ab 2.134€

Großartig 4.4rating (5)

Volunteer in After-School

4 - 20 Wochen  ·  Alter 18 - 50+

rating  Großartig 4.4  · 
  von Volunteer World verifiziert
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  • Be immersed in the local Afro-Caribbean & indigenous communities!
  • Have fun exploring the beautiful islands of Bocas del Toro and the rest of Panama!
  • Share your interests & passions while mentoring and working with local youth!
  • Make lifelong friends!
  • Practice your Spanish, make chocolate & coconut bread with the locals, and learn other new skills!

Besonders geeignet für

Alter 18+

Über das Programm

Volunteers help with our after-school and summer camp programs. Spend half of each day volunteering and the other half is free time to explore the islands!

About the Project

Since its inception in 2011, Give & Surf has strived to provide equal access to education for the indigenous communities of Bocas del Toro. Due to the isolated nature of some of these village communities, they have limited access to school and thus Give & Surf offers preschool, ...

Über das Programm

About the Project

Since its inception in 2011, Give & Surf has strived to provide equal access to education for the indigenous communities of Bocas del Toro. Due to the isolated nature of some of these village communities, they have limited access to school and thus Give & Surf offers preschool, after-school, and summer camp programs to supplement the education provided by the public government.   We now serve over 500 students weekly in our community centers and preschools in eight communities on five islands and continue to grow each year!

Volunteer Opportunities 

Volunteers have the unique opportunity to be immersed in the local island communities and assist with our preschool and after-school programs.  Week days typically consist of a half day of volunteering as an assistant teacher/instructor with one of our preschool or after-school programs and the remaining time is free to explore and enjoy the beautiful Bocas islands.  Volunteers are encouraged to share their passions and talents and help plan activities for children to participate in including arts & crafts, sports, field trips, and more!  Groups of volunteers are also welcome to come and often help with special projects such as the construction of a new playground or school.

Discover Boscas del Toro

Weekends and half of each weekday are free for volunteers to enjoy everything Bocas del Toro has to offer, including surfing, diving, hiking, biking, or just relaxing on the beautiful beaches! An option for volunteers is to experience Bocas del Toro by riding waves big or small. We wish to share our passion of surfing with you when you come to the islands.  If surfing does not interest you. Don't worry there is a lot more to experience in Bocas del Toro. Many of our volunteers enjoy the region for its amazing beaches, hikes, and activities. If you are not an experienced surfer, no worries. We offer the opportunity to learn how to surf or surf world class waves when volunteering with us. One surf lesson is provided upon request to each volunteer. Volunteers are given the opportunity to surf during their free time and when the work schedule accommodates take trips to different surf breaks. We have a world of knowledge and years of experience in the ocean and Panama.

Do I need a visa? Any other entry requirements? U.S. & Canadian citizens automatically receive a tourist visa for 180 days upon arrival in Panama. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months past your trip dates and you must show your exit ticket (flight ticket to leave Panama; a bus ticket is not sufficient). For visa and entry requirements for other countries, please check with your country’s embassy or consulate.

Health & Safety 

Is it safe? Yes, Panama City and Bocas del Toro are both safe areas to visit in Panama and Central America, however you are in a developing country and thus should take general precautions. The most frequent crimes are petty thefts and robberies, which can be avoided. 

General precautions include: 

  • Don’t carry a lot of cash or flash valuables around especially after dark. 
  • Stay in the tourist areas of Bocas and Panama City 
  • Use the buddy system or travel in groups. 
  • Don’t hike, swim, or surf by yourself 
  • Use reputable taxi and water taxi drivers and tour operators 
  • Say no to drugs. Drugs, including marijuana, are illegal in Panama. 

All volunteers will go through a thorough orientation upon arrival which includes more information about health & safety. 

Do I need medical insurance?  Yes. We strongly encourage all volunteers to have medical insurance coverage. We also suggest all volunteers check their international coverage with their medical insurance providers and/or buy travel medical insurance

What vaccinations do I need? Please visit your primary health care physician to discuss your upcoming trip to Panama and to get all of the necessary shots and medication required for your trip. You will want to have a prescription from your doctor outlining all prescriptions and their purpose. You can also visit the CDC’s website for a list of recommendations of vaccinations by country. In general, it is only recommended that standard vaccinations (tetanus, hepatitis, etc.) are up to date for travel to Bocas del Toro.

