South America Inside

Support an Indigenous Community

San Miguel del Bala, Bolivia show on map
Agency
·
founded in 2003
Sergio
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Coordinator | Sergio
Coordinator | Sergio
Live with natives of the Amazon and experience their way of life. Play with children, teach English, and learn indigenous farming and cooking techniques. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Singles
Couples
50+

Highlights

  • Learn more about Bolivia's indigenous communities
  • Make a one in a lifetime experience living with a community in the Amazon jungle
  • Grow as a person by broadening your intercultural skills
  • Improve your Spanish skills by practicing on a daily basis
  • Make memoried you will never forget during excursions

Your volunteer work takes place in a small village on the Beni River in the Bolivian Amazon jungle. It is located right by the Madidi National Park, known worldwide as an area of ​​exceptional biodiversity. The village can only be reached by the river. The boat trip takes about 40 minutes upstream from the small town of Rurrenabaque. The jungle community consists of about 230 people, all of which belong to the Tacana Indian tribe. This forest tribe has always lived on the banks of the Beni and Tuichi rivers.

Several years ago, the jungle community built an eco-lodge with financial and technical support from foreign charities. The lodge has a restaurant and guest houses for tourists. The community uses the income from the operation of the eco-lodge to improve their living conditions. Above all, the revenue is used for education and health; as well as to protect parts of the impressive nature around. When the Madidi National Park was founded, the Tacana Indians made an object. However, the benefits of sustainable tourism have convinced them otherwise. Instead of protesting against the park, the Tacana are now among the strongest advocates in favor of nature conservation and are proud to live on the edge of this wonderful national park. The lifestyle and manner in which the lodge operates is fully sustainable, allowing its descendants, at best, to live even better in harmony with nature.

The jungle community lives in, by and with the nature that surrounds it. Nature is the basis of life here! They generate additional income from the trade in handicrafts, fish and agricultural products. The Tacana Indians in Bolivia are a perfect example of how to live happily ever after today without modern technology and luxury goods. They will welcome you warmly and allow you to immerse yourself in their unique culture and lifestyle. You become part of this community and make thrilling and memorable discoveries that are only available to those who leave the tourist trails to gain individual experience.

Typical day

As you volunteer in the jungle community in Bolivia, you will learn how to plant rice, how to gather fruit and vegetables, catch fish, hunt, use traditional healing methods and live their daily lives. You teach the locals English and, if you can, you play with them. In addition, you help with the construction of new huts or the repair of existing ones. For the small ecotourism operation of the lodge, which is run by the community, the help of volunteers is important to support the local tour guides as interpreters. This is how you help to look after the tourists, to make the rooms, to help out in the kitchen or to accompany excursions. There are really many exciting and varied tasks that await you in the Amazon community.

You lead a very simple life there and learn to be happy without a lot of comfort. For this, it is important that you respect the people and their traditions and try to fully integrate into the community. If you can do that and do not mind the simple living conditions, but rather view this as a unique opportunity and life experience, you will spend a wonderful time in a place that has one of the greatest biodiversity (animals and plants) in South America and even in the world.

Details on Arrival

The volunteer work can be joined throughout the year. The start and end date can be set flexible, according to your availability and travel plans. Ask our experienced staff to coordinate your participation in this meaningfull volunteer project.

Free-time activities

In your spare time, there are a lot of different activities to choose from, such as playing sports in the local community or hiking around the jungle, visit the Madidi National Park or just admire the exotic wildlife.

The jungle offers to many amazing and unique things to do and to see, like taking a bath in one of the natural pools with crystal clear water and small waterfalls, navegations on the Beni River, visits to local commuities to experience their culture and traditions. You can even learn about the wonders of medical plants and natural medicine, go fishing or just relax on the banks of the river.

Swimming
Sightseeing
Climbing
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/
Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (intermediate level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
South America Inside (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by South America Inside
  1. Accommodation in volunteer house or with Host Family
  2. Full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  3. Round-trip flight La Paz-Rurrenabaque-La Paz
  4. Pick-up in Rurrenabaque by boat

  5. Consultation from our experienced staff
  6. Translation of application profile
  7. Volunteer work placement
  8. Advice regarding travel insurance
  9. Advice on local travels
  10. Orientation session upon arrival
  11. Orientation kit
  12. Country handbook
  13. Local support
  14. 24/7 Emergency Number
  15. Certificate of Participation
Airport Pickup at El Alto International Airport

You will be picked-up by boat in Rurrenabaque and brought to the project site in the middle of the jungle.

Accommodation

During your volunteer work in Bolivia, you will either live with a group of tourists at the Eco-Lodge or in the especially built volunteer cottage which is taken care of by an indigenous host family. Your host family will provide you with meals and you may even receive an invitation to stay in one of their typical houses. You will be surprised to see that in the typical household all family members sleep in the same room, which also serves as the kitchen and the living room. In their home, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice indigenous cooking techniques and try the delicious recipes. Take your chance, This is a completely unique experience that is not offered to mere tourists.

The meals provided by the host family typically contain the ingredients that the family grows, hunts, and fishes. Mostly, they eat fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, corn, rice, and occasionally some red meat.

Volunteers can also eat and live with other tourists at the Eco-Lodge. In the lodge, the meals are more international and may also include chicken and beef.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Full-board is provided (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is El Alto International Airport (LPB) in La Paz. We assist you to find cheap flights to Bolivia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Bolivia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Bolivia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Bolivia.
Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,845
5 weeks
$ 2,125
6 weeks
$ 2,405
7 weeks
$ 2,685
8 weeks
$ 2,965
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 7,445
Average fees
$ 386 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in San Miguel del Bala/Bolivia between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Bolivia.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas South America Bolivia  San Miguel del Bala, Bolivia

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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