An Expat’s Thanksgiving In Panama

‘Tis The Start Of The Season

We’ve worked through all the Panamanian holidays this month (November is littered with them), but, today, Lief and I are at home, preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as we can manage for two-dozen expat friends with whom we’re very much looking forward to remembering this annual American holiday for giving thanks.

And we’re looking ahead to other holiday events we’re planning…

We’re continuing this year, for example, our efforts to try to help out the Fatima Parish in Casco Viejo. Fatima Parish is a Catholic parish, one of the oldest in Panama, that, for decades, has been working with kids growing up in some of the poorest neighborhoods in this city. The Fatima Parish provides daycare services, before- and after-school child-care, job-training for teenagers, meals, and, even, a permanent orphanage.

They receive very little state money and rely almost entirely on private donations.

We asked the priest who runs the parish what he needs most right now, and, unsurprisingly, his response was “everything.” Specifically, though, we know that the orphanage, the daycare, and the before- and after-school groups would benefit greatly from children’s toiletry items (toothpaste, soap, diapers, etc.); children’s clothing; and, given the season, toys that could be distributed as Christmas presents. The children in the care of the parish are between the ages of 1 and 10, both boys and girls.

Throughout the coming holiday season, we’ll have a big box here in our office in the Banesco Building, in Marbella, Panama City, where we’ll be collecting contributions for the kids at Fatima Parish.

We’ll have another box at our Live and Invest Overseas registration table during the two days of our upcoming Emergency Offshore Summit, where, again, we’ll be collecting any items the Fatima Parish might be able to use.

If you’ll be in town, for the conference or otherwise, perhaps you’d like to bring by a few coloring books, some crayons, or a couple of bottles of shampoo. Very small donations count for a lot in this case.

Here’s another reason to come visit us this holiday season: We’re planning an Open House in our office for readers, expats, and friends, both residents and those who happen to be passing through town.

Snacks, eggnog, and general holiday cheer, on offer Friday, Dec. 10, from 4 to 7 p.m.

All we ask is that, if you’ll be able to stop by, you RSVP in advance (so we can be sure not to run out of eggnog!).

Meantime, Happy Thanksgiving, wherever in the world you’re giving thanks.

Kathleen Peddicord

French Course Online