FARM EXPERIENCE PANAMA

Cocoa Farm

The magical paradise from tropical Jungle and Island-flair await you on the Cocoa farm in Panama is waiting for you! Would you like to learn about chocolate production from the plant to the bar? Do you like being in the middle of nature, far away from the hustle and bustle? On the unique farm on the San Cristóbal Island you have your home in the middle of the green jungle and can go swimming in the sea every day. Not far from the tourist island of Bocas del Toro, you can immerse yourself in a life in harmony with nature on the farm and learn about the self-sufficient lifestyle. In addition to the Chocolate production you will help care for the animals and grow local fruit and vegetables. You live in a small family community and can get to know the culture of the locals and improve your Spanish. After your work is done, the island rewards you with a unique Flora and fauna and you can jump from the jetty into the sea! The loving family will be delighted to have your helping hands and will be happy to integrate you into their little paradise.

Quick Facts

Type of program
Cocoa Farm
Program location
Isla San Cristóbal, Panama
, Panama
Working hours
6 hours per day (8:00 to 12:00 and 16:00 to 18:00), 5 days per week (Monday - Friday)
Program start
Every 1st Saturday of the month
Minimum age
18 years
Language
No knowledge
Prerequisites
Enjoying nature
Location
Jungle, Rural, Close to the beach
Accommodation
Multi-bed room
Catering
Included
Support
German-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Internet
Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Price
Host family
Base price 1st program: 1120,00 €
Extension month: 580,00 €
Multi-bed room
Base price 1st program: 1120,00 €
Extension month: 580,00 €

Project description

This very special cocoa farm is a small Paradise in the jungle on the island of San Cristóbal, right next to the tourist island of Bocas del Toro. In 2015, a chocolate-loving Belgian woman decided to emigrate to Panama and, together with her Panamanian husband, buy up an abandoned cocoa farm and bring it back to life. Since then, the farm family-run and is inhabited by the couple and their children. Of course, there is a lot of work on a farm and they are happy to take help from local employees and volunteers. Life on the island is quiet and far from civilization, with the jungle and the sea right on the doorstep. The only way to get to the lively island of Bocas del Toro is by boat. For this reason, the Self-sufficiency is a top priority on the farm. Not only is cocoa grown and processed into chocolate, but there are also many other plants, local fruit and vegetables and various animals such as horses, chickens, ducks, sheep, dogs and cats.

The main concern of the farm is of course the Cocoa. Cocoa fruits grow on the farm all year round. After the beans have been harvested and dried, they are processed by hand into the final product. The entire process "from tree to truffle" and learn about all the steps involved. You can also help with planting, fertilizing and caring for the trees. The farm also offers tourists Cocoa tours where they visit the farm with its Jungle Café and experience chocolate production. The Jungle Café is also run by the family and offers tourists delicious refreshments and snacks.

This creates an ecological and environmentally conscious tourism which also reflects the family's lifestyle. The farm lives in harmony with nature and is far away from civilization, which is why there is water from water tanks and electricity from solar panels or a generator.

On the chocolate farm, you have the unique opportunity to get to know the tropical nature, breathtaking sea and life away from civilization. You can also improve your Spanish and socialize with the locals. For all those who have always wanted to see a sloth: There are lots of sloths and other exotic animals to discover on the farm. In your free time, you can go horse riding, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking and enjoy nature. On your days off, you can go to one of the surrounding islands, discover the hustle and bustle of Bocas or travel to the mainland to Almirante.

Tasks

From bean to chocolate. At the cocoa farm, you will have the opportunity to get to know all stages of cocoa production. From the different varieties and tree species to the finished chocolate bar. From growing the seedlings, planting, grafting and pruning, harvesting the fruit, fermenting, drying and finally making the chocolate. During planting and harvesting, you will lend a hand yourself and learn everything you need to know about chocolate production. Harvesting cocoa is absolutely manual work. That's why many farms need help during the harvest. The large fruits are cut off the tree with a knife and then opened to extract the beans. You will probably be surprised that the fresh beans are white and inedible. Only after a long process do they develop the familiar cocoa aroma.

But the tasks on the farm are varied and do not revolve exclusively around cocoa.

Do you want that Living as a self-sufficient person try it out? Then the farm is the right place for you. Here you can not only feed the farm's own animals, but also harvest fresh fruit and vegetables from your own garden. Show off your green fingers by lending a hand with planting, watering and tending the beds. All the food you grow on the farm is used in your daily meals.

The farm also welcomes guests and gives Cocoa tours. You can lend a hand with the preparation and implementation of the cocoa tour and welcome the guests.

