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Artists For Conservation Flag Expeditions Flag

Travel with Canadian artist David Kitler to the remote jungles of Panama's Darien Province to learn about the magnificent but endangered Harpy Eagle - the world's most powerful bird.
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David KitlerDavid N. Kitler   AFC, SAA David Kitler
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Solar Power to Llano Bonito
We are always thankful for opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of others, especially when those benefitted are children... Earlier this year we returned to the remote Emberá community of Llano Bonito (Darien Province, Panama), to deliver and install a solar panel for their little school.

Our connection to this particular community started back in 2005. That was the first time we travelled to that remote part of the world to observe and photograph the Harpy Eagle, as part of the first Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition (read more at http://www.artistsforconservation.org/programs/flag-expeditions/expedition/1/observing-portraying-endangered-harpy-eagle-its-habitat). It just so happened that two out of the three Harpy Eagle nests we visited were located in the land of this particular Emberá tribe, so we spent quite a bit of time in the village and got to know them well. The village has a small one-room school, and the teacher was very concerned with giving the children the best possible chances for a better future. Through donations received from a variety of individuals and companies, we were able to return to the village a few times over the ensuing years to deliver hundreds of pounds of donated school and personal care supplies.

The teacher had recently mentioned how much having lights at the school would be of benefit to the children and to the whole community, as many of the adults are illiterate and he would love to run evening classes for them as well. So this year, when we traveled to Panama, we spent a couple of days of non-stop shopping to get the solar panel, along with all related supplies and tools, before heading to the Darien. Once there, we spent a full week in the community, working alongside the villagers to install a solar panel system with four lights at the school, and teaching them how to care for and maintain the new equipment. The very first night after the lights went on, the school room was used for a community meeting!

Through the donations received, we were also able to supply a solar powered lantern to each family. These lanterns can be hung from the ceiling to light up a whole room, or can be placed on a table top and used as a reading light. The villagers were ecstatic, especially because having these lanterns will mean significant savings when compared to the use of kerosene lamps - savings which might enable a child to attend school in town after finishing the elementary grades in the village!

If you would like to join us in supporting this community, please visit the Get Involved section of David's website for more information (http://davidkitler.bizland.com/get-involved.htm). To see more photos of this visit, check out the "Panama - Lighting Llano Bonito" album on David's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/davidkitler).

 


 
 
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