Volunteer programs in Panama

About Panama

About Panama

Located in the far southeast of Central America, Panama is known for being the country that connects South America with North America. Its status as a transit country has turned it into a melting pot of cultures from around the world.

The Republic of Panama is bordered to the north by the Caribbean Sea, to the south by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by Colombia, and to the west by Costa Rica.

The country enjoys a strategic location thanks to the Panama Canal, which facilitates communication between the coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and has a significant influence on global trade.

Climate in Panama

Panama has a tropical climate. In the coastal regions and lowlands, the temperature remains very hot throughout the year, with a constant average temperature of 29ºC.
In the highlands, there is a milder climate, with an average temperature of 18ºC.

Time zone

Panama operates on Eastern Time (UTC-5:00) and does not observe daylight saving time, keeping its time consistent year-round.


The official currency is the Panamanian Balboa, but the American dollar is also accepted. We recommend traveling with American dollars, as the balboa and the dollar are equally accepted.


The programs are located in Chagres, Playa Mata Oscura, Veraguas, Punta Chame and district of Ancón


The stay begins as soon as the volunteer is picked up at the destination.


The meals included in the project/destination will be provided at the accommodation. Meals will not be included for the journeys to the destination, the excursions undertaken by volunteers, etc.

Pick up times

The specified pick-up times for each destination/project must be respected.

Where are the volunteer programs located?

The Indigenous Community Empowerment Program is located in Chagres.

In the case of the Turtle Programs, they are located in Playa Mata Oscura, in Veraguas and in Punta Chame.

The Teaching Programs are located in the town of Chame, geographically located one hour from Tocumen between the beach and the mountains. Chame is characterized by its parks and protected areas, making it a green and natural space par excellence.



  • Teaching and academic support volunteer program
  • Teaching and family development volunteer program
  • Children from indigenous communities teaching volunteer program
  • Women’s empowerment volunteer program
  • Sports volunteer program
  • Construction volunteer program
  • Social media volunteer program
  • Turtle volunteer program
  • Children with special needs volunteer program

Requirements and Costs

  • Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old at the start of the program.


  • The costs of the volunteer programs start at 378 euros for 2 weeks. Every additional week costs 180 euros. You can consult all the costs in Program Costs

What is included?


Volunteers need to make their own way to Tocumen International Airport, which is located 24 kilometres outside of Panama City.


In Kenya, you will see and sample a wide range of different food. The food is largely based on a variety of cereals, vegetables and fruits. Chapati (delicious bread-like burrito), ugali (white corn is a staple of their diet), githeri (beans and corn) and a variety of east African vegetables and fruits (including mango, pineapple, banana and more). Chai (an African tea). Choma Nyama (delicious roast lamb).

Tourist attractions in Panama

Do you want to explore Panama during your days off? Panama has 5 main tourist attractions. Grab a pen and paper and take notes!

  • The Panama Canal. This navigation and fishing channel is located in the west of the city, stretching between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Characterised by its architectural value, the Panama Canal offers spectacular views where travellers can enjoy a modern tourist attraction.
  • Panama City. This city is a melting pot of different cultures. During their visit, tourists will find an old Spanish colony with oriental architecture and shades of a modern America. We recommend exploring the city’s old town with its older buildings. This is a beautiful place to stroll around with your fellow volunteers. Some of the city’s most popular spots include the Plaza de Francia, the Paseo de las Bóvedas, the Iglesia de San José and the Salón Bolívar, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Bocas del Toro. This region is widely regarded as paradise on earth. The Bocas del Toro archipelago, comprising seven large islands and other smaller islets, lies in the Caribbean Sea. This is the perfect destination for volunteers who are nature lovers or those who hold a keen interest in marine life. In Bocas del Toro you will also find two national parks: La Amistad International Park and the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park.
  • Colón. This is the second biggest city in Panama. It is located in the Caribbean region at the end of the Canal. If you decide to go to Colón, we recommend strolling down the Paseo del Centenario and visiting the cathedral, Fort San Lorenzo and Front Street (which is great for shopping).
  • Los Santos. For those volunteers who are keen to discover the tradition of every place they visit, Los Santos is the perfect location to learn about and discover Panamanian culture. In Los Santos, you can discover traditional Panamanian music, cuisine and traditions, while embarking on long strolls that allow you to uncover the best features of this town.


The arrival day for volunteer programs in Panama is every Saturday according to the calendar, and the program begins on Monday.