Do you like to make yourself get your hands dirty? With the general Maintenance The farm is looking forward to your support. This includes, for example, landscaping or improving muddy and unstable paths. Help to beautify the farm with beautiful flowers and take part in removing weeds so that the plants and trees can grow better. If you have a creative streak, you can embellish the farm with art.

The daily tasks on the farm are varied. But the agenda also includes learning a lot about nature, plants and animals on site. You can get involved in various areas and pursue your interests. Realize yourself, be inspired and perhaps develop an idea for a new project.

Program location

San Cristóbal

The sparsely populated island is part of the Bocas archipelago, a group of islands in Panama's Caribbean Sea. The province of Bocas del Toro is located very close to the border with Costa Rica and is a popular travel destination. Many backpackers and tourists make their way from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica to Bocas del Toro to enjoy the beautiful islands, beaches and crystal-clear waters. Bocas Town is the liveliest, with numerous hotels, hostels, restaurants, stores and bars with a lively nightlife. From there you can do all kinds of activities and excursions, such as going to the beach, snorkeling, diving and boating. A 30-minute boat ride from Bocas is the cocoa farm on Isla San Cristóbal. With a bit of luck, you might spot dolphins on the boat trip. In contrast to Bocas, it is very quiet there and not many tourists visit. Instead, you can experience a natural paradise. The farm is located in the middle of the jungle and also by the sea. You can jump into the water from the beautiful jetty and enjoy the Caribbean Sea.

The island can only be left by boat and you are dependent on the captain and his schedule. You should be aware that you cannot leave the island at any time and bring flexibility with you. Most of your free time during the project will therefore be spent on the farm. If you have two days off in a row, you can go to Bocas, for example, and book a night in a hostel there.

Prerequisites

A love of nature and plants - you don't need any other special qualifications. The most important thing is that you enjoy the work and are motivated to lend a hand. The physical work on the farm in high temperatures can be very strenuous, so you should have the necessary stamina and fitness. Be aware that you will be living in the middle of the jungle and will encounter lots of insects. You should also be keen to learn Spanish and get involved with unfamiliar people and culture. Open-mindedness towards other ways of life and people from all over the world is just as important as a willingness to learn new things and work in a team. In return, you can expect to live and work in breathtaking natural surroundings and, above all, have a lot of fun!

Language

The national language in Panama is Spanish. You do not need any knowledge of Spanish to take part in the program. The owners of the farm speak English, but it is an advantage to speak some Spanish, as not all employees speak English. Your language skills will improve through play on site.

Accommodation and meals

At the cocoa farm, you will live together with one or two other volunteers in accommodation on the premises. The cottage has a shared room with a shared bathroom. It is located in the middle of nature, so it is not uncommon for an insect or two to find their way into your room. The standard of the accommodation is very simple and rustic and you will spend most of your time in nature.

Meals on the farm are included and you will be provided with three meals a day. You are also welcome to help prepare the food and learn new recipes. Help with washing up is welcome and volunteers are responsible for cleaning the accommodation themselves.

Life on the farm is very informal and you will be part of the community. If you enjoy spending time with children, you can play with the two children.

As the farm is remote from civilization and can only be left by boat, you will spend most of your time on the premises during the project. When the captain picks up tourists for cocoa tours from Bocas Town, you are welcome to take the opportunity to go on the boat. The trip takes around 30 minutes. You are also welcome to accompany the family when they go shopping or on excursions.

For the journey, we recommend landing at the airport in the Costa Rican capital San José. From there, there is a direct shuttle to Bocas del Toro (including cab boat). During the journey, you will cross the border between Costa Rica and Panama by land. From Bocas Town, the captain will pick you up by boat and take you to the farm.

Contact person

Lisa is German and emigrated to Costa Rica with her Costa Rican husband. She has visited the country several times before and is therefore already very familiar with the local culture, traditions and conditions. After falling in love with the country and its people, she decided to live where others go on vacation. In addition to German and English, she also speaks fluent Spanish. Lisa will be happy to welcome you to San José with her warm and cheerful manner and is keen to introduce you to her beautiful adopted country. As the local German contact person, she will answer all your questions and you can always approach her if you need help. Lisa will look after you during the introductory event in San José. If you have any questions during your stay in Latin America, a German-speaking contact person will be available to you via WhatsApp in the same time zone.

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Services and prices

Host family
Base price 1st program: 1120,00 €
Extension month: 580,00 €
Multi-bed room
Base price 1st program: 1120,00 €
Extension month: 580,00 €

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