FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

+ Are projects responsible?

Our organization is dedicated to ensuring that our charity projects and volunteer programs are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting locals and indigenous needs.

+ Is your partner organization Geoparadise Inc. a Legitimate NonProfit 501 c(3) organization?

Yes it is, you can find our Tax Exempt Letter at this link, our 990 Form at this link, and the following links are organizations that verify all our information before working together with us.

+ How do I apply to become a volunteer?

Please fill up to form on our website or send us email to info@ceibaleaf.com

+ What extra costs will I have?

Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, souvenirs, in-country trips or weekend tours. Pocket money: our volunteers find $50 USD to be sufficient for weekly expenses in general.

+ Is there an additional application fee to volunteer?

No. All fees are included in volunteer program cost.

+ Is the area safe?

Chagres National Park is located between the Province of Panama and Colon, in the Eastern sector of the Panama Canal. This is a protected forest with a few indigenous habitants. Our camp is located in an untouched part of the forest. Our staff and your local guides live in the forest, they know the wildlife and nature here. They assure your safety during the program

+ Are any snakes or dangerous creatures?

In the jungle you can expect to meet some dangerous creatures, like snakes, spiders and scorpions, but no life-threatening animal lives in the neighborhood. During your basic wilderness survival training, our guides will set the ground rules in order to avoid these uncommon dangers. We never let our guests scout on their own or go out at night. Our local guides and staff always pays close attention to the participants

+ Do I need experience in wilderness?

Anyone can enjoy our projects in the untouched jungle. We teach beginners as well as survival experts. The only requirement is to be in good physical shape to be able to walk uphill.

+ How is accommodation in Ceiba Leaf

Your first accommodation is located at our base camp at Ceiba Leaf Center. The comfortable canvas bell tents are really simple allowing for a sensual being-in-touch experience with nature. Glamping canvas bell tent are equipped with single/double bed comfortable latex mattress, 110V electrical plug and LED light. Our participants are using outdoor showers and composting toilets. We offer a safety box for every participant at our base camp.

+ How is accommodation in local community?

You will live in a primitive environment, exactly the same way as the tribe’s members. There will be limited running water during your stay, nor electricity and obviously, no Wi-Fi. You will sleep in a private room, in a hammock or on the mattress and sheets that we will provide. The family lives on hunting, fishing and basic food: rice, beans, vegetables and fruits of the season. The village is located in the middle of the tropical jungle: expect to meet all kinds of animals and insects.

+ How is the internet?

There is very limited WIFI service available and no phone service. Please do not plan on being able to work, or complete projects during your stay. Wifi works mainly for messaging and emails. No sending large files, pictures, videos or conference calls. Please advise family members you will be offline for the duration of the event. Take this opportunity to relax and detox from connectivity and social media. Enjoy the present moment and real human interactions, social network posting can wait.

+ Will there be a place to store my belongings?

Yes. You will be able to store your belongings in the personal locker assigned to you in Ceiba Leaf center. Ceiba Leaf Center is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

+ Where will I sleep in the jungle?

We will stay with locals in their simple shelters during our over-night stays outside of the community or Ceiba Leaf Center. In some case we have to stay camping in our spacious 4-person double layer tent.

+ What should I bring with me?

We have a complete gear list available once you booked a program, but our team offers you the necessary supplies and equipment. We recommend you to bring swimwear, board(swim)shorts, aqua shoes, towel, hat, sunglasses and sun-cream, and your personal things.

+ What should I wear?

The most comfortable clothes to do the volunteering are shorts, t-shirt and a pair of running shoes or boots. We have to be ready for rain all the time, so it is important to bring a towel, dry change of clothes with you. We recommend to bring quick-dry fabric clothes for jungle exploration.

+ Is the food included?

Our program includes healthy, nutritious food for our participants. You will get main meal three times a day, and also energy-boosting snacks and fruits during the day. We also have a small snack bar at the base camp where you can buy soft drinks, chocolate bars and chips

+ Are vegan or vegetarian option available?

If you are vegan/vegetarian or have specific dietary needs we offer you special menu. Please inform us and your team leader about your dietary restrictions and food allergies in advance.

