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Bolivia Digna

Kids Activities in Community Center

Cochabamba, Bolivia

We develop programs aimed at social development, the prevention of violence, the protection and defense of children who are victims of violence.

About the Program

We work every afternoon from Monday to Friday in two community centers 15min by car from the center of Cochabamba provided by the local communities. In each location, we have access to two classrooms, an outdoor parc and a sports field. We always have one educator who is supervising all activities accompanied by 3 to 7 local and international volunteers to carry out the activities. We have up to 40 children and adolescents in each site, aged between 2 and 17 years old. We divide the children into two groups: the small children (pre-school), from 2 to 7 years old and the older ones.

Each day we offer a program of activities that are both educational and fun for the different age groups. The activities go from teaching English, helping with homework, doing sports, creative projects around art (theatre, music, painting, drawing, etc.), community projects, health and nutrition.

Being present every day in these two communities prevent the children from being left alone in the streets and at risk of being victims from different kinds of violence. Indeed, their parents have to work long hours and are often not able to take care of their children, nor to support them in their formal education.

As some of the children are living in "favelas" types of home with no access to electricity and water, we provide each child each day with a healthy snack and drinking water. We also put the emphasis on hygiene as they have to wash their hands and brush their teeth with us.

Your Role as a Volunteer

As we have to manage a big group of children and only have one educator per location, we need volunteers to be able to run our activities. Furthermore, volunteers bring new and innovative ideas for activities and are therefore an added-value for the children. We expect volunteers to help the educator on-site every day with the activities for the children, to follow Bolivia Digna's rules, to represent the association towards the children and their families. We also expect the volunteers to come up with ideas for activities, discuss them with the educators and prepare them.

Volunteers will always be supported by the Volunteer Coordinator for any issues or concerns or to prepare its activities for the children. He/she will be supervised by an educator and/or the Volunteer Coordinator and will never be alone with a classroom.

We generally work 5 days a week (from Monday to Friday) and mainly in the afternoons so weekends are free to explore the city or travel farther afield to experience all that Bolivia has to offer.

Our Support

We support the volunteers before, during and after their volunteering:

Before the volunteering: we always schedule a Skype call with the volunteer to get to know each other, to explain a bit more about our projects and activities and to answer any question (s)he may have. We then help the volunteer with practical matters if necessary (visa, vaccinations, flights, etc.). Before (s)he arrives, we send him/her our volunteering guide with information about the NGO, our work, tips on working with children, but also about the city and country.

During the volunteering: we welcome the volunteer at the aiport, make a tour of the house and go through the volunteering guide. We also make a tour of the city, Cochabamba, meet the team and other volunteers and then organise a training on how to work with children and interculturality. For long-term volunteers we follow-up on its work, define its objectives before starting and regularly see how it goes. We are always present in case of issues 24h/7d.

Volunteers are always under the supervision of an educator and are never alone with the children. They are either accompanied by one of our educators, the volunteer coordinator or a long-term local/international volunteer.

At the end of the volunteering: Airport drop-off. Evaluation and Certificate. We keep contact!

Typical day

“I get up at around 8:00, walk round to the local shop to buy bread for breakfast. I eat breakfast and drink my coffee on the terrace while reading email, checking Facebook and important news from home – so far, very much like at home only sunnier!

I don´t have Spanish classes today otherwise I´d now be dreading what my teacher will say about my pathetic attempt at writing sentences using the subjunctive. Instead, I have another cup of coffee and chat with the other volunteers who are now emerging from their slumbers.

At 10:00 we have quick a team meeting to make sure everyone knows what will happen today on the projects. On Mondays we discuss plans for the week, on Fridays we evaluate how the week went and argue in a friendly way about ideas to improve.  After the meeting I finalize preparations for my project for that afternoon. One of the biggest challenges, whatever the project, is to come up with content that is engaging, interesting and educational for all ages. I run my ideas past the teachers and a couple of the volunteers who will be working with me and make some last minute changes to the materials.

At 13:00 we are joined for lunch by the local volunteers. Lunch is one of the highlights of the day as Doña Soledad, our cook, will have conjured up one of the local specialties. We have a different meal every day. As it´s my turn to clean today, I help clear the table and wash the dishes. There is just time to pack a bag with snacks for the kids before the taxis arrive at 15:00 to take us to the projects.

