Programs 2017-06-12T03:36:24+00:00

Give & Surf is a locally embedded 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of volunteers providing sustainable empowerment to indigenous communities in Bocas del Toro, Panama, through education and community development.  We have established, assisted, and enhanced a number of projects and initiatives here in Bocas del Toro.  Depending on the season, our volunteer days can consist of our preschool, summer school, after-school camp, adult and high school English classes, and baseball practice.  This is all done in collaboration with our good friends at La Loma Jungle Lodge.

Our volunteer lives are pulled in a number of directions and our focuses change throughout the year as some of our projects have a start/finish and others are seasonal.  Below is a list of the volunteer projects we have developed.  You can expect to be part of many of these initiatives when joining us.  Also visit our Facebook Page for more pictures and check our blog posts under the giving category to learn about our most recent projects.

Education Programs

ESCUELITA: Preschool

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Panama does not provide public preschool education in many remote areas of the country in spite of a universal acceptance that early childhood education is a critical component to a child’s development.  For this reason we chose to open our doors to the preschool aged children of Bahia Honda in September 2011.  This was accomplished in collaboration with our partners and friends from La Loma Jungle Lodge.  We are incredibly proud and excited to have fifteen boys and girls coming via a preschool bus to enjoy their first days of school with us.  In September of 2013 we adopted a Montessori curriculum focused on empowering our students to be independent through interacting with their environments and stimulating their senses.  Our days consist of implementing this curriculum, reading, arts and crafts, trips to the playground, and special field trips.  This is an amazing opportunity to provide the first generation of future all-stars an awesome and enriching experience.  It is also great to practice and learn Spanish as they are very forgiving individuals with huge hearts and smiles.If you plan on volunteering in 2014 you can expect to volunteer with our preschool three days a week as well as with the elementary school right next door.  We will need a lot of help with classroom setup, curriculum development, and teaching.

After-school Program 1st-6th Grade

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The after-school program focuses on providing the elementary school aged children with a enriching and engaging environment to participate in new activities, learn English, further develop their understanding of the world, and have fun.  This program was initiated as a supplement to the public education provided.  We also give the children of Bahia Honda the chance to go on field trips outside the local community.  Through our program we hope to provide the educational support needed to reverse the unfortunate trends seen in public education around the archipelago.  Come have a blast enjoying lessons, sports, music, movies, games, and more with our students and other volunteers.

Summer School 1st-6th Grade

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Summer vacation for students is during the months of December through the end of February. To supplement the public education,  Give and Surf has summer school classes to provide engaging activities and new experiences to further develop our student’s understanding of the world.  During this time we develop a schedule focused on different themes that combine the environment, experiential learning, and self-expression.  The summer schedule combines multiple 2-5 week courses with one centralized theme.  Volunteers develop lesson plans that are intended to be engaging and cultivate the students’ creativity.  If you’re volunteering while summer school is in session, you can look forward to building lesson plans and curricula for the summer school courses.

Adult English Class

[nggallery id=3]We provide the dedicated adults of Bahia Honda with the opportunity to learn english twice a week.  Learning english is tremendously important for the adults to progress and have employment opportunities.  We are very happy to provide our dedicated 10 with English classes and would appreciate the help of any English or ESL teachers.

High School English Classes

In addition to adult English classes, we have also began provided English classes to the teenagers of Bahia Honda during the summer months. These classes are held twice a week and are growing in popularity amongst the community.  Because Bocas del Toro is has a large influx of English-speaking tourists year-round, English is a language that is of great value for our students to learn. By providing them with working knowledge of English, their education will progress and employment opportunities broaden.

Community Development Projects


We had the pleasure of building a playground for the children of Bahia Honda Elementary School on Bastimentos Island while kids were enjoying their school break.  Our first playground project was a great time and we expect to knock out a few more construction projects for the kids.  In the search box type “Playground” to learn more about this project.


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Bahia Roja’s New Elementary School

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In June of 2013 we finished up a monster of a project: a new school for Bahia Roja.  It was fundraised by a group of high schoolers from Gill St. Bernards who volunteered with us and it took a month to complete. These awesome kids and our family of supporters raised over $10,000 to provide a proper school for the deserving children of this community. They were previously taught in a collapsed school building so this upgrade is a huge addition to education in this indigenous community.  In just a month we completed the school.  Big ups to Daniel, Eddie, all the volunteers, and the community of Bahia Roja for all your hard work!  We are incredibly grateful for the support of this project and look forward to future structural improvements to the education facilities in the area.  Take a look at the old and new pics of the school.


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In 2013 we opened a library for the Bahia Honda community.  The building not only is a center for the community to absorb information like sponges, but also acts as a classroom for the education programs.  The project took us two months and there are so many to thank for making this idea reality.  Thank you to all those who made this possible especially Students Without Borders, La Loma Jungle Lodge, the Nadel Family, Mucho Ado, Michigan State ASB, One Library at a Time, and all those who volunteered with us for the last few months. We are thrilled to bring this awesome library to the community.

