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Working and volunteering

Volunteering

  • There are hundreds of voluntary and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in Bolivia, making this a popular spot to volunteer.
  • Many of the opportunities follow the pay-to-volunteer model, and often include room and board, costing anywhere from US$200 to US$1000 per month. Options to do free volunteer work are more limited.
  • Research your placement carefully. Be aware that some profit organizations offer ‘internship’ or ‘volunteer’ opportunities, when in reality it’s unpaid work in exchange for free trips or activities.
  • Government-sponsored organizations or NGOs offer longer-term programs for which you receive an allowance, predeparture briefings and ongoing organizational support.
  • Church-affiliated or religious organizations offer short-term opportunities, often on a group basis.
  • Smaller volunteer organizations (sometimes profit-based) offer independent travelers the opportunity to work on community projects. These usually have a two- or four-week minimum for which you pay.
  • Animales SOS An animal-welfare group caring for mistreated or abused stray animals.

  • Sustainable Bolivia Cochabamba-based not-for-profit with a variety of volunteering programs, both short- and long-term, through 22 local organizations. Also offers Spanish language classes.

  • Volunteer Bolivia Arranges short- and long-term volunteer work, Spanish language classes in Cochabamba and homestay programs throughout Bolivia.

  • WWOOF Latin America (www.wwooflatinamerica.com) Sets you up with volunteer opportunities on organic farms.

International Programs

Amizade (www.amizade.org)

GoAbroad.com (www.goabroad.com/volunteer-abroad)

GVI (www.gvi.co.uk)

Real Gap (www.realgap.co.uk)

Projects Abroad (www.projects-abroad.co.uk)

UN Volunteers (www.unv.org)

Work

  • Teachers can try for private-school positions, with the greatest demand in math, science or social studies. New or unqualified teachers must forfeit two months’ salary in return for their training.
  • Other travelers find work in bars, hostels or with tour operators.
  • Centro Boliviano-Americano (www.cba.edu.bo) For paid work, qualified English-language teachers can try the professionally run Centro Boliviano-Americano in La Paz, with branches in other cities. Accredited teachers can expect to earn up to US$500 per month for a full-time position.

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