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!

Cultural Immersion Program
Living with a Panamanian family during your volunteer time is an incredible cultural experience. A homestay offers you an amazing opportunity to practice Spanish in a natural, relaxed and authentic atmosphere as well as being in a unique and privileged position to get immersed in the Latin American culture, cuisine, customs and daily way of life.

We have many different types of families and this allows us to choose the host family that best suits you. With our homestay program volunteers have the optional of adding a meal plan to cover their lunch & dinner for an additional $49 per week (this option is available with most families). Many of our host families in Boquete are within walking distance to the village center, while others require a short ride away using public transportation. 

This project also provides an income source for the participating families & promotes cross cultural understanding. The Cultural Immersion Program is a rewarding intense cultural encounter, but volunteer should expect to experiences some challenges as you process through the cultural immersion.

As a volunteer, you will become part of the family and will have the optional of participating in activities & duties at the home. Some optional activities may include:

  • Helping care for the children living in the home.
  • Cooking is a big part of Panamanian culture! Come & learn the flavors of Boquete and bring home new ideas to your friends & family.
  • Chriqui is known for the coffee grown in the area and many other crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, beets and much more. It is an agriculturally based community due to the rich soil of the mountains. Volunteers can choose to assist with planting, harvesting, storing and transporting crops with certain families.
  • Volunteers living with indigenous families may have the have the opportunity to learn about traditional beading & weaving skills by working with the men & women who create traditional handmade products to sell at local markets.
  • Be a teacher! You are there to share with the family and support them in any way you can. Use the skills you have been given to share your knowledge & ideas with them.
Volunteers are encouraged to take part in local festivities and community gatherings. It is also very important to note that at most home stays, no English is spoken. The primary language spoken is Spanish and in rural indigenous communities, they have their own dialect. Despite a possible language barrier, it is possible to have a full and complete experience, though it is critical that you approach your project with this knowledge in mind. The community of Boquete is very warm & welcoming to volunteers, so you will feel at home in no time at all!

Accommodation & Meal Plan
Volunteers signing up for the Cultural Immersion Program should be prepared to live in traditional Panamanian homes. This may mean no hot water, no Internet, and possibly shared rooms. Requests can be made if you desire to live in a more luxurious environment as we have a wide range of families. If you desire to participate in the full meal program (breakfast, lunch & dinner), the cost is $49 extra per week or $7 per day. Meals provided may include: rice, beans, a variety of vegetables, bread, coffee, chicken, beef, oatmeal, natural juices, etc.

Additional Resources
Volunteers participating in the Cultural Immersion Program will have access to free Internet at the Starfish Volunteer House and all other resources for the programs. Volunteers are also welcome to watch movies and hang out with the other volunteers anytime!

Additional Fees
The Cultural Immersion Program is an add on to the Volunteer Program. The additional fees for the lodging in Cultural Immersion Program are $10 per night. This fee goes directly to the host family.

*Note: Volunteers in the cultural immersion program are promoted to participate in Spanish lessons during their project. Private in home Spanish classes can be arranged by UMMP for an additional fee of $5-8 per hour depending on the teacher.