This last week we have been very busy with the Brigade of business students from University of Texas Austin. They are helping our Peace Corps community start an ornamental/art plant project. The plants will be produced by the women in El Valle and sold in Earth Train's gallery in Casco Viejo. The 20 or so students divided into two groups, City and Jungle.
The Brigade truck in use
The City group stayed in Panama City working on putting together the gallery where the art plants will be sold. They chose the paint and lighting for the gallery, hired a welder to make artistic metal plant stands and shelves. Found an artisan to make custom terracotta pots and also developed the flow chart for how to produce, transport and pay the women for their plants.
The welder making plant stands
The Jungle group met with the women in our community, explaining the process of selling the plants to them, as well as setting quality standards and answering their questions. The Jungle group also visited all the homes of the families, taking interest in their daily lives, collecting photos and stories for marketing and generally showing the village they care by talking with the families, buying from their stores, playing kickball and coloring with the kids.