Volunteering in Bolivia is an amazing thing to do. Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America, has many Bolivian people live below the poverty line. Therefore, the help of volunteers is of the utmost importance to Bolivian communities.
Regardless of your skillset, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved in one of our various Bolivian volunteer projects.
Volunteer in Bolivia and discover a country with a great geographical range, from the Central Andes to the lush Amazon rainforest. The variety in landscapes gives you a lot to explore, from mountain tops and dry valleys to tropical savannas and dense forests, all coming with diverse wildlife.
Aside from contributing to a cause in society, bringing about growth in your area of interest, volunteering also comes with a sense of personal fulfillment. Interestingly, the act of volunteering not only favors the organization being worked for; it helps volunteers get an edge in life. See the table of contents below.
Why Volunteer in Bolivia?
Bolivia is a country located in South America, and sadly, it is one of the poorest countries in the world today, with about 95% of its citizens living in rural areas and surviving on less than $1.25 per day.
The country is deficient in a lot of areas, and having volunteers to help out in these areas would surely have a positive, real and lasting impact on its people.
Boasting stunning landscapes, colorful markets, vibrant fiestas, and historic landmarks, Bolivia is a dream destination for many a traveler. Overshadowing this rich tapestry, however, is a nation deep in poverty.
The country is home to a large indigenous population living in unimaginable circumstances and sadly the elderly, infirm, disabled, and young are the most vulnerable.
In Bolivia, you will see many children working on the street instead of at school in order to survive.
Are there paid volunteering opportunities in Bolivia?
No, there are no paid volunteering opportunities in Bolivia.
Volunteers are known to lend a hand of help in various sectors of their endeavors, without expecting pay.
Rather, they do what they do as acts of kindness, and as a means to give back to society.
Hence, most of them do this out of goodwill, without expecting any pay.
How can you become a volunteer in Bolivia
Offering your help as a volunteer in Bolivia would require you to take some steps, through which you apply for a space in the company of your choice and a project of your choice.
The following steps can be taken to apply as a volunteer in Bolivia. It is important to note that there could be few changes depending on the company you are volunteering with.
However, the following processes apply to most of these volunteering projects in Bolivia.
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Pick a project of your choice
There are different projects which require help, to volunteer for in Bolivia. Sectors such as education, health care, wildlife conservation, Skill Acquisition, etc require individuals to help out to provide value, to improve these sectors.
You are therefore required to pick a project that aligns with your profession or area of interest.
For example, a medical doctor is most likely to pick a healthcare project, a gender equality activist would pick a project that suits his/her interest, etc.
After doing this, you then go on to apply on the volunteering company’s website, indicate the duration of time that you intend to stay there and volunteer for, and how available you are for it.
2. Sign up
After indicating your availability, you would be required to sign up on the site, as a member, activate your volunteer account, and then move to the next stage.
3. Apply for the project
You then apply online by filling a volunteer form, which requires your personal information, duration of stay, remarks, etc.
4. Review and Acceptance:
The company then reviews your application, and gets back to you, if you qualify for their project. They make an offer, and you pay a deposit to reserve your space as a volunteer.
The money being paid is usually used for your feeding, accommodation, and other things necessary for your comfort during the duration of your volunteering.
5. Get your Volunteer Guide
A volunteer guide is sent to you, to help you prepare what would be needed in Bolivia.
Things like clothes, medications to bring, etc would be stated there. Also, information about the place, the people, language, etc would be stated to prepare your mind for the trip.
As time draws near for departure to your host country, you would be contacted regularly to get ready.
Visas and plane tickets are not usually paid for, as you have to pay for those yourself; unless in cases where your volunteering company makes a provision for it.
So, that’s it. Simple and Straightforward!
How can One find Volunteer Opportunities in Bolivia
Finding volunteering opportunities in Bolivia involves doing some careful research and findings.
And there are two basic ways to find volunteering work in Bolivia, and some of the companies that require volunteers would be stated alongside them.
To start with, you should first determine the skills you offer and the services you can volunteer for.
It is also important to know the duration of time that you would be available to volunteer.
Afterward, you can find the volunteering opportunity through the following ways:
1. Check a Volunteering Opportunity Directory:
Volunteering opportunity directories usually contain information about volunteer opportunities that you can apply for in Bolivia.
They allow you to get detailed information about various volunteering projects, the volunteers each project requires, location, the minimum and maximum duration of time they require, housing/accommodation details, food plan for the period of your volunteering, etc.
2. Check out websites geared towards volunteering in Bolivia:
Another smart way to find volunteering opportunities in Bolivia is to check out volunteering websites.
Some of these volunteering websites also give full details, ranging from the sector of the society they are concerned about, the criteria for volunteering, their activities, etc.
Below are some aspects that require volunteers. They are:
1. Education and Literacy
This is an aspect of the society in Bolivia, that focuses on the education and literacy of the people. They improve love literacy and the standard of education in the Nation.
They coordinate book clubs, encourage the people to pursue studies and vocations, etc.
2. Promotion of Children’s Rights
There are also NGOs, which aim to defend and promote the rights of children, adolescents, and other vulnerable social groups in poverty.
3. Combating Sexual Harassment
Organizations in this aspect aim to help combat sexual violence. And they have achieved the highest conviction rate of sexual predators in the world.
4. Environmental Sustainability
There are also other organizations, which are geared towards working for environmental sustainability in Bolivia.
5. Gender Equality
Gender Equality volunteering organizations help to advocate for the gender equality of the Bolivian people, especially women.
Here, volunteers are required to support the development of training courses in radio communication, gender, and prevention of violence against women.
