Volunteering in Boquete, Panama

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Search our blog about all things Panama! From must dos, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, in our blog you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 15 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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Volunteering in Boquete, Panama

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Boquete is very lucky to have a caring local and expat community who work tirelessly for those in need in this region. Because of the multiple non-profit organizations, we are able to provide a large variety of volunteer positions for students who are interested in giving back to our community.

As follows you'll find a more in-depth review of each of our volunteer positions. If you'd like to volunteer in Boquete, please contact us...

Volunteering with Children and Teens

Volunteering with children in Boquete, Panama
Volunteering with children in Boquete, Panama

  1. Various Elementary Schools - Boquete is a pretty large spread-out community and we have the pleasure of working with 3 elementary schools all located close to the Habla Ya Boquete School and/or host families. These volunteer positions can be scheduled in the morning or afternoon, so they mix easily with our Spanish class schedules. The work ranges depending on your skills and Spanish level, but mainly students help the teachers with their activities with the kids and depending on the scheduling, you may be able to help out in the English classes too.
  2. After-School Care on a Coffee Farm - We are fortunate to be able to provide volunteers for a small after-school care program for children of the indigenous workers on a local coffee farm. The class is held in the barracks where the indigenous families live, which is just a 10 minute taxi ride from the Habla Ya school. One permanent teacher attends to about 15 children, ages four to thirteen. The volunteer will be helping the teacher organize different activities, games or helping with homework. This position is only available in the afternoons and it’s best for someone who isn’t shy about working with kids, since the volunteer will have to take the initiative for their projects and activities.
  3. Daycare Center - For our young volunteers, we have a fun volunteer position at the local daycare center. Working with small children (in this program they are typically age 6 and under) is a great way to practice your Spanish since children talk a lot and aren’t necessarily surprised that you may not speak Spanish very well. This position entails playing with the children and helping the teachers with whatever activities they have planned. This position can be scheduled in the morning or afternoon. The daycare is a 10 minute walk from the Habla Ya school.
  4. Casa Esperanza: This non-profit organization fights childhood labor by providing school-aged children before- or after-school care programs. As a volunteer, you will be assisting the teachers with their classroom activities. The ages range from elementary to high-school aged kids. This project is currently only available in the afternoons. Casa Esperanza is only a 10 minute walk from the Habla Ya school.
  5. Sports - A fun way to experience a culture is through sports. If you are particularly passionate about being active, you might have the opportunity to work with the Physical Education teacher at one of the local schools. This project is available in the morning or afternoon. The schools are located within walking distance to the Habla Ya school and/or many host families.

Volunteers can also help improving the facilities of each organization. As a volunteer be open to help in whichever way it is needed. title=
Volunteers can also help improving the facilities of each organization. As a volunteer be open to help in whichever way it is needed.

Volunteering with the Handicapped

There is a special organization in Boquete called Fundación Pro-Integración (or their name in English is Boquete Handicap Foundation). If you are a licensed medical professional, you are welcome to volunteer here any day during the week helping with therapies. For non-medical volunteers, Saturdays are designated as an “open” day where patients go to the Foundation for group activities such as painting, singing, reading, etc. This is a great option for those who want to volunteer but do not have availability during the week. The Boquete Handicap Foundation is a 15 minute taxi ride from the Habla Ya school.

Volunteering at the Local Public Library

Boquete is very lucky to have a state-of-the-art public library serving all Boquete residents and visitors. They have a large Spanish and English selection of fiction and nonfiction books. There are public computers, free wifi and a small coffee shop too. The library is always in need of volunteers to help with daily administration tasks and sometimes to give English classes or other specialty classes depending on your skills/knowledge. They have flexible hours (morning or afternoon) and are also open on Saturdays.

Medical Volunteering

For those with a medical background (either fully-licensed or studying for a degree), we can set up a volunteer position with a local family practice in Boquete. Unfortunately this position is not usually very hands-on since Panamanians prefer their family doctor to lead the appointment. But you are welcome to observe (with the permission of the patient) and perhaps help out if a foreigner comes in (the local doctor speaks good English, but it doesn’t hurt to assist when necessary). This is a great opportunity to practice your Spanish (and medical Spanish) with the local doctor! The clinic is just 5 minutes from our school. This position is only available in the afternoons.

Teaching English to Adults (free volunteer program)

Habla Ya is committed to helping out in the communities where we live and work. Many Panamanians dream of speaking English for a variety of reasons, but to most, it is a very hard dream to fulfill. For this reason, we give free English classes to members of the local community three times per week (when volunteers are available). These classes are held in the evenings at our school and are 1 hour in length. We would LOVE if you could participate in this program while you are visiting with us! We will provide you with basic class materials, but for the most part, the class is completely in your hands.

I hope you enjoyed this recap of ways you can help in Boquete, Panama. We're really grateful to all those who help make Boquete a better place!

Volunteer with Maritza, Habla Ya Boquete's Volunteer Director
Volunteer with Maritza, Habla Ya Boquete's Volunteer Director

LEARN MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEERING IN BOQUETE, PANAMA... »

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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