Give and Surf: Panama
Who: US Students
When: June 24, 2022 - July 3, 2022
Trip Leaders: Ms. Deventer, Ms. Jameson-Shea, Mr. Lovelock
Approximate Cost: $3,800
During the past eight years, Ms. Deventer has led numerous MBS Upper School volunteer trips to Bocas del Toro, where MBS alumnus Neil Christiansen ’02 founded the nonprofit Give & Surf to assist indigenous communities through education and community development projects. Its remote location plays a huge role in limiting access to education for the indigenous populations in Bocas del Toro. Give & Surf currently assists eight different communities on five different islands, and sends boats to pick up the children each morning to take them to school.
Join this amazing charity in their mission to provide sustainable empowerment to the communities of Bocas del Toro through education, self-determined community development, and positive respect for culture and traditions.
- Teaching basic skills to pre-schoolers
- Teaching English to 1st-6th graders
- Building projects to benefit the community
An archipelago off the northwest coast of Panama, Bocas del Toro is an eco-tourism favorite with English-speaking and other tourists traveling to this Central American country. Seven islands (including Isla Colón, Isla Carenero, Isla Solarte and Isla Bastimentos) comprise the land area, with Bocas Town, its regional capital and the “big city,” for those looking to shop, dine, and explore nightlife. Colorful and utterly Caribbean, this town of clapboard houses was built by the United Fruit Company in the early 20th century. Today, Bocas is a relaxed community of West Indians, Latinos and resident gringos, with a friendly atmosphere that easily rubs off on visitors.
Upon arriving in Bocas del Toro, the group will be housed in a local hostel in Bastimentos where they will eat most breakfasts and dinners. Most lunches will be eaten at the local community restaurants and consist of chicken, rice & beans, patacones and fresh fruit. During the week, participants will spend half of each day volunteering with our programs or working on a community service project, and the other half of the day participants will have the chance to participate in a variety of activities including a jungle hike, visits to local beaches, snorkeling, surfing, and more.
Students must see Ms. Deventer in person by Friday, May 7 to have their name placed on the initial list.
Participants will be selected for the trips from that list based on the following criteria:
- All participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Confident swimming skills are recommended.
- Participants must be comfortable being transported daily by boat
- Participants should be able to adapt to sometimes challenging living and working conditions
- Space is limited. No more than 16 students will be on the trip.
- All students must be in good academic standing in order to be eligible for any of the trips being offered.
- The deadline for the sign-ups for interested participants is Friday, May 7. Sign-ups must be in person. No exceptions.
- Preference will go to juniors, aka the Class of 2023.
- If we reach the maximum number of participants for a given trip, we will need to hold a lottery for juniors.
- Freshmen and sophomores will be picked by way of a lottery system after the juniors have been selected.
- The Trip Leader and Director of Global Studies will send an email to those selected with the information on how to sign-up online for the trip, if applicable.
- Selected participants must be signed up and pay a non-refundable deposit of $300 by May 28.
- Financial aid is available for anyone needing assistance. Please see Ms. Ahern for more information.