Panama is a natural land bridge connecting the South American continent with Central America. It has a population of 3.4 million people and the country's official language is Spanish. With its many tourist attractions, Panamanians are used to visitors from around the world, creating an atmosphere of tolerance and harmony among the people.
Most Au Pairs from Panama gained their child care experience while taking care of their little brothers, sisters and cousins. Panamanian Au Pairs come from a close-knit family where traditionally, the youth live at home with their parents, brothers and sisters until they are married. Au Pairs from Panama have an inborn warmth and love for children because of the old world customs and close families.
Monica Davis is the owner of Mi Oportunidad, Go Au Pair's International Agency in Panama. Mi Oportunidad is mostly formed by former Au Pairs who help prospective candidates prepare for their experience. Here, Monica aswers a few questions about her Panamanian Au Pairs.
"With the long relationship Panama and the United States have had, it is no wonder Au Pairs from Panama want to travel to the United States. Panama is one of the most Americanized countries in the world because thousands of families from the United States moved to Panama for the canal’s construction and operation."
"All Mi Oportunidad Au Pair applicants must first fill out preliminary screening forms on-line. Those who meet the initial requirements of age, high school graduation and child care experience are invited to the office for an informative presentation, then each potential candidate is interviewed privately. The initial meeting at our office takes 3 to 4 hours and their information is later reviewed during the next week for acceptance or rejection.
The Au Pair candidates also go through interviews with specific questions regarding their child care experience; when and where, references, level of education, what they like to do, experience driving, etc, all of which is documented in writing. Panama Au Pairs also must have a level 4-5 of English before they travel and they are eager to learn more. On average, we accept one out of five applicants.
The average Au Pair candidate we recruit works with us and our staff for 5 to 8 months before he/she travels to the United States. During those months we are getting to know them, confirming childcare experiences, checking references, verifying driver’s license, testing their English, etc.”
"Most of Mi Oportunidad Au Pairs have extensive babysitting experience and a deep affection for children. In fact, our average Au Pair is 22 years old and has about 1,000 hours of documented childcare experience that is mostly learned while taking care of little brothers, sisters, and cousins with much love."