Location
  • Panama
Length
4 to 6 weeks

Program Details

Language
Spanish
Age Min.
15
Age Max
22
Timeframe
Summer
Housing
Host Family

Pricing

What's Included
Accommodation Activities Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare
Mar 08, 2021
Dec 15, 2015
8 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Promote health, reforestation, and environmental protection 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 (earning 215 service hours), take a break by playing games with your host family.

You can choose to spend 4 weeks or 6 weeks in Coclé.

This program is currently not being promoted on Go Overseas by its provider. Check with Amigos de las Americas for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of this program.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Live like a local with a host family
  • Lead daily activities for local kids
  • Collaborate with community members on an environmental project
  • Improve your Spanish through authentic cultural immersion

Program Reviews

4.95 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • 5 rating 94.74%
  • 4 rating 5.26%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.55
  • Support 4.65
  • Fun 4.7
  • Value 4.5
  • Safety 4.85
Showing 1 - 8 of 19 reviews
Default avatar
Megan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Staff Perspective

Working in Cocle, Panama for 2 consecutive summers on the Amigos de las Americas staff team was an absolute dream. It amazes me each and every year how extensively each program is planned, executed and evaluated to make the subsequent projects even better. The maturity and competency of all involved (staff, volunteers, local community support) creates an incredible atmosphere focused on leadership and confidence-building. It is life-changing for all who take part.

28 people found this review helpful.
Rosalinda
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Thank You

I recently came back from AMIGOS this August. I was completely impacted by this program, in a good way. I have never felt so safe and at peace then I was with this program. I had this most amazing experience and would do it a thousand times more if I had the chance to. It really does help you find yourself and really makes you value your life back home.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe it could be improved by making it more affordable or including a lot more scholarships
27 people found this review helpful.
Mimi
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Azuero, Panama

I went to Azuero, Panama as a volunteer in 2011. It was truly life changing and has influenced every part of my life since then. Since being a participant with AMIGOS I have been on staff twice, going on third, my choice of study at university is Community and Regional Development, and I am planning on going into youth leadership, hopefully working abroad. It sparked something in me by allowing me to grow into the leader I am today.
My community was called Los Pintos, it was small about 200 people in the mountains. My host family was a huge challenge for me in the beginning, but it turned into such a beautiful part of my experience. I am a picky eater and have food restrictions which is a difficulty traveling and not wanting to offend anyone, especially when I was 17 and my spanish was not so great. It was hard to work through it but I became flexible and was able to try new things. My host family and I would cook together which is how we became close, they became my family and I became a part of theirs.
The opportunity to work with children and learn how to teach and develop lesson plans was really cool. Our project in our community was establishing a soccer team and we were able to fundraise with the local youth for supplies. Overall- AMAZING. And everyone should participate- knowing it will be one of the most challenging things you can do but also the most rewarding.

24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
PanamaAmigo
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Anton, Panama

My summer in a community in Anton, Panama was one I would not trade for the world. There were struggles, just like there would be with any program, but how much I grew and learned (in my leadership and in Spanish) is something I could not have done in any other program. The staff and the International Office's number one priority is your safety. Although this is not a 'vacation' by any means, the values gained by this experience could not be had with another program that is more touristy and 'fun' oriented. When it comes to international volunteering, the most important thing is sustainability, and this program works on that and lets the community take the initiative, which helps it be a successful organization.

What would you improve about this program?
This program has a high cost, and to be able to diversify their volunteer group, they would need to bring down the amount of the program. In addition, I feel there needs to be more training and strictness on rule violations, because there is always too many people who slip through the cracks that tell the stories about how you can get away with it and attract the wrong kind of volunteer to this program.
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Ariana
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

My time spent in Panama was amazing, I had a girl and boy partner, and while we did face troubles such as communication and getting the project started, I learned a lot about not only myself, but also the world. I was really forced to grow as a person, and being pushed out of your comfort zone in such a way is really very beneficial.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing I would say is to maybe give more concrete guidelines as to when things are going to happen, we had a few miscommunications about when supplies were supposed to arrive, or when things were supposed to happen.
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
elavigne
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Brief Overview of My Experience with Amigos

Amigos is a wonderfully unique program. Most of the volunteers are high schoolers who are looking for overseas service work. Unlike many other service programs, the volunteers do not stay in a large, organized group but rather are split into pairs and sent to live with host families in rural communities. The volunteers have a lot of flexibility in the type of projects they initiate. Several years ago, I spent my sophomore summer of high school with the program in Veraguas, Panama.

My partner and I spent the first few weeks visiting families in the community and talking to them about what sort of project they'd like to see. Eventually we held a town meeting. It was a pretty good turn out- about one hundred people. I was sixteen and all of a sudden I was in front of a classroom of busy community members trying to facilitate a discussion in a foreign language. No doubt, I was very nervous and felt under qualified to be initiating a community wide project. We decided to build a sidewalk around the school so kids would stop slipping in the mud and glass. It took eight weeks but at the end I felt empowered. The community had surprised us with a beautiful despedida. The students coordinated dances and puppet shows. We ended the day with an all night dance festival.

Readjusting to the states was difficult - I missed my host family, my partner, the students. However, I felt more empowered then I had ever been. And that's the point of the program - to empower our generation to get out of the box, build valuable relationships with people and take the initiative to improve our communities. If there was ever a program that built awesome young leaders, Amigos would be it.

23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
jriley
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Empowering and Fulfilling Experience

Amigos de las Americas provides students with a unique opportunity for full immersion in a Latin American community. Volunteers will live with host families in rural towns, which enables them to learn the language and culture of their host country. By cooking with your host mom, learning a game from local children, playing soccer with other teens, or swimming in the river, volunteers will open their eyes to another way of life.
While leading classes and collaborating on projects with community members, volunteers will also learn valuable skills in empowerment, leadership, and cultural exchange.
This program absolutely changed my life and is so participant driven. Amigos cares about the volunteers' experience and is constantly changing and adapting to better themselves.
When volunteers enter a community, they work with others to determine projects rather than deciding what is best for a community. This community based process ensures cultural sensitivity and mutual respect.
I don't think I've heard of anyone regretting their summer with Amigos and many people return as supervisors, associate directors, and directors.
Whenever I meet someone who has participated in Amigos, I feel an immediate connection because I know that they have participated in something that I love.
I will always remember my time with Amigos and highly encourage anyone interested in traveling, meeting new people, making a difference, and practicing Spanish to apply. It's the best investment you'll ever make.

21 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
FormerSUP
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing, Changed my life

Amigos in Cocle absolutely changed my life. It gave me so many responsibilities that I never had before. I am a better person now because of it. It gave me the courage to travel around the world now, without other people, because nothing is as frightening as doing survey for the first time. You then realize you had nothing to fear in the first place, the people of Panama are amazing.

25 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

AMIGOS participants for our core summer programs must have at least 2 years of Spanish or the equivalent in order to be eligible for the program. We have a new Discover AMIGOS program for 13-15 year olds and a Gap Program for high school graduates up to age 25. There is no language requirement for those programs.