Preparing to Come – Panama

CONGRATULATIONS! You have been selected to join the YWAM Ships Outpost Panama Team! In the pages of this Preparing to Come Pack, you will find tools and information essential to your preparation. Please read through this information carefully.

Preparation checklist

The following checklist is designed to assist you as you prepare:


  • Apply for Visa if Needed
  • Book Flights
  • Purchase Travel Insurance
  • Seek advice from your doctor or travel medicine specialist with respect to: immunizations, anti-malarial medication, and sea-sickness medication.
  • Application Fee of $75 USD
  • Full Tuition of $2995 USD
  • Items to be Emailed to YWAM Ships Outpost Panama: Flight Itinerary Travel Insurance

Payment information

We ask that all trainees arrive on the official arrival day. This day is when Registration occurs, and Orientation starts the following morning at 8 am.

Step One: Purchase a one way ticket from your home nation to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO)

Step Two: Purchase a ticket out of Costa Rica to Dallas, Texas preferably Southwest Airlines.  You must have a ticket out of Panama to enter the country. Southwest enables you to change flights without penalty.

Step Three: To book hotel and shuttle from Costa Rica to Panama, send an email with the Subject Line being: Hotel/Shuttle to [email protected]

  • First and Last Name as it appears on Passport
  • Passport Number
  • Flight Information

The shuttle company will send you a link for you to pay directly to them. We will forward you your hotel information and you will pay the hotel directly via credit card when hotel is confirmed.(shuttle is currently $76 USD; hotel fees will be approximately $50USD based on number of students per room.)

You will be met by YWAM staff in Costa Rica who will escort you to Outpost Panama. After all student itineraries are in, you will be instructed on details of the hostel and shuttle that will pick you up.

You will need to have cash for exit/entry fees for Costa Rica ($12).

For payment instructions go to:

You can pay using your Visa, MasterCard, American Express, USD check, USD money order, or a wire transfer.

For questions regarding payment methods, please contact the YWAM Ships Kona finance office: [email protected]

For questions regarding fee amounts please contact: [email protected]

Please Note:

When paying by wire transfer please add USD $35 for bank fees. Any fees incurred from receiving trainee fees to YWAM Ships Kona will be passed on to the

Health Insurance & Vaccinations

All trainees attending courses at YWAM Ships Kona, and family members accompanying them, are required to have health insurance. You are required to provide proof of insurance at registration. If you arrive without insurance, you will be required to purchase some as part of the registration process.

Travel/medical insurance will be provided in your outreach fees (DTS only) for the time you will be outside of the USA.

Please research health insurance / international health insurance / travel insurance companies. Choose a plan that best fits your needs and budget.

YWAM Ships Kona does not recommend or endorse any one company, in the past trainees have used Christian Healthcare Ministries, Good Samaritan, or Medishare. However, we recommend you do your own research and choose your own plan.

Please show us your verification/certificate as well as dates of coverage of insurance or a copy of it on arrival day. You can also send a copy in advance to [email protected]

Up to date vaccinations are a requirement for joining us here at YWAM Ships. Please ensure you have: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Hep A and B, Polio, Typhoid

If you are unsure if your vaccinations are up to date please see your health care provider.

For Outreach we also recommend you get: Malaria

To find out exact vaccination recommendations for your outreach location please click here:

Visa information for international trainees

Applying for a Visa can be a lengthy process depending upon the nation from where you will be coming. A trainee from a developing nation should leave 3-6 months for the visa application process. Other nationalities can take 1-3 months for the process depending upon Embassy processing times.

For more information click here:

Please consider your plans carefully, prior to coming to Panama, so that you may choose the correct Visa.

YWAM Ships will not be liable for any airfares canceled/missed due to visa denial or cancellation.

Contact: [email protected]

Community guidelines

Please come to all campus and school events “prayed up” and with an attitude of faith, fully expecting that God will show up! Your personal attendance, punctuality and full attention at all campus and school events are very important.  

The Island of Isle Colon in the Bocas del Toro region of Panama is known for its casual atmosphere and warm climate. God calls us to a lifestyle of purity within our hearts and in the way we ‘outwardly’ live our lives. Let’s together go the extra mile to make sure we present ourselves with modesty and in a loving way regardless of our cultural grids by taking the more conservative road to keep from offending not only those from other cultures and backgrounds but also to represent ourselves, YWAM Ships and the Lord in an honoring way.

General: Dress code should always be modest. We realize this means different things to different cultures so we ask that during business hours or while events are being held, please wear footwear, avoid short shorts, spaghetti strap tops for girls, displaying undergarments, and guys please wear a shirt with a sleeve.

These are not only YWAM values but we believe it is on the heart of God for us to live our life pleasing to Him, loving and preferring others and loving ourselves.

We believe in marriage and want to be a community that supports the development of healthy relationships. What better place for two people who love God and are called to missions to “find” each other?! However, the development of any relationship—whether romance or friendship—should not divert an individual from growth or separate people from the community. All relationships should be built on openness, inclusion, integrity and purity.  

For the sake of respecting each other’s private space, cultural sensitivity, and so that our “good is not evil spoken of,” we ask that single men do not enter single women’s rooms and vice versa. 

