Board of Directors / Departments / Get to Know Our Amigos de Animales Family

Board of Directors

Chairman: Ruby McKenzie
President: Leslie Sherling
Vice President: Carol Cardinale-Santana
Treasurer: Cary Trantham
Secretary: Larry Pascal

Past President: Alicia McGuigan

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Department and Station Heads

Registration & Check-in: Rosa Martinez & Cary Trantham
Concierge: Giovy Rojas
Admitting: Maristela Fountain
Intake: Gia Pallone
Anesthesia: Dra. Chely & Rosie Crofutt
Computer Tracking: Andy Mitchell
Shaving & Tattoo: Kim & Phil Wong
Surgery Tracking and Vet Assistance: Sherry Shirritt
Instrument Cleaning: Valorie Tintinger
Taxi: Wayne Reeser
Post-op: Larry & Jennifer Pascal
Recovery: Carol Cardinale Santana & Leslie Sherling
Kitchen: Sheila Strunk & Mike Smith
Mini clinics: Larry & Jennifer Pascal
Educational Outreach Program: Katrina Kneebone
Volunteer Coordinators: Leslie Sherling (English) & Raquel Coba (Spanish)

Please contact Leslie at volunteer@aadab.org if you would like to learn more about one or more departments. Or you can complete this contact form.

Click here if you'd like to learn about our non-clinic volunteer opportunities.

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Get to Know Our Amigos de Animales Family

Ruby McKenzie

Amigos de Animales (AdA) newsletter

Your Name: Ruby McKenzie

Your position/title with AdA:  Founder and during the clinic, I am the “person who sees a problem or is told of a problem and helps to rectify it” (in whatever area it occurs).

How long have you been working with AdA? Since the beginning…2005.  19 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? Having been here from the beginning, there is not much that I don’t know how to do, but mainly I watch for trouble spots and quickly go to see what needs to be doe to fix it.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? I think it is very fulfilling to be able to assist and change the lives of animals.  We allow animals to have happy and healthy lives because the females are not constantly in heat, having puppies and kittens, looking for food for their offspring.  Additionally, spaying diminishes the chances of mammary tumors later in life for the females.  For males, neutering dramatically lessens the chances of prostate cancer and greatly lessens the desire to fight with other male dogs and exhibit overly aggressive behavior.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share and also answer questions below?  My husband and I owned a small import business in the electronic industry.  The skills needed to keep that business afloat certainly have helped with the organization and the running of Amigos de Animales over the years.

Do you have any pets?  Right now, I have 2 dogs, a cat and a chicken.  I have had many dogs while living here and a few cats as well.  I do not eat my chickens; I just have them to take care of pests in my yard and to supply eggs.

Favorite food: Dungeness crab (not available here!) but it is definitely one of my favorites along with California garlic and sour dough bread.

Favorite restaurant: I really do not have one.

Favorite TV show: I tend to like shows like NCIS and similar and always love to watch various sports including American football, college basketball, women’s sports, the gymnastics part of the Olympics as well as ice skating.

Favorite movie: Don’t really have one.  I prefer action movies with real people. I have always liked Clint Eastwood and his dramas; Tom Hanks in his prime; Robert DeNiro and for women, I have liked Jodie Foster and Meryl Streep.

Favorite musician or musical group: I have a lot of favorites mostly from the 60’s and 70’s.

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?  My favorite of all times is Panama.  When my husband and I arrived almost 22 years ago, we both loved the kindness, the respect, the way Panamanians take care of their families, especially the old and the young, and how they interact with their families.  Also, there is a willingness to help, whether it is lifting a car out of a ditch, changing a tire, carrying groceries or any other task required.  It is very refreshing to see these attributes widely shared throughout the country.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Every time I think I have been nearly everywhere, a new place comes to mind, or a new twist on an old place.  I have traveled extensively and I still do.  I suspect I will be traveling for at least another 5-6 years so there is a lot more to see.  I have not been to Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam nor have I seen the Northern Lights, so those are still hanging out there waiting for my presence.  I am hoping to get to Rome and Florence, Italy later this year.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?  I don’t really have any fun facts.  I was a child growing up after WWII, so that tells you that I worked early, had children early, did most things that generation did.  I don’t think I have any hidden talents, but if I do, they are still hidden! I am very passionate about Fundacion Amigos de los Animales and its continuance as a presence in Boquete.  My one mantra with Amigos de Animales is “Don’t bring me a problem without bringing me a solution!”  It will be on my gravestone!

 

 

Rick Crites and Ellen Edmondson

Your Names: Rick Crites and Ellen Edmondson

Your position/title with AdA:  Rick – Animal Intake Data Input; Ellen - Surgical Assistant with the veterinarians

How long have you been working with AdA? Both - About 3 years, since after the Covid restrictions in 2021

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA?  Rick – I input the data in regard to weight and anesthesia for dogs and cats as they come in the door.  Ellen: I get the surgical instruments, sutures, etc., ready. I assist the vets with documentation, position the animal for surgery, monitor the animal during surgery and get them to recovery and prepare the operating table for the next animal.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? 

Rick – Keeping the animal population under control is beneficial to both the animals and the community.

Ellen – My motivation in working with and for Animales is to do something to alleviate the suffering of animals in our Boquete district. The collective love of the Animales family for our animal brethren is a force for good in the community.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background? Rick – I have a diverse background in franchising, financial services, software development and digital artwork. Most of my experience has been running my own businesses.

Ellen – I spent my 43 year career in the United States as a registered nurse, and later as a certified nurse midwife and a women’s health nurse practitioner. When I wasn’t at work, I was a runner, a distance walker and a Florida Certified Master Gardener and herbalist. My husband Rick and I had an organic permaculture farm where we raised bees, chickens and fish in an aquaculture system and also grew tropical fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs. We used a lot of solar power to run our home and our farm and grew enough food to both feed ourselves and give away many pounds of free food and fruit. We taught young people our permaculture farming methods and there were several farms around the U.S. that were started by our trainees.

How did you two meet? We met 27 years ago in 1996 through a dating service run by a member of our church. We married on March 13, 1998, on a Friday the 13th and thought that overall, it was our lucky day!

