Explore the Panamanian highlands near the Costa Rican border! This region produces most of the food for the whole country. Learn about sustainable environmental practices through community service activities on organic farms, compost plants, and community gardens. Live with a host family and enjoy the pastoral scenery in your host community.
Length Training
Dates
In-Country
Dates
Ages Application
Deadline
Price
Session A 3 Weeks

Online training on COVID-19, health and safety, mental health, travel, and AMIGOS history before departure. Leadership and orientation training take place in-country.

June 7–27, 2023

15–19 Financial Assistance and Local Chapter Deadline: January 17, 2023

Final Deadline: April 18, 2023

$4,375 – Local Chapter (Find out more about joining AMIGOS through a local chapter here)

$5,875 – National Chapter

Fees include all in-country expenses.

Financial assistance is available! Click here for more information.

Session B 3 Weeks

Online training on COVID-19, health and safety, mental health, travel, and AMIGOS history before departure. Leadership and orientation training take place in-country.

July 5–25, 2023

15–19 Financial Assistance and Local Chapter Deadline: January 17, 2023

Final Deadline: May 9, 2023

$4,375 – Local Chapter (Find out more about joining AMIGOS through a local chapter here)

$5,875 – National Chapter

Fees include all in-country expenses.

Financial assistance is available! Click here for more information.

  • Session A
  • Length
    3 Weeks
  • Training Dates

    Online training on COVID-19, health and safety, mental health, travel, and AMIGOS history before departure. Leadership and orientation training take place in-country.

  • In-Country Dates

    June 7–27, 2023

  • Ages
    15–19
  • Application Deadline
    Financial Assistance and Local Chapter Deadline: January 17, 2023

    Final Deadline: April 18, 2023
  • Price

    $4,375 – Local Chapter (Find out more about joining AMIGOS through a local chapter here)

    $5,875 – National Chapter

    Fees include all in-country expenses.

    Financial assistance is available! Click here for more information.

  • Session B
  • Length
    3 Weeks
  • Training Dates

    Online training on COVID-19, health and safety, mental health, travel, and AMIGOS history before departure. Leadership and orientation training take place in-country.

  • In-Country Dates

    July 5–25, 2023

  • Ages
    15–19
  • Application Deadline
    Financial Assistance and Local Chapter Deadline: January 17, 2023

    Final Deadline: May 9, 2023
  • Price

    $4,375 – Local Chapter (Find out more about joining AMIGOS through a local chapter here)

    $5,875 – National Chapter

    Fees include all in-country expenses.

    Financial assistance is available! Click here for more information.

About the Project

Project Type

Homestay. Maximum enrollment is 20 volunteers, with two spots reserved for Panamanian students.

Slang

aguacero = rain shower
ofi = okay
buenas = hi

College Credit

Get two college credits for this project! Find out more here.

Service Hours

Earn 36 service hours!

Food

Sancocho de gallina – chicken soup with vegetables and yucca
Hojaldres – fried dough
Tamales – spiced meat filling in corn dough, wrapped in banana leaves, and cooked

What makes this project unique?

Dive deep into Panamanian culture by living with a host family! You’ll get to practice your Spanish and spend time with your host family and local community members. You will learn to prepare local food such as sancocho or hojaldres.  

Many of the host families have small farms or gardens where they harvest their own vegetables and fruit. Some of the families even distribute their food throughout the whole country! During your day-to-day activities on the project, you will learn how environmental challenges and climate change are impacting agriculture.   

Chiriquí, Panama
a group of students on top of a hill facing different directions
Find out more about our programs

Join an online info session!

RSVP HERE

What You'll Do

Chiriqui

This project takes place in the highlands of Panama near the border with Costa Rica. We will be in the Chiriquí Province, also known as the agricultural capital of the country because around 80% of the fruit and vegetables come from farms in the area. 

Through field visits to environmental organizations that promote sustainable and chemical-free agriculture, and by learning from local people, you will learn about practices like cultivating fertile soils to guarantee the long-term supply of food and minimize the effects of global warming.  

In addition, you’ll get to visit protected areas in Chiriquí and support the Ministry of the Environment with trail maintenance projects in these reserves.

 

Partner Agencies

You’ll take part in community service activities with environmental and agritourist organizations and organic farms.   

 

Example Activities

  • Visit one of the largest orchid centers in Panama, with over 2000 species from all over the world!
  • Hike to a waterfall located in Parque Internacional La Amistad
  • Take an excursion to Barriles, one of the most important archeological sites in Panama, and learn more about the history of the country
  • Join workshops on environmental stewardship
  • Take part in cultural activities with community members 

A Day in the Life

Mornings

  • Wake up and have breakfast with your host family. In Panama, breakfast might be coffee, hojaldres (fried bread) or eggs with tortillas, and fruit.
  • Meet local leaders paving the way for sustainable agriculture in their communities! Take part in activities like making hand soap from used cooking oil and building ecological stoves.
  • Join in on a community service activity in an organic compost plant or organic farm.
  • Lunch with your host family. A typical lunch might be sancocho (soup), rice and lentils, or chicken and rice with juice.

AFTERNOONS

  • After lunch, hike in the area around your host community, sit in the town square and get to know your neighbors, or play soccer with local kids.
  • Visit local environmental initiatives like an orchid garden, an agrotourism organization, or an organic farm.
  • Dinner with your host family. Dinner is similar to lunch and typically lighter than the other meals of the day.
  • After Dinner: play cards with your host family and practice your Spanish.

