Practice environmental protection in rural communities 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, 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.

About the Region

Climate

Tropical, hot in the day time, but nights can be cooler.

Slang

aguacero = rainstorm

refrigerio = snack

¿Qué sopa? = what’s up?

Food

Rice, beans, lentils, plantains, chicken

Citizens

Panameños

Example Volunteer Projects
  • Creating plant nurseries in local parks
  • Protecting local water sources from contamination
  • Building and placing recycling bins
  • Creating spaces for kids to meet and take part in community activities
Places You'll Visit

Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos

Panama Canal

Casco Viejo

Project Features

AMIGOS volunteers increase their language ability through immersion that goes beyond what can be achieved in a classroom. They improve their fluency, learn local slang, and increase their confidence with real-world practice.
Living with a host family is central to the AMIGOS experience. All host families volunteer to open their homes to young people from another culture. Volunteers and host families build long-lasting relationships and often stay in touch after the project has closed.
While in country, AMIGOS volunteers work on a community-led service project. Every service project is unique, but each channels young people's ideas to create postive change.
The opportunity for independence and self direction makes AMIGOS unique. Volunteers shape their time in country according to their passions. the possibilities are endless - what each volunteer takes out of their experience is up to them!
Every Amigo is mentored by a member of our project leadership team through regular check-ins and personalized feedback. This allows volunteers to experience the independence that sets our programs apart, with the support of a passionate facilitator.
Volunteers build their leadership and community development skills through hands-on training. Not only is AMIGOS training fun and engaging, it gives them the necessary tools for success in the field and beyond.
  • National Chapter
  • Length
    6 weeks
  • Training Dates
    Group Pre-departure Training: June 7–11
  • In-Country Dates
    June 11–July 23
  • Ages
    15–22
  • Price
    $6,350 (includes international airfare)
Want to go to Panama?

Start your application today!

APPLY NOW
Throughout the whole experience I made life-long friends, learned about a new culture, and I got to make a real impact on 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 much longer, because it had become like a second home, a second family.
Claire, Panama Project Volunteer
Program Requirements
  • Meet the health criteria for AMIGOS participation and follow the mental health procedures if necessary
  • Receive required immunizations and medications
  • Be age 15–22 on the project start date (June 11)
  • Have two years of Spanish study or the equivalent

Coclé Project EXAMPLE Itinerary

*This is an example itinerary based on last year’s project. Dates, topics, and activities may be subject to change.

June 11 – Volunteers arrive. Project Leadership Teams pick them up at the airport and the group travels together to Coclé Province.

June 11–15 – Briefing. The Project Leadership Team leads 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 the 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.

June 16–22 – Week 1 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of leadership.

June 23–29 – Week 2 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of reforestation.

June 29 – Midterm. This is a time to relax with all the Coclé volunteers and the Project Leadership Team. Volunteers will have an option to call home during this time.

June 30–July 6 – Week 3 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of water conservation.

July 7–13 – Week 4 in community. Lead day camps on the topic “a healthy body.”

July 12–14 – FiestAmbiente, a celebration of environment and culture with Panamanian students, will be held in Penonomé. Then, we travel as a group to the ecological excursion at Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos. Volunteers will work with local students, explore a Panamanian nature reserve, and get some hands-on experience with environmental service work.

July 14–20 – Week 5 in community. Lead day camps on the topic of Leptospirosis prevention.

July 20–23 – Volunteers 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.

July 23 – Fly home!

 

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