Buenos Vecinos de Boquete (Good Neighbors of Boquete) is a small all-volunteer group that provides non-perishable food every month to about one hundred individuals and families in the greater Boquete area. The majority of these recipients are single moms, elderly without family support, handicapped individuals, or families struggling to support a handicapped family member. They represent some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Each month Buenos Vecinos purchases food from a local wholesale provider. These are staples that are familiar to our families and include rice, beans, cooking oil, pasta, flour, salt, crema, canned fish, canned meat and powdered milk. This food is delivered to the Handicap Foundation (Fundacion Pro-Integracion) FPI, where BVB volunteers pack approximately $35 worth of food into reusable bags. Many of these are picked up by FPI families, and the rest of the bags are delivered by BVB volunteers. These monthly visits also give volunteers the opportunity to assess their families’ current health and living conditions.
HOW WE ARE FUNDED
Funds to purchase food are provided by generous community members and supporters, and by those even outside of Panama. Donors who contribute $400 or more a year become Coconut Foundation Members. A donation of any size is always appreciated. BVB volunteers assisted by others in the community raise funds throughout the year. Our past fund-raisers have included cook-offs, wine-tastings, bilingual cookbook sales, restaurant programs, raffles, multi-charity events and Food Drives in front of the Boquete Supermercado Romero. A generous corporate sponsor, International Coffee Farms Corporation, also supports Buenos Vecinos de Boquete throughout the year. Technical assistance for the website and newsletter are donated by the Panama Real Estate Guide, El Recetario Latino and the Chiriqui Media Factory.
HOW WE CHOOSE OUR CLIENTS
To ensure that BVB donations are spent most efficiently and ethically, BVB volunteers, and translators when required, make home visits to prospective clients. They assess housing conditions and costs, health issues, family make-up, income, and other factors that affect the prospective client’s life. These criteria are revisited on a regular basis to determine any changes in their eligibility to receive BVB monthly allotments. BVB volunteers strive to establish and maintain relationships with representatives from government offices, clinics, and other charities who are often the contact point between the BVB volunteers and the clients we serve.