Bahia Roja Cafeteria

It didn’t take long for us to tackle this first project in Bahia Roja thanks to the collaborative efforts of Palmar Tent Lodge and Give & Surf.  A wildly fun and successful fundraiser propelled us to build a school cafeteria for our neighbors.  With so many wonderful people getting involved with this project we were able to put up the structure over night.

Bahia Roja Community Dock

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In 2014 Students Without Borders Academy contributed in a big way by raising over $3,000 to replace a beyond reparable dock with a beautiful new one!  With the funds ready to go the community members volunteered their time and within two weeks we had a new dock thanks to dozens of parents lending a hand.

Beach Clean-ups

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Our love for the ocean and passion for surfing makes keeping the environment clean especially important to us.  Much of our time is spent in and around the many beaches of Bocas del Toro so we do our best to rally the locals to share in beach cleanups.  Through leading by example and educating the children on the importance of keeping our earth clean we have noticed a beautiful change.  We hosted the first annual Old Bank Clean-up party when our good friends from Matuse were in town and it turned out to be a huge success.

Water Tank Installations

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Bocas del Toro is blessed to receive consistent rainfall and we as volunteers take advantage of this rainfall by installing water catchment systems that provide clean drinking water for schools and local communities.  This simple installation provides large communities and schools with a source of sustainable, clean drinking water.  Being that we live on an island archipelago without any other source of clean drinking water besides purchasing bottled water, these installation tanks are essential in preventing diseases among the Ngobe communities because they get their drinking water from dirty streams like the ones pictured below.  We have installed many tanks in the area and there is a great need for more in the future.

Be here! Este Viernes para beneficiar la educación en Bocas del Toro, Panamá.

Póngase en contacto con Casa Nolita para hacer su reserva.

La noche incluye comida por Javier Lamarca de El Mercadito Biologico, un bar abierto, y un after party (desliza hacia la derecha) para celebrar el Birthday Boy @ciciliani!Sending✌🏾to the world from Bocas Del Toro 🇵🇦! 📷 : @barkerfoto 
#giveandsurfTake the leap in 2018 to join us as a volunteer, intern, gap year student, or one of our TEFL (teach English as a foreign language) courses! 
Learn more at to dive in! 🌊#giveandsurf 🌊Come be a part of our world at Give & Surf! 🙏
¡Ven a ser parte de nuestro mundo en Give & Surf! 🙏
#giveandsurf 🎥 por Isa {@sisamitty}Splish splashing around with Dora and her Bahia Roja classmates during our monthly field trip! 
At Give & Surf we focus on opening our students up to feeling comfortable in and around the water whether it is in our preschools, SOMP: surf outreach mentorship program, WOMP: women’s outreach mentor ship program, or our swim program! 
We have had the pleasure of teaching over 80 children how to swim, surf, and stand up paddle board! #staysalty #giveandsurfA standing ovation to the Jones’ Family who came down two weeks ago to not only share some Panama good times with their son, friend, brother, and our volunteer coordinator @party_over_here7, but who also whipped up this beautiful remake of the Bahia Honda bathroom and water system! 🙏
Good choice of color too! #gratitude #giveandsurfWe are riding high! New Give and Surf vessel is on its way 🏠! Dream Boat made possible by @blueparroteasthampton and ambassadors @ashleigh_s_rodman and @caverodman 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏! We are over the moon excited to see all that will be made possible in the years to come for education in Bocas because of our new 🚣‍♀️! #gratitudeAs part of Old Bank’s after school program we have introduced Zuli’s students to life on the water. Here we are SUPing thanks to our partners @changingtidesfoundation! #giveandsurfSurround yourself with people who reflect what you want to be just like the 🌊 and 🌌 are with one another! 
Thank you to all those that made #GivingTuesday a day of gratitude as we reflect on all that has been made possible by our family of support this year. 
Every year we roll #GivingTuesday in #GivingDecember so our fundraiser in our profile and link,, is open to receive your support till the end of the year! #gratitude #giveandsurfJust a few hours left to be part of our #GivingTuesday! 🙏and 👏 to all those that have give thus far on this all important day that supports non-profits around the world! #gratitude

Check link in bio 🔝Please consider giving ❤️ to your favorite non-profit on this #GivingTuesday! 
Just $10 will feed 30+ preschoolers for a day of education and fun at school! 
LINK in bio 🔝
#giveandsurfA very sweet morning alert that Giving Tuesday is TODAY; an internationally celebrated day to support non-profits from around the world!

Every year we at Give & Surf ask our supporters on this day to support our continued efforts with a donation to leave the world a better place for the communities and individuals we cherish in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

Link in Bio🔝

Every individual who donates $50 or more will receive a special hand-crafted token of our appreciation by longtime ambassador Eric Adams! #giveandsurf #givingtuesday

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