The Unconventional Guide to Volunteering in Bocas del Toro

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"The Unconventional Guide to Volunteering in Bocas del Toro".

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The Unconventional Guide to Volunteering in Bocas del Toro

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You can volunteer and eat your cake too in Bocas del Toro. This archipelago has several volunteer opportunities including (but not limited to), teaching English to underprivileged children and sea turtle conservation.

Why Volunteer?

To bring positive change to the world is a rewarding experience. The work you put into a community or conservation project will have lasting impacts to its beneficiaries. It’s one thing to donate money to non-profit organizations, but they also need hands-on-deck with volunteer projects. Most non-profit organizations don’t have enough personnel to efficiently operate. This is where you come in.

Many of us have asked or heard the question, “what’s the meaning of life?” In my opinion, it’s to be happy and useful.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, then allow Albert Einstein to elaborate, “only a life lived for others is a life worth living.”

Due to depredation, marine pollution, poaching, and ecosystem disturbance, several species of sea turtles are endangered or threatened (likely to become endangered). For example, hawks-bill sea turtles are killed for their shells and used for ornaments, jewellery, and other trinkets. Plastics bags in oceans are mistaken by leatherback sea turtles for jellyfish and eaten: causing death.

La tortuga carey (Eretmochelys imbricata) anida en Bocas del Toro (ciudad) desde el mes de Abril hasta Octubre. No...

Posted by Sea Turtle Conservancy Bocas del Toro on Monday, April 18, 2016

We need to stop interfering with the natural order of life. Sea turtles lay their eggs at night. They mistake light pollution for daylight and avoid or delay nesting in places with artificial light. The construction of houses and businesses along beach shores has a disruptive impact on sea turtle reproduction. All humans have to be responsible in disposing waste. Along with sea turtle conservation, waste management and education is important.

Non-profit organizations such as Sea Turtle Conservancy are helping sea turtle populations grow. In Bocas del Toro, the ANABOCA organization helps with sea turtle conservation on Bluff Beach, Colon Island.

¡Y la temporada de tortuga baula sigue avanzando! Al inicio de Abril los datos de anidación en las distintas playas...

Posted by Sea Turtle Conservancy Bocas del Toro on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Besides teaching English or working with the sea turtles, there are many other opportunities to give a hand in Bocas. You can help at the Elderly Home or at one of the public schools. You could also work with Floating Doctors, or with Give and Surf who has many other volunteering projects going on as well.

Now for the cake.

Learn Spanish

While volunteering in Bocas del Toro, you can learn or improve your Spanish with Habla Ya. The school is located in Bocas Town near several accommodation options, restaurants, and beaches. Outside of school, you can practice your Spanish at your volunteer project.

Eat Delicious Food

If you don’t feel like cooking, grab a steak burrito at Hungry Monkey or fish sandwich at Capitan Caribe. Bocas del Toro has delicious food to satisfy all taste buds. Eat anything from fresh sushi to ceviche (click here for more Bocas del Toro restaurants).

Come and enjoy our tacos!!!! #octopus $3.50 #brisket $2.50 #fish $2.50 #chicken $2.50 #hungrymonkey #alwaysfun #alwaysfresh #surffood

Posted by Hungry Monkey on Monday, April 25, 2016

If eating out on a budget, try Tom’s Restaurant. They serve creole-style beef with rice, potatoes, beans, and plantain for only $5. Put some hot sauce on the rice and it’ll be a flavorful and filling dish.

Beaches

After sweating and toughing it out at your volunteer project, go relax at one of the many beaches in Bocas del Toro. You can easily get to Carenero Beach by water taxi for $2 or less.

I prefer the secluded and small islands in Cayo Zapatillas. The water is aqua-blue clear and there aren’t many rocks in the water to hurt your feet. These islands are about a thirty-minute water taxi ride from Bocas Town. There’s a good chance of seeing dolphins while going to Cayo Zapatilla.

The Triple S

Surfing, snorkelling, and scuba diving can all be done in Bocas del Toro.

You can surf waves on the islands Colon, Carenero, and Bastimentos. The main surfing season in Bocas del Toro is December to April with medium-sized waves in July and August.

There are numerous dive and snorkelling sites in and around the archipelago. You’ll be able to see variety of marine life including stingrays, seahorses, and sharks.

Blue Coconut is a restaurant located on Solarte Island and they provide free snorkeling equipment. Several tours also include snorkeling equipment. To see the most of marine life and Bocas del Toro under the surface, try scuba diving or get your Open Water Diver certification.

Parties

Volunteers need to have fun in the night too. You can go to the Bocas Brewery and have an Indian Pale Ale and listen to live music.

Bocas Town has an off-the-hook party scene. Balboa beers are usually $2 or $3 and all the night clubs are by the water. Most of them don’t charge an entrance fee. Just walk in with your sandals or flip flops and start dancing. Aqua lounge will charge a $5 entry fee but it includes one free drink.

TIP: Practice Spanish in the most unexpected places #BocasDelToro #hablaya #learnspanish #travel #panama #keytosuccess

A video posted by Habla Ya Spanish Schools (@hablaya) on

Don’t get too tipsy, in case you want to take swim at night. Yes, you can swim at the clubs.

With all the hard work volunteers do, it’s great that Bocas del Toro can give them some sugar.

LEARN MORE ABOUT VOLUNTEERING AND LEARNING SPANISH IN 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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