Can I drink the water? Yes and no. We don’t recommend drinking the tap water in town or in the communities we work as your body may not be accustomed to the bacteria in the local water. You can use the water to brush your teeth, shower, etc. Most restaurants serve filtered water if you ask for a glass of water and there is fresh filtered water provided at the Volunteer House.

What if I get hurt/ sick? Bocas has a number of options for you. If you know what you need, there are many pharmacies in town that carry antibiotics and other medicines that you can often buy without a prescription. If you need to see a doctor you can: Visit the local hospital’s Emergency Room that can take care of any medical emergencies. Visit the local hospital which is very cheap but can take some time as it is normally very busy. Visit the private doctor or clinic in town for $30-50 per consultation.

Do I need to speak Spanish? It is not mandatory that our volunteers speak Spanish, but it will certainly help you while you are here. English is widely spoken in Bocas but in the indigenous communities and with the kids it helps to know a little bit of basic Spanish to communicate simple commands. The majority of our volunteers speak little to no Spanish but we’re happy to teach you some basics and the kids will too!

There’s a free app Duolingo that is a great way to start practicing your Spanish before you arrive!

Do I need to have experience teaching or working with kids? You do not need any previous experience working with kids. We will give you an orientation and show you how you will need to be as a volunteer in the classroom/programs. We ask that you bring a positive attitude and an open mind to each day of volunteering and everything else will take care of itself!

Can I bring a friend? Yes, we encourage you to share this experience with your friends and family!

Can I bring supplies or gifts for the children? Yes! We always appreciate donated school supplies and activities for our preschools and Community Centers. We can send you more specific needs before you come. Also feel free to bring a special activity that you enjoy to do with the kids, such as an arts & crafts project, sports activity, or board game you enjoyed as a kid! Please do NOT give children individual gifts.

When do I surf? During our free time, a lot of volunteers will surf. We get all levels of surfers, from first timers to advanced. This is an activity that we typically do when we are free in the mornings or late afternoons and weekends. Transportation is provided to the main surf breaks on Carenero Island when the Give & Surf boat is available. For those learning to surf one lesson is provided per volunteer during their stay.

Surfing is best in December to April and mid-June to early August.

What if I am not a surfer or do not want to surf? No problem! Many of our volunteers are not surfers and will find other activities more enjoyable like hiking to the organic coffee & chocolate farm, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, hiking, biking, or relaxing at the beach!

Where do I stay? Most individual volunteers stay in shared rooms at our Volunteer House located on Bastimentos Island. Our new Volunteer House is located in the heart of Old Bank (the main town on Bastimentos Island) right next door to one of our community centers. The ocean-view house has electricity, internet (limited), and running water and is just a 10-minute water taxi ride both from Bocas Town and from some of the other communities where we work. There is a full kitchen, including a stove and refrigerator, so you can store food and prep your meals.

If the Volunteer House is full, volunteers stay at one of our neighboring partner hotels or hostels. If you prefer more private accommodations, we can make recommendations of nearby hotels and B&Bs.

What do I need to bring? A suggested packing list will be emailed to you before your arrival once you have paid your deposit.

What do I need to wear while teaching/volunteering? While in the communities and at programs, we ask volunteers to wear t-shirts or short sleeve shirts that cover their shoulders and longer style shorts. Comfortable, durable sandals or old sneakers are recommended.


On weekdays, you will spend a half day volunteering.  This includes assisting the lead teacher with a variety of activities and lessons.  Each volunteer's role may be slightly different based on their previous experience working with kids, knowledge of Spanish, and length of stay.  We encourage ...


