Peace Corps Programs in Panama

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 04, 2001 - 6:40 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Programs in Panama

Peace Corps Programs in Panama

Peace Corps Programs in Panama

Panama is located on the narrowest and lowest part of Central America. This S-shaped part of the isthmus is slightly smaller than South Carolina, approximately 77,082 square kilometers. Panama has two coastlines, the Caribbean Sea to the north and Pacific Ocean to the south, and borders Colombia to the east and Costa Rica to the west. The country is divided into nine provinces, plus the Comarca de San Blas with over 350 islands and the Comarca Ngabe-Bugle.

The dominant features of Panama's topography are the mountains and hills that form the continental divide. The highest point on the divide, the Volc…n Barô, rises to almost 3,500 meters. The RÃo Chagres is one of the longest and most vital of the rivers that flow into the Atlantic. Part of this river was dammed to create Gatun Lake, which forms a major part of the Panama Canal transit route between the locks near each end of the canal. Both Gatun Lake and Madden Lake (also filled with water from the RÃo Chagres) provide hydroelectricity for the area of the former Canal Zone.

Panama's tropical environment supports an abundance of plants. Although nearly 40 percent of Panama is still wooded, poor management of natural resources has caused deforestation, erosion, pollution, loss of biological diversity, and the degradation of coastal and marine systems. As a result, water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; land degradation forces families off their land; and soil erosion threatens siltation of the Panama Canal.

Volunteers work in a variety of rural and urban community development projects. Over 400 Volunteers have worked in Panama in Community Economic Development, Community Environmental Education, and Agroforestry.

The Peace Corps program in Panama contributes to improvements in the quality of life of low-income families and environmental conditions by promoting environmental education in primary and junior high schools, introducing sustainable agriculture techniques to rural farmers, and working with coastal fishermen and indigenous communities on marine resource conservation and waste management. Additionally, Volunteers work with youth, women, and rural and indigenous community organizations to develop income generating activities and small business skills through agribusinesses and eco-tourism.

Peace Corps Volunteers are also significantly engaged in a variety of cross-cultural exchanges that are promoting a better understanding of both the American and Panamanian culture. Peace Corps Volunteers learn about the predominantly Caribbean-Spanish culture and customs of Panama and, in addition to learning Spanish, Volunteers learn various indigenous languages.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Panama



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