Volunteering in Argentina

This South American country stretches from the Amazon tropical rainforest in the north to the icy waters of the Antarctic Ocean in the south, and from the South Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Southern Andes mountains in the west. It is blessed with the most fantastic variety of natural landscapes and sights, inhabited by some of the richest fauna and flora on earth.

 

Just to mention but a few of its many “must see” attractions, we can begin by the breathtakingly beautiful Iguazú waterfalls (the largest waterfalls in the world) located on the border with Brazil, and then jump to the other extreme of this large country to find  the most austral city of the planet, the charming city of Ushuaia. Then, in the midsts of the Andes we find the Aconcagua mount, second in height only to Mount Everest and home of the condor. It is a favourite pick for many mountain climbers and the center of the famous Las Leñas ski station.

 

On the South Atlantic coasts, the wales, seawolve, penguins and seals are the stars of the show, and to the west of that southern region we must mention the mostly untouched and enchanting fairytale landscapes of the Patagonia, with its millenary lenga woods, huge glaciers, beautiful lakes and  snowcapped mountains.

 

The Argentinean people are just as varied, though they share some common personality traits such as their pride and friendliness, and a solidary and hospitable nature.

 

Buenos Aires, the capital city of the country, is world famous for its rich and vibrant cultural activity and its European architecture and lifestyle. This huge city’s high quality entertainment, gastronomic and tourism industries are well renowned, and Tango music and dance shows, football matches, music concerts, theatre plays and cabaret shows are just a few examples of the cultural entertainment you can enjoy there.

Porteños (Buenos Aires born citizens) are proud, friendly, outgoing and passionate people; while gauchos (rural people of the Pampas farming and cattle lands), though also proud in a shyer way, are very hospitable, sensitive and charming.

The people living in the provincial urban and rural areas of this vast country have their own traits and charms. More alike to the people of other Latin American countries, they are warm, friendly, family oriented, easy going and deeply connected to their natural environment.

 

San Carlos de Bariloche, one of the main Patagonian cities, is located on the shores of Nahuel Huapi lake, in the midsts of the Andes mountain region. It is a major tourists destination for adventurous travelers from all over the world. Hiking, mountain, climbing, skiing, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, rafting and swimming are but some of the many activities available in and around the National parks of this region.

 

Visiting Argentina just once, has been proven not to be enough for most travelers who had the chance to go there. So if you still haven’t had that experience, it’s about time you start planning your first trip to this wonderful destination!

 

What’s included in our fair-cost policy?

 

All our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.

 

The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others. We need this fee just to sustain the organization.

 

The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community. It’s a fee which helps organisations that work in the country associated with the program at hand to move forwards with their projects and generate work opportunities for the local community.

 

Thanks to our fair-cost policy, the volunteer benefits from not having to pay high fees and our local partners benefit from being able to invest in their projects and keep things moving forwards. Connecting Worlds also benefits from keeping the costs of its programs as low as possible because we get the opportunity to support local communities and make a difference in our own small but important way.

 

Our programs in Buenos Aires and Bariloche

CW offers a very attractive and varied number of projects placed both in Buenos Aires and in Bariloche. They include medical internships, women’s empowerment, animal care, organic farming and the wonderful and unique Happy birthday project.

These projects are included in the following programs:

 

-Healthcare medical program and internships.

-Community development programs.

-Organic farming programs.

 

Most of these programs are run throughout the year, so volunteers can choose any starting date. But, when arranging your flights schedule, please take note that each project begins with an orientation that takes  place only on Mondays and that the airport pick up service included in the programs are available from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

The duration of the projects can range from a minimum of one to a maximum of twentyfour weeks.

The minimum age to participate in these programs is 18 years old, except for the Organic farming program in Bariloche where younger volunteers may participate accompanied by their families or by responsible adults. A full travel insurance is mandatory.

 

BUENOS AIRES:

 

Healthcare medical program and internships

This program basically consists on shadowing doctors and nurses during their daily rounds and to work under their close supervision, accordingly to the volunteer’s experience and expertise. The program is placed in one of the most prestigious public hospitals of the continent, located in the heart of Buenos Aires city. This renowned institution was pioneer in many medical practices such as insulin administration, cardiac catheterization,  kidney punctures. It was also the first hospital school to offer medical internships. Today it is world famous for its high level care and academic reputation.

