Scholarships donated by individuals
In October 2007, Mary Tellie from Electric City Roasting Co. in Pennsylvania donated a scholarship to Yanibeth Rodriguez, the child of Angel Rodriguez, a harvester at Hacienda La Esmeralda, for the 2008 academic school year (school year in Panama runs from March to December). The scholarship is in the amount of $350, which is the amount the government of Panama has established for public high-school level scholarships. Mary Tellie (center of the above photo with arm around Angel Rodriguez, harvester and father of Yanibeth) was visiting the farm with her husband Nick (second from right to left), as well as two friends, Helen Beers (far left in the photo) and Christine Caverly (far right in the photo). Helen Beers and Christine Caverly also donated a scholarship each. To these donors we say thank you in behalf of all the students as well as the Peterson family. We would be happy to connect other potential scholarship donors with needy students.
The thank you note was written by the scholarship recipient, Yanibeth Rodriguez, in the name of her father, Angel Rodriguez.
Our social programs include:
- A nursery, where children are cared for, fed a snack and a hot cooked lunch, and educated while their parents are harvesting,
- Food: every harvester receives dry rice and beans or canned sardines in proportion to his/her payment at the end of each week.
- Medical facilities, including dental care, are available within walking distance free of charge.A gift and goodie bag of fruits, cookies, crackers and candies are given to all children on the farm at the end of a fun-filled Christmas party with ice cream cones, clowns organizing games with prizes and balloons, music and a hot lunch.
- Two bonuses, one with their final paycheck when they are on their way home at the end of the harvest in February or March, and one in June
In addition to the above, permanent employee benefits include:
- Scholarships for employees and/or their children to attend high school or university while they maintain a good grade average.
- A donation of $50 at the beginning of the school year for every permanent employee with a child in school (to help buy uniforms and supplies)
- A large basket of food at Christmas,
- An expedition to the beach for an all day outing once a year
Other social programs:
- Three local elementary schools receive donations of food for preparation of a hot lunch daily for all students, educational supplies, occasional construction material, and paid transportation for the 6th grade graduates to enjoy an excursion to Panama City.
- Sports (teams) sponsorship.