El Proyecto Fenix

El Proyecto Fenix, Inc

Rising From The Ashes | Renace De Las Cenizas

About Us

El Proyecto Fenix Inc. (EPF) is an Arizona registered 501c3 non-profit corporation managed by a volunteer board of directors, reaching families in need of assistance to empower them to rise above their current standard of living through gathered support from sponsors and donors seeding their initial entry into EPF. 

El Proyecto Fenix is designed to encourage, motivate, and move participants from dependency to independence requiring the applicant’s participation and completion in the following areas:

 Basic Financial Education
 Self-Reliance
 Self-Sustainability
 Improved Housing – with water, electricity and flooring
 Personal Achievement – inspiring confidence
 Employment Opportunities
 Volunteer assistance to the project

It is built on three main pillars: 

“Friends”; (those with a strong personal or philosophical
connection) with El Proyecto Fenix willing to provide their support without
any expectation of material return.

Business interests or entities that have budgeted cash and in-kind
support who believe that investing will make a better community and
generate a tangible return for them.

  • Families – identified families living in substandard housing with little or
    no income to sustain them.
  • Volunteers – people with a desire to give their time, talent, and
    treasury for the good of the community

The Fenix Empowerment Project

The project name sums up the mission of EL Proyecto Fenix – The Fenix – is a mythical bird
known for rising from its ashes. The Fenix often serves as a symbol of renewal and rebirth.

Mission Statement

El Proyecto Fenix, Inc. (EPF) is an Arizona State registered 501c3 non-profit corporation, whose mission is to elevate the standard of living for the neediest families in our local communities using cooperative economics, education, and accountability to end the generational cycle of poverty.  We are one of few non-profit corporations providing a gateway to self-sustainability.


Educate | Basic Life Skills

Motivate | Create generational abundance

Empower | Better living conditions for participating families

Compensate | Money management

Meet the Executive Board



Native of the United States, mother of three grown men. After a life of California living, working as a Business and Systems Analyst for over 30 years and ministry since 1986, now retired in Central America.  Linda witnessed firsthand levels of poverty that troubled her in spirit.  In September 2020, she was introduced to a private community that utilized the Cooperative Economics methodologies that sparked a vision of empowerment for the communities in her immediate surroundings.


Linda along with co-founder Ruth Rivera, believe the mission, goals, and processes of El Proyecto Fenix will bring impoverished communities into the 21st century with housing, electricity, indoor plumbing and self-sustainability ending the cycle of generational poverty.



A Puerto Rican native, Ruth lived in the United States from
six years of age. In 2001, she retired from the Seattle Times.
Relocating to Houston in 2006, she went to work for Star
Furniture until her second retirement in 2015. Within days
she made her transition to Panama, making it her forever

Ruth’s compassionate desire to reach people less fortunate,
ignited her zeal and tireless efforts in her involvement with
El Proyecto Fenix. She genuinely believes this project will
transform many lives starting right here in Panama.

Wesley L. Shorter


A native of Cuthbert, Georgia (USA), son of Benjamin and Rachel Shorter. He received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central State University and, through advanced study, master’s level certification in Behavioral Science, School Counseling and Administration/Supervision. Wesley was employed by the
Randolph County, Georgia School System for 32 ½ years and retired in 2008. His military and civic service career includes 3 years in the U.S. Army (1 tour in Vietnam); 22 years on the Cuthbert, Georgia City Council and approximately 20 years each as board member of New Horizons Community Service Board and The Fletcher Henderson Foundation. Wesley is married to Peggy Augustine Shorter and they are parents to four children.

Cynthia West


Before coming to Panama in 2013, Cynthia worked for 35 years in the Silicon Valley for Varian Medical Systems, the world leader in linear acceleration for the treatment of cancer. There she led an engineering team of 28 mechanical and electrical designers.

Upon moving to Panama, Cynthia and her husband undertook the positions of Accountant and Administrator for their local Homeowners Association here in Panama. They implemented transparent accounting practices and necessary maintenance and upgrade programs while bringing the overall building maintenance costs down.

Today Cynthia donates her time supporting local charitable originations such as Niño’s de Dios and the JLM Christian Foundation sewing clothing and stuffed animals for underprivileged children and is currently working with El Proyecto Fenix managing their financial data.

Teri Garrett


Teri was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the oldest of eight children. She received a bachelors degree in Psychology from Dartmouth College and a masters from Columbia University in Vocational and Rehabilitation Counseling. As a project manager, Teri worked for IBM (retired after 25 years), United Health Group, and as a consultant to companies such as Coca Cola. 


Over the years, she has held the position of secretary on several nonprofit organizations. In addition, she facilitated the Dave Ramsey course, Financial Peace University, at her church for nine years. Teri recently retired and moved to Panama.