VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES

Georgie Young

60 years old, Dutch-Panamanian

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 too 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 accommodations 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.

My experience as a volunteer at TeachPTY is definitely one of the best thing that I ever did so far! The feeling of being helpful and useful is something that you can really feel while teaching and I love it! The way how the kids learn English is really entertaining and they’re having so much fun to do it. Moreover, the free week-ends allow you to explore Pedasi and the rest of Panama. I have discovered some amazing places like playa Venao, Panama city, many places in Pedasi and met many friends on the road.
If you’re looking for a cross-cultural and sharing experience, TeachPTY is definitely for you! What I love is the way you can mix trips and improvements of the local community by teaching. Help develop the future of the kids is priceless and their joy will fill your heart!
I’ve spent 5 weeks in Pedasi and I still have 5 other weeks to spend but by now I can assure you that it’s all worth it. During the coming 5 weeks I have planned to go to Bocas del Toro, Boquete, San Blas and who knows where else! Jose and Vero are also lovely! They always share their knowledge about the good tips in Panama, the local traditions that no book will cover about Panama and the tasty Panamanian food. I am experiencing the real PANAMA! They will for sure be your mates and make you feel comfortable and at home. You’ll definitely come back with your mind changed and your head full of wonderful memories. I’ll update you about the 5 more weeks I’ll spend here.

Rhenaud

21 years old, French

Camille, Kyrian & Antoine

23 years old, French

Our arrival at TeachPTY began with the meeting of the association’s members, all of them nice and clearly motivated. To know that another organisation gave lessons to children in schools was a good surprise to us, and surprised we were during all the day! We spent an afternoon in the elementary school of Pedasi where we have been able to teach several english notions about sea turtles to the kids: vocabulary, basic grammar and conjugation in a funny and dynamic atmosphere, the best way to teach pupils this old. During our lesson, Jose and Veronica helped us to be sure children understood what we said and did not get lost. We also felt that the kids understood the educative methods because we saw them pick their book and write all the important words, all by themselves: First time in 2 months! Children were all focused and participating, surely thanks to TeachPTY! It was a great experience for us; we thank them for their time and hope we will work with them again soon!

Bobbi Adler

22 years old, Canadian

I’ve volunteered with Teach PTY a few times now, and it is honestly my favourite part of Panama! The local kids and teachers have so much love and respect for Jose and Veronica, and it goes a long way towards encouraging them to learn English, and subsequently empowering them. When you volunteer with Teach PTY, you are actually contributing in a large, direct, and hands-on way. From my first time volunteering, I was in the classroom, meeting the kids and helping them with their English pronunciations, and synonyms and antonyms. The children are so friendly and welcoming that by my second time volunteering they all knew and hugged me! I’ve sat in on an adult class and the topics covered were extremely interesting and informative. I’m so glad I get to be involved with such a wonderful organization during my time here. It is truly an amazing and authentic experience, which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in interacting with and empowering small rural communities!