Do you have any pets? Two cats…Elvis and Mazi, currently under foster care in the U.S. (see photos). We have had many cats and dogs over the years, all rescues. I would have to say that we are cat people with a love for dogs

Favorite food:  Rick – Sushi; Ellen – Thai curry (vegetarian)

Favorite restaurant:  Rick – El Puente; Ellen – My own kitchen, but here in Boquete, Al Punto.

Favorite TV show:  Rick – The many Star Trek incarnations; Ellen – I don’t watch TV, except for Star Trek reruns.

Favorite movie:  Rick – The Matrix; Ellen – Walt Disney’s Fantasia

Favorite musician or musical group:  Rick – Grateful Dead (and subsequent spinoffs); Ellen – That’s a hard one, as I grew up in the Woodstock generation. If I have to choose: Led Zeppelin, Procol Harem, Jethro Tull, Cream, or Blind Faith….or sorry, I can’t choose just one!

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?  Rick – Japan. Because the people are polite, considerate and civilized;

Ellen – I lived and worked in Yugoslavia, when it was under the dictatorship of General Tito, in the late 1980’s before the Bosnian War split apart the Republic. I worked in a medical clinic treating workers from all over Yugoslavia poisoned by industrial chemicals. I was still young, naïve and sheltered by the American Dream. I learned about the world in Yugoslavia and came to realize that people everywhere are pretty much the same. They want health, security, family and peace. I also saw firsthand what kind of destruction happens under totalitarian and authoritarian governments. The environment, cultural, people’s lives, and animals’ lives are all destroyed when one group seeks to dominate through greed fear and violence. It was a big, big lesson.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Rick - Tibet; Ellen – Home has always been my favorite place to be. I am a homebody and I love having a sense of place.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? Rick – I’m an avid hiker here in the Boquete area; Ellen – My first Bachelor’s Degree was in Applied Art. I wanted to be an artist and have done ceramics, weaving and sculpture. However, by a quirk of fate, I ended up in the medical field and got a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Care Administration and a Master’s Degree in Nursing and later a certificate in Nurse-Midwifery and found a truer calling in health care.

 

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Ken & Maxi Andrews

Your Names: Ken & Maxi Andrews

Your position/title with AdA: Ken - Animal taxi and data input at the clinics; Maxi - I am a surgical assistant, usually for Dr. Virgilio Gonzalez Quiel during the Boquete clinics and away clinics and am a surgical coordinator for the away clinics.

How long have you been working with AdA? Ken – A little over a year since January 2023; Maxi – 6.5 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? Ken – At the home clinics in Boquete, I usually taxi dogs and cats from station to station in the morning and do data input for animal intake where the animals are weighed and given their anesthetic. At the away clinics, I usually taxi the animals all day. I help with the set up for home clinics and with the van loading, unloading, and set up for the away clinics.  Maxi – I help the surgeon during surgery. I also coordinate surgery for the away clinics and help load and unload the van for the away clinics.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA?

Ken - There is always something that needs to be done to facilitate the AdA goal of spay and neutering dogs and cats in Chiriqui. No matter what your life experience and expertise are, everyone has some useful skill to contribute to the many tasks that need to be done to coordinate a smoothly run clinic. I really enjoy the camaraderie of the whole group and it’s focus on serving the community.

Maxi – Without the clinics, the unwanted animal population in our area would continue to increase. There are so many ways to volunteer. Everybody can find an opportunity to suit their talents and interests.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background?Ken – I worked in construction management for most of my adult life. I worked in a small commercial boat yard in Seattle for a year when I was in college. I was a competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and swim coach a long time ago.

Maxi – I was born and raised in Chugiak, Alaska, which is about 25 miles from Anchorage. I had a varied career working in several fields including construction accounting and law enforcement technology support before retiring in 2016. At one point, I worked at Anchorage International Airport as a gate agent driving the jetways and stair trucks for Japan Airlines. My experience that relates to Amigos de Animales was my job as a veterinary tech at Alaska Veterinary Clinic in Anchorage, Alaska. I moved to Panama in 2017 and have lived in the Dolega area ever since.

How did you two meet? We met February 13, 1988 at the Miners and Trappers’ Ball in Anchorage Alaska, introduced by mutual friends.

How long have you been married? We married in July 1988 so it will be 36 years on July 16, 2024.

Do you have any pets? Six dogs, five cats and three horses have us for pets.

Favorite food: Ken - Soft shell tacos; Maxi – Mexican Food

Favorite restaurant: Ken - Nacion Sushi in David. The Butcher Chophouse in Boquete and Pretelt in David for a good steak; Maxi – Nacion Sushi

Favorite TV show: Ken – My all-time favorite is probably M*A*S*H. I also enjoyed 24, Homeland, and The Sopranos; Maxi - Heartland

Favorite movie:Ken – I have watched Pulp Fiction more times than I can remember. I think that the Wizard of Oz is an amazing production for both the story and technology at the time it was made; Maxi – Bohemian Rhapsody

Favorite musician or musical group: Ken – Grateful Dead; Maxi – Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Ken – Scuba diving in Cozumel ,Mexico; Maxi – Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico for scuba diving

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ken – I would like to see more of the old architecture of Europe. Maxi and I did an eastern Mediterranean cruise in 2009 and saw a lot of amazing sites including Florence, Venice, Rome, the Greek Isles, the Corinthian Cut, Ephesus and Dubrovnik; Maxi - Australia

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? Ken – I built a small sailboat, a cedar strip canoe, and a couple of cedar stand-up paddleboards while we lived in Alaska. In April 2023, Maxi and I and other friends went on a sailboat charter around the San Blas Islands and then went on to Columbia. We spent Christmas week 2003 on a sailboat scuba diving charter from Miami to the Bahamas and back. I got to stand at the wheel for most of the sail back across the Gulf Stream.

 

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Gabriel & Petra Henriquez

Your Name: Gabriel & Petra Henriquez

Your position/title with AdA: Gabriel – Surgical Assistant; Petra - Wherever I am needed

How long have you been working with AdA? about 1 year

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? Gabriel – As a surgical assistant, the first thing I do is to prepare the operating table and put out the instruments that the vet will need to operate. I check all the information on the tag to learn about each animal and fill in the form with all the procedures performed on the animal. Then I prepare the animal for surgery, keeping an eye on the animal’s breathing and pulse and help the vet as needed throughout the process. I have also been working for the Educational Outreach Program,visiting local schools and talking to the kids about Amigos de Animales and the importance of sterilizing their pets. I also talk to them about how to properly take care of a pet.

