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This past week has been a whirlwind of errands, meetings and activities to prepare for volunteers’ arrival! Our project is so excited to welcome 60 volunteers from the US and the Dominican Republic to the beautiful country of Panama. Coclé’s rich culture, as well as a strong history of AMIGOS in the region, makes it the perfect place for our volunteers this summer.

One of the events this week that demonstrated why we are so excited for our project was our host family training on Saturday. Nearly fifty families attended the training, held at the offices of our partner agency, and the excitement in the room was palpable! The project supervisors gave an informational presentation and even led the host families in a dinámica—a staple of volunteer extracurricular activities!

The highlight of the training was when several veteran host families spoke about their past experiences with Amigos volunteers. One host mother described the importance of cultural exchange and how she is still in touch with all five of the volunteers she has hosted! Another host father described the impact of the projects on his community, Las Minas de Membrillo. He attributed their success to high levels of community involvement and the focus on sustainability during the planning period. These testimonials motivated our team and made us excited to build upon this legacy of excellence with our volunteers!