Panama Business Brigades give volunteers the opportunity to take part in the economic transformation of under-resourced, rural communities. A high percentage of the rural population in Panama lives in poverty and is financially excluded. On brigade, volunteers will work directly with clients to provide practical, effective consultations that help community members grow their businesses. To further ensure sustainability and lasting impact, volunteers will deliver financial literacy workshops to provide community members with lasting knowledge. Every brigade will consult the caja rural, or community bank, which lends capital to community members and allows members to open savings accounts. A portion of volunteer donations will go directly to the community bank to increase lending capacity.
Volunteer Donation Goal
Volunteers do not pay to participate in a Business Brigade. Instead, volunteers fundraise to support Global Brigades’ Holistic Model. Once a volunteer meets a set Donation Goal, they are eligible to join us on-the-ground to see their fundraising efforts put into action by participating in a Business Brigade.
When a volunteer participates in a Business Brigade, the volunteer’s ground transportation, food, lodging, and emergency insurance are all covered. The funding that the volunteer raised also supports all the necessary costs for program implementation, such as community bank capitalization, supplies, coordinators, translators, and support staff.
Airfare is not included in the standard Donation Goal. However, Global Brigades’ travel team can work with volunteers to book airfare and incorporate the airfare expense into the volunteer’s Donation Goal.
2019 Panama 7 day Business Brigade –
*The donation goals listed above are for volunteers joining an existing Global Business Brigades (GBB) Chapter on a university campus. Scholarship opportunities are available for volunteers to meet their Donation Goal by starting or referring a new chapter. Options to brigade for 12 days with 2 different programs are also available. Once a volunteer meets their Donation Goal, they have up to 1 year to participate in a Business Brigade.
Community Investment Fund
A portion of each Donation Goal supports our Community Investment Fund which enables year-round funding for small business loans and capacity building within community banks. Specifically, the fund supports (1) community bank capitalization for small business loans (2) on-going project monitoring and impact evaluation (3) community bank committee training and follow-up (4) caja Rural Board of Directors Training Summit and (5) program management, planning and follow up.
Global Brigades does an annual safety review of all lodging facility partners each year. Lodging facilities provide pillows, bedsheets and towels. Facilities have showers, toilets and sinks with running water (no hot water) as well as filtered clean drinking water dispensers onsite. 24-hour security is provided at all facilities. Conditions are most similar to a comfortable summer camp, with dormitory-style sleeping and shared bathrooms.
Business Brigades are assigned to lodging facilities based on proximity to the partner community they will be working with.
Asamblea de Dios
Campamento Asambleas De Dios, San Carlos, Panama is a large facility that sits only about 800 meters from the main road(Via Panamericana) approximately 2 hours from Panama City. Here, brigaders enjoy a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. Global Brigades Panama has been using the San Carlos facility since March 2015. Emergency medical care is available at the Health Center in the town of San Carlos, approximately 2 minutes from this facility.
The El Palmar hostel sits along the Pan-American highway, approximately 30 minutes after passing Lago Bayano and approximately 10 minutes before reaching the town of Torti. Here, brigaders enjoy a beautiful view of a landscape full of green mountains and farms’ pastures. Global Brigades Panama has used El Palmar for several years, and it has housed hundreds of brigaders. Emergency medical care is easily accessible in Torti.
Hotel Avicar sits along the Pan-American highway, approximately 40 minutes after passing Lago Bayano and is in the center of the town of Torti. Here, brigaders enjoy a beautiful view of a landscape full of green mountains and farms’ pastures. Also, brigaders staying at Hotel Avicar get see how life plays out in a rural town in East Panama. Emergency medical care is available
Iguana Eco Resort
It is a wide place that offers the experience to the volunteers of being in contact with nature. It offers various activities such as hiking. It has cozy rooms with air conditioning, 2 swimming pools and a meeting area. It is located near the city of Penonomé. It is the ideal place to rest after a long day of work in the brigade
Oasis de Bendición
As the name implies, it is the ideal place to relax after a hard day. It has beautiful landscapes, spacious bedrooms with cabins to encourage coexistence among volunteers. It has a terrace for meetings, multiple areas for indoor recreational activities. It is located a few meters from the main road which provides good access to it.
Hotel Vista Lago Eco Resort
This camp is the first on the GB expansion route to the Veraguas area. It has extensive landscapes, a beautiful lake on the side of the camp. Large areas for recreation. It has a restaurant specializing in typical Panamanian and international food. It has rooms on several floors from which you can see a beautiful view of the whole panorama.
Hotel Ojos del Rio
Hotel Ojos del Rio sits in the center of Panama City, about 40 minutes from Panama’s international airport. Here, brigaders enjoy a beautiful view of Panama City’s skyline. Global Brigades Panama began using this hotel in 2018 to accommodate any brigades that needed to stay in Panama City. Brigades do not typically stay in Panama City; Global Brigades Panama only uses this facility during emergencies and cases involving extenuating circumstances. Emergency medical care is available in several hospitals in the city.