Teaching English Project (Cambutal)

  • Share your passion in teaching English to children
  • Work with local schools and help shape the futures of the students
  • Immerse in the local culture through carefully-screened homestays
  • Practice Spanish and learn surfing at one of the best surf spots in Panama in your downtime

How about an opportunity to live in one of the most attractive places in Central America, while teaching English to the local children? Teach English in Panama, and help to improve the English standards in the local schools. A good ability to read and write in English is crucial to have in Panama, because it can lead to securing seats in good colleges, and later on, good jobs. However, children from underprivileged families often attend schools that are not as well-funded. These schools lack well trained teachers and the children often find it difficult to improve, especially in their English. New Hope’s volunteers will help promote and polish the students’ English-speaking abilities as well as train the teachers in proper pronunciation to continue teaching future classes. Our volunteers will help change this by assisting local teachers, and then teaching the students on your own through your experiences as a native English speaker. You’ll teach conservational English as well as from the official curriculum and you’ll be encouraged to hold debates and discussions. This will make the children learn quickly and ensure they become confident individuals capable of believing in themselves. Help the local children have a better future while enjoying the famous surf spots in the city of Cambutal!

Due to school holiday, the project will not accept volunteers from Dec 15 to end of Feb.

Volunteers' Responsibilities

As a volunteer teaching English in Panama, you will be placed at the local schools and teaching students aged 8 and 19. Depending on your individual interests and skills, and on the needs of the local staff, your daily activities involve, but are not limited to:

  • Teaching basic English to the students
  • Helping students to improve their Basic English and conversational skills
  • Supporting recreational and artistic activities focused on educational learning
  • Organizing and developing activities that encourage learning
  • Assisting the fulltime local teacher with class duties
  • Educating children regarding personal hygiene
  • Working alongside the local teachers on curriculum development
  • Assisting school administrations with daily tasks
  • Tutoring the students and help with their homework

How You Can Make a Difference

When young Panamanians have good English, they can not only enroll in better higher educational institutions, but also get higher paying jobs and more work opportunities, especially in tourism and hospitality. However in the schools where our volunteer project is located at, the children often find it very hard to improve their English language. English taught in the public schools is basic at best, and teachers do not have the proper training to teach correct pronunciation or grammar. With our volunteers, the students will be able to hold debates and discussions and this will help them to comprehend the language better through improved grammar and vocabulary. Your presence will encourage the students to speak English, and gradually build their confidence.

Skills and Qualifications

There are no specific qualifications needed to join our volunteer project in Panama beyond a fluency in English and a preferred basic/intermediate fluency in Spanish. If you cannot speak Spanish, we recommend enrolling in our Spanish language program. Volunteer teachers should have strong English fluency, both written and verbal, although no previous teaching experience is required. Volunteers should have a love for teaching, English and conversation. Volunteers should also be enthusiastic, reliable, flexible, patient and strive to be good role models for the students. Volunteers must also respect the locals and the host organizations, along with their rules and projects.

Project Location

Volunteers will be located in the small town of Cambutal, located in the province of Los Santos in the Azuero Peninsula. Cambutal is a hotspot for surfing enthusiasts, where the waves are uncrowded, developments are few and far in between and natural beauty is in abundance. Cambutal is famous for beaches, snorkeling, kayaking and surfing but with lot less crowd. Cambutal is located roughly 30 minutes from Tonosi. In Tonosi, there are internet, small grocery stores, and restaurants. The temperature is constant year-round: 80° to 90° F. During the rainy season, June through mid-December, there are regular rains in the afternoon, but usually they last no more than an hour. Volunteers coming in the rainy season should be prepared to buy an umbrella. 

From the most novice traveler to the most adventurous explorer, Panama City offers you a wealth of sights to see. Volunteers are encouraged to spend their free time exploring. One may want to visit Mira Flores Locks to watch ships pass through the canal and visit the canal’s museum. History buffs may want to head to Panama Viejo, a World Heritage Site, to check out the ruins left behind by the Spanish. Those feeling adventurous may opt to hop aboard a Diablo Rojo, old school buses painted with vibrant colors, cartoon characters, and religious figures. Take a Diablo Rojo or taxi to Casco Viejo. Walk a flower-covered boardwalk while admiring the hand-made goods for sale.

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