Participating in this program offers the volunteer a unique opportunity to work side by side with a physician or nurse and under the close supervision of some of  the most qualified professionals in their fields.

Although most volunteers and interns will not intervene directly in patients’ treatments themselves, depending on their professional degrees, self confidence and experience, they may be allowed to interact more actively and to administer patients some level of treatment.

Accordingly to their expertise and to the hospital current needs at each time, volunteers can choose to work in a specific department and sometimes also spend some extra time on a second one. Some departments available in this program are:

 

-Community Medicine.

-Emergency room.

-Family medicine.

-Nursing (shadowing nurses during their round).

-Orthopaedics.

-Paediatrics (OPD/Ward)

-Pharmacology.

-Rehabilitation.

-Surgery.

 

The days and hours a volunteer is required to work in the program will depend on the schedule of the doctor or nurse they’ll  be shadowing and the department where they’ll be placed on, so flexibility and patience are key attributes in a volunteer for this program and are highly valued.

This program runs from March to mid December and is available only to healthcare and medical professionals and medical students. Volunteers are required to provide a copy of their professional certificates to our local team on arrival and they must also have a full travel insurance. Intermediate to advanced level of Spanish language skills is required and our local staff can arrange for Spanish lessons on request and at an additional cost.

 

Community development program

Ciudad Oculta education projects

The hidden city is one of the largest and most overpopulated shantytowns of Buenos Aires. It is about a 45 minutes car drive from the center of the city and is one of the most forgotten and unsafe settlements in the suburban area.

Drug dealers have taken over the place and the crime rate there is very high. Most of the impoverished families living there are marginalized and trapped in a vicious cycle of alliteration and unemployment, which very often leaves them with no better choice than that of falling prey to the criminal organizations that exploit the to death.

This project is aimed to provide about 750 underprivileged children living in Ciudad Oculta with some of the educational opportunities that they so desperately need, as well as giving them some contention and instilling them with renewed hope for a brighter future. It is focused on children aged from three to twelve and offers them school materials and volunteer Maths, Spanish and English teachers. Although the teaching activities are important, the main goal of this project is to keep these vulnerable children out from the streets and to teach them values that will protect them from the many bad influences that surround them every day.

The project has also carried out very successful HIV prevention campaigns and painting workshops for children.

This is a very challenging project and volunteers will need to be highly sympathetic, proactive, creative and patient. But there are few so greatly rewarding experiences than that of changing a child’s life for the better and to help him or her to escape from the vicious cycle of poverty and criminality.

 

Happy birthday! Project

This is the foundational stone project of this program and a most original and popular one.

For an alienated society that is too overwhelmed with problems, pressure and haste, those less fortunate and in most urgent need often become invisible. And this social indifference is probably the most damaging and painful of the many consequences carried by poverty and marginalization.

The Happy birthday project started back in 2001 with a caring group of local volunteers who spontaneously started to organize birthday parties for the children living in the poorest slums in Buenos Aires, and four years later they were one of the leading self funded child welfare organizations in the country, run exclusively by volunteers.

The main goals of this wonderful project is to reinforce the marginalized children’s  self esteem and sense of worthiness, as well as to help them establish and strengthen emotional bonds and be able to adapt in a healthy and positive way to their social environment.

Our volunteers to this project will help provide a monthly birthday celebration party for each community center, and one or two additional  weekly ones. Tasks involved are helping with the decoration (balloon, garlands, banners, etc), organizing entertainment activities and games (clowns, dancing, contests, etc), providing snacks, birthday cakes with candles, drinks, birthday presents and a photograph souvenir for the birthday girl or boy.

Volunteers for this project need just beginners Spanish language skills, a proactive, creative and fun attitude, and big hearts.

This is a wonderful and deeply fulfilling project as well as a great fun one!

 

 

Animal shelter in José C. Paz

This project is placed in an animal refuge center in the provincial neighborhood of José C, Paz. It was founded sixty years ago by a group of people who are against animal euthanasia and decided to give all homeless dog and cat a loving home.

Due to their no-kill policy, today this shelter is the permanent or temporary home of 700 hundred dogs and 70 cats. It is provided with an in site veterinary clinic that takes care of injured, homeless and abandoned cats and dogs. Every animal that is brought to the center receives the appropriate medical care and loving attention, and is spayed or neutered, vaccinated, freed from parasites, socialized and trained; to be later offered for responsible adoption through the shelter  fanpage and in local adoption campaigns.

