At last! Thanks to private donations, local business sponsors, and wonderful support from friends, the new community library at Finca La Maya (FLM), a Cultural Arts & Events Center near San Carlos, is finally ready to open.
The inauguration of the library and Dell Computer Lab will be on Saturday 14 February, 3-7 pm, on Valentine’s Day. Festivities will include a tour of the new facility, an auction of art, decorative items and jewelry, prizes, refreshments and live jazz performances. Library membership cards will be offered and donations of books will be accepted. Exedra Books in Panama has listed books requested by FLM on their website. www.exedrabooks.com.
Construction for the library started last year. Founder Starr McCamant has made tireless efforts to involve local residents and businesses to contribute to the library in the form of grants, donations and sponsoring. The challenge is constant, but fantastic progress has been made, and the dream of a community library at Finca La Maya (FLM) has become a reality.
Chef Pascal Finet of Terrazzas del Mar restaurant in Vista Mar, and the Bay View Resort at El Palmar are local sponsors for Community Programs at FLM. “Social and educational programs are in the best interest of everyone in our community; we are happy to contribute” said Hector Golcher of the Bay View. American and Canadian expats have provided their support with contributions of assisting in classes and donation of materials. Along with private individuals, the American Society of Panama and Dell Panama are supporting FLM in its mission. Dell Panama employees traveled to FLM for an entire day to help set up the library. They will continue to support by providing training on the basic use of the equipment donated. With the exciting addition of ten laptop computers donated by Dell, a computer lab will begin in February. FLM is enormously grateful to generous Dell employee Yvonne Centenaro, who has volunteered her precious weekend time to provide initial instruction for the Computer Lab which will be held on Saturday afternoons.
Finca La Maya is looking forward to grant approvals from other well-respected charity organizations in Panama. Funds from their investment will be used to purchase shelving, tables and chairs…and then there’s always that electricity bill! Sponsorship for one staff person is greatly needed to keep the library open and accessible by the public. The new facility will provide an important learning and reference resource for the entire community, as well as computer use and DVDs.
The new library is located next to the classroom facility completed last year at La Maya, where free community programs take place on Saturdays: an English language class, “Art for Kids” class, and last summer “Family Movie Night” was added, offering free family entertainment to the community. Up to one hundred participants have attended the weekly community programs at FLM, coming from Panama’s Pacific coast interior communities as far away as Chorrera and Rio Hato. New students are joining every month. One student’s application was accepted to the university in Penonomé because of his progress in FLM’s English classes.
Finca La Maya is a non-profit foundation registered in Panama. Our goal is to enhance education and cultural opportunities for local Panamanians. Needs for FLM Community Programs are ongoing; can you help? For more information or to make a donation, please visit our website www.fincalamaya.com, at the Community Programs link.
For those who live in Panama City, contributions can also be made through our sponsorship agreement with Exedra Books. Books most needed for the library are listed and can be donated directly from Exedra’s website: www.exedra.com