Jesus called us to refuse to allow any form of immorality in our midst (Revelation

2:18-29). Immorality is any sexual activity that is outside the heterosexual marriage covenant, whether physical, verbal or technological (Internet), etc. (Romans 1:18-27) If you find yourself struggling in any of these areas, please confide in your school, department or ministry leader, or another godly leader on campus that you respect so that he/she can help create a process of support and accountability for you. Our commitment to purity is strengthened when we have solidarity as a spiritual family in our unified stand for holiness.

All YWAM Ships students should be addiction-free and refrain from engaging in any behavior that is illegal, harmful to their bodies, or damaging to the discipleship process of others. If you find yourself struggling in any of these areas, again, please confide in your school, department or ministry leader, or another godly leader on campus so that he/she can help create a process of support and accountability for you. 

Smoking, consumption of alcohol and all illegal drugs are prohibited at Outpost Panama.

In the Bible, there are some standards for conduct that are “absolute.”  Refraining from being drunk is one of those absolutes.  However, the drinking of alcohol in moderation is not so clear-cut.  Jesus turned the water into wine, not grape juice…but God also commanded John the Baptist not to drink wine.  

Romans 14 addresses areas of “cultural sins” that are relative to the values we received through our families, cultures, denominations, etc.  We want to appeal to you to take the most conservative view regarding alcohol, in order not to stumble or to cause others to stumble.  Whatever your personal convictions—and we do not judge those—we request that there be no drinking of alcohol in any YWAM facility or at any YWAM school, department or ministry event, whether on or off campus.


Please do not encourage anyone from a non-drinking background to take even one drink.  You may not know their family history regarding alcoholism or what it could cost them within their cultural or denominational background.  Rather, do everything possible to help everyone succeed in their walk with God and enter into their full spiritual inheritance. 



All DTS trainees are not to drink alcohol during the entire length of their lectures & outreach.

Helpful Information

Please check with your airline for limitations before you pack. Bring only essential items and if possible collapsable baggage as there are limitations to storage/space.

Bocas del Torro is generally a humid island. Evening temperatures year-round range from 65-82 F (18–27 C). Daytime temperatures are higher. 

YWAM Outpost Panama housing is dormitory style. All single trainees are housed in dorm rooms. Families and Married Couples are given their own room.

We encourage you to bring a laptop or other wireless device.  The responsibility for the security of personal items is yours, so please be prepared to be prudent with all personal items of value.

Three meals are provided daily- you may want to budget for snacks and personal items.

Mondays through Fridays are focused on lectures, work duties, and other class activities. Weekends are generally free with the exception of projects that may be assigned by your course leader.

Make sure you have a valid passport for at least 12 months from the time you arrive. Please bring your passports with you.

On arrival you must show a return ticket to your home country where your passport was issued (no longer then 180 days out) and you must show proof of solvency of $500. Solvency may be shown with cash or a same day receipt from an ATM machine or a combination of the two.

Please mark that you are a tourist or leisure and will be residing at:

Isle Bastementos, Bocas Del Toro

YWAM Outpost: green roof house next to Red Frog Marina

+ 507.6353.8471 (Holly)

+ 507.6386.2950

[email protected]

Foundational Values

Youth With A Mission (YWAM) affirms the Bible as the authoritative word of God and, with the Holy Sprit’s inspiration, the absolute reference point for every aspect of life and ministry. Based upon who He is, and His initiative of salvation, the following responses are strongly emphasized in YWAM

WORSHIP: We are called to praise and worship God alone

HOLINESS: We are called to lead holy and righteous lives that exemplify the nature and character of God

WITNESS: We are called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him

PRAYER: We are called to engage in intercessory prayer for the people and causes on God’s heart, including standing against evil in every form.

FELLOWSHIP: We are called to commit to the Church in both its local nurturing expression and its mobile multiplying expression.


The Foundational Values of Youth With A Mission are the expression of our basic beliefs, coupled with specific directives given by God since YWAM’s beginning in 1960. They are recorded here in order to pass on to successive generations that which God has emphasized to us. These shared beliefs and values are the guiding principles for both the past and future growth of our Mission. Some are common to all Christians everywhere; others are distinctive to Youth With A Mission. The combination of these beliefs and values make up the unique family characteristics of YWAM–our “DNA.” They are values we hold in high regard which determine who we are, how we live and how we make decisions.

Packing list

  • Hammock
  • Light Bedding / Pillow
  • Mosquito net if needed (we have nets on the screens but still insects come in)
  • Mosquito repellant with Deet or Smart Ecco
  •  Medications (diarrhea, ibuprofen, allergy relief, iodide, bandage….)
  • First aid kit
  • Vitamin and minerals supplements (Gatorade powder….)
  •  Tooth paste, antiperspirant, soap, shampoo, sunscreen….
  •  Microfiber towels
  •  Working gloves
  •  Water bottle
  •  Flash light /Batteries
  • Small O2 Fan
  • Small Battery Operated Dehumidifier
  • Waterproof case for phone, laptop…(it might get wet)
  •  Snorkel equipment
  •  Instruments
  •  Quick dry shirts (recommended)
  • Short pants
  •  Light long pants
  • For women a mid length or long skirt
  • Light weight clothing
  • Rain coat/Poncho
  • Modest One Piece Swim Suits/ Covers / Board Shorts
  •  Sturdy shoes, water shoes, flip flops
  •  Rubber boots (can be purchased in Panama for $15 if under Men’s size 11)
  • Passport / ID
  • Health Insurance ID
  • Bible, Pens, Journal, Note Book, etc.
  • We highly recommend traveling with a Hiking Back Pack rather than a Rolling Suitcase