Punta Valiente Community Project

Punta Valiente is a beautiful area in the indigenous comarca of the Ngobe Bugle people. We take guests over to hike the lovely terrain and spend time on the beaches when the weather permits. It is a unique experience that our guests truly appreciate. This excursion is a bit farther a field than most that we do, but it is well worth the boat ride.

Audrey Blocker, the current Peace Corp volunteer on Punta Valiente, has applied for a loan from the Peace Corp programs to build a bridge for the community. She explains the process herself in this open letter to the community: http://bit.ly/eDMzOY

What we like about this process is that the community must participate and put forward at least 25% of the funding for the project. We have found that the projects which really make a difference in the long term are those where the community has buy in from the beginning. These projects where the community must either participate in the construction of or the funding of the project have a much greater return on investment than those where the community is a recipient of a gift.

I made a donation on behalf of Tranquilo Bay. It takes very little time. You can donate $5 or more to the project. The community is providing over 50% of the overall cost of the project through their own labor. The project needs around $3600 to begin the bridge. Thanks for considering this project. Please forward this information to anyone who might find this project interesting as any donation helps. Thanks.

punta valiente hike

We made a trip to Punta Valiente, which is located in the Nogbe Bugle Indian Reservation, with clients Joel and Lauren. We first visited the small (fifty inhabitants) Nogbe village named Punta Valiente. In the village we visited the school, where the children were happy to have there photos taken and we then traded a couple of bags of ice for some bread fruit and plantains. The villagers were very grateful for the ice. We then contracted one of the elder villagers, Constantino, to guide us to the top of a two hundred meter hill behind the village. The trail we walked passes through the villages food crops. As we walked Constantino pointed out all of the vegetation that they planted. Such things as otoi, dashine, yucca, plantains(several varieties), cocoa, bananas(several varieties), bread fruit, coconuts and a variety of other tropical fruits. At the peak of the hill we were shown the ruins of an abandoned U.S. Military radio/lookout tower. The tower was installed during WW2. Also at the peak our guide cut down some young coconuts and obliged us to try the water inside to quench our thirst. This water is referred to as agua de pipa. It is very refreshing and we all enjoyed taking a moment to look out at the ocean and see the village from this vantage point. This excursion took about two hours and afterwards we got back in the boat and headed for another even smaller Indian village called Ensenada. Here we stopped to eat our lunch and make the short hike across this portion of the peninsula to a beach. We ate our lunch on the covered porch of the local grocery store and visited with the locals about current events in the province. The walk over to the beach was about fifteen minutes, and well worth it. The sun came out for us and we enjoyed swimming in the surf for more than an hour before we returned to the boat for the forty minute return trip to Tranquilo Bay.