Program Pillars

Ethical Service

Learn how to create ethical service initiatives by working with–not for–a community, engaging local organizations and partners, and evaluating the impact of your work. AMIGOS works with trusted local partners that are passionate and committed to working with our volunteers on community service projects.

Cultural Humility

Cultural humility is a process of both self-reflection about your own culture as well as learning about other cultures. You will examine your own beliefs and cultural identity and gain an understanding of how structural racism has impacted societies and the roles that communities can take to lead systemic change.

Leadership

Learn, grow, and discover your leadership potential! Explore your sense of purpose and start to establish your personal goals and values through introspection and inquiry.

students playing soccer with masks on
Apply Now

Click here

Why Choose AMIGOS?

Have an Adventure

Travel off the beaten path and to must-see spots in Panama! You’ll travel as a group to experience unique destinations like extinct volcanoes, cloud forests, and waterfalls. You’ll get to see these places from the distinct perspective of someone who has spent time in that country and learned about the culture firsthand. Plus, you’ll bond with their fellow volunteers and have fun!

Travel with Trust

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. A Health and Wellness Coordinator is on staff with the group throughout the duration of their stay. AMIGOS also has an established network of vetted medical clinics and hospitals throughout the region.

Training for AMIGOS and Beyond

Prepare for AMIGOS through guided training in topics like: cultural humility, health and safety, emotional intelligence, travel safety, Spanish, leadership, and team building.

Upon arrival in the field, you’ll start country-specific training with your group. During your time abroad, you’ll meet regularly with an AMIGOS staff member who serves as your mentor.

My favorite part of the project was building connections with those around me. I got to meet so many interesting people from all over the country and from Panama. I made friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.

—Kate, Volunteer in Panama, 2022

Program Requirements
Apply Now

Field Notes

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🎉AMIGOS Summer 2023 Project Staff applications are LIVE!🎉

Looking for a summer role in Ecuador, Costa Rica or Panamá? Find out more about joining our team next summer! Applications are due January 1st and processed on a rolling basis. Apply today!✈️

Visit amigosinternational.org/project-staff or the link in our bio to find our more.🤩
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#hiring #wanderlust #traveljobs #costarica #panama #ecuador #latinamericatravel #summerjobs
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Get ready, get set for #GivingTuesday2022!❤️

We would LOVE for you to join us this week as we give back to AMIGOS! Even the smallest of donations can make the biggest difference.🌎 Your contributions go straight towards our Financial Assistance Fund and AMIGOS programming, so that more students get the chance to live this experience of a lifetime.

This year, all donations will be matched up to $15,000 by the Wille Davidoff family!🥳 Donate this #GivingTuesday and have your gift matched!
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Happy Thanksgiving, from AMIGOS! We're thankful for all the young people who decided to learn, grow, and become part of a community outside their home. Thank you, Amigos!❤️

"Gratitude is an action. It's much more than a passive noun—it's something we practice, something we cultivate, and something that improves our well-being.

Each day, I try to express gratitude for things in my life, both big and small.

Today, I'd like to share my gratitude for you. This month, AMIGOS celebrated its 58th birthday. The last few years have been challenging for all, but we are stronger than ever. Thanks to you." — Sara Nathan, AMIGOS President & CEO
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Explore Latin America! Live with a host family! Make new friends! Submit your AMIGOS application this weekend and you’ll be entered to win a $500 voucher on airfare✈️❤️

Details at the link in our bio!

#TakeFlightForTheSummer #SomosAmigos2023
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Time is ticking and spots are filling up for next summer!🥳🌎❤️

If you submit your application between now and December 15, you’ll be entered to win one of two $500 airfare vouchers for your AMIGOS project! Don’t miss out!

Get ready for the experience of a lifetime.✈️ Learn more at the link in our bio!

#TakeFlightForTheSummer #SomosAmigos2023

#volunteerabroad #visitecuador #visitcostarica #visitpanama #culturalimmersion #volunteering #culturalexchange #highschoolspanish #studyabroad
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We would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone who attended the 2022 AMIGOS Lifelong Leaders Luncheon last Friday!🌎💚 More than 200 attendees gathered at Hotel Zaza in Houston’s Museum District. It was a true celebration full of smiles, connection, and inspiration. Check out our Facebook page to see all the photos!

Thank you to all the event sponsors, donors, host committee members, and attendees. Your support is monumental for AMIGOS programs and our student Financial Assistance Fund!

Thank you to our speakers Tony Chase, Art Rascon, Sara Nathan, Perla Quintero, and Meah Matherne, for inspiring us with your stories on the impact of AMIGOS across generations.

Sara Nathan, AMIGOS President & CEO, recognized Betsy Griffin, Trustee Emeritus. Betsy has been a strong advocate for building connections across borders for AMIGOS for over four decades. During Betsy’s impactful tenure, 19,273 students completed an AMIGOS program.

Nationally recognized multi-ventured business owner and AMIGOS parent Tony Chase delivered an empowering speech on the importance of bringing people together from different backgrounds. Tony paid tribute to his father, John S. Chase, who was the first Black student at the University of Texas and first Black architect in the state of Texas. Tony highlighted his son Jojo’s journey to Panama with AMIGOS at 15 and the curiosity about the world it created.

❤️✈️ Thank you, once again, for supporting AMIGOS and transforming the lives of youth across the Americas. Together, we are advancing the AMIGOS mission in 2022 and beyond!

📸: @all_nikon
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