Thank you for your interest in Walden University’s Public Service Program to Panama in March, 2016. The total program cost is $1950 per person in shared rooms. If you qualify for a scholarship, the total cost is $1450 in shared rooms. The service learning options are listed below the payment details on this page.

We are following the Zika virus closely, and recommend reading this article from Jan. 30, 2016:

“Travel doctor Mark Wise, who has published two books about travel health, says it’s still too difficult to tell how big a risk Zika is because there is not enough information available.” For the time being, the risk is still considered low,” said Wise.


But the people who could be most adversely affected by an infection are pregnant women, women who are thinking of becoming pregnant, or women who could become pregnant.

‘For the vast majority of people who aren’t pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, it’s thankfully a fairly mild, self-limited infection.’

Wise has simple advice for this group [those planning to get pregnant]: “It’s pretty straightforward: don’t go to the countries that are reporting Zika virus,” he said.

For the rest of the population, the risk is low.

“It really shouldn’t concern the majority of people travelling,” said Wise. “Nothing’s really changed — we just have a third, milder virus,” said Wise, citing dengue fever and chikungunya, similar mosquito-borne viruses long found in the region.


If you are concerned that Zika could escalate, it might be worth considering buying trip cancellation insurance through Trip Mate, Travel Guard or World Nomads, for example. Read the policies carefully to make sure they contain what you need. Not all policies allow cancellation for outbreaks or cancellation for any reason. Expect to spend $100-$200 for a policy.

The following two steps are required to guarantee your spot:


1) Please fill out this registration link.

2) Return to this page to pay your deposit through this payment link, or click the link to the payment page that you will see after completing the registration form.

!! All scholarship spots are now filled, and all qualifying applicants will be contacted. In addition, we will waitlist 5 additional applicants in case spaces open up. If you are added to the waitlist and a space does not open up for you, your $250 deposit will be refunded. You will be notified by Dec. 15th.

A shortcut back to this page is:

Please note the payment due dates:

December 1, 2015 — $250 deposit due to AEA to be eligible for a $500 scholarship
December 10, 2015 — $500 scholarships are awarded to the first 12 people to pay their deposits, or when 12 qualified people register (whichever is soonest)
December 15, 2015 — $250 deposit due for those not receiving scholarships
January 10, 2016 — $850 second payment due for everyone
February 10, 2016 — Final $850 due for those not receiving scholarships
February 10, 2016 — Final $350 for those who received scholarships

A single room can be supplied for $500 extra and must be paid at least 35 days before departure (based on availability). Pay here.

If you are a scholarship awardee and would like a single room, please pay the full program fee of $1950, all at once or in stages, with a note about the single request.

You may pay the full amount, $1,450, all at once if you like (scholarship awardee)
You may pay the full amount without the scholarship, $1,950, through this link

Please note the below refund/ cancellation policy:

All deposits paid by scholarship awardees prior to December 10, 2015, will be 100% refundable up until that date
Between December 10-31, 2015, the deposit for scholarship awardees will not be refunded

On Dec. 15, 2015, all applicants who are not selected for the program will be refunded their deposits

Between Jan 1-31, 2016, the deposit and 30% of the second payment will not be refundable
Between Feb 1-10, 2016, the deposit and 75% of the second payment will not be refundable
Between Feb 11, 2016 and your departure to Panama, there will be no refunds

***By paying for this program, you accept the following terms***

The liability of AEA is limited subject to AEA’s insurance policy limits. Services provided in connection with our itineraries are rendered by suppliers acting as independent contractors and agents of AEA. Each party agrees to be responsible and assume liability for its own wrongful or negligent acts or omissions, or those of its officers, agents, or employees to the full extent allowed by law. It is understood and agreed that nothing in this agreement will be construed as an express or implied waiver by Client of its governmental immunity or governmental immunity.

AEA acts only as an agent for services provided. Because of unforeseen changes in the transportation schedule, the land portion of the program may be occasionally extended or curtailed. AEA cannot be held responsible for such changes. The number of days indicated in the itinerary starts with the day of scheduled departure and ends with the scheduled return arrival day, irrespective of the hour of departure or return, and may vary due to transportation schedule changes. AEA reserves the right to accept or to retain anyone as a passenger on the program. Unused portions of the itinerary are not refundable. Full or partial payment for reservation, constitutes an agreement to all the provisions and conditions on the part of the passenger, all land and air costs and conditions and thereof are those in effect and they are subject to changes at any time. Dates and schedule subject to changes.

AEA shall not be held liable for cancellations or disturbances in connection with services, which are arranged only as external services outside of the contract and offer made. (e.g. sporting events, theater performances, exhibitions etc.)

AEA and its employees will do everything possible to ensure a reliable program in a timely manner. However, our liability for any damages caused solely by agents charged by us to perform the services requested by you shall be limited to the limits of AEA’s insurance policy. In any instance where service is interrupted, cancelled or changed beyond AEA’s control, including flooding, high rivers, heavy rains or national disasters, AEA and its partners will do their best to substitute or replace the service at limited or no extra cost, depending on the details at that time. Substitutions or replacements, however, cannot be guaranteed.

Penonome Volunteer Opportunities

Option A: Centro Penitenciario Femenino
The Centro Penitenciario Femenino is a small country prison with a maximum capacity for up to 40 female inmates. Some of the inmates are Panamanian, while others are from other countries. Due to the small size of the prison, volunteers will have an opportunity to make a significant contribution – to the inmates’ education and general wellbeing, as well as to the prison’s infrastructure – in a short amount of time. The inmates’ level of education varies; some do not know how to read while others have attended university, yet all can benefit from learning and improving their English language skills.

Option B: Nutrehogar
The Nutrehogar is a chapter of a country-wide organization dedicated to preventing malnutrition in preschool children (ages 0 to 5). The children often lack food, shelter, and love. Volunteers will have an opportunity to help the children and their overburdened caretakers by engaging with the children, playing, and giving them individualized attention and mental and verbal stimulation. While these tasks may not appear to be challenging for volunteers, the benefits for the children are great. The Nutrehogar activities and support help reduce social gaps and inequalities, giving the children a chance to be more on par with other children of less needy backgrounds.

Option C: Fundacion Carmen Conte Lombardo
Fundacion Carmen Conte Lombardo is a small foundation dedicated to helping disabled children – from birth to 15 years old – from Penonome and surrounding areas. The foundation aims to work individually with each child’s disability, helping with rehabilitation and family support in an effort to better integrate the children into society. Volunteers will have the chance to engage with the children and support the foundation in these activities.

Option D: Aldeas Infantiles SOS de Penonome
Aldeas Infantiles SOS de Penonome provides boarding, daycare, food, and shelter to children in need, who can no longer stay with their families. Often there are several children coming from the same family. The children are cared for in foster homes within the SOS compound. Foster mothers provide them with daycare, love, protection, respect, and security. This compound contains individual homes, playgrounds, and an area for soccer. One of their short term goals is to have the children practice team sports together. Volunteers will have a chance to participate in the activities and engage with the children.

Option E: Reforestation Project with the Ministry of the Environment
In the last few months, care of the environment has become a priority in Panama. There is a need for volunteers to help the Penonome Center with the reforestation project. This project is also seeking volunteers willing to work on public awareness, willing to take pictures of the surrounding designated green areas and protected parks in the Province of Cocle, and able to assist with marketing and preparations for environmental and cultural fairs.

Thank you, and please let us know if you have any questions.

The AEA Team








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