Bocas del Toro/Panama January 3, 2019.
In 2018, The Darklands Foundation has had some wonderful experiences and remarkable achievements. We have strengthened our relations with some Panamanian government administrations such as MINSA (Health Department), MIDA & IDIAP (Department of Agriculture), Organo Judicial of Panama (Panama Court of Justice), thus fulfilling our vision of working and to make progress on the human development of the indigenous Ngabe population and the preservation of the Bocas del Toro rainforest.
Two big moves forward have been achieved this year; The Darklands Foundation’s implementation within the indigenous communities of the judicial facilitator/mediator program designed by the OAS (Organization Of American States) and under the Panama Court Of Justice leadership and the program for potable water in Bocas del Toro’s indigenous communities, both are still works in progress. Our women seminars on reproductive health and women rights now serve 8 communities with an average of 60 women in attendance for each seminar. These seminars are making a positive impact on Ngabe indigenous women welfare.
In 2018, we organized the World AIDS Day campaign in Bocas del Toro. We became the facilitators so that MINSA has access to the indigenous communities of the archipelago.
Our cocoa farmers’ seminar in early September took place at the IDIAP pilot plantation in Almirante. The location has given us a unique position to teach local small cocoa growers the best practices of cocoa farming and the process protocol in a perfect environment.
The French artist based in New York, Coco Van, brought us her love letter to the world. We facilitated her access to the community of Popa Dos on the island of Popa, where the Ngabe students participated in writing their own little love letter to the world to be integrated to the master one. It was a joy for the foundation to read them and to realize that one of their predominant concerns is the preservation of the environment.
We couldn’t have made it without you, your support and your words of encouragement. Most of the journey is still ahead, so “stick” with us. We need you.
We are excited about 2019 prospects: after a very successful seminar for cocoa farmers at the IDIAP pilot farm, we are building two cocoa processing plants on the archipelago; the first will be on Isla San Cristobal at the beginning of this year.
We will be integrating an AIDS / HIV conference and educational tool into our year-round women’s reproductive health seminars and, in collaboration with Bocas Hospital, we are organizing a community-based AIDS/HIV management program in each indigenous community. We will continue with the Red Ribbon campaign for World AIDS Day 2019 on December 1st.
The extension of our drinking water program will be its mechanization. This is a big challenge for which we are drafting a proposal for 2019-2020.
This year we are developing a program of satellite mapping for the archipelago of Bocas del Toro and Darklands. This program will help us to situate the fresh water underground tables for our wells and manual pumps. As well the program will provide us with comprehensive data on deforestation in the area, almost in real life. Collecting this information will enhance our Bocas del Toro cocoa producers educational seminars
The Darklands Foundation’s staff, the Ngabe ladies and cacao producers of Bocas del Toro and us wish you an incredible, happy and prosperous New Year 2019.
Mathilde Grand – Founder / Executive Director
Monique Deleuze Dordron – President
Our New Year 2019 Note To You.