Close up photo of a lavender colored orchid with one darker petal taken in Panama.

A purple orchid photographed in Panama. Photo © Brian Gratwicke, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

APROVACA is small grassroots association “dedicated to the conservation of native Panamanian orchid species in danger of extinction.” In addition to running an orchid nursery (with more than 100 native species of orchid) and conservation center, APROVACA also has a program to reintroduce orchids to the wild.

Volunteers with botanical or gardening knowledge and/or computer skills, such as HTML and social media marketing, are especially needed.Volunteers are expected to work about 30 hours per week and responsibilities include: taking care of orchids and other plants; helping maintain the gardens; designing projects of orchid conservation and ecotourism; promoting APROVACA as a tourist spot; updating, improving, and promoting their website; seeking out fundraising opportunities; taking photographs; or working in their café and hostel. Volunteers with botanical or gardening knowledge and/or computer skills, such as HTML and social media marketing, are especially needed.

Wooden patio furtniture in the shade at the APROVACA hostel grounds.

Volunteers can stay at the APROVACA hostel. Photo courtesy of APROVACA.

APROVACA is about two hours by car from Panama City, in the town of El Valle de Anton, which is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. At nearly 2,000 feet (600 m) above sea level, El Valle has a temperate climate.

Volunteers have plenty of activities to choose from in their free time, such as hiking and horseback riding, visiting an artisan market, or searching for the endangered golden frog.

APROVACA

Valle de Anton, Panama
tel. 507/983-6472
http://aprovaca.com/

Application Process: To apply, send an email with your résumé and a cover letter. Volunteers must be age 18 or older.

Cost: None. Accommodations and a weekday lunch are provided.

Placement Length: There is a minimum placement of one month.

Language Requirements: Basic (i.e., “good”) Spanish skills are required.

Housing: Volunteers are given a bunk in the organization’s hostel, which also offers hot showers, wireless Internet, and a fully equipped kitchen.

Operating Since: 2001

Number of Volunteers: unavailable


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America.