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Volunteer in Argentina

Volunteer in Argentina and discover a country with a great variety of landscapes, buzzing cities and fascinating culture...

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Volunteer work in Argentina

You might have been thinking of volunteering somewhere in South America, but don't know where to go yet. Would you like to visit a place with a great culture, an interesting history and a country that is full of adventures? You might want to visit a country that has a great variety of landscapes, buzzing cities and wonderful traditions. And, do you want to experience all this while doing something good for somebody else? Then you need to volunteer in Argentina!

Argentina is a place with crystalline waters, exotic flora and fauna, as well as a rich cultural heritage. It is the eighth-largest country in the world, with a mainland area of more than 2,7 million square meters. Read on to learn how volunteers can make a lasting impact by supporting local projects on-site in Argentina.

Volunteer opportunities in Argentina

As one of the more developed nations in Latin America, Argentine society is moving forward, but there is still a need for volunteers in many community development projects. There are many different possibilities for volunteering in Argentina so no matter where your interest lies, there will be a project that matches it.

Volunteer opportunities in Argentina cover a broad range of fields: Volunteers can either work at a project with children in daycare centers, support local environmental efforts or get engaged in a community outreach project. You want to learn more about the different projects and tasks as a volunteer in Argentina? Then keep on reading.

Teaching in Argentina

There are many volunteer opportunities in Argentina in the field of teaching In areas with a high poverty level, teaching mentors are needed for children whose parents are unable to give the personal attention children deserve and require in order to gain important life skills. Volunteering as a teacher and mentor for kids is not only very rewarding, it will also help you grow as a person. Important qualities for volunteers volunteering and working in teaching projects are:

  • open-mindedness
  • creativity
  • flexibility
  • motivation
  • willingness to face challenges

In some teaching volunteer opportunities in Argentina, the need for creativity and improvisation is paramount. As a volunteer in Argentina in the field of education you will be volunteering and working in a team and if you have the necessary skills and training you might get the chance to plan classes independently. If you decide to work as an English teacher you will help in improving the vocabulary as well as spoken English skills of the students.

Biodiversity and its conservation

Argentina covers most of southern South America, and it is bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay. The country can be grouped into four regions: The Andes, the North, the Pampas, and Patagonia. And although the country has great biodiversity and a significant variety of climates, it struggles to protect its environment from pollution.

The major environmental issues Argentina is facing are air and water pollution as well as the loss of agricultural lands. Argentina's soil is mainly threatened by erosion, salinization, and deforestation; and the air is highly polluted due to chemical agents from industrial sources. To counteract these problems, about 6.6% of the total area of the country is already considered as protected land. Argentina has four natural areas, that are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Los Glaciares, Iguazu National Park, Peninsula Valdes and Ischigualasto/Talampaya National Parks. Additionally to this, Argentina has 14 sites designated as Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance.

As a volunteer in Argentina, your voluntary work on environmental projects can help local people address these issues and protect some of Argentina's most precious natural spaces.

Support community services

Argentina was struck hard by an economic downfall in 2001 and is still in the process of recovering. Given that widespread poverty and inequalities continue to be a great social concern in Argentina, you might like to consider becoming a community volunteer in Argentina. Among the many social issues the country has to face, these are the 5 most urgent:

  1. overpopulation
  2. corruption
  3. inefficient public health infrastructure
  4. the lack of proper sanitation in rural and urban areas
  5. growing poverty rates and inequality

There are a lot of volunteer opportunities in Argentina in the field of community services that aim to tackle these issues. Volunteering at one of them gives volunteers the opportunity to make a great difference for local communities and to improve various aspects of the local people's lives. Help communities get back on their feet by volunteering with homeless children from underprivileged backgrounds, community gardening or engage endangered youth in sports activities.

Cost of living

The suggested daily budget for living as a volunteer in Argentina is between US$15 and US$25. This is an estimate made considering the average price of some of the services volunteers might need and things they might want to buy. It gives you a general overview of how much things cost in this country, so you can be prepared and save the money you will need for volunteering.

Additional costs you should consider as a future volunteer in Argentina:

An exemplary overview of living costs for Argentina (in US $, for one person) is:

Things to know before you volunteer in Argentina

When you travel to a different country for voluntary work it is important to familiarize yourself with its culture and social characteristics. This helps you to settle in quickly and avoid misunderstandings. These are some tips that you might find helpful when preparing for your volunteer work in Argentina.

