2020 Summer Program suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Promote health, reforestation, and environmental protection by learning from local agencies taking care of the environment by creating nurseries, planting trees, and protecting local water sources. Explore the tropical scenery and the diverse geography of the Coclé region in Panama. You’ll live in an area that is a hydrological reserve, which means that it’s an important source of water for the country and there are many rivers that are popular for swimming. Live with a host family and collaborate with the Panamanian Ministry of Health on your community service project. With your AMIGOS partner(s), plan and lead fun activities for kids to teach them about taking care of the environment. When you’re not working together with community members to improve the environment around you (earning 215 service hours), take a break by playing games with your host family, getting to know the area, or learning to cook sancocho de gallina, a traditional Panamanian dish.
*This is an example itinerary based on last year’s project. Dates, topics, and activities may be subject to change.
Volunteers arrive. Project staff meet them at the airport and the group travels together to Coclé Province.
Briefing. Project staff lead all volunteers in a country-specific orientation to AMIGOS and the Coclé Project. Briefing is held at the Centro de Desarrollo Sostenible Ambiental (CEDESAM). Meet all other students on your project and spend a few days getting to know each other, learning about Panama, and doing fun activities. After briefing, project staff bring volunteers to their host communities to meet their host families.
Week 1 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of leadership.
Week 2 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of reforestation.
Week 3 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of water conservation.
Week 4 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of physical health. Meet up with the rest of the volunteers on your project at Fiesta Ambiental, a celebration of the environment and culture with local youth. Then, you’ll travel to Reserva Forestal El Montuoso, where you’ll get to explore the nature reserve and get some hands-on experience with environmental service work.
Week 5 in community. Lead day camps about disease prevention. Leave community and come together for debriefing. This is a chance to process, reflect, and prepare to return home, as well as see some cool spots in and around Panama City, like the Panama Canal and the neighborhood of Casco Viejo.
|Local Chapter||6 weeks||
Find a chapter near you for a local training calendar!
$4,250 + group fundraising
|National Chapter||6 weeks||
Find a chapter near you for a local training calendar!
$4,250 + group fundraising
Tropical, hot in the day time, but nights can be cooler.
aguacero = rainstorm
refrigerio = snack
que pretti = how cool
Rice, beans, lentils, plantains, chicken
Panama Canal: See the Panama Canal first-hand! You’ll get to visit the museum and see how ships pass between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Casco Viejo: The old quarter of Panama City is not only a UNESCO historic site, it’s also one of the city’s hippest, most vibrant neighborhoods! Stroll amongst colonial buildings while you people watch and soak in the culture of the city.
Reserva Forestal El Montuoso: Off the beaten path, Reserva Forestal El Montuoso is home to some of the most beautiful untouched forests in Panama. You’ll get to visit this protected area as a group, with the other volunteers on your project.
AMIGOS programs provide a unique opportunity to experience a new culture as a local, not a tourist. Volunteers report increased fluency in Spanish after going through our program. Activities go far beyond the classroom — you’ll lead activities in Spanish, learn local slang, and increase your confidence with real-world practice. You will not believe how fast your Spanish improves when you use it in conversation everyday!
AMIGOS works with trusted local partner organizations to identify communities that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects. It has been our experience that a service project is sustainable only when the community owns it and participates in the effort. You will collaborate on a service project with volunteers your own age as well as community members, earning up to 270 service hours.
You’ll get to do way more than just travel — you’ll live with a host family, sharing in their day-to-day life. Become part of your host community, making friends with and working alongside community members. Share holidays, celebrations, and everyday life in a way you can only experience through authentic cultural immersion. AMIGOS volunteers and their host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after their project ends. All of our host families are vetted and trained before volunteers arrive.
Travel to must-see spots in your host country! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations your host country has to offer, like volcanoes, ancient ruins, national parks, and historical sites. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has lived in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with their fellow volunteers and have fun!
AMIGOS is the industry leader in health and safety management. Our staff is prepared to help you with any situation that may arise. Each volunteer receives a personalized emergency plan, as well as support from local staff teams and a professional 24-hour On-Call Safety Team of travel specialists, doctors, and mental health specialists. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.
Prepare for AMIGOS through guided training in topics like: multicultural understanding, health and safety, community development; travel safety, Spanish, leadership, and team building.
Upon arrival in the field, you’ll start country-specific training with your group of fellow volunteers. During your time abroad, you’ll meet regularly with an AMIGOS staff member who serves as your mentor. Finally, at the end of your service, come together again as a group to participate in debriefing — putting what you learned in context, preparing to go home, and going on fun excursions around the country.
MINSA is the Panamanian Ministry of Health. They provide primary health care services for citizens across the country. The system is organized into Centros de Salud, large clinics that provide pediatric, OB-GYN, mental health, nutrition, adolescent health, health education, and dental services at low costs. More remote areas are likely to have Puestos de Salud providing less comprehensive services.
AMIGOS has worked with MINSA in the region for ten years. MINSA selects host communities, provides transport, and hosts an event for local youth and AMIGOS volunteers. This summer, volunteers will support MINSA's ongoing projects and goals by leading educational activities for public health campaigns.
Volunteers get the opportunity to learn about environmental conservation from officials working on the ground.
You'll have ample time to take breaks and enjoy nature!
Zyro was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He has worked for an AMIGOS partner agency for many years, managing programs for youth and children aiming to empower them and help them develop new skills.
In 2016, he was a Project Supervisor with AMIGOS in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. It was there that he developed his love for AMIGOS Summer Programs.
In his free time, Zyro enjoys snowboarding (he developed his passion while living in New Zealand). Back at home in Uruguay, he likes to play volleyball, and of course drink mate and eat asado, as any good Uruguayan would.
He is excited about this summer and hopes we all enjoy this life-changing experience!
Throughout the whole experience I made life-long friends, learned about a new culture, and I got to make a real impact in some amazing peoples’ lives. Although it was nothing compared to the impact they made on mine. I was in my community for about 6 weeks, but at the end of it I wanted to stay there for another 2 months because it had become like a second home, a second family.
—Claire, Volunteer, Panama
Proyecto de intercambio cultural, liderazgo juvenil y desarrollo comunitario de @amigos_americas en Coclé, Panama 🇵🇦☀️
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