The shelter also organizes educational campaigns to promote responsible animal ownership and spaying and neutering campaigns for cats and dogs.

Among the many tasks that a volunteer may undertake in this project we can mention the following:

 

-Feeding cats and dogs, playing with them and brushing their fur.

-Cleaning and repairing cages and fences.

-Making videos and taking photos of the animals to show them in the shelter fanpage to promote their adoption.

-Assisting with medical care by changing bandages and dressings or applying injections and administering medicines.

-Bathing and exercising dogs.

-Helping with educational and fundraising campaigns.

Volunteers with a veterinary background or expertise are very appreciated here.

The duration of this project can expand from one to twentyfour weeks. It is open all year round and volunteers must attend the shelter at least three times a week, including Saturdays.

A basic to intermediate level of Spanish skills is required but if you don’t have it, CW offers brief courses you can take before the trip.

As a volunteer for this project you must have a love for animals, be reliable and responsible, honest and hardworking.

This project offers a unique opportunity to interact with local Argentinean people in a suburban area away from the tourist crowds and to make new friends. Working with animals is also known to be a very therapeutic experience and a deeply rewarding one, too!

 

BARILOCHE:

 

Organic farming program

This program is located in the Patagonian Nahuel Huapi National Park, 25 kilometers away from San Carlos de Bariloche city.

It is an ideal program to combine tourism and volunteer work and it offers volunteer families, young groups and adults a unique opportunity to experience the lifestyle of rural Argentinean people while learning to perform the many activities involved in an organic farm.

 

Accommodation and meals

CW volunteers to this program will share a lovely and comfortable cabin with a magnificent view to the beautiful surrounding landscapes. This cabin is provided with running water, electricity, private modern bathrooms with hot water showers, a specious livingroom with a fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen and cozy bedrooms with beddings provided.

The program includes three daily meals prepared mostly with fresh organic products from the farm. Breakfast consists of mate tea, tea, coffee, fruit juice, milk, homemade bread, marmalades and bakery, organic butter and cheese, eggs, etc.

Lunch and dinner, also prepared mainly with the organic products from the farm, may consist of traditional dishes such as pollo al disco (chicken grilled on a big pan), milanesas (breaded fried steaks), curanto (traditional indigenous way of cooking meat), locro (beans and corn based stew), asado (typical Argentine barbecue), as well as some more European dishes like fresh pasta, pizza, polenta, soups, sausages, fresh fish and vegetables, rice, salads, fruit, etc.

The scope of this program is to promote organic and sustainable farming  while preserving the natural landscapes that make Patagonia so unique in the world.

While helping in this hands-on program, volunteers will be able to share the farm people’s lifestyle, gain a lot of knowledge on sustainability and  achieve many useful skills.

 

Some of the tasks that volunteers will be required to help with are:

 

-Milking cows and helping to produce organic dairy products like butter and cheese.

-Feeding farm animals, cleaning their shelters, collecting eggs.

-Sowing seeds, fertilizing, cleaning and watering orchards and plantations.

-Harvesting and helping to produce organic marmalades, conserved fruit and vegetables.

-Maintenance tasks such as building and repairing fences, irrigation systems, animal shelters, barns, etc.

Volunteers are required to work in the program five hours Mondays to Fridays and, depending on the dates of their stay at the farm, volunteers can also help with some educational activities with students groups and local schools. A basic to intermediate level of Spanish skills is required.

Weekends are free and there are many places to visit within walking distance from the farm, such as Playa Muñoz, Refuge Fray, Laguna Llum, Lakes Gutiérrez and Mascardi, etc. With public transports it is also possible to visit other tourists spots in the area, like Bariloche city, El Bolsón, Cerros Catedral and Tronador, among many other beautiful locations where they can even spend their weekend.

 

Other projects in Bariloche

CW has some other projects in San Carlos de Bariloche that deal with community social care for the most underprivileged and vulnerable people of the city and its surroundings. Some of these projects are:

-Women’s shelter center.

-Homeless people shelter center.

