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Volunteer with Floating Doctors
July 7-15, 2024
at Floating Doctors Headquarters in San Cristobal
Pop-up Dental Clinic

What to Expect

You will fly into Panama City, Panama and then transfer to a local airport also in Panama City and take a 1.75 hour flight to Bocas Del Toro. You can easily get a taxi to the dock where Floating Doctors will meet you  and take you by boat to their headquarters in San Cristobal, about a 15 minute boat ride. Voila, you will be at your home in the bunk house where you have a shared room. Meals are served in a relaxing open air dining room among the mangroves. After dinner time we might watch a movie, listen to a lecture, play games or read. 
Your next 7 days will be spent in the Immersion Program which will allow you to learn about Panamanian Culture, to work on projects which we have funded such as learning about how chocolate is grown and made on a commune, and half of your days will be spent at the daily clinics in  the indigenous Ngabe communities assisting. There are jobs for everyone regardless of (almost) any limitations or hesitancies you may have. Some examples of volunteer  jobs you may perform are: checking patients in, taking patient vitals, playing with the kids while they wait to  see the doctor, assisting the dentist, teaching kids how to properly brush their teeth,  giving out toothbrushes, and giving out reading glasses.

Total Program Cost $2,000

The entire $2,000 is tax deductible!

Program Cost Allocations

 $1,300 for Floating Doctors Immersion Program, including room and board, and your
$700 donation to our Global Grant funded purchase of medical equipment.

Your donation will purchase:



Rice House ($7,000) built from cement to keep bugs out, allow more storage and provide 17,280 servings of therapeutic food



Boat Engine ($10,000) will serve 8,030 people per year and 32,120 in four years, rotary logo will be painted on the bow



Portable X-ray Machine ($10,000), which will provide up to 1,600 x-rays in a year



Family Planning ($5,000) will provide 500 injections which will serve 125 women per year (birth rate can be up to 12 children per mother)



iPads ($8,000) utilized to record, store and share information on each patient at every clinic



Rotary Project ($3,000) will provide the only bathroom for a local park with the rotary logo painted on the door

*  Subject to change based on final amount raised and requests from Floating Doctors.


Contact Us for More Information: [email protected]

About the Volunteer Immersion Program

The Floating Doctors (FD) Immersion Program is a week-long program designed for small groups who are interested in learning about the remote healthcare setting, experiencing a unique culture, and challenging themselves in ways that will transform them for life. A primary goal of the Immersion Program is encouraging global thinking, international cultural and travel competence, and a deeper understanding and appreciation of other cultures and environments. Time will be divided between medical volunteering and cultural activities.
Kids in a community
During the program, Immersion participants will spend 1-2 days learning firsthand what goes into running a remote medical operation, including the many challenges that come with working in a tropical island community. When possible, Immersion Participants will join our ongoing mobile medical clinics. Participants will also engage with the children in the communities, sharing information on hygiene and handing out supplies, or playing sports (soccer and volleyball are very popular in the Ngäbe communities.)
While Immersion Program participants assist the regular volunteers with running the medical clinics; they also partake in several additional activities intended to introduce them to aspects of the local culture and environment. This may include guided tours, working with the local Sea Turtle Conservatory, visiting a neighboring active farm, and working with the local reef restoration.  Participants will also have the opportunity to go on a few relaxing excursions, such as a snorkeling or a guided chocolate farm tour.
Waiting to see the doctor
Learning about tooth health
Although Floating Doctors is primarily a healthcare organization operating in a Spanish-speaking country, they don’t require their immersion participants to have any working experience or language ability. Just bring a can-do attitude, an adventurous spirit, and a desire to help out where needed. They’re careful to ensure that no one is matched with an activity that falls outside their skill level, though we invite everyone to challenge themselves, and we provide ample learning opportunities along the way.


FD also offers week-long volunteering opportunities with a focus on participation in daily medical clinics. For more information:

Clinic Medical Programs

Medical Program

Floating Doctors (FD) provides ongoing medical care to the Ngabe communities in and around Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Utilizing an international cadre of volunteer doctors, medical students and general public volunteers, they travel by canoe in open waters to more than 25 different communities throughout. 

They maintain detailed records of our patients’ health and treatment in more than 25 remote communities. The impact of a single brigade clinic in a remote region can be very high even if they don’t return…but it is nothing compared to the impact of a permanent presence. Every week, our teams deploy and treat between 30 and 200 patients a day. We visit the communities at least every three months to ensure our chronic patients receive appropriate care and to prevent new issues from developing while we are away.
Some of our principal areas of focus include family planning, mother and child care,  pre and postnatal care, nutrition, dentistry and veterinary care.

Veterinarian Program

Animals suffer when healthcare for people is scarce or absent. The line to see the vet can sometimes be longer than the line to see the doctor! Many of our patients keep several dogs and cats, as well as the occasional jungle animal as pets. Also, a family may depend on their horse for income, or they may invest their entire annual wealth in cows or pigs. In many of the communities we visit, animals are important resources for families.

Dental Program

It is difficult to obtain dental care for many of the patients they treat in the Bocas Archipelago. Due to remoteness and expensive treatment fees, visiting a local clinic or practitioner is nearly impossible. For most people, the dental care provided by Floating Doctors is their only chance to resolve their dental problems.

Help Us make a difference



Volunteer with Floating Doctors

Join our Immersion Program. Become a volunteer and work with staff at Floating Doctors to care for local patients and to become immersed in the local culture through special activities.