Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

With the start of the new year, has come the start of an incredible journey.

2011 has been an incredible year for us, our volunteers, our partnering organizations, & the communities in which we have been working.

Since the beginning of January, we have had the pleasure of working with@ 60 new volunteers!

To start the year, we hosted students from the College of Saint Rose, from Albany, NY.  They have since contacted us to add us as an accredited program for their students; I think that was a pretty successful week!  Their service project was a summer camp of sorts for the Casa Hogar Trisker Children’s Home.

College of Saint Rose


Our 2nd group of the year came from the Students without Borders Academy out of Canada.  They were our largest group to date with 31!  Add in our staff, and it took a 46’ cargo canoe to get us all to our service location.  We focused on smokeless stoves from Contextual Solutions & 3 new rainwater catchment systems for the indigenous community of Salt Creek.  When the students were asked by their coordinating professor about their experience, the response was humbling.  “They changed our lives, we want to come back & help them.”  In a closing discussion their leader said they’d like to spend a month with us next year instead of just a week!

Students Without Borders Academy


Our 3rd group we welcomed from the Shasta Valley Rotary Club & the Rotary Club of Boquete, Panama.  Rotary was the source of an $11,700 grant, which funded 21 rainwater catchment systems!

Rotary Club Representatives from Boquete, Panama & Shasta Valley, CA.

Our 4th group, came from “The Global Citizen Project”.  Focused on childcare, fund-raising,  & smokeless stoves; this group of women came with a mission!  Follow the rest of Charyn’s mission here.

The Global Citizen Project


We’ve also been blessed by some incredible individuals volunteering with us this year.  One just left, and he’s already coming back in April… see you soon Dave!

Volunteer, Dave Bandes, helping deliver 7 new tanks for clean water!

Now, a little snapshot of some projects…

E. Lee Robinson Medical Clinic:

Many of you are aware that we are building a medical clinic for the Casa Hogar Trisker Children’s Home in Boquete, Panama.  We have had a few delays due to requests for additional permits.  However, our staff is on it & will have every detail in order quickly.  We have chosen to dedicate this facility to the Robinson family of Hillsboro, OR.  In Memory of E. Lee Robinson  (see why here).

21 New Rainwater Catchment Systems:

How do you change the lives of more than 600 people for the next 10-15 years at an average cost of just over $1/person/year?  We thought of one way… deliver & install rainwater catchment systems for indigenous families throughout the Bocas del Toro Region of Panama…  got your interest perked & your toes wet?  then dive in for more (here).

Smokeless Stoves:

Volunteers & supporting organizations have been working hard.  With new commercial stoves made for the Salt Creek School on Isla Bastimentos, & a demonstration for Peace Corps Volunteers in the Bocas del Toro Islands has led to many new request for residential molds & commercial stoves for more schools.  Looks like its going to be a busy year for stove volunteers.  A few benefits of using the smokeless stove: stoves consume smoke before it is released in secondary combustion, burning smokeless reduces respiratory issues for women & children, concentrated heat cooks faster, the thickness of the stove walls reduces the risk of burns, efficiency of fire uses less wood, less wood = reduction in de-forestation, the list could go on.

Smokeless Stove from Contextual Solutions, (Africa Prototype)

Books from Ben:

How do you get a child excited about reading?  In the Bocas del Toro region, you just give them a book.  This project distributes & establishes small libraries throughout indigenous villages in the Bocas del Toro islands.  Want to know more… then you’ll have to read more  (here)!


Building & Strengthening Relationships:

We have focused on & will continue to, “Prove ourselves, not to sell ourselves.” With new partnerships with the College of Saint Rose, Students without Borders Academy, multiple Rotary clubs, numerous Peace Corps volunteers, a new high school in Panama City, with others currently being cultivated… I’d say we are building a very strong foundation for the days ahead. Want to join “The Volunteer Revolution”?  We welcome all individuals, companies, organizations, & donors who share our fundamentals.