Safety & Precautions

Although Argentina is a safe country for travelers, you still should exercise common sense. To stay safe, you should keep the following safety guidelines in mind at all times during your volunteer work in Argentina:

  • Petty crime such as bag snatching and pickpocketing is a problem throughout Argentina, but particularly in areas with a lot of tourists or on public transport.
  • Given Argentina's volatile political climate, protests are common. At times, these can get violent, so you should try to avoid them.
  • Keep your personal belongings and important travel documents with you at all times. It also makes sense to bring attested photocopies of these documents, in case you lose them.
  • If you are going out, it does not make sense to take a lot of money with you, as well as jewelry or other fancy possessions. Take only the money you will need and leave everything else back home.

Culture & religion

Argentina was colonized by Spain, like most Latin American countries, in the 16th century. In the 19th century, the nation formed a federal state, known today as the Republic of Argentina. Today, it is the second largest economy in South America and a member of the G15 and G20 major economies. It is the country with the highest Human Development Index in Latin America, and because of its stability and continuous technological improvement, it is classified as a high-income country.

Argentina's culture has been strongly influenced by its mostly European immigrant population, although it most certainly emerges from its Latin roots with a strong South American flair. Even though Argentina's official language is Spanish, Argentinian Spanish is quite different from the Spanish spoken in Spain. In some ways, it sounds more like Italian than Spanish. There are also many other languages spoken in Argentina, including Italian, German, English and French. These are our top 5 tips to keep in mind as a volunteer in Argentina:

  1. The inverted American "OK" sign is an obscene gesture that means screw you. Avoid it.
  2. Argentines favor direct eye contact over indirect. Maintaining eye contact is viewed as the sense of respect and interest in the person who is speaking.
  3. There is also a fair amount of touching between people while conversing. This includes hand on shoulders, hand on arms, and hand on hands.
  4. Argentines tend to place more emphasis on people and relationships than to the strict adherence of set schedules.
  5. Being in possession of small quantities of drugs usually results in serious jail time for foreigners. So make sure to avoid drugs!

Health advice

Going abroad always includes some issues and precautions that need to be taken into account, especially if you are traveling to a country with tropical temperatures and wilderness. The health risks will vary between individuals and many depend on your activities, length of stay and general health.

  • Eat and drink safely: Don't eat undercooked food, avoid eating street food and don't drink water from the tap!
  • Also, wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • Plan for how you will get health care during your stay. Get a travel insurance and bring medicine with you, especially if you need special medication.
  • Prevent bug bites: You might want to cover exposed skin, use an insect repellent, and use a bed net.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before every trip. These include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, yellow fever and your yearly flu shot. Moreover, the US-based Health protection agency CDC recommends hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations because you can get these diseases through contaminated food or water in Argentina.

Who can volunteer in Argentina?

You might have noticed by now that there is a great number of different volunteer opportunities in Argentina that require different skills and abilities from their international volunteers. While you can find out the specific requirements for each project on their profiles on Volunteer World, here are some general requirements that apply to most projects in Argentina:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old for most of the volunteer work in Argentina. When in doubt, we advise you to get in contact with the local project manager, as in some projects you can also volunteer when you're 16 years old.
  • You should have an intermediate level of English knowledge; most volunteer work in Argentina also requires basic to intermediate Spanish knowledge.
  • Depending on the project you're interested in, you might need to provide a criminal background check and a health declaration before volunteering.

Visa regulations to volunteer in Argentina

You have made it to the last section of this guide, which is another really important aspect while planning your trip as a future volunteer in Argentina: getting your volunteer visa for Argentina.

Please consider that the following information is based on a best practice approach, which has been made according to the best of our knowledge and in cooperation with several volunteer organizations. That's why you should please make sure to discuss your visa requirements with your project coordinator on Volunteer World. If in doubt, we also recommend getting in touch with the embassy or consulate of Argentina in your country.

General entry information

There are some general requirements you should comply with as a volunteer in Argentina:

  • Please check the current validity of your passport. Your passport should have at least 6-month validity from the date of arrival in Argentina.
  • Make sure your passport has at least two blank Visa pages. Argentina requires that you have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.
  • Please check if a transit visa is required for any connections.
  • Make sure to be in possession of a valid return ticket.

Best practice for short-term volunteers

Holders of passports of 86 countries do not require a visa to volunteer in Argentina for a maximum stay of 90 days. A tourist visa will be issued to you upon arrival. Among others, residents of Canada, the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand or the European Union, are able to work as a volunteer for up to 90 days.

Please contact the embassy in your country to find out which is the case for you.

Best practice for long-term volunteers

If you are planning to volunteer in Argentina for more than 90-days and are a citizen from countries granted a 90-day tourist visa, you can apply for an extension for up to another 90 days at the Immigration Office in Buenos Aires. Every 6 months you need to renew your tourist visa by leaving the country (even if for only several hours).

For more information please consult the closest embassy or consulate of Argentina.