Petra - I serve as a link between owners and AdA; I perform post-operative care; wake them up and bring them to their owners. Also interesting are the “Outside Clinics,” because you meet other people, see the problems in other villages and help people in areas who have less access to veterinary care.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? Gabriel – It is a great thing to do, when you are part of a dedicated team that works hard together to help solve a social problem. By taking actions to control the pet population, we are taking steps to make this world a better place to live in and of course, helping the animals.

Petra - Because you can be social while doing something that makes sense in your life! Animals need our help and people need more education regarding how to treat animals. Therefore, the work with AdA is so important to better control the reproduction of unwanted dogs and cats and help minimize the spread of disease and the suffering and starvation of these animals.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background? Gabriel – I enjoy everything related to art. I love to play music all around Panama with my bands “Power Trius” and “Agua de Coco.” I love to do graphic designs and am currently working on a thesis analyzing the laws of the musicians in Panama as some final work required for law school.

Do you have any pets? We have four big dogs (Neyla, Nino, Yume and Anton) and one big parrot (Pipa) ….all rescued and two small parrots (Felix and Frida).

Favorite food:  Gabriel – Seafood!  Petra - I love all tasty food, especially seafood.

Favorite restaurant: Gabriel – my wife’s food! Petra - Eating at home

Favorite TV show: Gabriel – The Sopranos. Petra - I generally don’t like TV shows, but I love The Sopranos

Favorite movie: Gabriel – Big Fish by Tim Burton. Petra - El Padrino (from Mario Puzo)

Favorite musician or musical group: Gabriel – Pink Floyd.  Petra - Cultura Profetica

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Gabriel – Vienna, Austria because of its artistic and intellectual legacy, which is evident all around and everywhere you went. Petra - The whole world is so wonderful and wherever I have been, there have been beautiful people and fabulous places.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Gabriel – I would want to go Africa because of its wild nature and the culture. Petra - To Heaven, to visit my mother, grandmother and grandfather.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? Gabriel – I am a great cook!  Petra - I paint and renovate furniture with a lot of colors.

 

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Sheila Strunk

Your Name: Sheila Strunk

Your position/title with AdA: Kitchen Operations

How long have you been working with AdA? 7 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? Starting in 2017, I volunteered in the Recovery Department, helping to revive cats and dogs after their surgery to ensure they were awake and ready to go home with their owners. In November 2023, the manager of the kitchen area retired and I was asked to take over operating the kitchen to feed our volunteers and pet owners during the clinic day each month.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? When my husband and I first visited Boquete in 2010, we were astounded by the number of homeless animals that were wandering around downtown, begging for food wherever they could. Since we moved full-time to Boquete, we have seen a tremendous reduction in the number of homeless animals, thanks in great part to the tireless efforts of Amigos de Animales.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background?  I grew up all over the world as a child of a career military father. When I started my first career in I.T., I was transferred from the East Coast of the U.S. to Minnesota, where I met and married my husband Carl. After many years in Minnesota, we relocated to Arizona, where I owned and operated a real estate company until we retired and moved to Panama in 2015.

Do you have any pets? I grew up with a myriad of pets (dogs, birds, snakes turtles), but Carl and I retired with the intention of not having pets (volunteering at Animales definitely helped us share our love with animals) which worked until we were adopted by two beautiful ginger cats during the Covid pandemic!

Favorite food:  Anything Italian

Favorite restaurant: Butcher Chop House

Favorite TV show: The Crown

Favorite movie: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (I’m a sucker for Audrey Hepburn!)

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Africa – we were very lucky to have the opportunity to go on safari at an eco-minded private game reserve in 2022. It was an incredible experience to see so many beautiful and amazing animals in their natural habitat!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Right now, we are looking at a small ship cruise to the Galapagos, but we’d go just about anywhere.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I think most people know I love to cook – but I also really enjoy gardening, reading and lots of traveling.

 

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Cara-Van

Your Name: Cara-Van

Your position/title with AdA: Rolling Paws: The Mobile Fixer-Upper (some have called me the Neuter-Scooter)

How long have you been working with AdA? Since 2021 when our incredible donors saw the need for me.

What is your background? Well, my background is a delightful mix of tire rubber, paw prints, and the occasional squirrel chase. I’ve got more miles on me than a marathon runner, and my paint job? Let’s just say it’s a Jackson Pollock masterpiece of mud and fur.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? I’m the four-wheeled Cupid of the animal world. I roll up to neighborhoods, play some Barry White (okay, maybe not), and help furry friends find their happily ever after. You could say I’m the Tinder for spaying and neutering.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? Because life is ruff without responsible pet ownership! Seriously, though, I’ve seen firsthand how our work prevents overpopulation and keeps tails wagging. Plus, who doesn’t want to be part of a team that turns “oops” into “aww-some”?

Do you have any pets?  Only temporarily - I make sure they have a doggone good time and a purr-fectly cat-tastic party on wheels.

Favorite food: Definitely 'Spay-ghetti and Neuter-balls!' It's the purr-fect recipe for a healthier and happier pet population!

Favorite TV show: Oh, you know, I'm a big fan of 'The Bold and the Neutered.' It's a drama-filled series where pets embark on thrilling adventures of responsible reproduction, leaving no tail untold!

Favorite movie: It has to be 'Paws and Reflect: The Spay-tacular Journey!' It's a blockbuster hit where fur-bulous heroes save the day by promoting responsible pet parenting. Spoiler alert: No more unplanned litters!

Favorite bands:  Van Halen and The Cars

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Well, I've got my eyes set on 'Neuterlands' and 'Spayin'! Maybe a little visit to 'De-bark-ado' too. The world needs my services, one snip at a time!

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? Fun fact? Well, I'm basically a magician on wheels – making unwanted litters disappear in a puff of responsibility! And my hidden talent? I can parallel park like you wouldn't believe. Precision parking is a key skill in the world of mobile spaying and neutering, you know!

