2 MONTH COMMITMENT + ONLY:
Welcome to a honey and coffee farm in the mountains of Western Panama. The farm is walking distance to the town of Boquete and has many fruit trees shading the coffee and we have a small honey plant on the farm and tourist business that specializes in honey tasting and bee pollination. We also have a 200 sq meter butterfly house and a butterfly breeding operation.
The farm is lush and very beautiful and rich in pre-columbian history. We grow our coffee under shade trees. The climate is around 75 degrees all year round. There is a steady supply of fruit and vegetables from the farm. We are also breeding butterflies for a butterfly house as well as working on attracting more and different humming birds to our feeders.
I work as a beekeeper and in our agro-tourism business and my daughter is a fun loving active creative little girl who loves riding, we have 5 horses called, Honey, Beauregard, Seargent, Little Guy and Toronado.
We run a small agro-tourism business coffee and honey tourism as well as pollinator education and have a farm shop on the finca. Our honeys are unique in that we harvest rare honey that reflects the huge biodiversity of Panamas plant life. Our work takes us around the province working bees; And depending on the time of year there is always something going on on the coffee plantation as well.
Cooking / shopping
Helping with Tourists
Walking distance to Boquete and all of its attractions and social life or 40 cent taxi ride. We are peaceful and beautiful little oasis of nature very close to town. Uniquely convenient and peaceful at same time. Most nature situations are miles from anywhere and workawayers are seriously isolated or alternatively they are hotel/hostel businesses in the town with alot of noise and people. If you are staying for a month which is our minimum requirement, this situation is really the best of all worlds.
Free Nature Tours and Experise: We aim to connect people with nature through our tours that are available for free to workawayers: Free coffee tours, honey and bee tour, honey tastings and butterfly house, we are a pre-historic cultural site and passion for indigenous culture and history we have petroglyphs and sit on a strong ley line. You have access to our beautiful gardens and peaceful great place for practicing meditation/yoga or doing craft, art or scientific projects. Our business is nature as beekeepers and owners of a butterfly house, gardens, coffee plantation and nature tours. We have a wealth of information regarding plants and wildlife and access to unique remote sites through our work as beekeepers.
Horses and butterflies galore, honey too!
Strictly 2 months or more. We have a low reply rate because the vast majority of applicants and people who write to me ignore this requirement and we are very serious about it. We want people who have thought hard about what they want to do and plan to spend serious time with us.
After 4 years of experience we know what works best to make a win:win Panamanian experience. We are strict about our time commitment and are looking to form long term relationships with our workawayers who many times become our extended family and return to visit us as friends. Longer stays allow for more participation in our lives here and an opportunity to really get into the culture and make a lasting contribution to our mission. It also gives you a chance to achieve something and to really get learn something from the experience and the people you meet.
We are looking for energetic, easy going, successful people genuinely interested in being part of our unique business with a very diverse Panamanian and foreign client base. It probably means you have a particular interest in coffee, butterflies or bees and honey and the mission of spreading awareness around the importance of biodiversity. Or, that you are looking for an extended period of time to immerse yourself in nature with a view to thinking or taking a break to think and pick up Spanish skills along the way before going back to the competitive corporate world.
Our current needs are:
Helping our local staff in our cafe, involving usual tasks a you san learn a bit of baking and cooking - customer focus important. Can also involve learning about our honey tastings and conducting honey tastings. We also offer plant based food if that is an interest of yours it helps.
Helper in butterfly house cleaning up dead leaves, collecting eggs - very detail orientated and not for everyone. Can also involve guiding in the butterfly house.
We also have craft projects, making soaps, other items from bee products to sell in our store that you could get involved in.
We are very grateful for the clean, health orientated, nature loving energetic outdoorsy people that come our way. We enjoy creative people and love being part of your journey and learning about you and your talents. We feel honored to be part of so many great peoples trips of a lifetime and to experience with them transformation and change that their travels often inspire. You have brought the outside world to our little corner of Panama, introduced us to Echo, Fitbit, different music, politics and new ways of thinking and your general awesomeness. It is one of life's great pleasures to follow your adventures and achievements in the months and years to come. Mostly, it is great to look back and see how you have added to my daughters life and her role models, how you have left your mark on our farm in a thousand small ways. It makes us happy when our staff ask after you and if we know what you are doing and where you are. We love those fond memories every time we look at your art, look at your photos, listen to music you have recorded, use a new process, cook your recipes, need a gold standard for our familiar tasks and the list goes on.
What does not work so well for us (and you)
Absolutely no drugs on the farm (including tramadol) or drunken behavior. This profile has attracted a number of drug addicts and alcoholics in the later stages of recovery. I wish you all the best with your process and great that you want to get away from triggers and travel...but ask you do not apply here. I am looking to volunteers to be self supporting and 100% stable and to have maturity/life skills that often long term addicts do not have even once off the drugs. We do drink wine and beer on the farm and we make meads so we are not trigger free. I would advise you to be upfront about your status. This at least prepares the host what they can expect from you and avoid awkward moments with alcohol, crowds, parties or lack of basic life skills. There are great options for you in South America using shamanic approaches and we encourage that and can make introductions, but it is not something I can offer you support for during the time you volunteer - special diet, focus on the process, time out, and so on are not very realistic whilst volunteering.
We love individuality but need workawayers to be presentable and clean around the farm and customers. Our most common by far issue has been with personal hygiene and a very real cultural difference. . In Latin countries body odor is completely unacceptable, people here like to have good hygiene and smell nice. People here take showers and may use various sprays. It can be very hurtful if you do not understand this and we have had more than a couple of situations where Workawayers have had feelings hurt. Very preventable. Just bring your own paraben free or crystal deodorant and shower often.
You need to be people who our permanent local staff can look up to and respect and can bring to them also the insights and support that your life in the first world has given you. People here are used to seeing tourists but the culture is basically conservative and old fashioned. So far, in our experience this means......Dreads can be a problem, otherwise any sort of clean hair or no hair fine; Tummies, cleavage and similar body parts that could offend customers should be covered, shorts, leggings and regular summer travelers clothing absolutely fine; Body and facial piercings OK in moderation, ditto tattoos. Otherwise, celebrate diversity and all talented people welcome.
New accommodation with lovely views over the farm, private rooms with balcony, sitting room and small kitchenette for making snacks/tea or coffee any time, en suite bathrooms as well as larger room with separate bathroom. Internet providers we have but not at the cabins at this moment. There is internet around the honey house in the cafe area and also around the main house.
Nature lovers paradise: Bird watching, hiking, learning about bees and honey, we have a butterfly house, learning about coffee and coffee farming. Boquete is famous for its quality coffee. We process our own coffee on the farm.
Good place to practice or pick up some Spanish.
It is also a holiday and retirement community where English is widely spoken although Spanish is the main language of Panama.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
25 hours max