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 the largest butterfly house under a roof in Panama (I think) and a butterfly breeding operation with a yoga studio inside.
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.
Our workaway guests get to experience our tours, and do yoga for free as well as enjoy the gardens and facilities that the farm has to offer. We provide breakfast foods, a substantial lunch and items for guests to feed themselves in the evenings.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
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.
Free Nature Tours and Experise: We aim to connect people with nature through our tours that are available for free to workawayers: We have free yoga for workawayers in our butterfly studio. Free 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. If you like riding, we have horses. 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 including many medicinal herbs, coffee plantation and nature tours.
We eat good quality food, cafe available to all guests. We are mostly vegetarian but have meat options some of the time.
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, flexible, 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, yoga, herbalism/crafting 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:
1. Learning and sharing knowledge about butterflies and honey : Bi-lingual or else excellent Spanish. Interest in learning about Butterflies and track record working on environmental or nature projects or having nature based hobbies. Interested in food and able to taste and be enthusiastic about honey tastings. Clean, well presented and effective and at ease with a wide variety of clients. May also involve collecting eggs and helping out in laboratory.
2.Invent and craft products from our honey and bee products and herbs from the farm based upon our recipes but with flexibility to add your own formulations. A background with experience and interest in either herbalism, beekeeping or otherwise making artesan beauty and wellness products. Need to be able to follow our recipes and procedures. Chance to learn about making various products and even craft some of your own unique ones to add to our product range. We have herb gardens, bee products and resources to make items for our store.
3.Help us invent and serve new things: Use our coffee from the farm to make drinks, juices and so on cook lunches for the family. Help teach local staff how to do more imaginative things. We need to feed ourselves and some guests for lunch. Always looking for inspiration to offer our guests. English and Spanish a plus also an interest in coffees, drinks, cookie and cake baking or other cafe experience helpful.
4. Chef for helping to make lunch for volunteers and some clients. Chef skills. We eat mostly vegetarian healthy food and do most things from scratch - ie our gardens or base ingredients. We cook for around 8 people daily for lunch and lighter items, soups and snacks for dinner. We have great ingredients and good food matters to us.
All individuals have the chance to see opportunities and suggest other things they can combine into their role. We currently have a lady painting butterfly wings for selfie photographs, someone who has made bird nesting boxes for our exotic finches and so on.
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. 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 work-awayers 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 Work-awayers 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. We celebrate diversity and all talented people welcome.
We have various accommodation. Two rooms with ensuite bathrooms and balcony overlooking coffee farm, one larger room with its own sink and bathroom but not ensuite. Sometimes other accommodation. Volunteers have use of a large beautiful outdoor kitchen area with fireplace and space to congregate as well as cook and eat.
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
More than two
25 hours max