 

Women’s shelter center project

This project aims to provide a safe shelter to women (with or without children) who have been victims of domestic violence and have nowhere else to go. The center offers them protection, contention, accommodation and food, as well as some educational and occupational trainings to achieve economic independence and reinforce their sense of worth.

There is a professional team of medical and social workers who also assist these women and their children to recover from the physical and psychological abuses they have suffered and to overcome their traumas.

Volunteers to this project can help in many ways, by assisting the local staff in the daily household routines, providing contention to the women and children living in the shelter, offering them English classes, occupational workshops and entertainment activities.

Volunteers with a background on healthcare therapy and occupational therapy are very valued to assist the professional local staff working in the shelter. Yet any hard-working, compassionate, proactive and warmhearted person can volunteer in this beautiful projects that will make a huge difference in the lives of these vulnerable women and children that depend solely on these people’s help to stand back on their own feet and start anew.

 

Homeless people shelter center

This project main objective is to provide homeless people from the area with a safe and warm place where to spend the nights, facilities for hygiene routines and some meals. It also offers training workshops and health care attention.

The project was created by a joint initiative of the local government and the diocese and is open all year round. About forty people come to spend the night here and leave in the morning, while a smaller group stays in to receives the specific assistance and attention they require.

The project aims not only to provide these homeless people with shelter, food and care; but mainly to provide them with the necessary means to stand back on their own two feet. For this, the project includes a variety of workshops to teach them specific working skills such as cooking, baking, ceramics, carpentry, cloth mending, handcrafts, etc.

Volunteers for this project can help in many tasks that go from household daily routines (cleaning, cooking, serving meals, washing dishes, etc) to organizing and conducting workshops and recreational activities such as writing, music, English classes, PE classes, etc.

 

Volunteer Requirements

To be part of a volunteer project you must be 18 years-old or over. You’ll be required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance against sickness, accident and 3rd party liability.

An intermediate understanding of Spanish is extremely helpful. We encourage volunteers to take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered by our partner staff in Bariloche. Many of those who have taken part in our projects in the past told us that taking these lessons helped them a lot in everyday volunteer work and to communicate with locals.

 

Location and duration

CW offers a very attractive and varied number of projects placed both in Buenos Aires and in Bariloche.

Buenos Aires, the capital city of the country, is world famous for its rich and vibrant cultural activity and its European architecture and lifestyle.

This huge city’s high quality entertainment, gastronomic and tourism industries are well renowned, and Tango music and dance shows, football matches, music concerts, theatre plays and cabaret shows are just a few examples of the cultural entertainment you can enjoy there.

Porteños (Buenos Aires born citizens) are proud, friendly, outgoing and passionate people; while gauchos (rural people of the Pampas farming and cattle lands), though also proud in a shyer way, are very hospitable, sensitive and charming.

You can start any day you choose and stay from one week on, for as long as you wish.

 

Orientation

A pick up service at the airport is included in the program fee and clear instructions on how to reach the pick up location is detailed in the Pre-departure guide delivered to volunteers by CW once their place in the program is secured.

Volunteers will be driven from the airport to one of Buenos Aires best Youth Hostels, where they’ll meet a member of our local team who will fill them in with basic tips on what to expect of their volunteering experience, general roiles, regional and local customs, and provide them with some useful travelling advice. Every volunteer will receive a welcome pack that contains a local sim phone card, a map and a transports guide.

 

Accommodation and meals in Buenos Aires

The Youth Hostel is strategically located in a very nice area of the city and a short commuting distance from the programs placements and most of the many attractions of this unique cosmopolitan center. CW volunteers are placed together in this homely, comfortable and well equipped hostel. All standards amenities include modern bathrooms provided with hot water showers, cozy bedrooms, a laundry room with washing machine, kitchen facilities and microwave oven. It also has central heating and air conditioning, free WiFi and computers.

This Youth Hostel is a perfect base for your stay in Buenos Aires and an excellent place to make new friends.

CW Argentina program fees include a full breakfast seven days a week and three plentiful cooked dinners with a drink per week. This arrangement leave volunteers free to enjoy the delicious and Argentinean cuisine in the wide and varied offer of restaurants, pizzerias, parrillas (barbecue restaurants), cafés and pubs scattered all over the place.

The food provided at the Hostel is very tasty, fresh and plentiful, and mostly agreeable for European palates.

