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Calicanto was founded in 1994. The initial efforts of the organization focused on protecting the community through responsible conservation and restoration efforts. Thanks to the work we did together with other organizations, Panama’s Casco Antiguo received the UNESCO World Heritage Title in 1997.
This brought great economic and architectural development in San Felipe, but in resulted in the displacement of many of the area’s residents, who, in turn, could not participate in this movement.
Finding a solution for a new problem
Research at the time indicated that the most vulnerable population was women, the head of the household. This is how the CAPTA program emerged,, a program focused on providing technical tools for women at social risk to work in hotels or restaurants in the area. At the beginning, CAPTA only focused on the vocational part, without taking into account the human, social and psychological part, which prevented the generation of a sustainable social transformation.
This led to two years later, the program evolved and provided human, social and psychological development tools in addition to technical training.
The Human Heritage
It is for this reason that our current president, Hildegard Vasquez, is urged to extend the mission of the foundation, so that not only the monumental heritage of the area would be protected and promoted, but also the Human Heritage, which forms an intangible part of the idiosyncrasy of our historic center.
Today, in addition to ensuring the protection of Historical Heritage, the Calicanto Foundation has positioned itself as a benchmark in the development of social programs and actions that promote the empowerment of women, the economic autonomy of communities and the reduction of inequalities in Panama.
Do you want to be part of the future of the communities we work with? It’s time to act.