Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category

Fostering Grassroots Sustainability in Panama

Monday, July 27th, 2009

By Emily Primack

It rains almost everyday in the early afternoon in La Palma. While walking I notice buckets collecting the water to be used for later. My first day with my host family, they explained that water was a valuable resource and was to be used sparingly. Basically, I understood from my basic level of Spanish that I should simply live by the old saying, “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” I have gotten more and more used to taking 60 second showers and brushing my teeth with as little amount of water as necessary.

For some reason, I assumed all of this effort to conserve water was the whole “Going Green!” fad. However, a few days ago while riding a chiva (a bus without a schedule), I noticed all of the people around me throwing their trash out the window as if the ground was their own personal trash can. I kept it cool until I reached my house and could ask my host family about littering. They explained to me that there was indeed a law against it, however it was not enforced whatsoever.

I learned that my family and others living in La Palma do not conserve to save the environment, but instead to save money. While it makes complete sense, I was a bit dissapointed. Read the rest of this entry ?

Dispatch From Abroad: Teaching English in Panama

Friday, July 17th, 2009

By Emily Primack

I am currently living in a rural village called La Palma in Panama teaching English at the secondary school. I teach 7th, 8th and 9th grade which is an awkward age no matter what country you live in. My students are more than a handful but after teaching for three weeks, they have started to grow on me. Read the rest of this entry ?