Panama Summer Service Adventures

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Panama
Panama

About

On this Panama program, we snorkel around the coral reefs of the San Blas Islands, tour Casco Viejo and the Panama Canal, surf on world-class Pacific waves, participate in traditional Kuna dances, mola weavings, and dugout canoe races. Students also practice Spanish with Panamanian students, experience a homestay in a small, rural village, engage in leader-guided homestay language exercises and activities. Community service is at the heart of every Global Works trip and, on this one, students earn 30-40 community service hours through volunteering at the Hogar Malambo Orphanage, teaching English, organizing a ‘Dia de Actividades’ for local school children, refurbishing a school library and sports facilities, planting organic gardens, and participating in reforestation efforts.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 9 reviews
  • Growth 9.3
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
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Annika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Panama Summer Service Adventures

This was one of the most incredible and unique experiences that I have ever had for many reasons. To begin with, my trip leaders were wonderful and always accommodating to our group; they always acted professionally and with poise. My fellow group members were all such amazing people who added so much to the trip. I did not know most of them prior to the trip as we all live in different parts of the United States; but it was really special that we were able to bond through our passion for travel, adventure, and helping others. We quickly became a family and still keep in touch today. Overall, I developed perspectives from this trip that will follow me for the rest of my life, and I am so grateful for this. I definitely hope to travel with Global Works again in the future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Not every moment on the trip will be enjoyable or easy; just remember to keep in mind why you wanted to come in the first place.
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Hallie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Panama

I had such an amazing experience during my community service trip to Panama this summer. This trip pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways and I feel like a better person because of this. I loved meeting new people and experiencing the Panamanian culture. The home stay in Santa Fe was an incredible experience and it helped me to become a better Spanish student. I also loved working at the schools and helping to teach English to the young kids. I’m so happy I got to make friends on this trip that I am still in touch with and the staff members always made me feel safe. The trip wouldn’t have been the same without them. The adventure activities that I got to experience on this trip were so much fun. I am very fortunate and lucky to have gotten to experience this winderful trip. I will keep the memories from Panama forever.

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Sofie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Highly Recommend Global Works!

This program was incredible! I had such an unforgettable time in Panama with Global Works and had so many new experiences and made so many amazing friends who I am still in touch with. Our leaders were awesome and I felt safe and supported the whole trip. I got out of my comfort zone and had so much fun meeting new people, visiting new places, trying new food, and being immersed in the culture. I had no idea that Panama was such a unique and beautiful country! I gained new perspectives and really enjoyed interacting with locals in the different locations and the homestay portion of the trip. I also loved working at the school in Santa Fe and spending time with the kids. It really stuck with me how happy they were about the smallest, simplest things. If you are considering going on a trip with Global Works, I would highly recommend going on a trip with Global Works! It was such an unforgettable experience!

What would you improve about this program?
It was a little chaotic in the airport, but once we were in Panama everything was great. And I wish it was longer!
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Noa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Global works panama trip

I am 16 years old, my name is Noa and I went on the global works trip to panama. I really wanted to do a trip out of the country this year and my family and I stumbled upon global works online. Global works is an amazing program that I was so lucky to be a part of. Their efforts to incorporate culture, leadership, and community throughout the trips were what made it so special. I learned a lot about myself on the trip, and other cultures that were so different from mine. They made us think about real world issues, and how fortunate we are which really inspired me. Global works changed me in many ways, and the leaders in the group are so amazing. I would highly recommend this program. All of the people got so close at the end of the trip and the friendships and relationships I made on the trip are so important to me and I will never forget.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing! Theyre the best and they don’t really need to do anything to improve. I loved this program
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rsdow
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING

I had such an amazing time on this trip and grew so much as a person! I am constantly using the things I learned and the experiences I had in my day to day life.

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zkipp21
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Perfect Balance