Can we end this on a more serious note?  I'm on a mission to tackle the population crisis one spay and neuter at a time. My wheels may be funny, but my purpose is no joke. Together, let's pave the way for a future where every pet gets the love and care they deserve, minus the unexpected surprises.

 

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Giovanna "Giovy" Rojas

Your Name: Giovy Rojas

Your position/title with AdA: Admitting Concierge

How long have you been working with AdA?  I started as a volunteer with the AdA clinics in 2007 for nearly two years. Then I left the area for business and family reasons.

I started to volunteer again in July 2022 as part of the non-profit organization “Dejando Huellas Boquete” whose purpose is to minimize the risk of unwanted animals. For that reason, we encourage our members to volunteer at the monthly sterilization clinics.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? My position is in Admiitting. When owners bring their pets to the clinic, we interact with them and their pets, try to address any questions or concerns they may have and help them as needed.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? Once you volunteer at the clinic, you will want to continue. It feels so good to help people and pets and help prevent the needless suffering of animals who don’t have a safe place to live or food to eat.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background? I am Panamanian, from Panama City and decided to move to Boquete in 2007. My sister, dad and I invested to open the first local bookstore, “Boquete Read and Relax” in March 2007. I had to leave the area in June 2007 and we had to close our bookstore in November 2008.

I married a Boquetenian on January 2009 and we had two children. Paola Isabella is now 13 years old and Jacobo Alejandro is now 11 years old. Since 2017, I have been selling CBD products from Cloud Forest Botanicals, including CBD for pets. Most recently, I started a new venture, “Experiencias Gastronomicas by Giovy.” I am a gastronomic promoter, organizing events and experiences with restaurants and brands.

Do you have any pets? Yes, we have two female rescue cats named Rayito (yellow) and Lola (white with black markings).

Favorite food: As a Gastronomic Promoter, I have more experience than many with different foods. My favorite food would be one that is made with the most natural ingredients and rich flavors.

Favorite TV show: I don’t have time to watch TV. In fact, I haven’t watched TV for 25 years and counting!

Favorite movie: Braveheart

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Japan and Europe

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I am an active citizen in the community. I am a member of the Boquete Chamber of Commerce; an active member of the Boquete Rotary Club (President Elect for 2024-2025) and President of the non-profit organization “Dejando Huellas Boquete.”

 

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Jane Pahler

Your Name: Jane Pahler

Your position/title with AdA: Animal Recovery Supervisor and Volunteer, Team member picking up and delivering huge amounts of pet food monthly and almost anything else that is needed.

How long have you been working with AdA? Nearly 4 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? I primarily work and supervise in the recovery section for both dogs and cats. After an animal has been sterilized, the recovery volunteers are there to make sure there are no post operative problems and assist in waking up these dogs and cats. We then find and return the pet to its respective owner. I also volunteer with the cat and dog feeding program, where we buy and distribute approximately $1800 of pet food each month to persons who have a large number of animals that they are caring for, but who do not have the means to adequately feed them.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? Sterilization prevents unwanted litters and transmissible venereal tumors and helps to improve the animals’ quality of life.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background? My partner Sean, and our son, Gabriel moved to Panama from South Africa. We have been living in Boquete since December 2019. All three of us volunteer with Amigos de Animales.

Do you have any pets? We have two dogs and two cats.

Favorite food:  Seafood

Favorite restaurant: “Casa de Sean,” as my partner is an excellent cook!

Favorite TV show: I don’t watch much TV, but am an avid reader. I just finished an excellent book titled The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne.

Favorite movie: The Life of Brian

Favorite musician or musical group: David Bowie

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Scotland…it is stunning and my family lives there.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Europe

 

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Martin Guerra

Your Name: Martin Guerra

Your position/title with AdA: Collector and transporter of animals to and from different parts of Chiriqui

How long have you been working with AdA? 5-6 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? There are people throughout the Chiriqui Province that wish to sterilize their pets, but don’t have the time and/or transportation. I drive all over the province….places like Caldera, El Flor and Potrerillos….to pick up the animals in the morning, bring them to the spay and neuter clinic and then deliver them back in the afternoon.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? Volunteering here is a way to make a positive difference in the lives of animals. I see a lot of animals that are suffering from neglect, abuse, heat, rain and lack of food. Sterilization minimizes the number of unwanted animals and their ability to keep multiplying. I like to be able to help the animals in need and minimize their suffering.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background? I am Panamanian. I have two sons, ages 12 and 6. I love to watch baseball, soccer, tennis and American football (the 49ers!)

Do you have any pets? I don’t have pets because I am renting a place too small to properly accommodate them.

Do you have any favorite favorite foods?:  I love Sancocho, which is a delicious Panamanian soup made with gallina (hen), yam, cilantro and more.

Favorite musician or musical group: I like Panamanian folk music, but back in the 1980s, I really enjoyed listening to Lionel Richie, Donna Summer, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran and Chicago.

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?  My family has a small piece of land in Chiriqui. It’s so green and beautiful and a nice escape when the family wants to enjoy some back to nature time.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I am a baseball fanatic…I would love to go see a major league baseball game in the U.S.A. I would especially love to see the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

 

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Margarita Creeggan

Your Name: Margarita Creeggan

Your position/title with AdA: Currently volunteering in the kitchen.

How long have you been working with AdA? I have been volunteering since 2018. I started in cat and dog recovery. About 2.5 years ago, Ms. Jane asked me if I could help with serving food in the kitchen, as I am bilingual…so that is what I do now.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? I would encourage others to volunteer their time with Amigos De Animales to help lessen the suffering of animals who don’t have safe and loving homes. Also, it’s a great way to meet people from not only the Chiriqui Province, but from all over the world.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background? I was born in Panama City. I lived in Boquete half my life and lived in Memphis, Tennessee for over 20 years and also the state of Delaware for about 3 years!

Do you have any pets? I currently I have 6 dogs and 14 cats! I used to rescue abused dogs from Pedegral (David).

Do you have any favorite restaurants or favorite foods?:  I love both Panamanian food and pizza! I like Little Caesar’s Pizza.

