VOLUNTEERING IN PANAMA
Volunteering in Panama City, you will meet cultures from all over the world, it’s a country known as ”a melting pot”. It’s located in Central America and separated by two seas and a channel that unites cultures, traditions and wonderful landscapes at the same time.
While being part of the volunteer program in Panama City, you will find different provinces overlooking beaches with crystal-clear waters that will let you appreciate the diversity that the country offers.
Our main objective in the volunteer program in Panama City is teaching. School absenteeism in the country is high and any small support in this area will help the development of skills and knowledge of the communities that we work with.
This is general information, you will find specific information on each project in its section. Depending on each program, different information will be included and there will be different arrival and cooperation timetables.
PROGRAMS IN PANAMA
The Teaching and School Reinforcement program in Veracruz – Panama is open all year round.
The programs in schools are only available during the school year, from March to mid-December.
Volunteers can choose to participate from 2 to 12 weeks. If you require a longer stay, please let us know in advance, as these are always subject to availability.
Our volunteers usually work between 3 to 4 hours a day, Monday to Friday. If activities are planned or carried out outside these hours, the volunteer is asked for help in advance.
Between June and February you can be part of the:
- Sea Turtle Conservation Volunteer Program
Depending on the volunteer program you choose, the location of the accommodation will vary. The different accommodation options are:
- Volunteer houses or hostel
- Houses in the areas of the chosen project
Volunteers who participate in the Teaching and School Reinforcement programs in Panama stay in the volunteer houses or hostel. In both types of accommodation, the rooms are comfortable and cozy.
All volunteers taking part in the Turtle Conservation and Environmental program stay in the houses that are located in the area where the project is developed.
If you choose the sea turtle program, you spend the first night in Panama City. As volunteers usually arrive in the afternoon, they sleep in the city and the next day our local team has everything organized (transportation and accommodation) to take them to the project.
What does the accommodation include?
- A room shared with other volunteers of the same gender
- 3 daily meals
- Common areas
- Low-cost laundry area near the village. Some accommodations provide areas for hand washing.
Meals are typical of the country. If you are vegetarian, the meals are adapted as much as possible.
All individuals, groups of friends, students or families who want to be part of a volunteer program with Adventure Volunteer in Panama, must be of legal age. You should also be:
- A committed person, as you will actively participate in educational and social activities that require your commitment.
- Willing and able to work in a team. This is important, as you will work with other volunteers and people from different cultures.
- Empathetic. During your volunteering you will meet people of limited resources, different lifestyles and different work rhythms.
The cost of the volunteer programs in Panama starts at €585 for two weeks. As a volunteer you must bear in mind that you are working in programs that need continuity and daily support, so it’s required that you participate for a minimum of 2 weeks. If you want to participate for longer, each additional week costs €160.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
- Airport pick-up
- Meals during your volunteering
- Orientation and induction to the program and project
- 24/7 support from the Adventure Volunteer team
- Monitoring and evaluation of the program
- Volunteering certificate
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Medical Insurance
- Internal transport
- Return to the airport
- Extra meals and drinks
- Trips inside or outside the country
Volunteering in Panama – CENTRAL AMERICA
ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION
You will be received by a local coordinator who will transfer you to the volunteer house. Those who attend the sea turtle project will be taken to the beach where the program is developed.
You will be given an orientation where we will explain the basic rules of the volunteer house, its location and environment. We will also tell you all about the program that you have chosen.
You will share a room with other volunteers and you will have access to WIFI, washing machine and kitchen for common use. 3 daily meals will be provided, excluding drinks. In the sea turtle project house you won’t have internet connection and other services due to the location of the project.
CHAME AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
Chame is a district in the province of West Panama.
The need for development in different communities, the safety of the area and its proximity to the sea and nature were decisive factors for locating our volunteer programs in Chame.
Near Chame you will find long Pacific beaches such as San Carlos, Punta Chame or Playa Blanca, the waterfall of Las Lajas and the Cajones de Chame, and many trekking and walking routes through the high areas of Chicá or Valle de Antón.
Throughout the year, Panama has a tropical climate. The wet season comes between May and November, so it rains almost every day for a while, some time in the morning and another in the afternoon. The dry season occurs between December and April, when the sun shines every day. At this time there are more risks of droughts and fires, but despite the climate that you can find in Panama, it’s still a unique place for its cultural diversity.
Panama’s local currency is the Balboa. During your volunteer trip, you will be able to use both balboas and dollars, which have exactly the same value. If you don’t use dollars in your country of origin, you can exchange currency before coming or withdraw money with credit card in Panama.
Your flight must have as its final destination the Panama City Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Flights range between 450 and 700 euros if you travel from Europe, the most affordable airlines are KLM, LUFTHANSA, or IBERIA. The best deals can be found at https://www.google.es/flights/.
BOCAS DEL TORO
In the archipelago of the Bocas de Toro Islands, near the border with Costa Rica, you can enjoy a long weekend. The price of the bus is $27 per trip plus $2 for a boat that goes from Almirante to Isla Colon. The bus journey takes 10 hours from Panama. Once on the island, you can do scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing and other fun water activities. You can also visit the indigenous community of ngobe-buggle or see sea turtles and other aquatic animals such as dolphins, depending on the season.
The hostels cost about $12 for a night in shared rooms. Apart from other islands, Colón is the most touristic and the one with the best nightlife. You will fall in love with its piers close to the Caribbean Sea. Bocas de Toro is a lively destination and you will always find someone to share moments with.
This archipelago has 365 islands near the country of Colombia, in the Guna Yala region, northeast of Panama. Its islands, some inhabited and other touristic, have the charm of the typical island paradise of the Caribbean, with wooden cabins among white sand and coconut palm trees. To visit San Blas, we recommend contacting companies that provide these types of excursions. The islands are located approximately 2,5 hours away from Panama and the trip costs around $160 with everything included.
The preferred alternative destination, where you will find European and American residents who run local hostels or offer diving courses. A night at a local hostel costs around $15. Santa Catalina is located about 5 hours away from Panama and the trip costs around $18. From there you can organize a day trip to Coiba Island for about $70. This excursion includes lunch, snorkeling on three Pacific islands and a trekking excursion through the Coiba Island natural park. In Santa Catalina you can also take a surf class or have fun with the local people living in the beach area.
PORTOBELO AND ISLA GRANDE
A perfect destination to spend a weekend in the Caribbean in a more authentic and cheaper way. You can visit Portobelo, a must to see for its forts of the time of the conquest. You can also sleep in Portobelo one night and another on Isla Grande, or directly go to Isla Grande and stay in the Makondo hostel for approximately $10 a night with breakfast included. Isla Mamei is also perfect for diving.
You’ll love walking around Panama City. From the town of Chame you can travel to Panama for $2.5. We recommend staying at a hostel that we know, for $15 a night, where you will enjoy an alternative and fun atmosphere. In the city you can visit the canal, go shopping on the famous Sal Street or enjoy the nightlife of the Old Town.
Our main objective in the country is teaching as Panama has very low education levels and a lot of school absenteeism. Any small support in this matter will help broaden the visions towards the future of the local children.
- From the moment you fill in the registration form for a program in Panama, your place will be reserved for 7 days.
- To confirm your place definitively, you must pay a deposit of €150 within these 7 days. Once the deposit is paid, your place will be guaranteed and you will formally become part of the Adventure Volunteer family.
- As soon as you pay the program deposit, we will send you an email to confirm that your place is guaranteed. After that, you will receive another email with more additional information explaining everything you need to know to prepare your trip correctly. The rest of the payment is made one month before your incorporation to the project.