Volunteer and Intern in Bolivia
- Location: Cochabamba
- Accommodation: Host families
- Local languages: Spanish, Quechua
Despite its wealth of natural resources, Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in South America. Volunteer efforts are crucial, and Projects Abroad provides a platform for volunteers to work toward improving the lives of disadvantaged Bolivians. Our volunteer projects and internships are available for anyone interested in volunteering. Whether you are on a gap year, a summer vacation, or a career break, you will have an important role to play.
As in much of Latin America, wealth distribution in Bolivia is uneven and there are huge gaps between the elite and the average person. Two-thirds of the population is officially below the poverty line and many people depend on subsistence agriculture. Education is one of the areas where help from volunteers is desperately needed. A large proportion of the population are only educated to an elementary school level, and at least 15% are illiterate.
In economic terms Bolivia is a poor country. Its riches lie in its history, its geographic and cultural diversity, and, of course, its people. As a volunteer, you can immerse yourself in the local culture while giving pack on important projects, such as helping orphans with special needs or teaching English in public schools.
“Bolivia, my beautiful and enigmatic country, invites you with arms wide open to enjoy its fabulous landscapes, people, dance, music, food, and Andean rituals of good fortune. You will have the opportunity to travel from the impressive high plateaus to the warm valleys and the luxurious Amazon basin. You will meet kind people who will receive you with a smile and who will try to get to know you, no matter if you don’t speak Spanish at all. I can tell you that when you leave, you will see life from another perspective and you will come back again because nobody can forget and leave forever this beautiful and colorful country.”
Where You Will Live in Bolivia with Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Bolivia is based in the university town of Cochabamba, a town over 2500m above sea level in the central highlands. Cochabamba is fairly developed commercially and the central parts of town are modern and well-kept. We work in disadvantaged communities in the outlying districts, where our volunteers can make the biggest difference.
Living in Cochabamba is a great way to improve or discover your Spanish language skills. You will stay with a host family in the town and can choose to take Spanish lessons before or during your volunteer experience or internship abroad. To get even more deeply involved, you can learn some Quechua, too. This language is indigenous to the area and is widely spoken, alongside Spanish, by the locals.
Travel and Sightseeing Opportunities in Bolivia
Landlocked Bolivia occupies the heart of South America. Its attractions include Andean Peaks, tropical Amazonian forests, bustling cities, and peaceful, traditional communities. Bolivia will give you a taste of this varied continent, usually a long way off the tourist trail.
Squeezed between five other countries, Bolivian culture is a melting pot of Amerindian and European. On any visit to Bolivia, you will encounter local festivals and activities, such as people might be throwing water-balloons at each other or there could be street processions full of color and enthusiasm.
Did you know? About ½ of Bolivia’s population is indigenous (native to Bolivia), and there are over 30 indigenous cultures, each with its own language & customs.
When you're not working, Bolivia offers a fantastic selection of places to explore. Cochabamba is a short trip from the National Park of Toro Toro. This primeval environment contains waterfalls, caves, beautiful landscapes, and dinosaur footprints. There are plenty more opportunities in the rest of Bolivia. You can trek in the Andes, relax by the shores of Lake Titicaca, visit volcanoes or salt lakes, or explore the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin, rich with distinctive jungle wildlife.