+ Menu example

Breakfast: Nutritious oatmeal bread with chia seeds, homemade peanut butter and tropical fruit salad. We offer you hot coffee with coconut milk and fruit or green tea. Lunch: Roasted chicken breast with a large garden salad with tomato and onion with one cup croutons, topped with salad dressing. One cup baked beans and one cup cooked carrots added to make your meal more delicious. For drink we offer special sugar-free fruit lemonade or cold water Dinner: Fresh prepared fish, brown rice with hummus and a small garden salad with nutritious salad dressing. For drink you can expect cold water or hot sugar-free fruit tea Snack bar: We also have a small snack bar at the base camp where you can buy healthy snacks or chocolate bars and chips. we don\'t offer you alcohol and soft drinks, but if you feel the mood for a cold beverage, you can find it in our snack bar

+ May I work even though I have some physical limitations? What if I have allergies/asthma?

Yes! There are a number of tasks that do not involve strenuous labor. Please advise the Ceiba Leaf staff you are working with of your limitations. You should take into account the humidity, heat and abundance of plant life as we will most of the day outdoors. Bring your medication with you and be sure to take breaks when necessary.

+ What if the weather is bad?

Work will continue on-site unless determined otherwise by the staff. It is very rare that a work day is cancelled. If a work day is cancelled, it will be announced that morning at the breakfast.

+ Is there any paperwork?

Yes. All volunteers will need to sign a waiver on the first day of your program.

+ How big are the group/team sizes?

Your team will never be more than 6 people on any project. You will be accompanied by a volunteer coordinator, project manager or local guide all the time.

+ Will I have training before I start volunteering?

Yes. Each role has training sessions that cover all aspects of the volunteer role. Training is done with both staff and volunteer coordinators. The time it takes to complete training varies based on volunteer availability, training schedules, and the specific training needs of the volunteer role.

+ Who Do I Contact If I Have Questions?

If you have any questions or you would like to clarify any information, please don’t hesitate to send us email to info@ceibaleaf.com

+ Can I volunteer for just part of a project?

Volunteers are expected to stay for the duration of the entire project. However, let us know about your time schedule and hopefully we can find suitable solution together.

+ Can children participate?

We are sorry. Minimum age for our volunteers is 18.

+ Do you have cancelation policy?

Yes, we have. Please contact us by email for further information.

+ Do you offer travel insurance?

Participants should arrange travel insurance for themselves. Upon request we can recommend you travel insurance company which we have best experience with.

+ Do I need to be vaccinated to volunteer?

No, we do NOT require vaccination. There is yellow fewer vaccination need when you entering Panama from Colombia and/or Brazil.

+ Do some volunteers become sick?

What happens if I do? Most volunteers do not experience any major medical problems. The most common complaint is an upset stomach as one's body is introduced to new foods. If take sensible precautions and follow the guidelines we suggest on healthy traveling (such as using bottled water and avoid eating uncooked food) you should not have any major issues. There are several medical facilities in all the places we work. However, if you do have any serious medical complaints you are advised to contact our volunteer coordinators for immediate hands-on assistance.

+ Do I have to be a US citizen to participate?

No. We accept participants from all countries.

+ Do I need a passport and visa?

Yes, you need a passport, with an expiration that is no less than 6 months from the time of travel. Visa requirements differ by country, based on the length of time and nationality of the volunteer. Please check the local embassy within your home country about specific requirements.

+ Will I be met at the airport?

The volunteer coordinator and our staff will pick you up from the Tocumen airport if you timely inform us of your flight schedule, by email, at least two weeks in advance of your arrival in the Panama. Unfortunately, travel delays are a common occurrence. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are delayed or miss a flight, it is your responsibility to contact the Ceiba Leaf. You will also be provided an emergency telephone number to reach the Ceiba Leaf Center to report any delays.

+ Will I have free time to travel when I'm there?

Yes, most programs are based Monday-Friday, with weekends free. Volunteers often take this opportunity to arrange weekend getaways to places of interest. Most volunteers travel extensively after the end of their placements, our Project Coordinators can give suggestions and tips for trips.

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