Favorite musical group: I love the Bee Gees

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?  I loved my trip to San Francisco, California. There were so many great places to see and great restaurants representing so many different cultures.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would love to visit the Patagonia region in Chile and Argentina.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?  Yes, I am very creative. I play the piano, enjoy gardening and like to paint. I also enjoy baking and decorating cakes for all occasions.

 

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Cary Trantham

Your Name: Cary Gordon Trantham

Your position/title with AdA: Treasurer/Director

How long have you been working with AdA? I started volunteering in 2008. Took over the money in 2010.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? I work registration by collecting funds, paying the veterinarians at the end of the clinic, etc. I reconcile bank accounts and prepare monthly financial statements for both Amigos de Animales, Inc. and Fundacion Amigos de los Animales de Boquete

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? It is so fulfilling to know that
you are part of an organization that is really making a difference in the community. Also, everyone that you work with at Animales is a really awesome person. The clinics are so crazy and yet they are like a social event.

Do you have any pets? I have three dogs and just acquired an adorable kitten. Miel, is my little old man who actually adopted me and he is fifteen years old; Nevada is a gorgeous blue eyed white Siberian Husky and she is ten years old. Luna is only three years old…she was a street dog and I brought her to the clinic and we fell in love. I couldn’t let her back on the street. My new little tabby kitten, Tigre, is amazing.

Favorite food: Nachos

Favorite restaurant: Al Punto with Chef Anthony

Favorite TV show: Star Trek with Captain Janeway

Favorite movie: Avatar

Favorite musician or musical group: Any slow, bluesy jazz music.

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Zimbabwe. I visited the Save Valley Conservatory; watching all the animals run free was awe inspiring.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Patagonia

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I am a Bermuda Triangle Survivor – www.BermudaTriangleSurvivor.com.

 

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Alicia McGuigan

Your Name: Alicia Kelly McGuigan

Your position/title with AdA: Former President, volunteer

How long have you been working with AdA? A looong time…I think since 2009

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? I have done many things. I started as volunteer coordinator to try to recognize our volunteers and make sure they were in the right place at the right time. It was rather chaotic at first! I tried being a surgical assistant and quickly learned that it was not for me. I have worked out front in Registration and been the pizza delivery person. My favorite thing to do is working in kitty recovery and interacting with their owners.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? Volunteering with Animales has been a highlight of my life. In my business career, I always said that in my next life I wanted to do something that was meaningful and actually mattered. And this really mattered! Look at the Boquete area…there are no packs of sad starving dogs and cats roaming the streets. We have sterilized over 25,000 animals, what a difference that has made in this community! Volunteering is the best way to meet and make friends in a community and I have loved every minute of it.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share? My background is totally unrelated to working with Animales. I did not grow up with pets. My daughters always had cats but until we found our sweet Molly dog here at a clinic, I had never had a dog before.

Do you have any pets? We currently have two dogs and two cats. When we came here in 2007, we brought three senior cats, all of whom have since crossed the Rainbow Bridge as well as our first dog, Molly. We now have two dogs and two cats, all of whom were rescued here.

Favorite food: Italian - Linguine with clam sauce

Favorite restaurant: Panamonte bar

Favorite TV show: British mysteries and detective shows. Also, Ted Lasso. Dr. Jeff Rocky Mountain Vet and Bluey with the kiddos.

Favorite movie: The Right Stuff, an old favorite. Also musicals and anything that my grandkids like and we can sing along with.

Favorite musician or musical group: I have very eclectic taste in music, anything from classical to good old rock and roll.

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Ireland. I went several years ago with my two sisters and we had a wonderful time. The Isle of Palms at Charleston, SC, is my favorite place in the US. My father grew up there and we spent lots of time there growing up and I now love sharing it with the latest generation of Kellys.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’d like to go back to Ireland and also travel around Europe. I have been to Europe many times but only in the big cities, I’d like to see the smaller towns and villages.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I only wish! But my true super powers lay in my two daughters and four grandkids.

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Lulu Borrell

Your Name:  Lulu Borrell

Position/Title at AdA: Animal Collector

How long have I been with AdA: I started about three years after Amigos de Animales started….so approximately 15 years.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do at AdA: Every month, I pick up animals from people who don’t have the time and/or transportation to take their animals to the clinics in David and Boquete. I explain to them the importance of sterilization in order to control the population and reduce the number of abandoned and mistreated animals.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA: Animals need our help. There are not enough adopters out there who are able to give the love and care that animals deserve…so it is important to control the population.

Do you have any pets: Currently, I have 24 dogs! Most of these were rescued from the streets in very bad condition or were going to be abandoned on the street. I have three Great Dane rescues, one Blue Heeler who is 14 years old and the baby of the clan, a Fila Brasilero, “Valentina” given to me by a dear friend. The rest of the dogs are multibreeds. I also have one cat, two sheep and nine horses, three of which are over 20 years old and retired at my farm Las Tinajas de Dolega, where I live.

Favorite Food: My favorite dish is called “Langostinos a la Pedrada” served at my sister’s restaurant, Donde Giselle.

Favorite Restaurant: I have three…Donde Giselle, Tres Scalini and Panamonte/T’ach Restaurant

Favorite TV show: Blue Bloods

Favorite Movie: Australia

Favorite Musician/Group: Phil Collins

Favourite Place I have visited and why: I love Bogota, Columbia for the climate, the restaurants and the people. I also love Africa, where I worked as a volunteer with Panthera Africa, a place that has rescued many big cats. Most of the large breed cats came from the industry where tourists pay to pet and feed a cub. I also volunteered with Wildlife Act, consisting of people who truly dedicate their lives to conserve animals in the wild.

If I could go anywhere in the world, where would that be: Antarctica….but I would definitely love to return to Africa as it is a unique work that everyone should see.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?: I love plants and had a unique nursery for many years. I still sell plants to help me support all of my rescued animals. I specialize in different varieties of bamboo. I also bake! My specialty is lime pie, which I also sell by order.