Turtle ProgramArrival on Saturdays
August3, 17 & 31
October5 & 19
November16 & 30
Punta Chame ProgramsArrival on Saturdays
March2, 16 & 30August3, 17 & 31
May4 & 18October5 & 19
June1, 15 & 29November16 & 30


Transport in Panama

Panama has a metro network that only connects the centre of the country. To access the inland areas and to get to other parts of the country, there is an extensive bus network. By accessing this link, you’ll be able to consult the routes and start planning your trip.

Program goals

The objective of the project is to train young people to become social leaders. Volunteers reside in a multicultural environment, collaborate as a team to execute tasks or institutional projects, accompany beneficiaries in their daily lives or during workshops, and assist with the needs of the centers and homes.

To achieve this, we use three key approaches:

Social inclusion

Social Inclusion of children, young people and grandparents in situations of social risk.

Attention to Centers and Homes

Attention to Centers and Homes for the protection and restitution of rights of socially vulnerable children, adolescents and older adults.

Social action

The volunteers committed to the project will work alongside the community, involving different actors in society and allowing the full fulfillment of the rights of all people.

Our programs

Teaching and academic support volunteer program – Panama

Volunteers have the opportunity to assist in providing classes to students in primary, secondary, or high school education, with bilingual volunteers teaching English in the latter case. There is also the option to teach children with different abilities.

In Panama, like in many Latin American countries, the public education system faces significant challenges, including low teacher salaries, content deficiencies, lack of school maintenance, and more. The educational program’s goal is to offer support and reinforcement in various subjects through volunteer participation. Volunteers are encouraged to bring pre-planned activities for their classes.

Depending on the number of volunteers, groups will be formed to make workshops, activities, and academic support engaging and enjoyable, providing a break from the routine. Therefore, each volunteer is expected to propose an activity or workshop.

Tasks to be carried out:

Conducting recreational activities to aid in children’s cognitive development, teaching subjects like English, Mathematics, Art, and Science, and developing a workshop proposal for the school.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November.

Children from indigenous communities teaching volunteer program – Panama

This program arises from the need to strengthen indigenous roots among the younger members of indigenous communities. During the learning process, the children are motivated by the exchange with a group of people from different customs and nationalities, which allows them to appreciate their traditions and language.

The cultural exchange and teaching project aim to promote participation and learning of values such as solidarity through effective participation spaces in the community, contributing to the sense of personal fulfilment and social responsibility of the people we live with.

The program’s goal is to empower young people, children, and adults with work and growth tools, strengthening their roots.


Within the community, you will live and share with an Emberá-Wounaan family, where you should assist with daily school and community activities. Additionally, you will support the activities of the house where you will live and the multigrade school attended by 27 children aged between 5 and 12 years old:

– Support the teacher in conducting classes (as an assistant)

– English classes for young people and adults in the community

– Computer skills classes, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

– Support in preparing materials for teaching

– Cleaning of facilities

– Cleaning and gardening activities

– Depending on the river level, there might be fishing for personal consumption.

– Monitoring and accompanying workshops for children, youth, and community members

– Organizing school review classes (morning and afternoon)

– Creating and organizing educational games for children, youth, and community members.

Important: Many times, the volunteer is not an assistant but rather the teacher or facilitator of the project, so they must organize and create activities to fulfil the program.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November. Minimum duration: 3 weeks

Construction volunteer program – Panama

Our main objective is to build a little school, as well as improve homes for families in need of support, so they can finally have a safe place to call home.

We also support in creating and maintaining spaces in public schools where we collaborate.

Activities to be carried out:

  1. Painting walls, houses, classrooms, and walls that can be made didactic.
  2. Installing doors and windows.
  3. Creating and adapting different spaces for workshops.
  4. Decoration.
  5. Gardening.
  6. General maintenance.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November.

Children with special needs volunteer program – Panama

The Teaching and School Reinforcement Program for children with different abilities and/or autism spectrum in schools. It aims to advocate for better integration and education, promoting participation and learning of values such as solidarity through effective participation spaces in the community.

Activities to be carried out:

  1. Personalized school support
  2. Developing your workshop proposal
  3. Participating in workshops and activities that take place.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November.

