With November marking our first real move up coast, December has been a month making a few more connections, winding down, and preparing for the new year. We have begun to sow the seeds of a new chlorine charla network among the clinics and hospitals in Costa Arriba, so that the personnel can take the reins on educating the public in making their water potable. We are taking a look back on the year and what we have accomplished and looking ahead to our future participation in community development through science education. We are also preparing to be apart of a project called AGUA COLÓN collaborating with INDICASAT in water source analysis in communities in the district of Santa Isabel.
In Miramar, a community in the Santa Isabel district of Costa Arriba, we conducted our first training charla for the health staff in the Miramar Ministry of Health (MINSA) clinic. It was well received by the personnel and they told me about the need for this charla in the region and the good they think it can do. I left them with pipettes and instructional pamphlets to hand out to the patients that they give the charla to, and to this date they have conducted two charlas and have reached 28 people from the region. We are hoping for much more in the future and hope that Miramar will be the first clinic in a network of clinics and hospitals who will give this charla in order to reach all of Costa Arriba.
Looking back on the year we have made significant steps forward in developing community minds, water safety, and networking in the region. We did two project design charlas in both Portobelo with students and Nombre de Dios with community members. We hope to follow up this year with the students in Portobelo and community members in Nombre de Dios to further develop the solutions they came up with to test their viability in solving the respective problems they wished to tackle. In water safety we built the experimental emergency dam system for the high school in Portobelo that serves 250+ people during the school year. Our chlorine charlas have reached 100+ people in the region and is being set-up to reach more as we continue growing our network among clinics and hospitals in Costa Arriba. Apart from the medical institution network we’ve made in Costa Arriba we’ve also been networking to political leaders and businesses in the region in order to gather further support for our projects. On January 30th I am meeting with the representative of Palenque as well as several other representatives of communities in the region in order to talk about Future Scientist and what it is we do. All this groundwork we’ve laid will serve us for our endeavors this year in 2019.
For 2019 I have been attached to a project called AGUA COLÓN which has the objective of analyzing the water quality of the wells and rivers in the Santa Isabel region (both primary sources of water for people). This will require me to go and get water samples on a more or less bi-weekly basis and bring them to the laboratory we have in Panama City. Since this project is concerned with the water safety of those who live in Costa Arriba, Future Scientist has paired with the project managers in order to see it through to success, all the while carrying on with our own organization specific objectives. We hope that this collaboration will bear fruit for strong working relationships with both development entities and community members alike, connecting people across this boundary and building towards the future of water safety for the region.