Fundación Almanaque Azul is a Panamanian NGO which is leading La Mochila, a project to design and develop an image bank that will help promote visual and scientific literacy among primary and secondary students in Panama. La Mochila ("the backpack") will make images of Panama's natural and human diversity publicly available on the internet on the subjects of ecology and biodiversity, natural, rural and urban landscapes, and cultural heritage of Panama.
Almanaque Azul was started in 2005 and it promotes protection of the cultural and natural diversity in Panama through research and education. Since 2007, Almanaque Azul has organized groups of volunteers to explore places around Panama to bring back information and pictures that have been published in their website and in a printed travel guide published in 2013.
La Mochila is led by Almanaque Azul with a grant awarded in mid-2014 by SENACYT, the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation of Panama, a panamanian government agency. Later that year Almanaque Azul approached CIDETYS (International Center for Technological Development and Free Software) to discuss the project to evaluate the possibility of using Wikimedia Commons as a repository of the images, given the experience that CIDETYS had with activities such as Wiki Loves Monuments in the country.
The images come from the collection of photographs donated by volunteers to Almanaque Azul since 2005. Negotiations are underway for donations to the project from other local research and educational organisations. 500 images have been selected and classified to be made available in the first phase of the project to conclude in mid-2014.
The image bank interface is being developed in Drupal. The idea is to link the Drupal application to images and metadata in Wikimedia Commons.