Teaching and family development volunteer program at Homes – Panama

In this program, volunteers have the opportunity to accompany and share their knowledge with children at various academic levels, aiming to reinforce and enhance their school performance. Volunteers will also guide the children in their study processes, especially in subjects like mathematics, Spanish, English, and others, where many of these children face difficulties due to economic limitations preventing them from accessing proper education.

Volunteers are encouraged to conduct workshops and activities in their areas of expertise, allowing them to share their skills with the children.

Depending on the number of volunteers, groups will be formed to ensure that workshops, activities, and academic support become engaging ways of learning, sharing, having fun, and breaking from routine. Therefore, it is essential for every volunteer in the project to bring a PROPOSAL FOR AN ACTIVITY OR WORKSHOP.

Tasks to be carried out:

Personalized school reinforcement

Develop your workshop proposal at homes


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November.

Women empowerment volunteer program – Panama

The program aims to provide emotional and educational support to women at risk or facing social exclusion to develop their personal autonomy and improve their social inclusion.


  1. Foster self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence, and other personal aspects such as communication skills and personal development for women.
  2. Prevent social exclusion through comprehensive intervention with women and their daughters and sons, as well as supporting these families in overcoming the risk factors and social exclusion they face.
  3. Enhance women’s employability as an essential element for their social and work integration through individual career guidance and training sessions, as well as pre-employment workshops in various areas. The pre-employment intervention aims to empower users to overcome the weaker aspects of their future entry into the job market.
  4. Strengthen the family and community capacity and responsibility of women to improve their health conditions and that of their families, promoting healthy lifestyle workshops, positive parenting guidelines, and co-education.
  5. Empower women through training and capacity building in gender equality in the social, family, and work spheres.

In this program, we will work with different profiles of women at risk or facing social exclusion:

  • Migrants in need, whether accompanied or alone.
  • Women in situations of material deprivation, with or without family responsibilities.
  • Long-term unemployed women.
  • Unemployed women with low employability due to a lack of education, professional qualifications, and/or language proficiency.
  • Single-parent families.
  • Women with significant emotional and affective needs and lacking support networks.
  • Women victims of gender violence.
  • Women victims of the patriarchal system, facing unequal access to goods and services and being unable to exercise their rights as individuals and citizens with equal opportunities.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November. Minimum duration: 4 weeks.

Sports volunteer program – Panama

Sports have the ability to change lives. It not only promotes a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness but also helps young people build self-confidence and achieve personal growth.

This volunteering opportunity is a chance to engage in conversations with students and get to know their lives and aspirations.

You can create simple and effective games to improve the students’ skills.

Activities to be carried out:

  1. Support in public primary schools and attention centers during physical education classes.
  2. Teaching and learning adapted sports.
  3. Assisting the teacher in physical education classes.
  4. Support in specific sports events.
  5. Assisting in monitoring and preparing sports materials.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November.

Social media volunteer program – Panama

Volunteers with knowledge in design, photography, programming, and WordPress are needed to support the social projects we work on in the following areas:

1. Design, WordPress, social media, and website content.

2. Writing, editing, and publishing content.

3. Creating, editing, and publishing digital videos.

4. Assisting in organizing and promoting parties and social events held by the organization.

5. Maintaining and updating social media platforms.

6. Taking, editing, and delivering incredible photos.


AVAILABILITY: Open from mid-March to November.

Turtle volunteer program – Panama

Volunteers collaborate in the protection of sea turtle species in the coastal waters of Panama.

The volunteer work will focus on the conservation of the Olive Ridley or Golfina sea turtle species (Leopidochelys olivacea), which is found along the Panamanian coast. As additional information: Did you know that there are seven species of sea turtles worldwide? Well, five of them lay their eggs in Panama.

The volunteer project will be located in Veraguas, at Playa Mata Oscura (nesting site), where volunteers will learn all about the world of sea turtles. They will contribute their work and dedication to safeguard an endangered species.

There will be periods of the year when the project will be carried out differently, as the nesting times of the turtles are limited to six months per year. The schedules for this project differ from others, and volunteers will be required during evening-night hours.

Tasks to be carried out:

1. Implementing social awareness about the importance of species conservation. Volunteers can conduct informative talks.

2. Tasks for veterinary students or professionals.

3. Releasing hatchlings into the ocean.

4. Participating in conservation efforts for an endangered species.

In Punta Chame, conservation, research, awareness, and environmental education activities are combined to promote sustainable and appropriate practices focused on sea turtles.