We are greeted by an unruly and excited group of kids hanging around the door of the community center all claiming to have got there first (this gives them priority in the snack queue).  Ater about 45 minutes of fun, but slightly chaotic class punctuated with laughter, tears and incredulous stares as my bad Spanish leads us all astray, we all agree that we have achieved something and we have a short break before wandering down to the “cancha” for a game of football.

We return to the building somewhat hot and sweaty with half the kids complaining about the “arbitro vendido” (corrupt ref) and form what in Bolivia is called a queue to get water and snacks, before everyone goes back home.

Details on Arrival

We need volunteers all year long to being able to work in our projects as we need at least 4 people per project to run it properly.

Free-time activities

Volunteers' schedule is flexible in the mornings and they are free in the week-ends. The volunteer coordinator will always give them advice of what to do during the week in Cochabamba and in the week-end closeby or in the country.

The volunteers house is located right in front a nice square which is also a park (Plaza Cobija) where they can relax. In the city, they shouldn't miss the Christ which is the second highest in the world (higher than the one in Rio), the main square where there is also the biggest cathedral of the city, the Santa Theresa Convent where you have a nice view over the city, not to forget the biggest market of the country (La Cancha).

Bolivia is a country where volunteers can do a lot of sight-seing with beautiful landscapes such as the Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt desert in the world, or the famous Titicaca Lake. 

They can also go hiking, up to 5000m at the Pico Tunari, just outside Cochabamba, or go into the jungle only 4h aways of the city at Villa Tunari. They can go hiking in the numerous national parks, Toro Toro being the closest from Cochabamba.

In addition, there are other cities to visit such as the highest capital of the world La Paz, the constitutional capital of the country Sucre and its colonial architecture and rich history, the mines of Potosi, the warm weather of Santa Cruz, or the wineries of Tarija. Cochabamba being central in the country and with an aiport and all buses connections, it is easy to travel.

Finally, Bolivia is close to other countries for those planning to go to Peru to visit Machu Pichu, to Argentina to see Buenos Aires and/or the Iguazu falls, or to Chile. 

Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding

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 (intermediate level) and Spanish (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at high scool level
Required Documents
CV
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Basic Spanish desirable but not mandatory
Experience with children desirable but not mandatory
We need a flexible and open minded person!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 - 18:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

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

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Bolivia Digna.
Services by Bolivia Digna

Fee for a shared room: 97,5$ per week (stated as above)

Fee for a private room: 112,5$ per week

The fees above include:
  • Accomodation (either shared or private room depending on the price)
  • Breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Internet access 24h/7d
  • Emergency contact 24h/7d
  • A phone with local SIM card
  • Orientation: a Tour of the city on arrival
  • Training: a short training on volunteering, your motivations, working with children and interculturality
  • A certificate at the end of the volunteering

Airport Pickup at J Wilsterman Airport

We pick you up at the aiport in Cochabamba any time, any day.

Accommodation

Possibility to have a private room or a shared room in our volunteer house, situated in a central, residential and safe area of Cochabamba. 

Shared rooms are usually shared with one or two persons from the same sex and you'll each have a single bed, a night table and enough space in the wardrobe for your clothes. The shared rooms are approximately 40m². 

Single rooms are approximately 20m² and you'll have a double bed, a night table, a wardrobe and a desk.

There are shared bathrooms in the volunteers house. In addition, at the house, you have access to internet, washing machine, drinkable water 24h/7d, access to the kitchen in the evenings and week-end.

You also have the possibility to stay in the host family where you will have your own room and shared bathroom. Such as at the volunteers house you will have access to internet, washing machine, drinkable water and access to the kitchen.

Dorm Room Guest Family Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Volunteers get breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday. 

Breakfast: bread with butter and/or jam, with coffee and tea.

Lunch: typical Bolivian food cooked by our cook. It usually consists in rice, potatoes, meat and vegetables, with some variations possible (soups, pastas). We are able to adapt to persons with special dietary requirements.

Volunteers get access to bottled water 24h/7d. They also have access to the kitchen, which means they have coffee/tea all the time and can cook in the evenings and during the week-ends. If they don't want to cook, they can go out as the house is located in a central area next to restaurants.

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.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is J Wilsterman Airport (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.
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)
$390.00
5 weeks
$488.00
9 weeks
$878.00
17 weeks
$1,658.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$4,875.00
Average fees
$98.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Cochabamba/Bolivia between 4 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Bolivia Digna 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 Bolivia Digna during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Americas South America Bolivia Cochabamba, Calle Ecuador 508
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