On volunteers’ special request and with notice given in advance, CW can arrange for private accommodation and individual bedrooms in family homes located in the fanciest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires city (Recoleta, Palermo, Belgrano, etc). The fees for this accommodation do not include any meals but volunteers can use the kitchen facilities and / or make their own arrangements with their host once in site and at an additional cost.

Accommodation and meal arrangements for the program in Bariloche will be described below that program.

A volunteer’s typical week in Buenos Aires

Our volunteers working schedules vary according to the project they choose, but if you have any special requests please let us know in advance and we’ll do our best to accommodate your schedule in accordance to your needs.

A typical weekday begins with breakfast at 8:00 AM and then a commuting of half to one hour busride to your project placement. Work stats at about 9:00 AM and depending on the daily requirements  of each project, the working day finishes between 3:00 and 5:00 PM. There are some breaks during the day and after work volunteers are free to enjoy themselves together and with their new local friends, go downtown, do some sightseeing, shopping and taking advantage of the immense offer of entertainment available all year round in “the city that never sleeps!”

Weekends are left free for most projects, though a few may require some working hours on Saturdays.

 

Basic Facts

 

Spanish is Argentina’s official national language

The Argentine peso is the official currency in Argentina

The capital city is Buenos Aires

The country is home to approximately 41,09 million people

Argentina is famous for its contribution to the world of football, with a large proportion of its players heading success all over the world

Argentina is one of the few countries in which two people of the same sex can be married by law

Argentina spans across 2,766,890 square kilometers and is the second largest nation in South America, coming in only behind Brazil.

For more information, visit the following link:http://www.cwabroad.org/argentina-p-4.html

Program Fees

 

BUENOS AIRES:

 

Weeks Homestay (no meals)* Hostel (Daily Buffet Breakfast + 3 dinners a week)**
2 635 538
3 760 658
4 885 778
5 1010 898
6 1135 1018
7 1260 1138
8 1385 1258
9 1510 1378
10 1635 1498
11 1760 1618
12 1885 1738
Additional week 125 120

Hostel option: Volunteers are provided with Buffet breakfast every day, and a cooked dinner three nights per week (included in program fee - includes main dish + drink). This gives volunteers to opportunity to use the remaining nights to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Buenos Aires has to offer. All standard amenities are available in the hostel, including hot showers and modern bathrooms, laundry room with washing machine, air conditioning, microwave and there is even free Wi-Fi and computers! Easy!

Homestay: Meals are not included. A damage deposit is required for all host families and shared apartments. It must be paid at check-in and will be refunded at check-out if there is no damage. Money will be taken out of the deposit to pay for any damages done by the participant. 

**A damage deposit is required for all host families and shared apartments. It must be paid at check-in and will be refunded at check-out if there is no damage. Money will be taken out of the deposit to pay for any damages done by the participant. 

 

BARILOCHE:

 

Social Projects:

 

Weeks Homestay (no meals) ** Hostel (Daily  Breakfast )*
2 835 605
3 1087 742
4 1339 879
5 1591 1016
6 1843 1153
7 2095 1290
8 2347 1427
9 2599 1564
10 2851 1701
11 3103 1838
12 3355 1975
Additional week 252 137

 

*Volunteers are provided with Buffet breakfast every day, and a cooked dinner three nights per week (included in program fee - includes main dish + drink). This gives volunteers to opportunity to use the remaining nights to experience the amazing culture and cuisine that Buenos Aires has to offer. All standard amenities are available in the hostel, including hot showers and modern bathrooms, laundry room with washing machine, air conditioning, microwave and there is even free Wi-Fi and computers! Easy!

 

 

What do my fees pay for?

 

REGISTRATION FEE:  Support and guidance from CW staff, program marketing costs, pre-departure assistance, staff salary, CW Solidarity Fund, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers. We need this fee just to sustain the organization.

 

Program Fee Buenos Aires:  Accommodation with a host family or at a Hostel (Daily breakfast and 3 x dinners included), airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.

  

What’s no included: Meals (homestay option), Air tickets,Vaccinations,Transportation to and from project, Certificate of Good conduct, Visa, Local travels and Personal expenses, International Insurance against sickness, accident and 3er party liability. In addition to providing health insurance, the plan must cover medical evacuation and repatriation. Our participants in Argentina generally find USD 80 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.