A raging fire broke out in the neighborhood known as “La Solucion” on the afternoon of February 7th. Seven homes burnt down completely while others were damaged, leaving a reported total of 24 people affected by the fire. This happened to be the Sunday of the annual Carnival celebration during the traditional afternoon “culeco” parties. This is where big tanks of water are positioned in the middle of the street and the Carnival-goers are sprayed with firehouses to cool off during the hot afternoon dancing. Unfortunately on that fateful Sunday they had to suspend that activity and haul all that water immediately to the fire.
According to La Critica, aide was sent through an agency called Despacho de la Primera Dama and received by personnel of SINAPROC, MIVIOT, police and the Vice-Governor Esteban Chacón along with other authorities in order to distribute it between the families in need. Aside from the government aide, the community of Bocas del Toro banded together to provide donations of household goods, clothes, toys and food. Donations were collected at John Schneider’s warehouse, a neighbor of the affected families. Woodstock lumberyard also made themselves available for people to donate money towards an account so that lumber could be donated in the efforts of rebuilding homes.
At the time of this publication, $1.877 had been collected at the warehouse. This money was spent on gas regulators, cylinders and stoves for the families in need. The rest was put toward the Woodstock lumber account. Kelly De Berube of Buena Vista Restaurant raised an additional $1,000 and many household items were graciously donated. Woodstock is still accepting donations for lumber. So far they have collected $1,089 via Red Cross and it’s not too late to contribute. Donate directly to Woodstock. They will give you a receipt and the money will be divided evenly between the families that have been affected. If you wish, you may donate directly to the account of a specific family as well.
Thanks to everyone who went out of their way to help those in need. Special thanks to Sharon Adam for her photos and to Sharon, Kelly De Berube, the Floating Doctors, Woodstock, the Red Cross, Vice-Governor Esteban Chacón, the Panamanian government and John Schneider for their efforts during the donation process.