Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Palau
  • For 3 decades, it was part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific under U.S. administration. A Compact of Free Association with the U.S. was ratified in 1993. It entered into force on October 1, 1994 when Palau gained its independence.
  • Location: Oceania, group of island (300 +)  in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
  • Area: 177 sq. miles, slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Washington D.C.
  • Population: 21,265
  • Capital: Melekeok (pop. 299)
  • Climate: tropical, hot and humid; wet season May-November
  • Terrain: varying geologically from the high mountains main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
  • Nationality: Palauans
  • Major ethnic group: Palauan
  • Official language: Palauan, English
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Literacy: 99.5%
  • Economy: consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force depending heavily on financial assistance from the U.S. The U.S. provides defense, funding, and access to social services.
  • Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
  • Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com

Government in Power

  • Palau has a constitutional government in free association with the United States; the Compact of Free Association entered into force on Oct. 1, 1994
  • Chief of state and head of government: President Tommy Remengesau (since 2013) – elected by popular vote


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy: 72.87 years
  • Health expenditures: 9.9% of GDP
  • Physicians density: 1.38 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density: 4.8 beds/1,000 population
  • Obesity: 47.1%
  • Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

Field Stories

Flexibility, Adaptability, Patience and Enthusiasm   All of the above traits are very important on relief trips! I believe that each warrants a word when it comes to relief work. Flexibility – Be very flexible with your expectations. Despite a given itinerary, on some trips the plan changes as soon as you land. Timelines often fall apart […]


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