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Performing Life Bolivia

Circus Arts Instructor

Teach children circus skills and to contribute to their positive personal development.

About the Program

Many poor kids from Bolivia are not physically stimulated in their everyday lives, which is bad for their personal development and health. Performing Life is providing kids from rural areas in Cochabamba a solution by putting them in an environment that is stimulating, challenging, and where they learn to calculate the risks they take through circus activities. We are looking for volunteers with circus, aerial, and gymnastics experience to teach the kids and impact their personal development.

The Circus Arts class, started in 2006, is the oldest of Performing Life’s projects and forms the heart of the organization’s mission. In these classes we give free tutelage on different types of performing arts, including juggling, unicycle riding, diabolo, poi, aerial acrobatics, trapeze, hand to hand acrobatics, dance, clown, etc. In 2014, PL/FE was officially recognized by Cirque du Monde as a social circus organization. 


Program Goals

One key aim of the Circus Arts classes is to teach youth skills that will increase their coordination and concentration as well as develop their self-esteem and self-determination. At the same time, the skills participants gain provide them with a way to support themselves and/or their families in fewer hours than was previously possible. This means participants have more time to focus on other areas of their lives such as attending school and studying, spending time with their families, and other pro-social activities.

For those participants who stay with the classes long enough, the third aim is to give participants a chance to become part of our performance troupe, where they will have the opportunity to share their skills with the public while earning money through regular, paid shows. 

During this volunteering experience, your responsibility will be to teach new skills to small groups of youth; organize groups into acts; develop, design, and direct skits with social themes based on youth and family experiences; coordinate design and construction of costumes and sets with minimal materials; assemble these elements into 45-minute to one-hour shows, complete with music, continuity, and focus. 

If you have the knowledge and skills, you will also be able to coordinate all participants, organize logistics, set up all elements required by the acts, start the show promptly and on time, make sure acts move coherently, pack everything after the show, and bring it back to the studio. 

You will be directly in contact with the local youth, and will definitely develop a relationship with them. The kids are nice and eager to learn, and are always happy to meet new volunteers. Your stay in Cochabamba will be marked by the strong friendship you will build with them.

Achievements

All participants in the Circus Arts program have substantially developed their juggling skills, and those who have attended the program longer have developed more advanced techniques as well as acting skills. The value of juggling is not only in its artistic nature; all participants have also shown improvements in their ability to concentrate and to work cooperatively with others. Furthermore, participants have improved their math and reading skills and increased their self-esteem, which are other important areas for the development of any person. They have also shown marked improvement in their behavior at school, in their family life, and in their social relationships.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Typical day

During a typical day at the NGO, you will meet the kids in the morning and explain what will be done during the day. You will train them with new skills, repeat and improve the ones they already know and teach them to rely on each other when performing in a group.

In a typical day you would work 2-3 hours in the morning and 3-4 hours in the afternoon.

Activities: Teach new skills to small groups of youth; organize groups into acts; develop, design, and direct skits with social themes based on youth and family experiences; coordinate design and construction of costumes and sets with minimal materials; assemble these elements into 45-minute to one-hour shows, complete with music, continuity, and focus.   Stage manager needs ability to coordinate all participants, organize logistics, set up all elements required by the acts, start the show promptly and on time, make sure acts move coherently, pack everything after the show, and bring it back to the offices/center. 

Details on Arrival

Volunteers are accepted in the programs any time during the year, except during vacations when no one is in the office.  Some volunteers arrive during vacations and use that time to travel around Bolivia before beginning work in the program.  Our schedule runs according to the public school year.  Volunteers who arrive at the beginning of the year should plan to be here the last full week of January when the team assembles and prepares to begin the program the first part of February.  Those who are here at the end of the program, usually the first week in December, should plan to stay for another week to complete program documentation, help with year-end wrap up, and prepare sections of the annual report.  During the two-week vacation in July, many volunteers organize sightseeing and exploring ventures.  The other major holiday is Carnaval, when most  volunteers go to Oruro for the world-renowned folkloric parade.  Many volunteers come individually, while others come in groups of two to four.

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). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (fluently) and English (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
CV (include your requisite skills), language proficiency, References: experience working with youth and families & communities in community development
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Anything circus related including theater; clowning; lighting and costume design; Master of Ceremonies; comedy routines; stage manager; etc.

Volunteers with high skill levels and teaching proficiency may be accepted for shorter time periods. Those with high skill levels and ability to teach skills corporally may be accepted with beginning Spanish.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at Performing Life Bolivia are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator

Free-time activities

Cochabamba is a very interesting, lively place. There are plenty of sports and outdoor activities for those who like to be physically active. There nice restaurants, interesting public markets, and well-stocked supermarkets for those who enjoy good food and cooking. There are clubs for those who like dancing and nightlife. And there are lots of other activities such as lectures, films, games nights, poker tournaments, dance classes, and concerts presented by local groups of all kinds. Several countries maintain centers in Cochabamba, offering regular programs and opportunities to meet new people. There are numerous museums and cultural exhibits that are a good introduction to the region. The surrounding villages and countryside offer beautiful places to visit. 

Volunteers frequently organize weekend trips to towns, national parks, and other attractions nearby. For example, Toro Toro features caves, waterfalls and dinosaur footprints; Chapare offers rainforests with monkeys, birds, and other wild animals; while La Angostura has a beautiful lake with cabins for rent.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Winter Sports
Yoga/Meditation
Contact & Reservation
Free of charge
Free of charge
4 - 50
weeks
4 - 50
weeks
18+
age
18+
age
Airport Pickup
Housing
Food
Internet
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Performing Life Bolivia cancels your trip
Resolution Support
We cover your back no matter what happens
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. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. Please arrange your own accommodation. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.

Get ready to volunteer in Bolivia

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Bolivia. Please check the visa regulations for Bolivia.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Bolivia and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Bolivia.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Bolivia.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is J Wilsterman (CBB) in Cochabamba. 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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Bolivia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Bolivia.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Bolivia while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
#58 Calle Chipaya, Zona Sarcobamba, Cochabamba Cochabamba, Bolivia zoom="6"

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