Working in Panama to provide eye examinations, dental care, school supplies, clothing, English language classes and creating fisher co ops.
Welcome to our web page. NUEDI as they say in the Guna Language. We are a non-profit charitable organization working with the indigenous Guna people of Panama. This is our Canadian name, in Panama we are known as Fundacion Uaguitupu.
Our Fundacion was created by Mariela’s Guna family in 1999 in order to promote the welfare of their Guna neighbours in healthcare, education and social issues. Our work is principally on the island of Achutupu located offshore from Panama’s Caribbean coast. Because of our long experience on the island and our close friendship with the families we are well aware of their pressing needs and try to respond with the help of qualified volunteers from outside who donate their skills and services .
Achutupu island is one of the 49 Guna inhabited islands in the san Blas archipelago (there are 365 corral islands in total), Achutupu’s population numbers over 2000; the K-9 elementary school enrollment tops 600. The economy is based on fishing, agricultural produce from the adjacent mainland rain forest, coconuts and tourism. Dwellings are one-room wood stick construction, palm roofs, wood floors, the ocean is the toilet. In common with all of Guna Yala, the island is virtually self governed, with the chiefs, sahilas, holding considerable political authority.
There is a modest health clinic, a doctor attends for two weeks monthly. There is no dental service.
-Creation of a fishers co-op, our micro enterprise enabled purchase of a commercial size net . A source of food and income.
-Twice yearly week-long dental care provided by volunteer team of dentists from USA . Encompasses fluoride varnish for all students, tooth restoration and extraction as may be necessary, adult care also.
-Eye examination by Canadian volunteer optometrist, also donations of lenses. This is a Godsend especially for the Guna women, who make and sell their intrically sewn mola artwork. Good vision is vital. Their sales are an important part of family income.
-Donations of school supplies and clothing.
-English-teaching volunteers spend two weeks or more assisting in school or directing summer school, lessons, crafts and activities. Guna and Spanish are the spoken languages on Achutupu, some knowledge of English is a great help in interaction with tourists and critical for worthwhile employment in Panama’s capital.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Our vision is to continue the mission we have started. In order to provide the kinds of services we have described we need dedicated volunteers, and financial support from donors. Can you partner with us to help improve the lives of the needy Guna indigenous families in Achutupu? Living with the Guna people in their ancient culture is an unforgettable experience for our volunteers.
We receive no government funding of any kind.
We ask Canadians to address their gift to Aid 4 Guna , you will receive a receipt for Canadian tax purposes.
THANK YOU: DOI NUEDI