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Documentary: The Magic School Bus

Nestled between rows of lush coffee plants in the fresh mountains of Chiriqui Panama, sits an unlikely object. A brightly painted 1979 Crown supercoach with the name Soulfire painted across the front. 

It has travelled over 30,000 miles — from Oregon to Colombia — with an engine that runs on vegetable oil.


Over 200 artists and musicians have been part of its mission to promote environmental change and sustainability. They support themselves by performing — cumbia, afro-latino, and reggae music.

But at the heart of Soulfire is a mother-son team, Andrea and Cooper Morgan.

Backpacker and producer Brittany Amodeo encountered them in Boquete Panama, where they were preparing to leave for a new continent: South America. They'd been parked in Boquete for the better part of a year, next to the home of an Indigenous family who worked on a coffee plantation. 

Click below to hear Brittany's radio documentary, which aired on CBC Radio in the fall of 2017.

Documentary: The Magic School Bus
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