Eduardo y Mitzila

The water, the sun.

I met Eduardo and Mitzila at the island of Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro, Panama.
They live a very simple life in a small house close to the sea.

What is the most important thing in your life and why? For what do you get up in the morning?
Eduardo: For me it is very important in life to ask God to give us every day. To see, the water, the sun. For me that is important in life – water and sun.

Mitzila: In life it is important to me that God gives me a happy life with him (Eduardo), being content. I have breakfast with him in the morning and I feel happy.

Eduardo: The most important thing is that we are all happy, with friends, with neighbors, with my children, with my wife. How many children do you have? Seven. The most important thing is for me to raise my children in a way so that they can be a professional in the future, more than me. More important than you? What do you do? I simply have no profession. Life is very complicated because sometimes there is food and sometimes there is not. Sometimes I have money, sometimes I do not, because I have no profession. I have a hard life. That is why it is important that tomorrow my children can be professionals so that they don´t  suffer as much as I do.

If the situation was not like this and you did not have to worry about money… if you could ask for one wish, what would it be?
Mitzila: It is important that God gives us life every day and we are happy.

Eduardo: The dream that I had always had since I was very young is to settle at my own farm, to have a project, a tourism project. But I have no money and do something like that you have to have a lot of money to achieve this. The dream is that in the future I think I have more than just living. On my farm which I have over there I have many productions of different species of seedlings, very decorative and fruit and timber. Some are small, some are already producing … I think that’s to develop with all my family in the future.

What have you done that you’re most proud to have achieved?
Eduardo: We are proud of us, what we thought, we’ve done a little, and always live a life looking forward to achieve what we want. Of this I am proud.

Mitzila: I grew up a poor life with my mother in Almirante, but thank God I’m a little proud of myself because if I’m on the farm I plant my flowers in my garden and I feel happy. On the farm I am happy with my children, working on the farm…

What is the best lesson your parents ever told you?
Eduardo: For us poor people here in the country of Panama it is to have land which is worth a lot of money these days. We are poor in money, we do not have it, but the little land we have, for me that’s worth a million. For me it is very important.

Mitzila: My mom taught me to do things in the house, do the washing, doing the dishes … things like that. Thanks to her –  when I went with him there was already a small foundation.

You have seven children. What is the best part and the hardest part of being parents?
Eduardo: The most important thing for me is that I advise them not to do bad, to only do good so nobody will hate them. If not everything you do is for you, it is for nobody. And the bad things don´t not work, I told them, because I do bad as well, but the bad is no good. I always show them to do good, never bad. When they have problems, when they do evil I advice and tell them this and this and this … So they grow up, learning … For I tell you that I live here among many family members, I have no problems, I said nothing to anyone, not a thing, all is well.

Mitzila: The hardest thing – as I tell my sons and my daughters – the hardest thing is that I have not studied nor do I have a profession. I want her to study and be someone better, better than me. That’s so hard, be in the house just like me, there is no money. All seven go to school. Thank God all going well, excellent, the years go by … I am also proud  because I have a 16-year-old who will graduate this year. And I’m happy because my son is graduating and he is going to study. I have to find something to help him to accomplish something, to go ahead.

If you could send a message to the entire world, what would you say?
Eduardo: Well, the only message I can send to the world is that here in Panama in Bocas del Toro most forgotten are the poor who have no job, no money. There is no professional work for me … Here we the poor are the most forgotten. If there comes a project right now I can not get work. And if I get work I get to work harder just like we poor people all do who have no profession and get paid less. Everything is expensive here in Panama, Bocas del Toro. Like I said I have no knowledge of professional work, so we poor people here earn money for food. With any project that starts we simply work to eat and that’s all. I wish that someday in the future someone will remember us. This is the only message I can send.


Many of us have experienced lack of money or lived under difficult circumstances at times in our lives. What was or is your way staying on the bright side of life, do you have any advice? Please share your story in the commentaries.

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