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Give and Surf

Teaching Assistant in Village Schools

Bocas del Toro, Panama show on map

Volunteers help with our preschool, after-school and summer camp programs. Spend the morning volunteering & enjoy free time each afternoon!

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

Most afternoons & evenings 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.


Typical day

On weekdays, you will spend a half day volunteering (typically mornings with preschool or afternoons with after-school).  This includes assisting the lead teacher with a variety of activities and lessons.  On Mondays, volunteers & staff work together to plan out the curriculum and lessons for the week.  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!


Details on Arrival

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

Free-time activities

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!!!

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Education Requirements
at High school level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Must enjoying working with kids but no previous experience is required! Some knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:30 - 13:30

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Give and Surf cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Give and Surf.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Give and Surf (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Give and Surf

Our volunteer fees support the mission and programs of Give & Surf and cover accommodations, lunches, local transportation, a group surf lesson, some activities/excursions and on-site staff support. Fee is $1000 per week or $2,000 per month.

Airport Pickup at 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.

Accommodation

We have a volunteer house where we accommodate most volunteers. There are shared bedrooms, plus a kitchen, bathroom, living area, and large deck with beautiful views! This rustic jungle house allow volunteers to get to know each other, live close to the communities where we work, and have easy access to town by water taxi. During peak season, some volunteers may be placed at a local hostel in the community of Bahia Roja or Old Bank on Isla Bastimentos.

Bedroom (Double) Youth Hostel Camping
Food & Beverages

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

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.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Bocas Del Toro (BOC) in Bocas Del Toro. We assist you to find cheap flights to Panama.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Panama provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Panama you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Panama.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$2,125.00
5 weeks
$2,500.00
6 weeks
$3,000.00
7 weeks
$3,500.00
9 weeks
$4,500.00
11 weeks
$5,500.00
20 weeks (max. stay)
$10,000.00
Average fees
$516.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Bocas del Toro/Panama between 4 weeks and 20 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Give and Surf will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Panama.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Give and Surf during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas Central America Panama  Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos
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