On weekdays, you will spend a half day volunteering.  This includes assisting the lead teacher with a variety of activities and lessons.  Each volunteer's role may be slightly different based on their previous experience working with kids, knowledge of Spanish, and length of stay.  We encourage volunteers to stay at least one month if possible to truly be immersed and experience everything Bocas has to offer!  Free time is spent surfing, swimming, hiking, biking, spearfishing & more... as long as you love the water & outdoors, Bocas has something for you! Whether it’s assisting our teachers lead an activity or designing a new program to serve an unmet community need, your help will improve the lives of all the children and families we serve!

Volunteers generally help with our educational programs for at least half a day Monday through Friday. Volunteers can choose if they would like to volunteer in our Preschool/ Kindergarten programs that take place in the mornings from 8AM-12PM and/or in our Afterschool Programs that take place in the afternoons from 2-6PM. Volunteers are welcome to volunteer more by helping with both programs or assisting with other extracurricular activities such as English classes, surf/SUP outreach programs, etc. Program offerings may vary depending on the time of year. Generally, the volunteers and other team members will have lunch with each other each day before or after their volunteering hours.


Bocas del Toro is a beautiful archipelago in the Caribbean just south of the Costa Rican border! These tropical islands provide plenty of options for outdoor activities and water sports!  Activities include surfing, spearfishing, swimming, hiking, biking, boating, and more!!!


Bocas del Toro is a beautiful archipelago in the Caribbean just south of the Costa Rican border! These tropical islands provide plenty of options for outdoor activities and water sports!  Activities include surfing, spearfishing, swimming, hiking, biking, boating, and more!!!



Mindestalter: 18 Jahre

Um an diesem Programm teilzunehmen, musst du zu Programmbeginn mindestens 18 Jahre alt sein. Es kann Ausnahmen geben, wenn du die Erlaubnis deines/r Erziehungsberechtigten vorlegen kannst oder wenn du von deinen Eltern begleitet wirst


Du brauchst folgende Sprachkenntnisse: Englisch (Grundkenntnisse)


auf High school Niveau


Es gibt keine Beschränkungen. Helfende Hände aus aller Welt sind willkommen.

Andere Fähigkeiten

Must enjoying working with kids but no previous experience is required! Some knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required.


Deine Hilfe wird an folgenden Tagen benötigt: Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag und Freitag von 14:00 - 18:00



Dienstleistungen von Give and Surf

Our volunteer fees support the mission and programs of Give & Surf and include:

-Accommodations: Shared rooms in our ocean-view Volunteer House in Old Bank on Island Bastimentos (with hot water & Wifi). Private accommodations at a nearby B&B or hotel can be arranged for an additional fee.

-Lunches Monday-Friday

-Continental style breakfasts

-Local transportation to/from program sites

-Weekly group activities/excursions

-Bocas airport pick up/drop off

-On-site Staff support

-Pre-trip planning/orientation 

What’s not included? 

-Weekend lunches 


-Third-party excursions/tours 

-Water taxis outside of scheduled program or group activity time 

-International and domestic airfare 

-Travel insurance 

-Surfboards/surfboard rentals

Is there internet? 

Yes, there is internet in Bocas Town and at the Volunteer House, however we encourage you to minimize screen & phone time and be present in the moment and enjoy everything Bocas has to offer! The internet is not as consistent and strong as you may be used to; if you need good internet for school or work or other projects, there is a co-working space in Bocas as well as cafes that have better internet access

Abholung vom Flughafen Bocas Del Toro

We will meet volunteers upon their arrival in Bocas del Toro. Most volunteers take a short flight or the overnight bus to get from Panama City to Bocas.


We have a volunteer house where we accommodate most volunteers. Shared rooms in our ocean-view Volunteer House in Old Bank on Island Bastimentos (with hot water & Wifi). Private accommodations at a nearby B&B or hotel can be arranged for an additional fee.


We provide breakfasts & lunches to our volunteers Monday-Friday.

For volunteers staying at the Give & Surf Volunteer House, all breakfasts are provided. Breakfast is a simple, do-it-yourself mix of pancakes, eggs, fresh fruit, local bread, and coffee. Lunches are provided Monday to Friday at restaurants in the local communities or in Bocas Town. 

