Panama

Partner Organization:  Nuestra Señora de la Merced and Nuestra Señora de Fatima Parishes (Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy)

Location:  Panama City - Panama

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Students must be flexible.  Date will be determined in coordination with the site partners

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  Proficiency in Spanish required
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None
  • Major Requirement:  None
  • Student Minimum Age:  None
  • Special Requirements: Interest working with children, youth and the elderly.
  • Other:  Experience teaching or tutoring will be very helpful. There will be opportunity for students to create and lead sports and arts clubs, so interest in those areas will be helpful.

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment: 

(The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • First Aid & CPR Training
  • Teaching and Working with Children Workshop
  • Teaching English as a second language.
  • Self Defense

Site Description:  

Nuestra Señora de la Merced Parish and Nuestra Señora de Fatima parishes are located in the El Chorillo neighborhood in Casco Viejo- Panama City.  Among their ministries, the Parishes manage the “C.B.F.I. Nuestra Señora de la Merced” School and the elderly home, “Hogar de Ancianos San Pedro Nolasco.” Nuestra Señora de la Merced school has elementary, middle and high school levels and serves the surrounding community of El Chorrillo.

ISSLP students spend most of the time working at the Nuestra Señora de la Merced school. The School serves students ranging in ages from 2 years old to ninth grade.  The school has a computer lab, music hall and a small gymnasium which can be used for special events, workshops and activities. The elderly home, Hogar de Ancianos San Pedro Nolasco, which hosts around 30 people, is located on the same compound as the Nuestra Senora de la Merced school.

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival.

The ISSLP students’ main role and responsibility is to enter fully into community life as a positive presence.  Students provide two extra pairs of helping hands to support different areas at the school and the elderly home. During the mornings and early afternoons, students will work at the school supporting English, science, math and computer classes (depending on the students interests and the needs of the school.) In the same way, ISSLP students are expected to help to organize workshops and additional activities related with sports (mainly rugby and soccer, but not limited to those), music and arts in general.

In the afternoons and evenings, ISSLP students will support the activities in the elderly home. During the weekends, ISSLP students are encouraged to organize sports and art related activities where the children and youth of El Chorrillo community could participate.  

In 2018, ISSLP students assisted in English classes at the school. They also ran and after school program 3 days a week and organized activities for the boys who live at the school during the weekends.

For 2019, students are expected to assist in the classes that are needed and to run again the after school. Organizing activities during the weekends in the community is an important project that the students can take lead on.   

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students share rooms in dormitory dedicated for volunteers and visitors located either in the school’s facilities or at one of the parishes.

For More Information:

Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (Mercedarios)–Panama:
 

Former ISSLP Participants:

Sarah Morris’ 19 (ISSLP 2018)
Jack Osborne’ 20 (ISSLP 2018)