There are records of one of the seven species of sea turtles in the world nesting in this area: the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). The peak nesting months for turtles occur from July to January.

Tasks to be carried out:

1. Relocating nests to the hatcheries.

2. Collecting biometric data from nesting turtles.

3. Relocating nests on the same beach.

4. Releasing newly hatched baby turtles (neonates). Exhuming nests and data collection (during the hatching season).

5. Assisting in obtaining reliable databases.

6. Participating in construction and maintenance tasks of the hatcheries.

7. Conducting environmental educational activities with students from the Punta Chame school and surrounding areas.

IMPORTANT: When to go? The nesting season for turtles is from July to January.

LOCATION: Mata Oscura and Punta Chame

AVAILABILITY: The Mata Oscura program will be open from July 1st to January 20th, 2023.

The Punta Chame program will be open from July to the end of December.

accommodation and meals

Chame Volunteer House

It is located in Chame, on Feliz Calvo street. It has three bedrooms and one bathroom, a living/dining area, kitchen, terrace, patio, and garden. Bedding is provided.

The food in Panama is varied, healthy, and rich in vitamins. Panama is known for its gastronomic diversity, including seafood, delicious tamales, ceviche, sancochos (soups), tropical fruits, corn, and more, making it a place where good eating is a priority for its inhabitants. The volunteer house prepares meals following local customs. However, volunteers requiring a special diet should inform their volunteer advisor to make a note of it.

There is no specific menu for vegetarians/vegans, but meals can be adapted.

Breakfast at the house is self-service style, at the convenience of each volunteer, provided by the Staff. Three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are included from Monday to Friday. Only lunch is provided on Fridays, and on weekends, volunteers can use the kitchen.

Hot Water: None of the project accommodations have hot water.

Volunteer House in Punta Chame

The volunteer will live in a house located in the center of Punta Chame village. It is situated 20 minutes on foot from where the project takes place (the beach). The house has 2 rooms with bunk beds.

In this program, meals are not included, but there is a kitchen in the house that the volunteer can use freely.

The accommodation does not have hot water.

Mata Oscura Volunteer House

The volunteer house for the Turtle Program in Mata Oscura is located beachfront in Veraguas, Mata Oscuras. It features several bedrooms, one bathroom, a living/dining area, kitchen, terrace, patio, and garden. Amenities include bedding, WIFI connection, and more, which volunteers can enjoy during their stay.

There is no specific menu for vegetarians/vegans, but meals can be adapted.

However, the accommodation does not have hot water.

There is no specific menu for vegetarians/vegans, but meals can be adapted.

Please note that the accommodation does not have hot water.

Volunteer House in Chagres

In the volunteer house, which is a family home, you will be staying with a local family. This provides a firsthand experience of living with locals.

The homes are traditional Tambo-style with open spaces. All homes have bathrooms and areas for washing clothes.

These accommodations include three local meals provided by the families.

There is no specific menu for vegetarians/vegans, but meals can be adapted.

The accommodation does not have hot water.

program costs

The total cost of the volunteering program is divided into 2 parts: The registration fee that is paid to book your placement (210€), and separately, the program cost that is paid later (in euros).

Programs in Chame

415€ for 2 weeks
189€ for each additional week

Children from indigenous communities teaching volunteer program

378€ for 2 weeks
189€ for each additional week

Turtle Work volunteer program – Punta Chame

470€ for 2 weeks
196€ for each additional week

Turtle Work volunteer program – Mata Oscura

462€ for 2 weeks
231€ for each additional week

Animals and Natural Resources Conservation volunteer program – Ancón

380€ for 2 weeks
120€ for each additional week

If your currency is not specified in the table, you can convert your costs here.
* The costs shown in euros are approximate due to continuous currency fluctuations.

What is included in the fee that I am paying?

What additional costs will be incurred by the volunteers?

  • Visa
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Vaccinations
  • Return transfer to the airport from the program
  • Other expenses

(*** Volunteers in Panama generally find that €18 (US$25, aprox.) is sufficient for basic weekly expenses).


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Our volunteers will be able to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

What does volunteering focused on university practices involve?

At Cooperating Volunteers, we make agreements with different universities to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

The specialties we work with are extensive: medical volunteering, nursing, education, social work, psychology, physiotherapy, engineering, architecture…

The practices can be carried out in our designated destinations for this purpose, as well as in Spain.

