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Voluntarios de la Esperanza

Child Empowerment Activist

Santiago de Chile , Chile

Volunteers are placed in one of our partner social service organizations. We provide a two-week introduction and continued education along the way.

Each VE Global volunteer is placed with one of our social service partners where they work an average of 30 hours per week.  These hours are spent doing anything from cooking to playing, doing homework to teaching English.  The day-to-day interactions with the children are truly at the core of what we do.  VE volunteers are a smiling face, a listening ear and an extra set of hands to the institutions we serve.  The skills our volunteers learn during their volunteer program help them become strong mentors and educators for the children. 

Our workshops and programs are hosted in the social service organizations we serve and are geared toward encouraging the children to learn while having fun.  VE Global offers volunteers the opportunity to develop and submit workshop proposals based on the needs that volunteers see at their placements in the children’s homes, community centers and schools we serve.  Volunteer workshops vary greatly based on interest and have ranged from introducing the children to synchronized swimming and career days to learning how to cook food from the volunteer’s home country. 

Volunteers are taught by qualified social workers, educators and community leaders through a series of monthly training sessions on relevant topics such as Chile’s education and child protection systems, social work practices, related history of Chile and current events that affect the work we do.  In addition to the work volunteers do with the children, they have the opportunity to work directly with the VE staff on operational or resource development projects.  Administrative projects depend on the needs of the organization, but can include anything from implementing the children´s programming to helping with fundraising and public relations.

Typical day

8:54 am: Press snooze on the alarm and wonder why eyes won’t open; remember that I just arrived late last night from an eight hour bus trip from La Serena. Make quick breakfast of granola, yogurt and some fruit bought at the local market outside of the hogar. Maul over ideas for some informal activities to do with the girls before lunch. Hop on the metro and take the easy 15-minute trip to Hogar San Francisco (the closest hogar to center city Santiago).

10:00 am: Arrive at the hogar to find the girls already going strong. Jump on the trampolinwith a few of the younger ones and chase them around acting like a zombie for a while, to great shrieks of joy. After getting quite winded, jump off the trampoline and walk over to the patio to start a game of ¡Pesca! (Go Fish!) with any girls who are interested. However, this game usually attracts too many interested parties, and dissolves after one or two hands into a finger pointing and/or throwing of cards. The girls are certainly competitive.

12:00 pm: Hold two or three guitar workshops with girls before lunch. Many want to learn to play, but only a few can participate in the morning, so plan for more guitar talleres (workshops) near the end of the day.

12:45 pm: During the school year (March to December), we will arrive at the hogar at around 12:45 instead of 10am and prepare to pick the girls up from nearby schools between 1pm and 1:30pm. Almost all girls come home to eat lunch at the hogar; some will be finished for the day, but some will have to return to school shortly after lunch.

1:30 pm: Start digging into a relaxing lunch with the other tías (adult staff). Lunches are the biggest meal of the day, complete with typical Chilean salads (usually lettuce, tomato, cabbage, lemon and olive oil), entrées (a meat with rice, beans, or noodles), and desserts (this gets dangerous when the ice cream machine is not broken).

2:30 pm: During the summer, start preparing for an afternoon taller for the girls which will help the kids think about their dreams for the year by painting or drawing a picture and writing a goal on top. Cooking talleres are most popular, so plan a future taller where kids color in the food pyramid and make fruit kebabs.

3:30 pm: During the school year, go pick up the last group of girls who are at nearby schools and help them start their homework for the afternoon. The girls especially love using us to help with their English homework. Talk to the older girls about going to a movie together next week.

8:00 pm: Head over to the big apartment where many VE volunteers are living together with a bottle of wine and guacamole to add to the potluck. Reflect on the day’s work with my compatriots and start planning a class fundraiser over great (and inexpensive) Chilean wine and piscolas.

12:oo am: Get home and start translating some poems written by the girls for a poetry book project. Realize I’m too tired to continue and fall asleep thinking about the next weekend’s trip to a beach in Algarrobo…

Free-time activities

We enjoy hosting potlucks and Chilean barbeques, where taking moments away from work help us relax and enjoy living in Chile. Santiago and its surroundings offer a variety of activities which many volunteers enjoy in their leisure time.
Our volunteers love to travel. As well as its own attractions, from the Atacama Desert in the north to Torres del Paine National Park in the South, Chile’s proximity to countries such as Argentina and Peru makes trips to Buenos Aires and Macchu Picchu very tempting.

Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Winter 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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) and Spanish (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at Highschool level
Required Documents
CV/Resume, Letter of Recommendation and Responses to Application Questions
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 from 10:00 - 18:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at Voluntarios de la Esperanza are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
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Included Services

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Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Voluntarios de la Esperanza cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Voluntarios de la Esperanza.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. Please arrange your own accommodation. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Arturo Merino Benitez Airport (SCL) in Santiago. We assist you to find cheap flights to Chile.
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 Chile provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Chile you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Chile.
Americas South America Chile Santiago de Chile , Av. Bustamante 26
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