The Basilio Perez Scholarship Fund

The Basilio Perez Scholarship Fund is dedicated to giving Wounaan and Ngäbe-Buglé families basic help with the cost of educating their children.   It continues the long-running work of new Native Future board member Sara Archbald, who helped initiate the fund in 2002 to help families working on a cooperative farm in El Jacinto, a Buglé village in Veraguas. Uniforms and shoes are purchased for elementary students whose families are working cooperatively to grow rice, corn, other vegetables, laying hens, fish, and pigs.  High school students, who must live in the city away from their families in order to study, receive $100-$200 to help them with expenses.  As the donations have increased, the program has expanded to other villages in the Comarca.  In 2006, with the alignment with Native Future, the Basilio Perez Scholarship fund expanded to include the Wounaan.

There are three essential components to the program:

  • The goal of the recipients, to the best of their understanding, will be to receive an education so that they may best help their own people thrive in a healthy, safe, sustainable community;
  • The leaders of the village, communal farm, or tribal entity will work with Native Future to determine the criteria and manner of disbursement for the scholarship;
  • The recipients will be held accountable for their efforts through their family’s work for the greater tribal good, their own report cards, and/or written reports. On-going support will be dependent, but not assured, on the basis of these reports.