Help the Amigos de Animales Educational Program image

Help the Amigos de Animales Educational Program

Help the children of rural Boquete experience the joy of reading and the magic of books!

$4,180 raised

$10,000 goal

Choose your own amount

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Your donation of $10 per month will provide for 2 books

Our immediate goals are to set up 20 more classrooms, do 2 more school sterilization clinics, and create teams of volunteers at each school in the area.

Click on the "Donate" button above.
You can make a one-time donation or you can click on the "Frequency" button to set up a recurring donation.

Update on the Amigos de Animales Educational Outreach branch: We are a team of volunteers dedicated to improving the circumstances of the children and pets around rural Boquete.

Our mission: To enhance the students’ educational experience by providing classes on pet care, animal maintenance, and sterilization. We will also expand their access to reading books, read aloud to the students and by setting up school animal sterilization clinics at the schools, near the students’ homes.

To date we have supported 48 classrooms with bookcases, rugs and books! We also motivate the students to learn by singing songs, reading aloud to them, encouraging them to read in their spare time at home and school. With the assistance of Jackson and Barret, our canine friends from Hudson’s Hounds, each student is learning how to approach and handle an unfamiliar dog.

Education is the most important thing in these children’s lives, but by teaming with Amigos de Animales we can help focus on how children treat themselves, their animals, their friends and how they always choose to do the best for their animals…respect, care and sterilization.

We are now actively fundraising for this program and we need your help! You too can help the children of Boquete experience the magic of books and the joy of reading!

Our plan for the 2023 school year:

• We plan to set up 20 more classrooms in rural Boquete this school year. Each classroom includes a book case, rugs and 30 books. We plan to increase this to 50 books, and to purchase reading materials, supplies for the Animales presentations, and to help fund the discounted Amigos de Animales school sterilization clinics.

• Building our base of volunteers so each school has w to 4 volunteers to follow through on the program.

• Undertake 2 more school sterilization clinics. We offer a $5 discount for animals which are brought by families of students or teachers.

• Visiting the schools in each district on a regular basis to nurture and grow the Amigos de Animales Educational program.

• We plan to have Christmas parties at each school

• Enhance the students literacy and educational experience.

Volunteer today and put your talents to work in your community. (no Spanish is required) There is no better exercise for your heart and soul than reaching out and helping to lift a child.

Please click the button above to donate


Click here to volunteer

See below for testimonials:

Sending you a cordial greeting and success in your undertakings.

It is a pleasure for us to thank you and your work team for taking us into account for the book project in our reading corners.

This has been a source of inspiration and motivation for our students. It has sparked interest in reading more, in wanting to take a book home, and in sharing what they read. Sometimes they make notes on what they feel is the most interesting.

This has helped us as teachers interact better with the students during our oral readings, because they are motivated by going to the reading corner.

We feel committed to continuing with this reading project, because we know that books make us dream with our eyes open. Sincerely, Yadine Cedeno, Escuela de Alto Quiel, Director in Charge


According to my records, we have completed 48 book corners in the Rural Boquete schools. Alto Quiel, Volcancito, Palmira Centro, Palmiro Arriba, Pueblo Nuevo, El Francis Arriba and El Francis Abajo schools ALL of the classrooms have all been fully outfitted with rugs, bookcases, and 30 books in each classroom. All of the other rural Boquete schools have had visits from the teams and have multiple classrooms with fully functional Book Corners. We are currently awaiting more bookcases that are being built by new Rotary Club in Boquete as well as delivery of our most recent book order from Scholastic. Cindy Clayton, volunteer


The challenges with the children at our school is that they “were" such introverts. Getting them to speak up and out loud was a challenge.

Now they compete to say the days of the week in English. To count in English. They come up to us and start saying things we have previously taught them. They want to please.
If we are reading with one, soon all of the others gather around to participate. They have opened up so much in the last year.
As we are leaving the major question is “when are you coming back”?
I know very little Spanish. It is not needed. I am actually learning more Spanish working with them.
These kids are just starved for attention. They are amazingly smart and artistically gifted.
Since our school is small, averaging about 7 children per visit we are able to provide a lot more one on one attention. We provide food, staples, (toilet paper, paper towels, soap) and school supplies.
A couple of my favorite moments from last year’s Christmas. At the decorating party the children colored pictures. We then took their photographs, holding their pictures. I printed their pictures and put them in plastic sheathing. When we returned for the Christmas luncheon we brought presents and their pictures.
When the children came in they completely bypassed the presents. They were mesmerized by their pictures. They had not seen pictures of themselves before. After they finished staring at themselves they ran to the other students and shared pictures. It was a very moving moment.
The small things we take for granted are so important to these children.
The love we leave with every time is overwhelming. Laurel Fang, volunteer


Here are some pics of our outing with our school. We had a community clean up. The kids were excited and one of the boys even suggested that we have another clean up day near Jaramillo Alto. We gathered about 8 bags of trash and the director mentioned the importance of not throwing garbage. Can’t wait to return in two weeks! Colleen Anderson, volunteer


Debra and I have been involved with the Amigos de Animales Educational Outreach since October of 2022. We are blessed to have the opportunity to work with Katrina, Cindy, Kathy, Gabriel, Petra, Cynthia, Valorie and several other volunteers. Having the opportunity to go into the schools has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. We were a little nervous at first, but that went away as soon as we were greeted with smiles and a hugs from the children. We were pleasantly surprised to see how polite and accepting the children were. As we read various stories from the books from the classroom book corner, the children seemed to light-up. There are several ways we help the children besides reading. We sing songs together in both Spanish and English. The main benefit we get from our time with the Amigos de Animales Educational Outreach Program would be the opportunity to help a child. Michael & Debra Whited, volunteers


My name is Sheila Gunston and I have recently joined the Educational Outreach Program with my two dogs, Barret and Jackson.

