Volunteering in Bolivia
Bolivia is one of the poorest yet most interesting countries in South America. With its amazing landscapes, mix of cultures and bewildering salt desert, it is a tourist destination that will surprise you in many ways. CW works in tight cooperation with local partners in order to find volunteers to assist in a variety of programs mainly aimed at enhancing educational and entertainment opportunities to underprivileged children and teens in and around the Cochabamba city.
Sharing the difficult living conditions of the local people can be challenging for many volunteers coming here from overseas, But there are few more rewarding and fulfilling experiences than that of improving these poor kids lives in a meaningful and sustainable way, so that they can aspire to a better future.
Volunteers bring their skills and expertise to help improve the living conditions and educational opportunities of locals through our community development projects, and in the meantime this cooperation in daily tasks with the local people and volunteers coming from other countries widens their mentality in an indescribable way. Living and working in Bolivia is a landmark experience in anyone’s life and will certainly be one you’ll often look back upon with pride and emotion.
Bolivia is at the core of South America and can give a special taste of the essence of that culture. It is also a perfect location for Spanish students who want to benefit from a full immersion language experience.
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.
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.
The project is aimed at providing underprivileged children, teens and some adults who are living in total abandonment, with a safe and caring environment; as well as offering them some educational and recreational opportunities to improve their living conditions.
Depending on your preferences, experience and skills, you can choose to volunteer in one of the following programs:
-After school care.
Volunteers are usually required to work three to six hour per day starting at noon. They will assist local teachers and staff in a variety of tasks that include cooking, looking after children, teaching them English, hygiene habits, teamwork bringing ideas for fundraising activities, creating and displaying games for the children, helping the with their homework, etc.
Unlike other programs, in this one volunteers are encouraged to bring up their ideas and initiatives to improve the projects and to put them to practise.
The CW program in Bolivia has proven to be of vital importance in this marginalized communities, and being part of it will definitely change our volunteer’s lives for the better, too!.
With a population of 10.7 million people (60% indigenous people), Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, The vast majority lives in poverty and since the times of the Spanish colonization, social and racial discrimination has continued to this day.
Cochabamba, the city where our project is located, is a city of big contrasts where the gap between the rich and the poor is immense.
CW’s program here tries to bring the marginalized children and youths better environmental conditions and educational opportunities to improve their chances of a better future.
Knowing some Spanish is almost indispensable to be able to participate in this program and if volunteers wish to take Spanish lessons,during the program they can arrange it with the local staff once onsite paying an additional fee.
The nature of this program requires a minimum stay of two weeks, and for those volunteers willing to vary their work and make the most of this unique experience by participating in different areas we recommend a minimum stay of four weeks.
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.
A basic understanding of Spanish is extremely helpful. We encourage volunteers to take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered by our partner staff in Cochabamba. 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.
Cochabamba is a magnificent and exotic city built on a valley in the Andes mountain range. Its paradisiac weather is almost always warm, sunny and dry. Among its many tourist attractions you will find the largest open air market and the biggest statue of Jesus Christ that exists.
There are no specific starting dates or limited periods of time to participate in our volunteer projects in Bolivia. You can start any day you choose and stay from two weeks on, for as long as you wish.
On your arrival a member of our local staff will take you to the guest house, introduce you to the volunteers that will be your housemates, show you the facilities and help you settle. Then you’ll be taken around the town and to your project placement, where you’ll meet the people you’ll be working with. You’ll be instructed on basic rules, local customs, travel options and what to expect from this volunteering experience. You will also have the opportunity to clear any remaining doubts you may still have.
Volunteers are lodged in a large guest house strategically located in the city center, within walking distance to most of the tourist attractions and surrounded by restaurants, shops and cafes.
Bedrooms and bathroom are shared among the guests and experience has shown us that this cohabitation with motivated and empathetic people from all over the globe is one of the most appreciated aspects of our popular volunteer programs in Bolivia.
This program includes breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and they are often prepared by volunteers taking turns. Lunch or almuerzo is the most important meal of the day and it can consist of three courses, coffee and dessert. It is a long meal and shops and business make a break for almuerzo and siesta from 12:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Volunteers can use the kitchen facilities to make their dinner and weekend meals, which are not included in the program. They can also try some of the many and highly recommended cafes and restaurants in Cochabamba city. Exploring the outstanding sights of this magical town and then having a delicious, generous and very affordable meal at one of its restaurants is a perfect program for a weekend.
In spite of the fact that this amazing city is practically untouched by large scale commercial tourism it counts with all modern services such as WIFI and laundry shops.
You must keep in mind that volunteers are depended on for very important tasks and though they can occasionally take a day off (with dew previous notice to the staff), having chosen to be part of a volunteer program implies responsibility.
On a regular weekday volunteers have breakfast in the house between 7.30 am and 08.30 am and at 10:30 they are taken to their project placement where they’ll take part in the different tasks involved in that particular project from 11:00 to 12:30 and from 14:30 to 18:00 in the afternoon. There’s usually a morning tea break and a lunch break.
Work and timetables may vary at each placement depending on the projects, but work usually ends at 6:00 in the afternoon and then volunteers are free to do what they want for the rest of the day.
Some will go to do some shopping or sightseeing, go back to their accommodation to rest.
Although CW tries its best to leave your weekends free for touristic and relaxing activities, as a volunteer you might sometimes be required to work a few hours on Saturdays.
You can always count on our local team to give you travel advice and help you arrange some sightseeing tours in the region.
Spending your free time in the city is also an excellent option, Cochabamba offers a variety of sights and recreational activities,so enjoying your spare time exploring them with your new local and foreign friends will be a unique opportunity to create everlasting memories.
-Bolivia is an incredibly rich country in terms of languages spoken. It’s official, national language is Spanish, but indigenous groups speak a total of 36 other languages. These include Quechua, Aimara and Guaraní.
-10,027,254 people live in Bolivia.
-Population density in the country is recorded at 9, 13 inhabitants per kilometre squared.
-Bolivia’s currency is the boliviano.
-The country is divided into nine departments (or states).
-Bolivia remains to this day in a long battle with Chile in order to reclaim territory which opened out into the Pacific Ocean.
-It has two capital cities. Sucre is the capital city for judicial matters. La Paz is the business, legislative and electoral
For more information, visit the following link: http://www.cwabroad.org/bolivia-p-5.html
|Volunteer duration||Program Fee USD*/ Homestay 2 meals per day from Monday to Friday||Program Fee USD*/ Shared bedroom/Guesthouse 2 meals per day from Monday to Friday|
*Please note: All Volunteer programs in Bolivia attract a refundable* Registration Fee of USD 249 on top of the program Fee. If you want another type of volunteer program without the accommodation for example, please contact us directly. We will be happy to personalize your program. You can calculate the value of your currency in US dollar using this currency convertor.
*Please read our refund policy.
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee: Support and guidance from CW staff, program marketing costs, staff salary, pre-departure assistance, CW Solidarity Fund, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee: Accommodation and 2 meals from Monday to Friday, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
What’s no included: Air tickets, Vaccinations, Certificate of Good conduct, Visa, Local travels, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, Personal expenses and 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 Bolivia generally find USD 40 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.