Experience Panama, a country of incredible geographic diversity from mountains to oceans to rain forests. Make an impact in rural under-served communities in the Cocle Province while learning about indigenous cultures and taking advantage of the vibrant urban sites of Panama City and the Panama canal. Groups fly into Panama City-Tocumen International Airport where our staff greet the group and provide transport roughly two hours west to our base of operations located near the town of Penenome.
Located in a safe, rural setting, your Home-Base in Panama offers beautiful views and your very own pools! Thatched hut common areas provide the opportunity to enjoy the evening breeze on the patio with fellow volunteers or bring out a book for some quiet time. Recreation courts and nature trails provide the opportunity play and explore during your down time and sloths are often spotted gazing down from the trees.
During your stay, you’ll feast on a blend of healthy Panamanian cuisine. Typical meals include plenty of starches like rice and, potatoes, with meat while also having plenty of vegetables to balance out your plate.
Squads Abroad in Panama is led by Juan David Villegas a recognized economic development expert specializing in rural development in Panama. Juan David was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia and from an early age, he has been an advocate of the power of financial inclusion and entrepreneurship in transforming people’s lives. At the age of 17, he moved to Bournemouth, UK, to study and received his Higher National Diploma degree in Business Studies at MLS Management College, England. In the last 7 years, Juan David has been to 25 countries investigating the impact of business, commerce, and entrepreneurship in economic development worldwide Juan David holds a certification of Development Project Management by the Interamerican Development Bank and Strategic Managerial Skills Certificate from the Interamerican University of Panama.
Juan David manages a team of 12 permanent employees and dozens of seasonal staff that work year-round to implement education, health and economic development projects in rural Panama. The Panama team currently operates one of our largest programs with nearly 2,000 annual volunteers participating.
Each weekday afternoon our professional staff guide the group on Cultural & Learning Activities in the local area. Upon arrival you will explore the local community through a scavenger hunt. Learn about Panamanian Culture through Spanish lessons, professional development workshops. You will take a traditional dance workshop where you learn dance styles of the region while wearing the local dress. We provide cooking workshops where you can test your culinary skills and learn if they match up! Visit the Miraflores locks and see the Panama canal up close and personal. Explore the Biomuseo-Museum of Biodiversity. And enjoy an afternoon on gorgeous beaches.
On the weekends your group may choose to explore other areas of the country through our guided overnight packages. Spend one or two nights exploring beaches, rainforests, national parks, and more.