I really liked this trip because it gave the perfect balance of service work, adventure time, and relaxation, all while creating lasting relationships with my group members and the Panamanian people and experiencing things I would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. Of course it was scary at first, but this trip is also great because of the challenge it poses; to step outside a normal comfort zone and learn from the all geographically, socially, culturally, and intellectually different aspects. Each day we would wake up relatively early, but nothing crazy, for there was work to be done. We would start our day with breakfast and prepping for whatever project or adventure we would be doing, which we usually knew about the night before anyway. It was a really well organized trip but also flexible to the weather, attitudes, and varying aspects that influenced our plans. The most exciting part was definitely the week on the San Blas islands because it was where we really formed close relationships with our group members, while being in such a breathtaking environment with the truly welcoming and influential Kuna Yala people. Being on the islands was definitely a challenge because we were living in a more primitive area, but that's the whole point. We really had to live in the moment and be grateful for our lives at home and appreciate the differences between our cultures, yet the fact that they were happy in a different way. We helped them through our daily service projects, while they helped us step outside ourselves and learn about an amazing lifestyle. Being on the islands was definitely most influential because it was the first time we really were interacting with the people and using our Spanish speaking skills, which was really overwhelming at first. I found myself trying to be outgoing and start conversation, but getting really discouraged by my lack of fluidity and my shyness. However, I talked with my friends in the group and almost everyone had similar fears and set backs, but we kept trying and realized that was part of the experience. Soon I was able to forget the bad feelings and really put myself out there and have great conversations and just learn a lot about myself and the people. The homestay started off being slightly scary because after a week of becoming really great friends with our group members and always being together, we were separated and had to live with a Panamanian family where we solely relied on our Spanish speaking. However, I was with one other group member, and even though we weren't really close friends before, being put together with a family neither of us knew really forced us to work together and get to know each other, which I'm really grateful for now. In the homestay we would wake up every morning, eat breakfast, report to "la cancha" or the court where the entire group met, do service work in various areas of the town, break for lunch, come back and continue our projects. We also had days where we would work all day and play soccer with the locals after, or work half a day and play games at la cancha or have the day with our families, or explore the local forests. While this is where we did the majority of our service work, it was nothing too grueling and we could really see the beneficial impact of our work, and we still had plenty of time to explore and relax. One thing to be aware of is how we had to adapt to our homestay life. In Santa Fe, they wake up really early in the morning, like 4, and go to bed at the latest around 9, typically. However, the group members usually woke around 7, had to report to la cancha around 8, and went to bed by 8. It was actually quite nice. Also, the Panamanian family rarely ate meals with us; I'm still not sure why but I think that's pretty normal to not all eat together there. After the homestay we headed to the beach and had an amazing time soaking up the sun and learning how to surf. Not everyone liked the surfing, but everyone tried and it was so cool. I really felt I was living the dream getting to be there. Global works was great overall because not only did the find these great opportunities for the trip to go on, but they were really organized and really aware of what we needed as a group. We had lots of individual medical check-ins and lots of group activities after our day to see where everyone was emotionally, how to make things better, what we had learned, etc. Some of these activities were honestly kind of corny and annoying but in retrospect make a lot of sense. Three weeks seems like a long time the first couple of days, but after week one I never wanted to leave, week two I felt slightly homesick but knew my time was running out, and week three was definitely ready to go home, even though I didn't really want to leave. It was really just a great trip and there are only a few things I would change, but that's mostly personal in how I handled things, not global works. I would do anything to be back there!

What would you improve about this program?
I would like to have less group activities at night, like sentimental games and discussions because at time they were repetitive or made me just annoyed because I wanted to be doing other things, since we did have limited time. I would also suggest more freedom to explore in places because it's hard to really experience a place when it's just in a large group of tourists. Also, three weeks was the perfect amount of time, but maybe make it 25 days instead of 21, so we can do more.
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thisismyscreenname
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An awesome few weeks

I loved the trip I went on. Overall, the group and counselors I went with were awesome. It was a pretty good balance between community service, fun, and surf at the end. The unique homestay opportunity was definitely one of the best parts. It definitely improved my Spanish and I still keep in touch with the wonderful family I stayed with.

What would you improve about this program?
I'd maybe have an opportunity to meet with indigenous people there or have some sort of zip line or white water rafting experience!
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Jasmine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I'd Do It Again

The experience I had with Global Works in Panama was unforgettable. I would not hesitate to go again, even the exact same trip. In Panama, I learned a lot about myself with the help of the staff, the other kids on the trip, and the Panamanians. Working along side the natives made everything much more fun. When we were assigned an seemingly arduous task, it became all the the more fun and enjoyable when the people living in the community would show up every single day to help us out. Everyone I met was super excited to met me and they were all extremely nice and they were very interested in learning from us. There are no words to explain how much I did not want to leave. I would definitely do it again.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could I would change the order of some of the events. Practically everyone in my group thought the trip could have been better if the order had been different. Although I do not remember how.
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Baile.bernie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Baile Bernie

My trip to Panama was truly impact full! I met magnificent people both who live in the states and ones that live in Panama. I became more confident with myself by not being afraid to put myself out there, like when I got up in the schools dance competition in Santa Fe ad bernied with the kids. I absolutely loved being in the San Blas because it showed me how life can be so simple, how we don't new materials for true happiness. Overall I learned more about myself and how impactful a small gesture can be.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the type of volunteer work because I would have like to work with children more and have a bigger impact of thecommunity.