Panama also known as “the place of many fish” is a tropical paradise with beaches, rainforests and exotic animals, birds and and sea life of unparalleled beauty.  Sometimes called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and transformed this country into an international trade hub.

Academics play a major role in teen life here, with study groups a common after-school gathering. On weekends, groups of friends to go to the movies, play sports (baseball, soccer and basketball are favorites), dance and attend regional festivals.

#Pollera 😊

A photo posted by Jassi 🙂 (@jasfisch) on Oct 16, 2015 at 11:27am PDT

People & Community

You will probably live in a small town or rural area in Panama. Your host family will want to know your whereabouts, so check in with your host parents before make decisions. Also, like your host siblings, don’t forget your household chores. 

School

You will probably attend a public school and be able to choose your field of study. School runs in two shifts—morning and afternoon, and all students wear school uniforms. Panama has one of the highest literacy rates in the region (97%).

Las quiero mucho ❤ #nadamasquedecir

A photo posted by Jassi 🙂 (@jasfisch) on May 19, 2016 at 2:58pm PDT

#booklininpanama #afs55 #afspanama

A photo posted by Book Adisorn (@bookadisorn) on Feb 20, 2016 at 6:56pm PST

Language

The primary language in Panama is Spanish, and many people speak English as well. A basic knowledge of English will be helpful.

Food

Panamanian food is varied and delicious. Rice is the staple of the diet and is eaten twice a day. Meals include meat, beans, platanos (a type of starchy banana) and vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and cabbage. Don’t forget to taste the chichas, sweet cold fruit drinks.

Fresh is best 🍍🐟 #fresh #fish #pineapple #tuna #freshtuna #tagforlikes #healthyfood

A photo posted by Luven Bandermann (@raven.08) on Oct 1, 2016 at 10:31am PDT