Applications closed for 2024.

Panama

Branson 2024
see info below

Course Details

DATES
March 30-April 6

8DAYS

Departure City
San Francisco (SFO)
TUITION
$3499 (Plus airfare)

*SEE DETAILS

AVAILABILITY
Available

Alongside our partner, Give and Surf, you will learn about marine conservation, sustainable tourism, climate change, and community development.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

This program will immerse you in the incredible archipelago of Bocas del Toro where you will explore coral reefs, mangroves, and rainforests in addition to supporting the afterschool centers run by Give and Surf.

While in Bocas del Toro, your mornings will be focused on learning about eco-tourism, waste management, and coral reef restoration from local leaders. In the afternoons, you will work in after-school centers, connecting with the Afro-Caribbean and indigenous Ngobe communities. Your work at the after-school centers will be focused on supporting local teachers by engaging with students in play-based learning activities.

You will also spend two nights at a locally-run hostel on Cristóbal Island while learning from the Ngobe indigenous community. You will also have the opportunity to be immersed in the Spanish language, connect with local residents, hike to empty beaches, and snorkel coral reefs. Along the way, you will be immersed in the Spanish language, connect with local residents, hike to empty beaches, and snorkel coral reefs.

 

*Please note that programs are subject to change based on the health and safety of participants and our partners.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Practice speaking Spanish while meeting with residents and nonprofit leaders.

Experience the rich biodiversity of the Bocas del Toro archipelago.

Support afterschool centers by running workshops for local children.

Course Elements

1 is the least rigorous, 5 is the most rigorous

5
LEARNING SERVICE
You will learn about biodiversity, conservation, and sustainable community development and deliver enrichment activities at local community centers.
5
CURRICULUM
Prior to your travels, you will complete an online curriculum to gain background knowledge for your experience. While traveling, you will learn through engaging articles, cultural experiences, and group reflections.
2
TREKKING
You will primarily walk or take boats to local sites. You will also have the opportunity to explore various sites on the island on a couple of long day hikes.
3
LIVING CONDITIONS
In Panama City, the group will stay in a hostel. In Bocas, you will stay in simple dorm rooms at a local hostel in Bastimentos, with two nights at a more rural hostel on the island of Cristobal.
2
ON THE MOVE
After arriving in Panama City, you will take a short flight to the islands of Bocas del Toro. Once in Bocas, you will be based on the island of Bastimentos.
3
REMOTENESS
You will spend the majority of your time on Bastimentos Island, a small island without cars, that is a 10-minute boat ride from the main town of Bocas del Toro.

Itinerary

1

Depart from Miami, begin group orientation in Panama City.

2

Morning flight to Bocas. Give and Surf orientation. Spend the evening in Cristobal.

3

Cristobal Cacao & Farm tour followed by volunteering at community centers. Spend the evening in Cristobal.

4

Lesson planning and guest speaker. Volunteering at community centers. Spend the evening on Bastimentos.

5

Recycle Center & Bocas Town. Volunteering at community centers. Spend the evening on Bastimentos.

6

Bahía Honda community visit. Volunteering at community centers. Spend the evening on Bastimentos.

7

Coral restoration project. Volunteering at community centers. Spend the evening on Bastimentos.

8

Morning flight to Panama City. Late Afternoon flight to U.S.

NOTE

Itineraries are subject to change based on the health and safety of participants and our partners.

Panama : In Three Phases

1

PRE-COURSE CURRICULUM

Prior to your departure, you will be guided by your course instructors through a series of interactive, online lessons designed to help you engage with other members of your group while gaining important context for your experience.

2

FIELD STUDY

The majority of the days at each site are spent learning from our local partners and serving alongside them shoulder-to-shoulder. You will learn through service and experiences designed to help you understand the local context, culture, and history.

3

LIFELONG NETWORK

Ethical leadership is a lifelong journey. After your experience, you will become a part of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder network. This network of past alumni and partners is designed to inspire and support your journey in ethical leadership.

Travel Journal

During the travel phase of each SStS course, you will spend time reflecting and processing your experience. The posts below are from past programs.

How Do You Say, "I Have A Gift For You?"

Everyday that we have been in Bocas Del Toro, two of my group members and I have spent an hour at a local restaurant in Cristobol teaching the moms who own the restaurant English. We spent our time teaching them common restaurant phrases such as what would you like to eat, my name is, and how are yo...

Read More

Pure Joy

Today was our last day at San Cristóbal. Two of our leaders let us have a last hurrah with the kids. They provided us with a piñata. The second we got off the boat with the piñata all of the kids started rushing to the community center. It was a really special moment being able to see how happy all...

Read More

A Different Perspective

Working in the community center for the past couple of days has definitely been a change from the active soccer games, piggy back rides and tag that were ever present in the first week of working with the kids. It has taken some getting used to, but having my leg contained in a cast has enabled me t...

Read More

Polo Beach

The past few days we've had the chance to explore the local sites on Bocas. In the midst of our journey we came upon a man by the name of Polo. An eccentric man, Polo has lived on “Polo beach” for 55 years, aptly named after him. Once a millionaire, he blew all his money very quickly and now is supp...

Read More

Important Details

TUITION*

Tuition: $3499

Please note that tuition does not include airfare.

AIRFARE*

Estimated Flight Cost: $900

*All students travel to their program destination on a group flight booked by Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder. Participants are responsible for any increase in airfares imposed by the airlines. All participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the departure city. SStS will confirm airfare and connecting travel information approximately 60 days before travel.  

REGISTRATION

To register your interest for this program please the link below.

REGISTER

 

GROUP FLIGHT

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WHAT TO PACK

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Immunizations

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TERMS & CONDITIONS

Please refer to your CampSite account for the Terms & Conditions of this custom program.

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