First Annual BESO 5K Walk/Run Raises Money for All Things Educational

barry walk

The good people at BESO were at it again raising funds for academia with the very first annual 5 kilometer walk (or run).  Supporting members of the community put on their respective Nike, Reeboks and New Balances to traverse a 5 kilometer stretch of Isla Colon on the morning of Sunday, February 9th.

The charitable stroll began at Acqua Sport Bar and went to the bridge in Big Creek and back. A few athletes elected to run their hearts out, but the majority of the benefactors sauntered about in the cool cloudy Caribbean morning.  This reporter gave the others a half hour start (or was a half hour late) and sprinted to greet them with a camera mid-walk/run. In the end, over $100 was raised that will go to benefit the studies of the youth of Bocas del Toro.


yolanda walk


“Next year we’re going for bigger and better!” says Yolanda Swilley-Smith, organizer of the event.

BESO is “Bocas Education Service Organization”. The group raises money for scholarships and school supplies for the children in the area. They have been proudly lending their support since 2001 and have contributed to numerous cases of outstanding academic achievements in the province of Bocas del Toro.

BESO has its most important fund-raising effort coming up February 23rd: the 2014 Annual Auction at Tropical Markets (El Reloj). Everyone is encouraged to donate items to be auctioned and to bid on them, of course.

Admission is free from 2:30 to 5:30 during the silent auction. The live auction starts at 6:30; tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Super Gourmet and Island Traders (or at the door of the event).  Hors d’oeuvres will be served and music will be enjoyed.

Contact in regards to donating any items or services. Auctions in the past have been contributed so much to the success of the school children in the area. Read more about BESO’s fundraising efforts at

Nicholas Corea is the editor of the Bocas Breeze. He wasn't born in Bocas, though he got there as fast as he could. He is just one of the many foreigners who became enamored with the islands. His mission is to provide the community with news that unites and inspires, while sharing with the world the magic that is Bocas del Toro. Mr. Corea likes to extend his gratitude to everyone who makes The Bocas Breeze possible- starting with YOU (the reader).

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