Volunteer Work Program in Sucre, Bolivia
Sandwiched between Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Chile and straddling the Andes, Bolivia is known as the “Tibet of the Americas” because it is the highest and most isolated of the Andean nations located in South America. About twice the size of Spain with 9 million inhabitants, Bolivia possesses nearly every possible climate and terrain from the snow capped peaks of over 21,000 feet to the semi-tropical lowlands to the streaming jungles of the Bolivian Amazon Basin. The country became landlocked in 1880 when it lost its sea coast to Chile in the Pacific War. Offsetting this one mission element is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable inland lake in the world boasting crystal blue waters, reed boats and islands know for pre-Colombian ruins.
Perhaps more interesting than the physical landscape is the “cultural landscape” of Bolivia. Although 95% of the Bolivian people profess to be Roman Catholic, over 50% of the population maintain traditional Indian values and beliefs.
Sucre is the beautiful judicial capital of Bolivia located in the Andean highlands with numerous colonial buildings, all of which are painted in white and topped with shiny red tile roofs. Set in a valley surrounded by low mountains, Sucre is relatively small (pop. 240, 000) so that it is very easy to explore on foot.
A university town, known as the center of learning and progressive thought within Bolivia, Sucre has many museums, a lively central plaza, shops and restaurants. The city has a youthful, energetic feel despite its old-fashioned look created by the numerous ancient mansions and colonial churches.
This charming colonial city and its nearby villages has a sizable Indigenous population who maintain their customs and colorful dress. Locals and visitors are attracted to the markets where food, textiles and other products are sold in barter fashion. Nearby is Potosi, which was one of the most important silver mining centers in the world with the largest and richest population in Latin America in the 17th century. It is an integral part of Bolivian history.
Sucre has an average temperature of about 20°C (68°F) year round. Rainy season is from October to March. Dry season is from May to August.
don Quijote partner school in Sucre
Our school is located in the heart of Sucre, just a few blocks away from the city center within close proximity to virtually everything of interest within the city. Classes are in the mornings, which leave the afternoons free for cultural activities, or half day excursions. Classes are held in a two story building with seven classrooms, kitchen, a salon (for videos, etc), two terraces, on indoor patio and a small swimming pool. Capacity is for 40 students and participants are roughly 50% European and 50 North American.
Organized trips or activities are offered 1 to 4 times a week. The school organizes both small trips in Sucre (museums, markets, etc.) and trips to places outside of the city (Potosi, Tarabucu, Tarija, Oruro). The trips out of town cost $10-$25 per person. Depending on how many people are going along, this usually includes bus, meal, guide etc. Moreover, a students can opt to bring a friend to participate for the same price. The excursions within Sucre and small activities at the school are organized by the school (small lectures, tourist information, parties, cooking classes, card games, Spanish videos, etc.).
don Quijote will find you unpaid work in various social institutions. The only requirement is that you have an adequate level of Spanish for community service. To ensure this, and to help you adapt to this new situation, it is essential that you have followed a Spanish course with us for at least 4 weeks. Throughout your period of voluntary work, don Quijote will be on hand to ensure you have support and guidance. And, you can tell us how things are working out.
Participants may choose both the field and preferred location of their volunteer placement. Possible fields of interest include social work, education, cultural work, and catering. While most of the volunteer projects take place in the city of study, there are also projects out of the city.
You will need to have a minimum of eight weeks to dedicate to the Volunteer Program: the first four weeks of the program will be spent studying Spanish; the volunteer placement will continue for the following four weeks (or longer if you wish).
The program consists of two phases
- Intensive Spanish course
- Volunteer Work placement
Intensive Spanish course
The course consists of 4 classes a day for a minimum of 4 weeks.
You will have four hours of Intensive Spanish classes from Monday to Friday, with a different cultural activity every day in the afternoon or evening.After the minimum of 4 weeks of Spanish classes, you will start your volunteer assignment which lasts a minimum of 4 weeks (4 to 8 hours daily).
After the minimum of 4 weeks of Spanish classes, you will start your volunteer assignment which lasts a minimum of 4 weeks (4 to 8 hours daily).
Example volunteer opportunities in Bolivia
Upon completing a Spanish course tailored to your needs for a minimum of four weeks, you’ll start your volunteer assignment. These projects tend to be focuses on children, public health, environmental issues, etc. We will help you set up and provide guidance along the way.
- Develop activities directed at curbing risks to adolescents through a continuing protection scheme to improve their quality of life: Create and run workshops about addictions, awareness, prevention of child pregnancies, children’s rights etc.)
- Improve nutritional awareness in the community by promoting health education combined with recreation, culture and sports: Give presentations on personal nutrition and growth, run physical sports activities.
- Orphanage: Sports instruction in Baseball, basketball and soccer, instruction of music and computers, instruction of manual skills like carpentry, shoe making, metallurgy, leather working.