Our Mission
Unexpected Moments of Magic Panama is dedicated to empowering individuals worldwide through the encouragement of self-exploration through social entrepreneurship, volunteerism, philanthropy and education as powerful forces for worldwide change. Be the change!

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Health & Safety

Health & Hygiene
If you become sick tell your program staff, your host and/or another volunteer. If your illness is serious or prolonged, consult a doctor. Keeping a note of any symptoms you experience will help a doctor diagnose your illness accurately. Most of the time though, if you get sick, it will be because of something simple like not washing your hands before eating, drinking untreated water or eating contaminated food. As a result, you have diarrhea for a day or two, take some medication for it, and then go back to doing what you came to do.

Local Water
The locals drink the tap water, and most volunteers choose to do so also. This is a personal preference with what you feel more comfortable with. For those who desire to be extra careful, we promote our volunteers to boil water instead of buying bottled water as it is friendlier to our environment.

Toilets
Toilets in Panama are, in most cases, a typical porcelain sit-down Western style, and some locations offer European Style toilets with water hoses. Toilet paper is provided in most locations, although in some public toilets you may find the roles to be empty, so it is worth carrying a personal supply with you. The only difference you may encounter is that most locations ask you not to flush any personal hygiene items, including the toilet paper, as the pluming systems are not suited for the disposal. Most public restrooms are free, but some locations charge a small fee for use.

Safety
Boquete offers a very safe & comfortable environment for visitors. The people are warm & friendly towards foreigners, as well as appreciative of the work done by them, although not every individual is the same. We work very hard to ensure you are placed in safe environments while volunteering and security policies are in place to achieve this. However, as in any situation at home or abroad, there is no way to erase all potential threats. Volunteers will be given further safety advice, including for the case of natural disasters, in their orientation session, but below you will find general safety information.

Basic Safety Rules for Travelers to Panama
  • In Panama it is the law to have your passport or a copy of your passport along with the stamped entry page on you at all times and you may be asked to show it to local authorities especially when traveling by bus. To be safe, make an extra copy of your passport with a copy of the stamp page and keep it in your luggage as a backup.
  • Due to the town being rather small, many people use waking as a form of transportation at all hours of the day and night. If you walk around at night, it may be best do bring a friend and stay on the main roads and be aware of your surroundings. We are very grateful to say that to this day we have not had any volunteer be mugged or attacked, but street smarts is good anywhere you go.
  • Don't carry all your cash with you at one time. The max amount you should carry on you at one time should be around $200. This advice is good wherever you may be traveling.