Organizations here are geared towards working to attend to vulnerable people, by empowering their volunteers to save a life.
They also raise awareness about health issues like nutrition, personal hygiene, prevention of common diseases, etc.
7. Wildlife Conservation
Bolivia is a country known for its tremendous indigenous wildlife. The nation has several zoos that protect wildlife. As a volunteer you will work on feeding animals, cleaning, and helping spread awareness.
10 volunteering opportunities in Bolivia in 2022
Now, we would examine 10 Volunteering opportunities in Bolivia in 2022.
Details such as project focus/aim, requirements in terms of age, language, duration of time required, activities to carry out as a volunteer, date, time, and even the link to the programs would be stated.
#1. Support an Indigenous Community:
This is a volunteering opportunity at San Miguel del Bala, Bolivia. It is aimed at supporting the local community and its people, to grow in different areas of their lives.
Volunteers are required to teach the ish Language to indigenes, build new huts, or repair old ones, support local tour guides as interpreters, etc.
The basic requirement is for the volunteers to speak Spanish at a basic level, be 18+ and have a criminal-free background, as it would check this before one can be admitted successfully into the program.
The program spans from 4 weeks to 24 weeks.
#2. Support Child Aid:
This is located in Sucre, Bolivia, and they are geared towards educating children in a safe atmosphere, developing in them values of respect, discipline, responsibility.
They also prepare them well for the future and help them to be creative.
Volunteers would be required to either work in a nursery school, children’s home, daycare center or after-school center, etc.
And some tasks that would be required of volunteers are teaching mentally and physically disabled children, organizing games and recreational activities, teaching musical instruments, giving guidance and advice, when needed, helping with their school work, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+ and would be required to work from Monday to Friday for a duration of 4 weeks to 24 weeks.
#3. Shelter for Rescued Girls:
This is a shelter for children and teenagers, who get rescued from human traffickers or abusive and violent circumstances, by either the Child Protection Service or the Police.
It is located far away from the town, to ensure the safety of the children and teenagers, from their abusers or traffickers.
Volunteers are required to organize games and recreational activities, organize workshops in theatre, dance, arts, help out with cooking, or assist teachers; depending on how much you can speak Spanish.
Volunteers are required to work from Mondays to Fridays, from 08:30 am to 04:30 pm. The period of volunteering spans from 12 weeks to 50 weeks.
#4. Center for Children of Sex Workers:
This is a support center for children of sex workers, whose mothers do not have the time to take care of. Most of them are usually from violent backgrounds, where they experience the effects of drug abuse, alcohol, violence, etc.
Volunteers have teaching the English Language organizing recreational activities; such as sports and games, painting and decoration, cooking, doing creative projects, etc.
Volunteers must be able to speak English and Spanish and would be required to work from Mondays to Thursdays, and Saturdays.
The minimum number of weeks to volunteer for is 4 weeks and a maximum number of 38 weeks.
#5. Shelter for young boys:
This is located in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is a shelter for boys taken from sexually violent and dangerous environments.
Here, support is given to children from ages 5-18, to provide psychological support, give guidance, support them in processing trauma, help them relax and learn new values, to renew their minds from the violence they are used to.
Volunteers are required to teach the English Language, organize activities and games, assist them with their school work, etc.
The working period spans from Mondays to Fridays, from 08:30, am to 5 pm. Volunteers are expected to volunteer their services for a minimum of 8 weeks, to a maximum of 50 weeks.
This is located at Riberalta, Bolivia. Here, volunteers are required to manage the football team of the home, provide direct care to infants and toddlers, teach the English Language, help with community gardening, etc.
Volunteers are expected to speak English language and Spanish.
They must be 18+, and are required to work for 4 weeks to 50 weeks, from Mondays to Fridays, from 10 am to 5 pm.
#7. Health Care Support:
This is located in Sucre, Bolivia. Here, volunteers are saddled with the responsibility of assisting therapists, helping doctors and nurses, giving support and advice to the children, etc.
One can also work to care for disabled children, help to single mothers of disabled children, give them the right care support, attention, encouragement, etc needed for them to develop healthy self-esteem.
Volunteers work from Mondays to Fridays, for 4 weeks to 24 weeks. Volunteers must also know how to speak English and Spanish.
#8. Environmental Education for School Children:
As a volunteer, your duty is to educate students, integrate some aspects of environmental protection, engage in plant production and waste management, etc.
Here, volunteers are required to assist teachers, produce educational and valuable materials, develop short-term group projects for environmental education, etc
The volunteers must be able to speak the English language and Spanish, be 18+ and be willing to work from Mondays to Fridays.
This is located in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
#9. Take Care of Exotic Animals
This volunteering opportunity is located in Villa Tunari, Bolivia.
Their aim here is to protect and re-introduce the animals into the wild. Volunteers have the tasks of feeding the animals, ensuring their safety, and well-being, cleaning their houses, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+, be able to speak English Language and Spanish, as well as work for 2 weeks to 24 weeks, from Mondays to Fridays, from 7 am to 6pm.
#10. Urban Gardening: This is located in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Here, volunteers are required to help families and the school set up a small garden, teach them about recycling, sustainability, and nutrition, teach about gardening, composting, and sustainable use of water, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+, speak English and Spanish at a basic or intermediate level. They are also required to work from Mondays to Fridays, for a period of 4 weeks to 24 weeks.
Volunteering in Bolivia is rewarding work that would influence the people you meet and would have a real and lasting impact in the area you volunteered.
It is always a good time to lend a hand of help!