Life changing experience
Submitted by Naomi - Medellín | March 18, 2018
I highly recommend this program!!! This experience has definitely been for me a life changing event. When I first started looking for volunteer opportunities, I really was looking for one that had a high impact in a community and could really help to make a difference. That’s when I met Jose! The most sweet and committed person, he is the creator of this program and is fully commited with the kids and their education. I started speaking with jose and he explained everything and we quickly arranged everything!!! he picked me up at the airport and showed me around Panamá. We then arrived to Pedasí, a small town but with people of big hearts. The house I stayed in was very cozy, the house has everything you need and is walking distance from everything!!! From a mini market to a delicious italian restaurant (just across de street) and 15 minutes from awesome beaches!!! The food the house offers is greaaat!!! They a have a variety of menus you can chose from if you don’t want panamanian food only. You also get to go beautiful beaches and places like Isla Iguana and Playa venado
Working with the kids is great, and don’t worry if you are not pro, Jose can help you with guidelines and other volunteers can also give you a hand! The kids are eager to learn, and are very sweet!!!I loved the program because Jose is commited to the kids and a susteinable good quality program for them! For me, this was the best combination for what I was looking for!! Get to know New places while helping!!!
Best experience teaching, exploring and relaxing in Panama!
Submitted by Myrthe - Vlissingen Netherlands | March 04, 2018
I was looking for voluntary work in Panama but couldn't find a lot, then I saw the website of TeachPTY. I got in contact with the founder, Jose. He has so much enthusiasm and is very easy going that I wanted to join his program straight away. When I arrived in Pedasi Jose showed me around and told me all the places you can go to in town. Its a small, sleepy but beautiful and characteristic town with a lot of friendly people! There are many options to go to beaches, visit other places nearby or go in the weekend to must sees in Panama, such as Bocas del Toro. The teaching is absolutely lovely! The kids are very eager to learn English, work hard and make a lot of fun together. You can have as much input in the lessons as you want to and Jose or another volunteer can help you if you want to. The other volunteer and me had a lot of fun just conceptualizing the lessons and prepare everything.
The food during the week was really good, I liked the Panamanian food a lot (it's also possible to have another style of food if you want to) and learned a lot about the culture.
Would definitely recommend doing voluntary work at TeachPTY! It's a very good mix of doing voluntary work and giving something back to the community as well as exploring Panama and relaxing on the beach.
The TeachPTY experience
Submitted by Shyla - Brooklyn United States | February 25, 2018
I participated in TeachPTY for one week in Panama and there was so much good that came from my experience there. First, I was greeted at the airport by the founder of the program, who picked me up from the airport and gave me a tour of Panama City, including the canal and other beautiful landmarks. It was beautiful. I was then brought to Pedasi, which was where I spent the remainder of my stay. It certainly did not disappoint. Whereas Panama City is amazing with it's skyscrapers and unique architecture, Pedasi is a very quiet town with lots of greenery, beautiful beaches and very friendly people. This program was a great balance of work and relaxation. When I wasn't teaching, I had the freedom to explore! There are local restaurants and stores as well as beaches that are just a bike ride away. I wish I could've stayed longer to see what else there was to see. And let's not forget about the most important part: the teaching! Teaching was the most rewarding. The kids were so fun much and certainly eager to learn! Don't worry if you don't have teaching experience. There are usually other volunteers to piggy back off of or another partner of the program to support you along the way! I would highly recommend to other teachers (like myself) who want a break from the classroom but still want to make a difference with children in a different way, and still be able to relax! And I recommend this to anyone who wants a real authentic experience in a country different from your own. Everything from the food to the people only is worth doing all over again, and I plan to!
Voluntourism in Panama
Submitted by Ireta - United States | December 14, 2017
This is a unique opportunity to be able to make an impact in a small community, and be able to travel around Panama! Upon arrival, Jose gave me a wonderful expenses paid tour of Panama City which included visiting the canal, trying great food and drinks, and two nights at a fun backpackers hostel in Casco Viejo.
You definitely do need not need to have teaching experience for this opportunity. Just make sure to bring an open mind, some creativity, and energy! Anything you need help with though, Veronica will be there. You can be as involved, or un-involved in the lesson planning process as you want.
I unfortunately was the only volunteer for 4 weeks near the holidays, so I typically only taught 2 days a week. I think in other parts of the year though you will do more days per week.
Pedasi itself is a sleepy little town with not a whole lot to do, but I explored Panama almost every weekend (at one point was gone for 5 days). Playa Venao is an awesome place to visit less than an hour from Pedasi, so I highly recommend staying at the Selina's hostel there.
I also went to Bocas del Toro during my visit which is a must! ( Try to take the private shuttles through Selina's to get there though).
If it is your first time out of the country, definitely educate yourself on what to expect as far as food, customs, and accommodations in Panama so that you do not have any culture shock. Definitely do not except any "luxuries" of home. Embrace all that it is though!
I recommend this program if you are looking for a way to travel in Panama but also give back to a community. Jose is an awesome host so you will be in good hands.
No matter how old you are you can always give and have fun!
Submitted by georgina young - Best | June 28, 2017
I am a Dutch senior that lives 6 months in Panama and 6 months in The Netherlands. I wanted to help the community of Panama and integrate with the local people and at the same time get to see another part of Panama, beside Panama city and Coronado. When I found out about TeachPTY, I wrote. From the beginning Jose was very helpful and full of energy with his project. That made me decide to go. I spent one week at Pedasi in the month of May 2017. It was a great experience. You are never to OLD to be able to give your knowledge, energy and love specially to the children. I went several times with Jose and Vero to the school and gave English classes to 30 children. WOW. They injected me with their energy. I loved it. Teacher Georgie, they would call me . During the week end I explored the beautiful beaches, the colonial town of Pedasi, had wonderful meals at the famous fondas and at a nice Italian restaurant. Jose during the week gave us very good Panamanian food and the accomodations are simple but comfortable, I got a special room with bathroom inside and it was clean and with air conditioned. No suffering for senior citizens. I recommend this experience for the retirees/seniors that still feel young and still want to work with children and help the society. Definitely I will go again next year, this time for three weeks. Thank you TeachPTY for giving me this opportunity.