I am an Accredited Professional Canine Behavior Consultant with over a decade of experience with rescue organizations in Canada. When my husband and I moved to Panama last year with our 2 dogs, I was really hoping to be able to find my new "tribe" here - a community who cares for animals and for their safety. I was both relieved and excited to have found Amigos De Animales and learn that an educational program was already in full swing.
Barret, Jackson and I join the group a couple of times a month to visit rural schools. My contribution is to do a quick demonstration to the kids on how to be safe around dogs that they don't know. I demonstrate how to greet them and how to pet them and we also discuss what they eat and how they are cared for as part of my family. We are sure to mention that they are both neutered and are unable to "have babies."
My first school visit was eye opening. I was very impressed with how organized the program was and how open the teachers and staff were to having us there. I was surprised at the lack of supplies and sometimes meal opportunities that the kids have. The reading corners are such an incredible idea and it saddens me that not all of the schools have this yet. This Program is life changing for these kids.
While the rest of my group is discussing spay and neuter clinics, singing or reading, Barret, Jackson and I are wandering around visiting with the kids who are always very good about remembering how to engage with them safely. I really enjoy how interested the kids are in everything the program offers. They always seem to be so excited about the gifts of books, snacks and are always so happy to sing along while learning some English words too.
While I see the benefits that the Program offers the kids, it has also been an amazing opportunity for me to teach in a new country, my dogs thoroughly enjoy the attention from the kids and sometimes I may be getting more out of it than the kids do!
I'm working hard on learning Spanish so that one day I won't need as much help with the translation, but until then, I am so grateful to our Spanish speaking members who can help me out. Each member of the group has been incredible and so accommodating. Sheila Gunston, Hudson's Hounds, volunteer


I have been involved with the schools for over a year now. I enjoy seeing the kids. How kind and respectful they are. And lots of smiles. Hugs galore! I love to be with this community. Where we can start to make a difference. With Amigos de Animales it is a great outreach program. I'm going into my 2 schools and will be speaking English. They are wanting to learn English! I would be happy to incorporate that with my limited Spanish. We will read, sing and play a game or dance. We can learn together! I believe it is important to start at an early age. Vaolrie Tintinger, volunteer


As animal owners and lovers we know, that the Educational Program is a wonderful fulfillment. The social education system is teaching them how to take care of an animal properly and the program is doing it by teaching, reading, singing, dancing and just having fun. What is worth more than a smile of a kid? Gabriel & Petra Henriquez, volunteers


I'm with a newly formed team that is visiting Jaramillo Abajo School. We just had our first solo visit which was a community service activity of picking up trash on Jaramillo Centro. It was the perfect way to initially interact with these kids; I have minimal Spanish so the pointing and miming worked great in this situation! One little girl walked back to the school with me and was perfectly happy with having a one-sided Spanish conversation! Penny Friend, volunteer


Since childhood I've been rescuing animals and have been a strong advocate for their treatment and wellbeing. I have done rescue back home, and have been mostly vegan/vegetarian all my adult life. I am now happy to say that I am a part of Amigo De Animales Outreach Program.

Through this program we have been able to go into the schools and educate the children about animal welfare, including proper living conditions, nutrition, general care, and of course the importance of keeping the populations down through our spay/neuter program.
It has been a great success and personally, an amazing experience to see these children, many of whom lack basic resources, light up and get so excited about the information we provide. We keep it fun by telling stories and singing songs, while also helping to teach English.
In the short time that we have been doing this program we have already expanded providing "Reading Corners", Monthly Food Drives, School Supplies, smaller local Spay/Neuter Clinics, and are now planning our 2nd "Craft Day" and Christmas parties.
The children love it!! The schools' directors and staff have been immensely grateful and we hope to continue to grow and introduce more to our program as things unfold in the coming years. Cynthia Vitagliano, volunteer


I'm a newcomer to the literacy program. I didn’t know what to expect. I was amazed at the children's enthusiasm and appreciation. The interaction with the children in the reading corner was pure joy! I’m looking forward to the Christmas Party! Deborah Hanna, volunteer


At El Frances Arriba, teacher Eric, in the 4th,5th and 6th grade classroom, took one of the books we had donated entitled "Valores" (which means values). He has taught a complete project around the book and they have made the placards to display around the entrance of the school. He was really excited to show us how he had been inspired by our books. Katrina Kneebone, volunteer

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Thank you for your support!