Long Arrow Right External Link angle-right Search Times Spinner angle-left

Panama: Discover AMIGOS

Project Information Packet (PIP)

Click here to download the Project Information Packet (PIP).

Project Specific FAQs

Itinerary and Activities

  • How will the days be structured for volunteers on the Discover AMIGOS Project? 
    • Each day is going to be different because of the variety of activities that AMIGOS has planned for the group. A day in the life on Discover AMIGOS may look similar to these agendas:
      • First 3 Days On-Site - All activities will be conducted in small groups
        • Wake up & eat breakfast in small groups
        • Rotating schedule of activities — Spanish classes, briefing activities 
        • Lunch in small groups
        • Rotating schedule of activities — Spanish classes, briefing activities, free time
        • Dinner in small groups
        • After dinner: Free time, fun & social distanced activities, group meeting
      • Days 3+ - Community work begins! 
        • Wake up & eat breakfast
        • Community service work with partner agencies in the field
        • Lunch
        • Curriculum activities, student-led activities, free time, cultural activities, partner agency-led workshops, and local exploration
        • Dinner
        • After dinner: Fun group bonding, group meeting, free time
  • Will volunteers be able to shower daily? 
    • Yes, in fact, we ask participants to shower daily.  
  • How often will volunteers be able to do laundry? 
    • Volunteers will have the opportunity to do laundry once a week.  
  • At what time do volunteers start and end their day?
    • The wake-up time varies day to day, but typically around 7:00 AM. The conclusion of group activities and free time is at 10:00 PM when it is expected that volunteers to go to sleep.
  • Is it possible for volunteers to go for a run or walk during downtime, or do volunteers need to stay at the lodging site during free time?
    • Every day there is an hour of designated wellness time. This is usually earlier in the morning, and it is set aside for volunteers to do what they need to for their own mental and physical well-being. This may mean doing yoga, stretching, walking, reading, HITT workouts, and running, among other things. Often the group organizes a Zumba class together or some other group exercise activity. We will make sure runners know where they are going and the areas they can run to ensure they do not get lost.   

Lodging

  • What will the accommodations be like for the Discover AMIGOS Project? 
    • Project volunteers will share rooms with up to 6 people of their same gender identity. AMIGOS Project Staff will stay at the same lodging site as volunteers in their own rooms. 
  • What are the details of the quarantine period? 
    • During the initial three days in Panama, volunteers will be placed in a small room with 3 other volunteers. A COVID test will be administered on day 3 and once test results are back, all volunteers will integrate into one large group.
  • During the quarantine period, will volunteers be able to interact with group leaders and other volunteers not in their small group?
    • Yes, during the initial three-day quarantine you will be able to see AMIGOS Staff and other volunteers with social distancing and masking protocols. 

Packing

  •  What type of mosquito net should volunteers bring? 
    • There are several different types of Mosquito Nets.   
      •  Halo Mosquito net- One point where it connects to the ceiling. This can be helpful because you only need to connect it to one point.   
      •  Pop Up Mosquito Net—Does not need to connect to anything. You can put it anywhere but it is more expensive.   
      • If you bring a Mosquito net where you need to tie it to the ceiling or wall, make sure to bring rope to hang it up.  
  • Are there any cultural norms around clothing that volunteers should be aware of when packing? 
    • Panamanians, even in rural areas, take pride in their appearance and dress nicely. They place a lot of importance on personal appearance and cleanliness. As professionals working in their communities, AMIGOS expects volunteers to dress appropriately. 
  • Should we bring spray or a lotion sunscreen? 
    • Either spray or lotion is fine - but please do spring sunscreen!
  • Regarding shoes, what is recommended in addition to hiking boots? 
    • AMIGOS recommends packing the following shoes:  
      • 1 pair of comfortable closed-toed shoes/tennis shoes   
      • 1 pair of hiking boots   
      • 1 pair of flip flops  
      • 1 pair of rubber sandals (e.g. Tevas, Chacos, Crocs, etc.)   
  • Do you recommend volunteers pack in a backpack or suitcase? 
    • Since we are going to be moving from one place to another we recommend a hiking backpack or a duffel bag, since it is easier to carry around. If you would prefer to bring a suitcase, we can make it work!
  • Do you recommend that volunteers pack long-sleeved shirts and pants? Any wet clothes? 
    • Long-sleeved shirts and pants are a good idea to avoid sunburn. Make sure those items are light material and quick dry since the weather in Panama is hot and humid.  
  • How many days of clothes should volunteers pack? 
    • Please refer to the packing list of the Project Information Packet linked above. 
  • Will volunteers need bathing suits? 
    • Yes, volunteers should pack 1 swimsuit. 
  • Do volunteers need to bring toiletries (shampoo/soap/toothpaste) and towel? 
    • Yes, volunteers should bring their own toiletries. With regards to a towel, volunteers should bring a beach towel and a towel to dry themselves after a shower (quick-drying if possible). 
  • Should volunteers bring cash? 
    • Volunteers can bring a small amount of money to buy snacks at the airport, local souvenirs, or other personal purchases. AMIGOS recommends about $100-$150 USD.
  • Should volunteers bring an alarm to wake up?
    • AMIGOS Project Staff will wake up volunteers at a certain time, but if a volunteer would like to wake up earlier they're welcome to use an alarm.
  • Should volunteers bring their phones? 
    • YYes, volunteers can bring their phones, but they can only be used during international travel days: when flying to Panama and when flying back to the United States. Once volunteers arrive to Panama, they will be asked to place their phones in self-devised locking Yondr pouch and leave with their personal possessions for the remainder of the project. Enjoy this brief disconnect from technology!
  • Do you recommend any book or app for improving Spanish before the project? Any resource of vocabulary that is right for the Panama trip, for example? 
    • Please refer to the section "Resources for Further Information" of the Project Information Packet linked above.   

 Travel

  • How will we pay for our volunteer's flight?
    • The AMIGOS Admissions Department will bill each family directly for their volunteer's flight and unaccompanied minor fee. AMIGOS will book each volunteer's ticket via our travel agency. You should expect a billing statement that includes your flight payment from mid-May to mid-June, depending on which session your volunteer is on. Once you pay for the flight and have completed all paperwork, AMIGOS will send you your volunteer's itinerary and ticket. 
  • When will volunteers and families receive the AMIGOS travel memo? 
    • This will be distributed along with your flight itinerary no later than two weeks before your project start.
  •  Will volunteers' luggage be checked to their final destination (PTY) from their initial point of departure?
    • Yes, if volunteers check a bag, it will be checked to its final destination (Panama City, PTY).