- Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
- Destinations: Panama
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Credit Awarded: None
- Program Length: Six Weeks, Two Months, Semester, Quarter, Other
- Start Month: January, March, August, October
- Category: Community Service
- Selective: Yes
- Gender: Coed
- Ages: 18, 19+, 19
- Housing: Other
- Affiliation: Gap Year Association
- Financial Aid: Not Available
- Minimum Cost: $3,000 - $4,999
- Call: 707 574-8442
Give & Surf’s Gap Year Program in Panama is designed to provide a hands-on educational experience that is service-oriented and immerses participants in the local culture. This unique opportunity allows participants to volunteer in our summer camp & after-school programs, learn Spanish, and participate in a wide range of activities & excursions in Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Our gap year program is designed for independent, adventurous young adults who are ready to be out of their comfort zone and immersed in a different culture that will undoubtedly change their lives! We are a small nonprofit organization that hosts 3-5 volunteers at a time who work side-by-side with our local teachers in one of our three community centers.
The majority of the indigenous and Afro-Caribbean populations that we serve live in extreme poverty and have limited access to education. Students often have to travel by boat to get to schools on other islands and school is often cancelled due to weather & wave conditions, teacher strikes & absenteeism, and other issues. Give & Surf provides these children who are the most in need with access to year-round fun, educational out-of-school activities in an effort to close the learning gap.
Similar to a YMCA or Boys & Girls Club, our community centers offer after-school programs (Mar-Dec) and summer camps (Jan-Feb) that offer a wide range of activities that encourage learning through play including arts & crafts, sports, field trips, STEM activities, English classes, and more! Volunteers are encouraged to share their passions & hobbies with the kids as well as help with activities planned by our local staff.
A typical day (Mon-Fri):
Mornings: Various activities/excursions/free time (activities vary daily/weekly and include: trips to Bocas Town, lesson planning, surfing, hiking, snorkeling, tours, and more!)
12pm Team Lunch
1:30-5:30 Volunteering at after-school program
Evenings can be spent hanging out the Volunteer House & cooking dinner together, eating at a local neighborhood restaurant, or occasionally a night out in Bocas Town. Weekends are free time in which volunteers can plan group activities or do their own thing including SCUBA certification/dives, boat trips, beach visits, hikes, surfing, hanging in town, and more!
Cost and Session Information
Jan 8-Feb 18, 6 weeks: $3,500
Mar 6-May 13, 10 weeks: $5,500
Aug 20-Oct 14, 8 weeks: $4,500
Oct 22-Dec 16, 8 weeks: $4,500
Price includes: Accommodations (shared rooms in our ocean-view Volunteer House), Continental-style breakfasts, Lunches Monday to Friday, Two group excursions/tours per week including a surf lesson, tour of a local chocolate farm, hikes, beach trips, bat cave tour, snorkeling, and more; Local transportation to/from program sites and bi-weekly trips to the main Bocas Town; On-site staff support: Our Volunteer Coordinator lives in the Volunteer House to support participants and facilitate their experience; Pre-trip planning and support
Additional available add-ons: Extra surf lessons/board rental, SCUBA certification, Spanish group or private lessons