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Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Volunteer and Intern in Bolivia

Overview
  • Location: Cochabamba
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Local languages: Spanish, Quechua
Country Info

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.

Volunteer travelling on her free time during her project in Bolivia

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.

Staff ProfileCarmen Herbas, Country Director
Carmen Herbas
Country Director
“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

Local girl selling artisan goods on the street in Cochabamba, Bolivia

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.

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.

Projects for All Ages in Bolivia

High School Specials for Teens in Bolivia

Projects for professionals available in Bolivia



Most recent blogs from Bolivia

6 Days to Go

So I woke up this morning and I realized that I will be getting on an airplane in less than a week. I have my bags almost packed and I am definitely ready to leave, but at the same time it seems so unreal. When I decided to apply for this opportunity in January I never dreamed that it would get here ...

Learning About Bolivia

One of the items on my trip pararartiion checklist is learning about the country I will be visiting.  I spent about an hour last night reading about Bolivia.  It was so interesting to read about the differences in their culture.  I also read about all the things I will need to look out for and prepare ...

Acceptance

I have always wanted to be able to volunteer in another country as a way of giving back.  I finally have that opportunity.  I will be traveling to Bolivia on June 5th to teach at San Simon University.  I will be gone for six weeks and I am totally and completely excited about the opportunity.  In ...

Day 12

Today was the Independence day for Bolivia and it was really cool seeing everyone all dressed up for it. In the morning we went to a nursing home and helped with the festivities. There was music, dancing, food, and a parade around the block. Everyone seemed to love it and they were really cute about ...

Day 11

Hi everyone! So this morning we woke up and ate left over cupcakes for breakfast from my birthday then we were off to the Projects Abroad office. We had a class on how to do injections and it was really interesting and probably my favorite class so far. First we practiced all different types of injections ...

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