Las Gemelas Rio Claro de Pavone
Pavones School Information
The Las Gemelas School is located in Rio Claro (Pavones) and was established in 1973. The school has eight teachers, one of which also serves as the administrative principal. In 2015, there were 45 students enrolled in the primary school and 21 students in the preschool department.
The school grounds measure half a hectare. The school consists of two cement pavilions with three classrooms in each, all with barred windows, ceramic floors, level ceilings, electricity, lighting, and ventilation. One of the classrooms is dedicated to preschool education. The preschool classroom has bathrooms and handwashing sinks inside the room. One classroom is dedicated to children with special needs, another to kindergarten, and three for primary education (grades 1-6). The school complex also has a cafeteria, a storage room, boys and girls bathrooms, a multi-use area, and an administration área.
The Las Gemelas School offers six study subjects: Social Studies, Math, Science, Spanish, English and Physical Education.
The Las Gemelas School, like many others, was created by the community little-by-little. The adult population at the time, poor and humble, didn’t want their children growing up to be illiterate, like themselves, and wanted to give their children better opportunities via education.
The school was born of the initiatives of Juan Mendoza, Rubén Venegas and Adán Elizondo. For economic reasons, the original school was a simply built thatch hut made from wood on the edge of the ocean. The desks were built of boards of wood upon the sand and shared between two students. When the school opened there was an enrollment of 14 students, who came from all around, including the communities of Piña and Banco. The first teacher was named Rodolfo Bony. Some of the first students to graduate were Oscar Mendoza, Mireya Venegas and Gerardina Venegas. In 1975, a new student installation was built by a North American named Danny Fowlie.
Historical Account of Rio Claro de Pavones
In the beginning, the community of Rio Claro de Pavones was comprised of “free lands” where emigrants came to claim lands via homesteading. They formed small farms between river boundaries. It was first inhabited by some Panamanian families and then populated by people from the northwestern province of Guanacaste. The Guanacaste cos left their homelands due to drought and the difficulty to survive via agriculture. They arrived at Pavones via Zancudo. Fortunately for the settlers, their new home of Pavones was rich in the production of basic grains like rice, beans, and corn. There was also abundant wildlife for hunting and fishing.
Bahía de Pavon (Pavon Bay) was the first community to spout up with the settlement of emigrants, and later the settlement of Rio Claro de Pavones (also known as Las Gemelas), and others. They gave the area the name Bahía de Pavon because it used to be abundant with an edible bird called the giant curassow, known locally as the pavo. The name Gemelas(twins) was given to the area due to the two giant rocks that were between the beach and ocean. The name Rio Claro for the clean and clear waters that are in the town’s principal river.
The community surrounding Rio Claro de Pavones benefits greatly from the naturalness of the area and from the great waves for surfing. Some examples of community employment include:
-Renting cabinas, hotels, and furnished houses
-The sale of lands and homes
-Gardening and land maintenance
-Agriculture, although this has diminished greatly as a form of work
-Heavy machinery for development projects
Transport and Communication Services
Rio Claro de Pavones has land and maritime transport. There is a public bus that leaves early in the morning, enters and leaves midday and enters again in the evening. This public service assists people that travel to the nearest cities of Golfito, Neily, and Laurel, via the town of Conte. There are public telephones, the internet in the home, and cable television.
Much of the population in Rio Claro de Pavones are Evangelical Christians and have a great church for gathering and related activities. Those that are Catholics must go to the communities of Cocal Amarillo and Punta Banco to worship in the churches there. Jehovah’s Witnesses worship at their church in Cocal Amarillo.
Locals play soccer on a regular basis and realize regional competitions on the weekends, especially on Soccer Sundays (domingos deportivos). Many locals and visitors alike surf and enjoy the river as recreational activities.