Volunteers are responsible for their dinners which generally are a mix of cooking family-style dinners together, outings to local restaurants, or cooking up fresh fish if we have a good day of fishing! It is expected that all volunteers share responsibilities cooking and cleaning. Bocas has a wide variety of grocery stores and smaller shops to buy everything you need. Eating at local restaurants is also a good and cheap option at around $5-8 per plate typically consisting of chicken, rice, beans, and patacones (fried plantains). Foreign style food is more expensive as it is geared more towards tourists and can range from $8-20 per meal. Bocas Town has very high end restaurants as well as cheap local spots and even street vendors so you have plenty of options to choose from!

Volunteers may purchase food for the house to prepare other meals. On the weekends and on some weekday afternoons, volunteers will have access to the main town on Isla Colon where there are a variety of restaurants as well as grocery stores.

If I have food allergies or restrictions?

You can purchase your own food for your breakfasts and dinners so that shouldn’t be a problem. There is a specialty grocery store in Bocas Town, Super Gourmet, that does have some gluten-free products and other select items although the selection is much more limited than you may be used to. During the week, the lunches in the community are usually chicken or fish served with rice & beans and plantains. They are able to make this vegetarian by simply leaving off the chicken or fish, but if you have other allergies/restrictions, we recommend that you pack your own lunch for these days.


Limitierte Verbindung vor Ort

Was ist NICHT inklusive?

Was ist NICHT inklusive?


Der nächstgelegene Flughafen ist Bocas Del Toro (BOC) in Bocas Del Toro. Wir helfen dir günstige Flüge nach Panama zu finden. FINDE GÜNSTIGE FLÜGE


Ins Ausland zu gehen ist ein Abenteuer, auf das man sich stets gut vorbereiten sollte. Plötzliche Krankheit oder Verletzung, Stornierung oder Diebstahl - eine Reiseversicherung für Panama bietet die nötige Sicherheit. ANGEBOT EINHOLEN


Bevor du deine Freiwilligenarbeit in Panama antrittst, solltest du dich noch einmal von deinem Arzt beraten lassen und deine erforderlichen Impfungen für Panama überprüfen. IMPFSCHUTZ ÜBERPRÜFEN

Informationen zur Anreise

The project is available from January to December. You are welcome to join us anytime! 

Jan Feb Mär Apr Mai Jun Jul Aug Sep Okt Nov Dez


4 Wochen (Mindestaufenthalt) 2.134€
6 Wochen 3.201€
8 Wochen 4.268€
20 Wochen (Maximaler Aufenthalt) 9.700€
Durchschnittliche Gebühren 509€/Woche


509€ / Woche 4 - 20 Wochen Alter 18 - 50+


Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal



4 - 20 Wochen


Mit der Anzahlung reservierst du deinen Platz beim Freiwilligenprogramm. Zahlungen werden von PayPal abgewickelt, unserem vertrauenswürdigen globalen Zahlungsanbieter. Falls du keinen PayPal Account hast, kannst du die Anzahlung auch mit einer Kreditkarte bezahlen.

Ausstehende Zahlung

Deine Restzahlung vereinbarst du mit Give and Surf während des Bewerbungsprozesses. Normalerweise handelt es sich um eine Banküberweisung oder eine Barzahlung am Projektstandort.

Lerne deine Organisation kennen

Give and Surf

Großartig 4.4 rating (5 Bewertungen)

Non-profit - gegründet 2011

von Volunteer World verifiziert

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Über die Organisation

Give & Surf is a volunteer-driven organization that relies on volunteers to help teach & design educational and recreational programs.

Lerne deine Organisation kennen

We are a locally embedded 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates year-round providing sustainable support to the indigenous communities of Bocas del Toro, Panama. We are a family of staff members,volunteers, community members, parents, students, and teachers connected by our mutual passion to achieve positive change for indigenous communities of Bocas del Toro, Panama. We are not seeking to have a small impact on the greatest number possible. Instead, our approach has always been to have a deep, long-lasting, sustainable impact within the small communities we serve.

As a volunteer-driven organization, we rely on over 200 volunteers annually in order to sustain our operations, teach our educational programs, and fund new community development projects. We strive to provide volunteers with a meaningful experience that results not only in a positive impact in the communities we serve but also in a transformative, eye opening personal experience that has a long-lasting impact on their life and global awareness.