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Gia Pallone

Your Name:  Gia Pallone

Position/Title at AdA: Intake/Door Greeter

How long have I been with AdA: about 4 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do at AdA: I welcome the cats and dogs that arrive at the clinic. Many come in nervous and scared, unsure of why they have been brought to such a place. It can be a chaotic and unsettling experience to be transported and surrounded by so many sights, sounds, smells, animals, and people. I assure them that they will be safe and I infuse them with LOVE. When we are unable to come to that agreement, I work with the rest of the Intake Team to ensure that NO ONE (animals or people) become injured as the sedation injections are given.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA: I would encourage others to volunteer at AdA when their hearts are called to improve the quality of life for animals and their families. Volunteering also allows for a greater connection with the local community. EVERYONE has something unique to contribute and it is very rewarding to be in the flow with such an accomplished organization.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share: Animals have ALWAYS been a quintessential part of my existence. I was born into a family of four-legged, finned, and plumed members. I have volunteered from coast-to-coast, fostering kittens from the Connecticut Humane Society, to hand feeding scrub jays at the wildlife center in the Salinas SPCA. I made a career of working with animals locally, in a veterinarian's office, and nationally, at a da Vinci Robotic Surgical Center. I have had members join the family from near (Tiki, the cat, came from a family across the street) and far (Cpt. Morgan, a pup, was my Whacky Iraqi/Baghdad Baby). Working with animals in Boquete was a no-brainer and I am glad that I have found my niche.

Do you have any pets: My Merlin went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2019. I now borrow pets. Our landlord has two dogs (Paige and Duke) and I rally and range every day with the neighbor's dogs, Chongo and Chloe. I also occasionally pet sit.

Favorite Food: Anything that has been prepared with LOVE.

Favorite Restaurant: Those that provide vegetarian options.

Favorite Movie: I am inspired by everyday Heroes so I like movies based on Actual Events.

Favorite Musician/Group: I enjoy the diversity of World Music

Favourite Place I have visited and why: Home, because that is where the Heart is

If I could go ANYWHERE in the world, where would that be: the next place that I end up because that is where I am meant to be.

Fun Fact/Hidden Talent: I help my husband teach Line Dancing to Latin music.

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Judy Sacco

Your Name:  Judy Sacco

Your position/title with AdA: Recovery supervisor (blue person)

How long have you been working with AdA? I have been here since the very first spay/neuter clinic in June 2005

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA? I have done almost everything: making appointments and registration in the early days; being in the original group of founders of the Foundation in 2007; board member as Secretary for a few years; recovery; assisting the vets during surgery; and supervising recovery. I have also been the grant writer and have obtained $25,000 in grants for Animales.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA? If you want meaningful work making a difference in the lives of cats and dogs and their caregivers, there are many volunteer opportunities where Amigos de Animales can use your skills and even teach you new ones. There are many ways volunteers can contribute besides working at the clinics.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share? I came to Boquete in 2004 with my husband and 2 cats. We both retired that year and decided to move abroad. I have a masters degree in microbiology and worked in medical device and pharmaceutical companies for several years. Then I became a consultant for those industries for 20 years in quality assurance and regulatory affairs. I had wanted to be a veterinarian in the dark ages before the women's movement, but after the adults stopped laughing at me, they told me girls were not allowed to be vets, because they weren't strong enough to throw cows to the ground (men aren't either, by the way). So it has been my joy to be able to tend to cats and dogs in recovery and even to occasionally save a live, and to assist the vets in surgery.

Do you have any pets? If so, how many and of one species? Oh boy, do I have pets! I have 6 cats of my own, all rescues. Also I have a steady stream of kittens and cats as fosters, and now have one temporary boarder. I have raised 9 bottle babies, including 4 newborns, and have learned a lot about caring for cats from this experience.

Favorite food: Pasta in many forms. Also the seafood in the Pacific Northwest, which I miss a lot.

Favorite restaurant: Tre Scalini and Taco Rudos

Favorite TV shows: Medical shows – Grey's Anatomy, The Resident. Odd shows like Manifest and Lost. Comedies - The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon, Seinfeld. Netflix series - Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

Favorite movies: I can't pick just one. Casablanca, African Queen, Chicago, Star Trek IV, Avatar, and everything Tom Hanks stars in.

Favorite musician or musical group: Oh I'm stuck in the 60s and 70s (pre-disco). The Beatles, Neil Diamond, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Fleetwood Mac plus classical music and opera.

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Hands down – Africa, specifically a safari in Botswana in the Okavango Delta.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I haven't been to Alaska, so probably there, especially Denali National Park.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I lived in India for a year at an ashram. I lived on Maui and watched whales from my lanai.   Hidden talents? I can fix a lot of things that break.

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Norma Miller

Your Name:  Norma Miller

Your position/title with AdA:  Just “volunteer”

How long have you been working with AdA?  I have been volunteering since 2021, when I moved to Boquete from Panama City.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA?

I mostly help in the recovery section. Also, since I am fluent in Spanish, I sometimes assist in communicating with pet owners. On another occasion, I helped out in the kitchen; again, there was a need for someone who spoke Spanish.  More recently I’ve been helping Katrina Kneebone supervise the student volunteers we’ve recruited from the Technological University of Panama (UTP).

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA?  1) Because helping animals have a better life is a most worthy cause, 2) because the effort is well organized and executed, every month, and 3) because it gives one a sense of serving the community.

Being in education, I am particularly keen on getting young Panamanians involved. Volunteering is not really a part of the local culture, though there is definitely a movement in that direction (e.g., Ponte en Algo). This is why last September I proposed a volunteering project at ADAB to the head of the social service unit of the Chiriquí campus of the UTP, where I teach mathematics. We sent out the invitation via the university’s social networks. The response was so overwhelming that after 2 days we had to shut down registration. I believe this kind of activity sets a marvelous example for young people: it defies the generalized notion that government has to fix all of society’s problems, by showing how much can get done when ordinary citizens join forces and collaborate with one another. It also helps integrate the expat and local communities.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share and also answer questions below?

Well, the main thing is that I grew up in Chapala, Mexico, a small town not unlike Boquete in that its climate and beauty attracted many expats. This also explains why Spanish is as much a mother tongue for me as is English; and also why I am very much attuned to Latin American cultural nuances. I’ve lived in Panama for over 30 years now.

Do you have any pets? If so, how many and of one species?

I’ve always had pets, dogs and cats. However, for the last 20 years or so I’ve only had cats, all of them found and rescued from the streets of Panama City (one of them actually from the edge of a highway!). One of them has megacolon, having been hit by a car, and requires daily help to pee and poop. She is fully mobile, though, and has a good life. Photos of my kitties Dobby, Cachetes and Loki are below!

