In the Spring of 2008 a group of students from ITP visited Panama and the Azuero to explore issues of sustainability and communication. They have been working with AEP since returning to the US, building this website, and creating two programs that will be presented prior to their graduation this spring. It was agreed that the itinerary of the trip would constitute what they called “flooding”, or immersion in Panama, especially the Azuero, its culture and environment, its challenges and issues. To this end, a large number of interviews, explorations and observations were arranged, all recorded in audio and video by the group. A partial list of the agenda included a day of meetings with environmental scientists, local activists and representatives of local environmental non profits was held at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, visit to the Panama Canal, a tour of the models for the new Biodiversity Museum under construction, a brief seminar on sustainable building and an architectural tour of the city, a trip to the Azuero, a tour of rainforest and deforested agricultural land, meetings with local officials and foresters, and a fund raising breakfast for a local family. The visit concluded with a review session in which students and their faculty advisor, Nancy Hechinger, discussed impressions and possible programs. Some of the students have decided to pursue a concept they call “Museum in a Box” and have applied for a grant to continue its development back in Panama after graduation. Others will be organizing the huge amount of media collected into useful tools for fundraising and education.

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