Panama is a privileged country in Latin America. But although infrastructure is developing rapidly, the same is not happening with human capital. There is a socio-economic gap that grows wider and more evident every year. There’s a particular part of Panama City called El Casco Viejo where the contrast is obvious. National and international investors are revamping the area and you can find a refurbished colonial house turned into a luxury hotel next to a rundown building with more than 40 families living in precarious conditions. In order to change this reality, we have to have the same investment in education that we are having in real estate. We have to start preparing people for new opportunities.
Our generation has the opportunity of bridging this gap, of sharing our knowledge and time with those who have not had the same exposure or education. I believe that this change lies on all members of society, not just one sector. Those of us who have had the privilege of a good education have the responsibility to share with those who have not. We can do this through volunteering and really spending time and exchanging experiences with one another.
Paola Gomez is a social entrepreneur and member of the Global Shapers Panama Hub. We interviewed her as part of Fusion’s partnership with the World Economic Forum.