I’m not really one for having “favorites”. I find joy, delight even passion in too many things, from the simplest to the most sophisticated.

Favorite musician or musical group:

I do love Panama’s Ruben Blades

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? I do have a special love for Italy and Spain.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I hope to visit Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and also Greece someday.

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Katrina Kneebone

Hi….my name is Katrina Kneebone, I am an educator, and I am involved with the Amigos de Animales program for 5 years taking awareness of pet sterilization into elementary schools. Here I am explaining what that involves.

After my rottweiler departed for the Elysium Fields, each month I would get my “big dog fix” at the clinic, sitting quietly on the rug and resuscitating the large breeds from their anesthesia . Two years went by and then, Leslie Sherling, who had befriended me, noticed that I was speaking Spanish and helping the student volunteers. “We need you,” she said, and that is how I became the lead person for the Amigos de Animales schools outreach program.

There are 13 schools in the rural areas of Boquete and our mission is to reach out to these students, teach them about pet care, and encourage them to bring their pets to the clinic for spaying. COVID curtailed our efforts for two years, but in October of 2022 we picked up again and managed visits to five schools before the school year ended.

Through Animales, I have built up a team of really dedicated volunteers and we continue to welcome more. To give an example of how we work, in the El Frances school, which has 45 students divided into two groups, we committed to two days in one week. The volunteers on that occasion were Michael and Debra who worked with me in the upper grades, and Cynthia and Valorie working with the younger children. We have booklets to color that tell the children about pet care and on which we base our lessons. Michael and I worked on compiling these booklets so that they give information about Animales and about the clinic that the students can take home. I gave the presentation and Michael and Debra supported me by handing out materials and encouraging the students. Meanwhile , Cynthia and Valorie presented the kinder booklet to the younger children. Later we all congregated outside to sing songs (Michael has donated a Karaoke machine). This same team then followed up by giving a Christmas craft day in December and later a Christmas lunch with goody bags.
This pattern of presenting, and then the different volunteers picking up the ball and continuing with a Christmas lunch, was repeated in Palmira Arriba, Jaramillo Arriba, and Alto Quiel.

When the new school year begins in March, we hope to cover two day presentations in most of the schools in the district. Amigos de Animales has plans to facilitate the spaying of animals in these remoter areas. We may transport them to the clinic, or we may do mini clinics in their areas, and for this we continue to need volunteers. It’s okay if your Spanish is limited, we can still use you. If you have enough Spanish to help with the Kinder or upper grade presentations, that would be wonderful.

Here are the names of all of the volunteers who have helped so far in the school outreach program. I want to mention them because their generosity and hard work impressed me so much. A big thank you to all of them.
Michael and Debra Whited, Valorie Tintinger, Eileen, Christy, Cynthia Vitagliano, Nonie Ratclif, Jessica and Amelia Vega, Cindy Clayton, Helena Deakin, Said, Neidy.

Lastly, I am still on the big dog rug each month at the clinic. We have been encouraging more university students to become involved and now I help Carol with their training and supervision.
Contact me if you would like to become involved in the schools project: katrinakneebone@gmail.com

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Raquel Irais Coba Villarreal

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?: Coordinator, WhatsApp Group for Spanish-speaking volunteers. Over one year

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I collaborate in the recovery of dogs and cats during the sterilization clinics. I love working with the little ones. [Raquel has recently started helping us coordinate Spanish-speaking volunteers which has increased participation by Panamanians.]

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?:  When you enter the space for recovery, you give a little piece of yourself to these other species. Animals give us so many beautiful moments and their love for us is unconditional. Volunteering this way helps you to become more loving and understanding of their basic needs and a way to give back by sharing a little time and your love with them.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I volunteer as an environmental activist; supporting educational activities to strengthen the environmental and social culture of children, young people and the adults in the District of Dolega.

Do you have any pets? I have three pets…2 dogs and a cat (see photos!) Keisy is my black dog who is a beautiful and loving soul, but is jealous when she has to share caresses with others. Princesa is my shaggy haired brownish dog who is noble, loving and not jealous. Mini is my elusive kitten who shows me love and keeps me company.

Favorite food: Patacones with garlic shrimp

Favorite restaurant: The Steakhouse in David

Favorite TV show: I don’t watch TV

Favorite movie: What the Wind Took Away

Favorite musician or musical group: Jose Luis Perales

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?  Niagara Falls for its immense and impressive waterfalls. They were like a dream and those memories live in my mind.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Venice, Italy

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Carol Cardinale-Santana

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?: Vice President - 14 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I am the head of Recovery. I started the training program years ago because I noticed people took it as a social event and did not take it seriously. Once I had a young person rubbing a dog and did not notice the dog was not breathing! I have also organized fundraising events, Chili Challenges, Casino Night, and our Annual Lotto (Ruby's idea). In the past, first prize was an all-expense paid trip to Panama.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?: It is definitely a great experience as well as rewarding.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I came to Panama in 2005 and we bought a piece of property and built a home in the hills of Alto Jaramillo. The builder gave us a puppy (Bella) that needed neutering. That was my introduction to Amigos de Animales. Then Bella needed to be trained and Jennie Allen was dog training and also worked at the clinic. One thing led to another and now I have been volunteering here 14 years all because of Bella.

Do you have any pets? I have my dog, Bella and my cat Diablo Red (see photos!)

Favorite food: All food!

Favorite restaurant: Maito Restaurante in Panama City

Favorite musician or musical group:  John Legend

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Traveling is one of my favorite things to do! Prague was gorgeous with the French influence and all the Art Deco. I want to explore more of Italy.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Tahiti! Why not with its exotic gorgeous beaches!

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?   I currently own a coffee farm called Vista Encanto Coffee.

