell

Un Buen Futuro from Cambio Creativo on Vimeo.

[Los jóvenes de Coco Solo condujeron entrevistas con miembros de la comunidad. Ellos le preguntaron cómo se imaginan su vida a los 13 años, o cuáles son sus recuerdos de aquella época. El video no solo presenta las anécdotas de los 13 años, sino tambien salen a relucir las contradicciones de la juventud y la adultez, lo positivo y negativo, y la agresión y sensibilidad que estos jóvenes viven en su día a día.]

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16/09/2013 by cc_admin

Misha Tepinsky’s Computer Workshop

I first heard about Cambio Creativo from a friend. I was looking to volunteer in the summer and asked her if she knew any nonprofits in Central America that could use an extra hand. She said Cambio might be just the right place, and described a very memorable trip she made to Coco Solo, where she saw pockets of abundant nature a stone’s throw from heavy industry, a community with serious needs, and a group of individuals at Cambio Creativo who were trying to make a difference. She put me in touch with Maya DeVries, who could not have been more welcoming or helpful with logistics. I was on my way.

Upon arriving in Colon I first made for the Galeta Marine Biology Lab which kindly provided accommodation for the week. Dense mangrove forest separates Galeta from the bustling Free Trade Zone less than a mile away. While workers and shipping containers and trucks move around scurry back and forth in the Zone, in Galeta the surroundings are peaceful. Scientists collect data, schoolchildren learn about ecology, and visitors like me . . .  snorkel!

The next day Maya and I made the short drive to Coco Solo to meet Cambio Creativo’s Michael Brown and Jesus Blanco. Cambio is located in a building within the Coco Solo community. To say the area is very humble would be quite an understatement, but it was quite amazing to me how successfully the Cambio team made their center welcoming and colorful and clean. After trying (and failing) to impress a group of kids with my basketball shot and making the acquaintance of a couple of friendly dogs, we got down to business.

Cambio had just acquired a set of computers and wanted to put together a computer lab for the students. We spent the next couple of days getting the hardware and software set up. The following day the lab was ready for “showtime.” A dozen excited students rushed through the doors to play with their new toys. Little did they know that their (evil) instructors had prepared for them some tasks designed to promote computer literacy! For some students, computer keyboard and mice and Microsoft Word and folders were old news. These students rushed through their assignment and moved on to explore other programs and features. But for others the experience of typing out and formatting sentences and saving their work was plenty novel. Jesus (and to a lesser extent I) helped these students with computer fundamentals (“Use the left mouse button to click, not the right one”) that we hope they will build on in subsequent lessons.

People say time runs fast, but during my visit to Coco Solo it must have taken steroids and outran Usain Bolt. After just one lesson with the kids it was time for me to leave. It had been a fascinating experience, and I’m very thankful to Maya and the rest of the Cambio Creativo team for making my visit possible. And who knows, maybe this visit wasn’t the last. Michael Brown says there is an uncanny tendency for visitors to find their way back to Coco Solo and he’s rarely wrong.

-Misha Teplitskiy


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