Projects in Panama
Sustainable Agriculture Systems (SAS) Volunteers serve in rural areas of Comarca Ngobe Bugle, Ñokribo, Veraguas, Cocle, and Darien, often in indigenous or marginalized communities. SAS Volunteers work hand-in-hand with Panamanian farmers and their families, exchanging knowledge and skills in order to promote the adoption of best practices in agriculture and agribusiness to ultimately improve their household food security and resilience.
Typical SAS Activities: Assess current practices; Train on improved techniques to improve overall production of staple crops (rice, corn, beans, plantain, and yucca), agroforestry cash crops (coffee and cacao), and fish and rice tanks; Train on soil improvement; Train on integrated pest management and organic gardening; Support post-harvest handling, management and storage practices; and Train on basic business management skills.
Teaching English, Leadership, and Lifeskills (TELLS) Volunteers serve in schools and communities to promote English language learning and to build leadership, professional, and life skills to support personal and professional development. Volunteers are assigned to work in primary or secondary schools in Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Veraguas, and Cocle.
Typical Activities: teacher training; co-planning and co-teaching; materials development; English conversation groups, classes, clubs, and camps; Leadership camps and clubs, workshops and seminars, organized sports groups, and LDGE (Leadership for a Global Education); teaching professional skills such as resumes and cover letters, interviewing, public speaking, computer skills, and applying for jobs; and teaching life skills such as decision making, critical thinking, goal setting, self-esteem, emotional health, and others.
Community Environmental Conservation (CEC) Volunteers serve in high priority watersheds and protected areas, increasing the capacity of local community members to identify and address their local environmental challenges. CEC Volunteers work closely with community groups and in primary schools (both teachers and students) in Chiriquí, Herrera, Los Santos, and Panama Oeste to build local capacity to identify and address environmental needs in their communities.
Typical Activities: Training on resource conservation and appropriate technologies (i.e. tree nurseries/reforestation, solid waste management/recycling, eco-stove construction, and organic gardening); Cultivate leadership, project development, and project management skills to be able to develop and implement environmental projects; Support teachers via co-teaching of environmental education curriculum; and Support schools to implement environmental activities with students.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Volunteers serve in the rural areas of Bocas del Toro, Ñokribo, Comarca Ngobe Bugle, Cocle, and Darien, often in indigenous or marginalized communities. They work with water committees and other community members to build capacity, improve access to potable water, and improve hygiene and sanitation practices.
Typical Activities: Train on water-borne and waste-borne disease prevention; Strengthen water committees to manage and conserve water resources; Train on construction, management, and maintenance of Wat/San systems; Introduce appropriate technologies and practices for water collection, treatment, and storage; Rehabilitate or construct pit latrines, composting latrines, and/or grey water soak pits; and Conduct awareness campaigns, trainings, and other events about hygiene topics such as personal hygiene, hand washing, and food preparation.
Let Girls Learn
Let Girls Learn is a commitment by the U.S. Government, led by first lady Michelle Obama in collaboration with the Peace Corps, to provide greater access to education for girls and adolescents around the world. In Panama, every 41 minutes a young Panamanian becomes pregnant. 30.5% of girls between the ages of 10-19 are pregnant. Of these, 27.1% are from indigenous areas. This is one of many determining factors that prevent young women from continuing their education, finding better opportunities, from reducing their level of poverty.
Peace Corps/Panama joined the global Let Girls Learn Initiative in October 2015. All Volunteers in Panama are working towards gender equality and women's empowerment, and can participate in Let Girls Learn in their sites.