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Sherry Shirritt

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?:  Surgery Station Lead - 5 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I have the best job ever! I get to be a part of a group of volunteers that give their time and energy to the animal community! I oversee the veterinary assistance and the organization of the surgical team. It’s a bit like playing a game of Tetris…making sure each vet gets about the same number of animals per clinic and ensuring that everyone is happy and fully equipped to be successful. I schedule volunteers, set up the surgical area and run my butt off on clinic day making sure everyone has what they need to sterilize approximately 300 animals in one day! I am also the primary contact for Hall rentals and I’m part of the fundraising committee.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?: It’s all about teamwork for the common goal of sterilizing animals in the most efficient way possible. Also, you get to make new friends and give your time unselfishly to ensure our community is not overrun by packs of dogs and starving animals in the streets. The efforts by AdA volunteers help to reduce the overpopulation of the animal community, making Boquete a better place to live.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I semi-retired to Panama 5.5 years ago from Calgary, Canada. My personal goal was to experience as many different opportunities as possible, learn new things and be a valued member of a community. I found that in Boquete.

I grew up as an Army brat, never staying in one place more than a few years at a time. This experience taught me to develop relationships quickly and experience people from all walks of life….the good, the bad and the ugly. I learned to accept folks for who they were and loved being a free spirit and a mover and shaker. The most fulfilling relationships I had were with the underprivileged and the children who needed a voice. I became their advocate.

I spent my undergraduate years in Early Childhood Education and Development Facility. I spent 35 years teaching, developing and creating pre-schools across Canada. I truly love working with people. I thrive around those with positive attitudes and believe you are more successful in life the more freely you give back. I enjoy planning and organizing events, matchmaking, working for the underprivileged, be that animals or folks needing a helping hand. One of my biggest joys is fostering dogs who need special attention and helping them to get back on their feet and find a forever, loving home where they will thrive.

Do you have any pets? No permanent pets, but I foster pets; I work with Dog Camp to help with dogs that need special care.

Favorite food: Cooking is not my forte, but I make a wicked peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Favorite restaurant:  I LOVE The Fish House….in five years I’ve never had a bad meal there and I like how small and homey it is.

Favorite TV show: Who has time for TV?

Favorite Movie:  To Sir With Love

Favorite musician or musical group: You can’t beat old-time rock and roll! I love to sing along and I know all the lyrics! I like strong women like Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Pink and Cher. As long as I can dance to it, I’m good!

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Aruba with its white baby-powder beaches, flamingos, crystal clear water, snorkeling, music, food, sun and casinos….what’s not to love?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would love to sail the Greek Islands or learn to cook in Tuscany!

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I’m a fantastic singer (in the shower) and can curl my tongue!

 

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Diomedes Gonzales

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?:  I am an Animal Collector mostly in the greater Dolega area - 13 years

How did you get started as a Collector?:  we had some neighborhood female dogs that needed to be spayed. I spoke with Lulu Borrell, and she told me how to contact Amigos de Animales.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I help identify owners with cats and dogs that need to be sterilized and then I collect money from them (most of the time) and then help to coordinate with a driver to have them picked up and delivered to the clinic to get spayed and neutered. [Diomedes does not drive]

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?: A lot of animals are suffering because they don’t have anyone to care for them.  The humane and important work that Amigos de Animales does helps to minimize the number of animals who are on the streets without proper care

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I like to ride horses and walk through the jungle where there are little birds and animals to see. I was born and still live in the El Flor area, and I have a mother and brothers. I work at the Federal Mall.

Do you have any pets? I have two dogs and a cat.

Favorite TV show: I like to watch programs about animals on the Animal Planet channel.

Favorite musician or musical group: I enjoy romantic music by Leonardo Favio and Leo Dan. I also enjoy the music of Samy and Sandra Sandoval

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Cerro Punta for it’s cool weather and natural beauty.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Africa

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Leslie Sherling

Your position/title with AdA and how long have you worked here:  Secretary of Board; Recovery Supervisor - 7 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA?:  I assist as needed with the volunteers making sure to address any issues and/or concerns that may arise with their animals; I work primarily with the big dogs, helping to wake them up after surgery and supervision; I also return the cats and dogs to their owners/collectors after they have awoken.

 Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA?: It is a very necessary service that we provide.  Our town is a much better place to be when we don't have packs of dogs in the streets and starving animals that are suffering.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share and also answer questions below?  I am a gratefully retired Canadian from the beautiful province of British Columbia in the Vancouver area.  My new job is being an active volunteer for several great organizations such as AdA, Buenos Vecinos Boquete - where we pack food and deliver it to over 100 families each month; also Boquete Health and Hospice with the meals and the equipment teams; and if and when the Jazz and Blues festival gets going again....that is a real fun event to volunteer at!

 Do you have any pets?:  I have 3 beautiful rescue dogs - Sisi, Canela, and Lucy

Favorite food: I'm currently enjoying a lot of Greek Salad

 Favorite restaurant: That's a tough one!  Tres Scalini, the Fish House and Tacos Rudos

 Favorite TV shows: Master Chef

 Favorite movie:  Galaxy Quest

Favorite musician or musical group: Classic Rock such as the Eagles, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?:  Luxor Egypt. The ancient wonders were amazing....it just felt magical.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?:  Africa

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?:  I'm a long distance runner - slow but steady! I've completed two full marathons and try to run two half marathon races each year.

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Rosa Raquel Martinez Serracin

Your position/title with AdA and how long have you worked here:  Appointment Coordinator - 1.5 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA?: I am in charge of processing the requests for appointments, explaining what the procedures are to follow, helping people to register their pets, organizing the assistance of the veterinarians, and helping with check-in on the day of the clinic.

 Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA?: I encourage more volunteers to join this great organization in order to help reduce the population of abandoned animals on the streets and give them a better quality of life.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share and also answer questions below?   I currently work as a nurse in elderly care.  I am also a volunteer for the Panamanian Red Cross Boquete when a disaster occurs or assistance is needed to help people in the community.

 Do you have any pets?:  I have 4 rescued male dogs that are now part of my family and who I love very much.

Favorite food: Seafood and salads

 Favorite restaurant: La Posada Boqueteña

 Favorite TV shows: Pawn Stars

 Favorite movie:  Spider-Man

Favorite musician or musical group: Queen

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?:  Here in Chiriquí, my favorite place is Playa la Gavilla, because it is a quiet place and I have enjoyed beautiful memories there with my family.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?: I would like to travel to Turkey.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?:  I like to draw and paint, I am creative, organized and communicative.