In the news:

Featured cover story for another local paper, The Bocas Breeze  (read more).

The Bocas Breeze Cover Photo


A recent email in response to the water project in coordination with Rotary, Contextual Solutions, & the Peace Corps that we just had to share with the world… “I have been involved with a lot of NGO’s
over the years and one of my great sadnesses is the competition and
ego that I often see, that would make any level of collaboration an
impossibility.  This collaborative effort, however, has brought hope
and joy to my heart.  It took all parts of the puzzle of course, but
TVR’s involvement was central and critical.  TVR’s willingness to do
whatever it took to see this project through has been tireless.  The
attention to the details and behind the scene work has made this
project seamless. .. The commitment and dedication has been
exemplary.  Without the attention to detail, and dedication
to all aspects of this project, this would not have been the success
that we all are sharing in.  A job very well done indeed.”


Books from Ben

“Books from Ben”, is a project dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Seth Pickett.  Ben was the kind of person who took time for kids, time for adventure, and time for those that most of us avoid.  He had a gift that made other’s lives better.  We hope to perpetuate this spirit with our “Books for Ben” project.  This project currently supports small libraries in indigenous communities throughout the Bocas del Toro Islands, in coordination with the “One Library at a Time” organization.

Library for the Community of Salt Creek

Each library kit is made up of roughly 100 books, a locking book case, & training provided by “One library at a Time”.

There are 2 ways to support these projects, you can purchase books from a “Wish List” which are then shipped to “One Library at a Time” & brought to Panama, or you can contribute financially to help cover the expenses of the bookcases, transport, etc.

For the Wish List – (click here)


The students from the College of Saint Rose, are a few of GHA’s favorite things!

Students spent their GHA Expedition coordinating a Summer Camp for the Casa Hogar Trisker Children’s Home.

It was an incredible group & we can’t wait for the new accredited program due to a partnership between GHA & the college.  In the words of the Mayor of  Boquete (pictured), “You are welcome back anytime!”  See you in May!

College of Saint Rose

What do these all have in common?  Well, they are pieces of one of Global Humanitarian Adventures‘ projects, “Tread 4 Knowledge”.

A little background is needed, I know.  There is an indigenous village on Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago of Panama.  The island is highly developed as a whole, but a visit to this village will take you back in time.

There are actually 3 villages here, right in a row.  They are pinned in between the airport’s only runway & the sea.  There houses are on stilts to avoid the wet conditions & a trip to the store includes watching for planes landing as they run across the runway…

How did we end up here?  There are some local residents who have been spending time with the children of the village, teaching them English & basic conservation.  We took a group to assist with teaching, but when we asked how we could help the only grandmother in the entire village spoke up.  She asked for a walkway, a way to get in & out of the village without sinking in the muck & mud of this tropical environment.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how much easier life would be with a simple way for children to get to school, for the adults to get to work or to market.  So, we took on the challenge.

Our group when on a scavenger hunt for materials & quickly found a pile of old lumber.  They found a truck, loaded it up & dropped it off near the airport.  Then, the fun part!  Carrying all this material across an active runway… the joke/reality was to look both ways & up…

After delivering what we had, it was time for lunch.  We walked over to the beach, rinsed off & sat down for a typical lunch – rice, beans & chicken.

Afterwards, a few headed back to the beach to play soccer with the local kids & others headed back to the village.  That’s when we witnessed the most amazing sight.  The pile of materials we had left, had already been put to use by some of the village men.  While we were at lunch, they had utilized everything & built a 75′ section in the time that we had lunch!

We took advantage of the new section, entered the village & continued with our original plan of teaching English.  Our group of UNCW student volunteers were AMAZING!  They dove in, took on the challenge head on.  The rest of the afternoon, we worked with the children, shared pictures with them, donated school supplies & even played with some of the baby chickens that were running around.

DONATE $20 Today to HELP us finish the walkway!