From creating cultural exchanges between volunteers and students to creating opportunities and training teachers, we are building up a community through action. Volunteers live in a collaborative and beautiful environment. In exchange for their services and funding in building this community, volunteers receive a wonderful cultural immersion experience that provides incredible insight into non-profit and international development work.


Prior to 2011, there was only a small primary school offering inadequate education in unsatisfactory facilities in Bahia Honda. Fortunately, in 2011, Neil Christiansen decided to give up his medical sales career and pursue his passions for helping others and surfing which landed him in Bocas del Toro, Panama where he quickly connected with Margaret Ann & Henry Escudero, owners of La Loma Jungle Lodge. Henry & Margaret were already well established in the Bahia Honda and, as parents to 3-year-old Lucho, were eager to start a program for all of the community preschoolers. And thus was born Give & Surf. Where this partnership would lead and what this small program would blossom into, neither Neil, Margaret nor Henry could have imagined.

Now, five years since its inception, Give & Surf serves over 150 students per week in five indigenous communities. In Bahia Honda & Bahia Roja, we are the primary providers of preschool, kindergarten, summer school, English classes, and other extracurricular activities. We have started to expand our reach into communities in Old Bank, Carenero, Bocas Town, and Solarte by offering teen & adult English classes and taking on new community development projects. Over the last five years, we have helped to build three schools, a library, cafeteria, playground, bathroom, water catchment system, and helped to renovate & maintain other schools and community facilities.

Community Need

We often get asked why Bocas? Statistically, Panama usually ranks above their fellow Central American countries when it comes to the rate of literacy, dropouts, overall education, poverty, and other key indicators. Unfortunately, the realities faced by the five indigenous populations of Panama are an entirely different story. The Ngobe-Bugle tribe is the largest indigenous group in Panama and it is estimated that over 90% are living in extreme poverty. Due to the remote location, they have extremely limited access to education, medical care, and other basic necessities. This has resulted in high rates of drop out, malnutrition, and unemployment. Only 18% of Ngobe students are educated past a sixth grade level and the overall literacy rate is 55%. The culture and livelihood of the Ngobe communities in the Bocas del Toro islands is at particular risk due to the growing tourism sector, which is infringing on the Ngobe lands and also raising the cost of living. In order to both protect their culture as well as ensure future opportunities for employment, Give and Surf is committed to educating and empowering these communities.

5 Bewertungen · rating4.4

Elyse Eng rating4.4

2014 at Volunteer in After-School

A classroom full of smiles from the preschool students of Escuelita is the fondest memory I have volunteering with Give and Surf. From school boat pick-ups to making paper bag animal puppets to a fun-filled field day, spending time with the most appreciative and happiest children I’ve met was a ...
Melody Bracken rating4.4

2013 at Volunteer in After-School

Volunteering with Give and Surf was a life-changing experience. I do a lot of traveling but had not volunteered abroad before and felt that I should give back to the global community. I think I got back just as much as I put in! It’s hard to pick just one favorite memory, but I really enjoyed ...
Kelsi Owens rating4

2012 at Volunteer in After-School

Traveling down to Panama to volunteer with Give&Surf was one of the best experiences of my life! It was my first time traveling internationally and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I only knew a little bit of Spanish when I went there but by the end of my trip I was able to ...
Annette de Graaf rating5

2017 at Teaching in Small Communities

When we were inside the classroom having a singing competition against the rain and thunderstorm. We definitely beat them with our super loud singing (read screaming). During this, the roof was leaking and we had to place buckets and towels everywhere. The kids didn’t even pay attention to this ...
Andres Felipe rating4.4

2012 at Teaching in Small Communities

Upon arriving in Bocas del Toro, the natural beauty that engulfs it is immediately noticeable. However, after only a few hours with the Give and Surf crew I was able to see a part of the archipelago and its people that could only be experienced with such a crew. The children, natural resources, and ...


Amerika > Mittelamerika > Panama > Bocas del Toro

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