If you choose an international destination, it’s a unique way to live an unforgettable and enriching experience, as you will have the opportunity to continue your education in another country, with a completely different culture.

Stepping out of our comfort zone and being part of the various projects at the destination will allow us to grow both personally and professionally, creating a more extensive curriculum.

And we are fully convinced that this experience will accompany you throughout your life.

You will be able to visit hospitals, schools, centers, orphanages, and participate directly and actively in the daily lives of all those people at the destination, always accompanied by other professionals willing to collaborate hand in hand with you and guide you in daily tasks.

If your university is not part of the agreement with Cooperating Volunteers, you can contact cristina@cooperatingvolunteers.com so that we can get in touch and make this experience a reality. 


Corporate volunteering consists of tailored programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills.

It is proven that teamwork directly impacts productivity. 

Collective effort surpasses individual capabilities, promotes diversity of skills, stimulates creativity, and facilitates problem-solving in the face of various challenges.

Therefore, it not only maximizes efficiency but also enriches the work environment.

We conduct corporate volunteering programs that consist of customized programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills, improve performance, and foster unity among employees.

We tailor projects to the corporate identity and size of the company, and we can adjust them to any destination and time of the year.

The advantages of corporate volunteering include:

  • Improving communication.
  • Group unity.
  • Cultural integration in different situations.
  • Employee training.
  • Increased Corporate Social Responsibility.

The future is aligned with a more responsible society, and participating in social projects positions our company among the list of revolutionary businesses that want to be part of the change.

If you resonate with this message, corporate volunteering is a unique experience both individually and collectively, and at Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the process to make it a unique journey.


Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. 

Spending quality time with family and being able to disconnect from our hectic routines is not only enriching but also necessary.

Sometimes we forget to communicate, connect, and dedicate time to each other. Each one of us lives focused on our jobs, schools… And it’s necessary to find the opportunity to pause and take care of ourselves.

Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. And of course, it creates lifelong positive memories.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we suggest moving away from those ‘more superficial’ trips (which can also be fantastic), but we invite you to live this experience to bring out our most empathetic and humanitarian side.

Family volunteering gives us the opportunity to be part of a positive impact, promoting values of solidarity and social responsibility.

There are many families who choose to experience these trips focused on cooperation and direct involvement with different communities around the world, where living conditions are very different and sometimes entirely precarious.

Projects are tailored to different ages, allowing us to work together.

An incredible way to fill our suitcase with memories, learning, and knowledge.

And although stepping out of our comfort zone often feels daunting, we assure you firsthand that it’s worth it.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the entire experience, from start to finish, to make it unforgettable.


At Cooperating Volunteers, we believe it’s never too late for anything, especially for volunteering and living a unique and unforgettable experience.

There are many people, increasingly so, who opt for responsible travel that involves social work.

Accustomed to organized and mostly touristic trips, at Cooperating Volunteers, we want to advocate for a more enriching experience, one that transforms us from within and allows us to be part of the change the world needs to see.

We can adapt both the destination and the duration of our projects to fit your needs.

It’s an opportunity full of emotions that allows us to significantly contribute to different communities and their evolution. And you can participate in different areas such as education, social support, or assistance in different centers.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Sense of purpose: Provides a sense of purpose by contributing your skills and experiences to meaningful causes.
  • Emotional well-being: Reduces feelings of isolation and establishes social connections.
  • Personal development: It’s continuous learning, skill development, and discovering new activities while keeping the mind-body active.
  • Physical health: Keeping active.
  • Stress reduction: The act of helping others reduces stress and contributes to mental health.

Living this experience will undoubtedly be a before and after. 


A volunteering initiative with leadership and impact through the educational action program.

When we talk about social volunteering, we refer to all those actions and activities carried out altruistically, selflessly, and with the aim of addressing multiple problems and needs of different communities, always focused on education and self-sufficiency.

Education is essential because it provides the tools and knowledge necessary for personal, social, and economic development.

Our goal is to create self-sufficient communities and provide opportunities for the future personal development of each member. The message is not to ‘give’, but to accompany in the process of training for self-managed provision.

At Cooperating Volunteers, many of our destinations and projects embrace this type of volunteering. Some of our projects include: community programs, education, women’s empowerment…

And although they are completely different from each other, they share a single objective: progress towards a society that can embrace us all in the same way.

If you are someone who is restless, who needs to see a change in the future, volunteering is an experience tailor-made for you.