This project is focused on supporting environmental education in schools, promoting environmental conservation practices at the community level, as well as life skills, gender and youth empowerment through community youth groups. Volunteers will be seen as role models to youth and adults alike. They will work in schools with teachers and students on specific environmental themes based on their educational background and experience as well as addressing the needs identified by community members.
Projects are located in areas of the country with high environmental priority such as protected areas and buffer zones, as well as important river watersheds, including the Panama Canal watershed. Volunteers will work at the community level creating or strengthening groups (youth and adults) with a focus on their environmental needs. Through their work with youth groups, Volunteers will develop opportunities to train and/or mentor students and youth in leadership, life skills, while promoting a positive environmental stewardship and encouraging a civic participation as well as the importance of accomplishing personal goals. Through their work with adult groups, Volunteers will develop environmental activities such as organic gardening, nursery/reforestation, waste management and promoting eco- stoves use. Additionally, Volunteers will actively work to create after-school programs and support youth in various activities. They will also work with government agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations to develop sustainable living strategies and techniques that allow them to live in their communities while conserving their sensitive ecosystems and natural resources.
Competitive candidates will have an expressed interest in promoting environmental awareness in schools and communities, and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years’ professional work experience Desired Skills Competitive candidates will demonstrate the following skills:
• 3-6 months experience working in environmental science, environmental education or related field
• Professionalism and a strong commitment to teach, basic teaching experience preferred
• Conversational Spanish Language Skills
• Respect of the local education system roles and protocols
• Public speaking and presentation skills
• Willingness to facilitate cultural integration
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Leadership skills
• High level of self-initiative and self-direction, mixed with a good sense of humor.
•Experience Leading formal (schools) and non-formal environmental education activities, training teachers, working with youth groups, organizing or initiating environmental awareness activities (e.g. recycling campaigns)
• Working experience in one or more of the following: climate change/renewable energy, biology, marine biology , natural resources management, reforestation, organic gardening, waste management, agro-ecology
Required Language Skills
Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.
A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish
Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).
Additional Language Information
Volunteers need to demonstrate an Intermediate level of oral and written proficiency in Spanish for site placement by the end of Pre-Service training.