About Panama

The Global Volunteer Network's Panama program allows volunteers to become involved in a variety of community aid projects in Panama. With such a range of interesting projects there's one to suit everyone!

You have the opportunity to contribute to orphanage, school, wildlife, and environmental projects, working with the elderly, or handicapped, literacy projects, jewellery making, and much more!

The Panama projects are based in the small mountain village of Boquete. It is a picturesque tropical rainforest tucked away on the eastern slopes of Volcan Baru.

For more information, please visit the Panama webpage on the Global Volunteer Network website.

Recent Panama Journals:

Nearly 2 weeks already

 Posted by Kim Kelly at 1:53 pm  Panama  Comments Off on Nearly 2 weeks already
Jul 042013

Now I have been here nearly 2 weeks volunteering feels like “business as usual” so it is getting harder to find something to write about. Still visiting the ophanage and the recycling cente. Working on a project that hopefully will mean the local hostels, hotels etc start to recycle. That would be cool to think some work of mine would have a longer term affect (or is thst effect!). Only one more week to go

End of week one

 Posted by Kim Kelly at 10:26 am  Panama  Comments Off on End of week one
Jun 282013

Week one of three already gone. Going to do a mix of teaching english, working at the orphanage and working in the recycling centre whilst I am here. The kids at the orphanage are funny as with my clear lack of Spanish they keep trying to teach me  spanish words!! Will have a few more words by the time I leave

First day

 Posted by Kim Kelly at 1:49 pm  Panama  Comments Off on First day
Jun 252013

Great day today in the recycling centre. Interesting to see the difference in recycling in NZ and Panama. Will be one of my regular places to go. Also went with another volunteer Susie to the library where she was teaching english to some local kids. I have to work out how to do this myself next week when they can’t speak much english and I speak about the same amount of spanish!!

 Permalink  Posted by Kim Kelly at 1:45 pm  Panama  Comments Off on
Jun 232013

Weekend just about finished here. Feel like I have been here for ages but the volunteering hasn’t even started yet. Looking forward to orientation tommorrow and getting to do some of the things I came here to do. Will let you know what happens. Meanwhile had a three hour hike in the rain today which was great after all that time sitting on planes and buses. Felt like the practice for Oxfam but wetter!!

Haven’t left yet

 Posted by Kim Kelly at 10:25 pm  Panama  Comments Off on Haven’t left yet
Jun 142013

Meant to write this two days ago so I could contemplate my leaving a week before I went. However a couple of days late. Really looking forward to my adventure. Think I am about organised. Need to pack sometime and clearly my trying to learn some spanish is way behind where it should be. Luckily I can still remember how to order a a bottle of white wine and two glasses. Am looking forward to the change of weather and want to ensure when I get to Panama that I do something that is useful to someone other than just myself. At least I have the beanies from the beanie knitting people in Eastbourne to take with with so not all will be lost!!


 Posted by Jane Wright at 1:04 pm  Panama  Comments Off on Reflection
Feb 112013

It has taken me a while to get around to completing my Journal – perhaps I have been putting it off because it means my adventure is over! We spent all day Tuesday, and Wednesday morning at Hogar Trisker.  On Wednesday afternoon we went to La Jungla (the wildlife refuge) where we spent some time with the dogs with the aim of helping to socialise them and increase their chances of adoption.  We helped out at kids camp again on Thursday and returned to Hogar Trisker on Friday morning.  I then headed for home. After having been completely daunted at the beginning of my time in Panama, by the end I was feeling very comfortable there and certainly could have stayed for longer. My major frustration was my lack of Spanish.  I really wanted to be able to communicate with the staff at Hogar Trisker and naturally wanted to be able to interact more with the children. The children were the highlight – they were unassuming and grateful for any time given to them. Boquete is a beautiful place and the climate is pretty close to perfect. Some negatives were the rubbish that seemed to be everywhere, and the terrible condition of the majority of cars and trucks on the roads, along with some fairly crazy driving.  The constant tooting annoyed me to begin with but I soon learnt the ‘language of the toot’ which could mean anything from “Get out of my way” to “You go” to “Hello” to “You look good” to “Do you want a ride?”!  The ride in the always full to brimming bus also became a pleasant, entertaining experience. My lasting impression of Panama will be of the extremes of wealth and poverty, and I hope that as the country develops, the issues of poverty will be [click here to read more]


 Posted by Jane Wright at 11:09 am  Panama  Comments Off on Sunday/Monday
Jan 282013

On Sunday afternoon we helped out at the Boquete spay-neuter clinic run by the Fundacion Amigos de Animales Boquete.  We were based in the large dog section of ‘recovery’ and basically our task was to wake the dogs while monitoring their temperature and breathing.  It was very physical work, having to shake and vigorously rub the dogs to make them want to wake up, and turning them every 10 minutes.  The clinic was run in the gym and the whole set-up was very impressive with a huge number of animals being operated on throughout the day. Today we went back to David to help out at La Fundaciones Amigos – the residential centre for children having cancer treatment.  Our sole charge today was George, aged 3.  He loved doing his craft work so much that he refused to go to lunch and was almost falling asleep on the job.  He had no concern at my lack of Spanish – he just moved my hands around on the craft materials to tell me what he wanted me to do. It was very hot again in David so we were very pleased to get back to Boquete, although the bus trip was very long and very hot with every possible space taken.


 Posted by Jane Wright at 1:49 pm  Panama  Comments Off on Saturday
Jan 262013

We have had a wonderful day doing ‘volunteer enrichment activities’.  This morning Oscar took us on the waterfall hike.  We probably walked for about 2 1/2 hours and saw 3 waterfalls.  The reasonably rapid rise in elevation was challenging but it was a good track and a good workout! After lunch Oscar took us to Caldera to the hot springs.  It was great to see such a natural setting for the springs.  The water was lovely and warm but given that the day was already very warm, we appreciated the fact that the pools were just beside the beautiful Caldera River for a cool off when needed.  


 Posted by Jane Wright at 1:06 pm  Panama  Comments Off on Friday
Jan 252013

This morning we attended an orientation run by Fundacion Amigos de Animales Boquete.  They run clinics a couple of times a year to spey the local cats and dogs and are holding one this Sunday.  The clinics are done completely by volunteers.  We have offered to help in the ‘recovery’ section – I hope we are up to it! I had a wonderful leisurely afternoon on a tour of Finca Dos Jefes coffee farm.  The farm was in a beautiful spot high up in the valley and the tour was very interesting.  We got to sample light, medium and dark roast and then roasted our own batch to take home.  At the conclusion of the tour we enjoyed a Panamanian beer.


 Posted by Jane Wright at 2:10 pm  Panama  Comments Off on Thursday
Jan 242013

A local group run a kids programme here in Boquete once a week during summer break and they sponsor children from Hogar Trisker to attend.  Today 20 children from Hogar Trisker attended along with children from town, and we went along to help out.  In the morning the children were put into groups according to age and did a variety of activities – basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, swimming and craft.  We were all well fed at lunchtime by the local ladies (some of the boys from the orphanage kept me busy with return runs of meals – they could put it away nearly as quickly as I could deliver it), and then after lunch everyone had time to do whichever activities they wanted to.  There were games and relays to finish off.  It was a great day, enjoyed by all, and it was wonderful to see some of the orphanage children coming out of their shells.

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