Developing a Plan
office in Colon, and staffed the office with bright,
intelligent salaried employees, who shared the GAGPAN
dedication to the revitalization of Colon.
GAGPAN COLON OFFICE EMPLOYEES
Over 60 wonderful
volunteers immediately came forward, willing to devote their
time, energy and expertise to help develop a plan for the
revitalization of Colon. These volunteers formed ten
committees to determine the extent of the problems in the
City and the Province. The facts provided by these
committees were invaluable in formulating the ARRIBA COLON!
Project and establishing the goals to complete the planned
revitalization of Colon.
AND COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS OF
GENTE AYUDANDO GENTE (PANAMA)
With the goals
clearly established, GAGPAN went to work. GAGPAN utilized the
power of the press by placing advertisements in the local papers to
make the citizens of the entire country aware of the
problems in Colon and pressed the Government for solutions.
formed AVEP, Amigos Voluntarios Escuelas Publicas (Friends of
the public school) an organization consisting of the
parents of the public school students, local
businesspersons and of volunteers interested in giving
their time and energy to support the schools. AVEP
became a powerful volunteer organization comprised of
hundreds of volunteers assisting in the improvement of the
Colon Province public schools.
city of Colon is clean
once again. The slums have been torn down and the
disadvantaged residents relocated to new housing.
Schools have been rebuilt and repaired. Parks have been
restored. The Government has changed and the new Mayor of
Colon is in favor of a plan for the rebuilding of downtown
Colon. A new improvement loan was obtained by the
Panamanian government from an international development bank for the restoration of
Crime has been
reduced and the city and province are now safe for tourists
to visit. The cruise ships, a major source of revenue for Colon,
have once again included the port of Colon in their
itinerary, providing a boost to the local economy.
A new call center has been established in Colon and is providing Internet employment for those Colon residents that speak English.
Arriba Colon! became
the rallying cry that has changed the city.
The spirit of the
Arriba Colon! Project is evidenced in the enthusiasm expressed
by the residents as the many tasks undertaken by the
Arriba Colon! Project were completed. The residents have hope and
aspirations once again for a bright future.
Colon is on the way to economic recovery.