Fruit tree nursery
The long and intense dry period of 2014/ 2015 didn’t allow us to start with our long awaited fruit tree nursery before May. Because there was only very little public water available we had to wait for the first rains for our seedlings to be able to develop well.
The nursery was initialized as part of one of our seminars, led by the passionate organic agronomic Hojier Carrera from the neigh-boring town of Santa Cruz. Together with local farmers from Las Lajas and the indige-nous region of the Ngöbe-Buglé we filled planting bags with soil and well selected seeds.
In August we were already able to give away the first seedlings to small farmers. This, too, was framed by a seminar. Hojier informed everyone about a good site selection, preferred soils, planting time and care of the seedlings. One of the seminar participants, Don Abelio, works in the comarca as a medicinal man. He commented “We are not born knowingly. We have to exchange our knowledge of today today, because we do not know what will come tomorrow.”
The goal is to increase the variety of fruit trees in the gardens of farming families. In only a few years a huge selection of fruits will be available for personal use, surplus can maybe be sold.
Luis Rodriguez, who we have been in contact with for several years, coordinates the delivery to the farmers of the indigenous region. On top of this he comes to lo tuyo once a week to check the seedlings for pests, to replant if needed, to cut the seedlings and to free them from weeds. So far over 700 seedlings have been given away to interested small farmers.
In addition to this we have planted about 100 resistant avocado-, mango-, cocoa-, and citrus- trees to be engrafted. The moringa (Moringa oleifera) is not missing in our assortment either. The name of this tree, which comes from, India already sounds like a witch’s spell. The plant is meant to be the most nutritional plant that exists. The moringa is well known and wanted in Panama and grows well in our climate.
Carola Paul comes to visit the tree nursery
In August of this year Carola Paul of lo tuyo’s management board came to visit us in Panama.
“It's great to see ,lo tuyo' growing. The effort of all the volunteers, as well as our helper José Aparicio, Felipe Rodríguez, Hojier Carrera and Luis Rodríguez is impressive. It's great to work together on the realization of this idea and to see how it is implemented step by step. ,lo tuyo' is proof for me that even small initiatives can make a major difference. Children and farmers are visiting the project regularly asking for new seminars and offers. This success can be attributed in wide parts to Silke Berger who is managing the project. On top of this she offers such a trustworthy location that lo tuyo has become a platform for farmers and their families. ‚lo tuyo’will grow in a sustainable way. In addition to the huge commitment the project depends on a secure financial base to be able to keep realizing its efforts. We are happy for any support, it always reaches us directly.“
Cooperation with the elementary school - Summer school programm
Students of the elementary school of Las Lajas Adentro (ELA) were thrilled to partici-pate in our summer school program. The school is only 5 walking minutes away from lo tuyo. We made jams out of personally harvested fruits, painted, played, danced and had fun with the kids. At a closing event, the young artists were able to show friends and family what they had created.
Puppet theater ‘How beautiful is Panama’
In September we got to present the story “Oh, how beautiful is Panama” from the German author Janosch as a puppet theater with the 5 th grade of the ELA in the Teatro Ataneo in Panama City. It was a great experience for everyone involved. Most of the students were in the capital for the first time. In a tour around the city they took many pictures and collected impressions. The puppet presentation at night with the little tiger and bear in front of over 450 spectators was a great success. The young protagonists were very concentrated, the atmosphere in the auditorium great. And the eyes of the students appeared like gleaming stars after the presentation.
With 5th grade students we performed „Oh, how beautiful is Panama“ as a puppet theater in Panama City. After three days and a final visit to the canal locks the students returned home full of joy to tell about everything they experienced.
We made it!
Prsentation in Las Lajas
On the 28th of November we were able to perform the theater in Las Lajas as well. Grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, the huge families and many friends of out artists came. The „cancha“(sports ground) beside the primary school was packed – what a great open-air event!
Here and there you could see a tear...
In June Silke Berger was invited to give an interview for the radio channel “Radio Chiriquí/Culturama”. Besides cultural and historical topics this channel discusses educational and environmental topics. A big thank you to Milagros and Itzel who took lots of time after the interview to exchange thoughts and ideas.
Daily newspaper ‚Estrella de Panamá’
Roberto Jované, a journalist from the neighboring town of San Felix, published a thorough and all over positive article about lo tuyo in the daily newspaper ‘Estrella de Panama’. Him, too, we want to thank for his support and interest in the project.
"The use of functional and integrated production techniques, along with the desire to multiply this knowledge through students, is a new concept for our area; making it one of the most significant contributions of the great migrations of different peoples that come to our country. All the great thinkers share information proving that education is the most important element for the development of the pillars of our societies."
For people who live outside of our direct reach and want to follow what is going on on lo tuyo we have several online possibilities:
Facebook: Our facebook is well visited and the number of ‘likes’ keeps rising. We are especially happy to see more and more Panamanian visitors on there.
Homepage: Statistics inform us that an average of 450 visitors per months look at our website. That’s a 107% increase over the year before.
YouTube: In this year, too, we were able to add on to our short movies on YouTube. We now count 7 videos and 2500 visitors over all.
We are excited to see so much online interest!
Many thanks to Stefan Haas, who manages our website voluntarily and is always there to give advice!
The project lo tuyo e.V. was founded in 2011. Ever since almost 40 volunteers have come to help and left their marks. Their practical support and positive energy is a big help for us to realize our ideas as well as to keep up with and improve what is already here.
„During the time I passed at the „lo tuyo“ project, I got a great insight into the fascinating diversity of the plants of Panama. Furthermore I realized that the preservation of these plants is of importance no matter if used for nutrition, cosmetics or in the medical field. I had a lot of fun working in the tree nursery and contributing to the preservation of Mamey, Sapote, Tamarindo and so on.“ (Paul Kastner)
Selina Arnold (Oct. 2014 to March 2015), Aline Wagner (January to March 2015) and Paul Kastner (May 2015) from Germany.
Muchas gracias voluntarios!
ZF hilft e.V. and conenergy AG: Fruit tree nursery
With their financial support ZF hilft e.V., Roman Dudenhausen of the conenergy AG and Sonja Hegasy made it possible to establish our fruit tree nursery this year.
Thanks a lot!
Emil-Thoma-School: Flea market in Freiburg/Germany
With their summer flea market of this year the Emil-Thoma-school in Freiburg collected money for the elementary school of Kuerima in the indigenous region of the Ngöbe-Buglé. We are still looking for partner schools to support our activities with local elementary students.
Thanks to Sandra Eckstein who contacted us, and to the students of the Emil-Thoma-school.
German embassy Botschaft: Puppet theater
At the beginning it was like a dream: could we bring the students of the 5 th grade to the capital to perform “Oh how nice is Panama”? When the consul and cultural representative of the German embassy, Jennifer Rowher, spontaneously offered her support this dream became a reality. So quickly, in fact, that it almost overwhelmed us – the possibilities to have rehearsals on lo tuyo were limited: heat, rain, small spaces, mosquitos and hyper excited children challenged us all, but it was 100% worth it!
Thanks to Mrs. Rohwer for this support!