Homeschooling in Panama, Central America

by Troy Beverly
(el paso, tx, u.s.)

Hello! I'm new to the whole concept of homeschooling and I would like to know what I would have to do to sign my child up for homeschooling, since we're moving to Panama in Central America.

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Jul 25, 2009
Homeschoolers are already there
by: Genia Quetel

We just left Panama last year, and homeschooled while living there. My husband was working for the US Embassy at the time. You can contact the other homeschoolers there on their Yahoo group. I met a few of them, but they are all scattered across Panama. You can find a few of them at Excedra Books around 10am most days in the cafe, they sell lots of books in English. I can't remember what street it's on.

There's a store there call UltraCom that sells educational materials and office supplies. This store is a homeschoolers dream come true. If they don't have it, you don't need it. It's located at the corner La Paz and Transismica. Join PriceSmart ( the local Sams club )so that you can get good deals on meats and other American goods.

Conway is the Latin American Target. Clothes are cheap in Panama, but finding appropriate girls clothing is going to be a challenge ( if you have girls ). You'll see what I mean when you get there. The culture is really different.

Don't miss Summit Park, Gamboa Spa and Resort, and the Children's Science Museum. El Valle is beautiful and not very expensive. If you like water parks El Campo is bugdet friendly.

There are some words of caution though. There are only 2 classes there: rich and poor. Crime is pretty high. You will see children selling goods in the middle of the roads between stop lights, so be careful how you drive in the daytime.

The police department is corrupt so try not to get into a traffic accident. Many people just pay off the other driver at the scene. It can take up to 6 hours for them to arrive on the scene.

Multiplaza and Multiplaza Mall are expensive. Allbrook Mall makes everyone check all bags at a bag drop off before entering any stores. Theft is high at Allbrook.

The Chiva buses ( brightly colored school buses )are dangerous, so watch out for them while driving and walking at all times. Traffic is horrific in the heart of the city at rush hour, and all night Friday and Saturday nights.

The good news is the people are friendly. They have a low murder rate ( there aren't many guns in Panama ). Children are fairly safe there. The food is good, and fresh at all times. They were cleaning up the harbor while we were living there. There are plenty of playgrounds for the kids to play.

The Causeway is great for having dinner out on the water, and entertainment there is fantastic. There's am awesome market that sells crafts not too far from the Causeway that you just have to go too.

In spite of it all, we loved it there and hope to go on vacation at El Valle again soon.

Take Care,
Genia Quetel

Jul 25, 2009
You don't have to sign up
by: Genia Quetel

I forgot to tell you that you don't have to fill out a letter of intent. Contact Deysi Walton was the coordinator. She's in the states now, but she's still in contact with some of the members.

A word of caution: it's not illegal to homeschool in Pamana, but it's not legal either. It's in limbo. It's better to not let yourself be a blip on the radar. Think American homeschoolers in the early 70' and 80's. If you go the Minister of Education, they will tell you that you can't, but that's not legal either. If push comes to shove, then you can enroll your child in distance learning and it won't be a problem at all. Treat it as a don't ask, don't tell situation.

Take care,
Genia Quetel

Aug 11, 2009
Homeschooling in Panama,How do I start
by: naomi egosi

Hi, we just moved to Panama as well and am looking into homeschooling my 7 year old son. I am also a first timer so I have no experience and am a little nervous about it.... Any insight? SHould I go online and order books for his grade level? I do not even know where to start. ANy help would be appreciated! :-)

Aug 11, 2009
Curriculum Suggestion for 7yo
by: Heather

Hi Naomi,
Would you be interested in Christian-based or secular homeschooling materials, or does it matter?

Aug 11, 2009
Curriculum for 7 yr old
by: Anonymous

Hi Heather-

We are a Jewish family so secular would probably be best.
Are you in Panama? I am really a little nervous about starting since I have no experience with homeschooling but have heard nothing but great things about it!

Sep 17, 2009
We're coming to Panama in January 2010, as homeschool family, would love any insights any could give us!
by: Stacey Martinez

We travel extensively and LOVE the opportunity to study the areas we visit prior to arriving. We are most often travelling with our kids on cruise ships, so we don't stay in ports long, so we want to get to the best stuff in the shortest time! This time we're stopping at Gatun Lake & Cristobal in January 2010. Anyone have suggestions for our family? Reading... Resources... Online stuff... Don't miss when you get there stuff... we're open to it all! Francisco and Stacey Martinez email: Thanks!

Sep 24, 2010
Hi, Is this board still active
by: Anonymous

We are Homeschoolers living in Panama. We just found your site. The last postings that we are able to see are from last September. Are there still active members?

Sep 29, 2010
Homeschooling in Chiriqui
by: Siannah

Hi everybody,

I am a panamanian lady living in Chiriqui. I have 2 kids and wanted to homeschool them, but my husband disagreed on that idea. I wish I can find more info on how to do that and convince him. He worries about grades, and the certificate...
Well, Hope you do well on all your projects.

Is there someone homeschooling in Chiriqui.???


Apr 03, 2015
by: dharma espada

Hi im panamenian and i live in the city my son is in a private school. I would like to change to homeschooling but dont have much information about it. Soon as ppossible Please send me info to my email

Apr 25, 2015
really is interested in home schooling my daughter
by: Anonymous

My daughter 14 yrs old does'nt like attending public school in Panama, she thinks its too distracting for her progress bieng she has to deal with a altogether different culture with a high religious background as she would explained. I want the best for my girl and i want to listen to her and give her her tools to achieve as best as possible for her bright future. Anyone with information on how to go about getting her signed up for online home schooling or how to start whatever the process is, please help us. Thank you!

May 25, 2015
changes for my family NEW
by: Maria


We are in process to become a homeschooling family. After 2 year in Panama, we feel the education for my 6 years old child is no going good. We would like to hear or read your experience and suggestion as school home in Panama.
We live in Chame, Also if you have any association or event to gather family like us.

Jul 26, 2015
we homeschool! NEW
by: Travelers

Hello everyone! We are coming to Panama hopefully in the fall or winter and we have been homeschooling for 22 years! I would be so excited to help anyone when we get there! If you all could reply and include your email, I will contact you when we get there =)

Aug 29, 2015
new NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am a panamanian and in a few weeks I will be quiting my job to stay with my kids at home. I want to homeschool my children, 3 and 6 years old. the oldest one is attending shool in the city but my husband and I are very interested in homeschooling.

this is the information I have found so far and there is a group in facebook. just started researching, anyone can give me more information please. thanks a lot.

Oct 11, 2015
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Oct 14, 2015
Homeschooling NEW
by: Geraldine


I have been living in Panama for 7 years.
I sent my kids to various schools. Public and private. They are now in a private school but do not enjoy it. I would like to start homeschooling from next year. However we stay in the mountains of Cerro azul. i would not like to isolate my kids . they are 14 and 16 .
I have found the Calver and Ace to be good accredited programs at affordable prices.
I would very much like to start a homeschool activities workshop for homeschooled high school students in Panama, where they can get together for social interaction and activities.

If there are any like minded people coming to Panama I would be happy to talk to you.

Oct 19, 2015
Homeschooling - short term assignment NEW
by: Anirudha

Hi All,
I am coming to Panama hopefully Jan 2016 from US. I am on short term assignment (12 - 15 months) that's where it's hard to pay capital donation for such a short amount of time. Does anyone here has some information on where should I begin to teach my 9 and 5 year old kids?


Oct 28, 2015
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