UP CLOSE BOLIVIA
Focus: Community and Education.
UP CLOSE BOLIVIA is based on the concept of “RECIPROCIDAD” which means “reciprocity”- a concept at the heart of Andean culture. It is all about giving back and contributing in a way which enriches both the person who is giving and the person who is receiving equally. UP CLOSE BOLIVIA is a family run enterprise deeply rooted in the local community and we seek to give the volunteers a true sense of belonging and welcome into our community.
- The Valley of the Moon Children’s Centre (see our web page for more information about the history and objectives of this project http://boliviavalleymoonchildren.org) It is a community run centre for local indigenous children from poor backgrounds, aged six months to four years in Mallasa. Volunteers provide an extra pair of hands to the local educators and bring creativity and new ideas to inspire us. Volunteers can work full time of part time. The Valley of the Moon Nursery runs from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. Lunch and snacks are provided.
- Strengthening local eco tourism: English teaching in local primary schools and evening classes for you people working in the blossoming eco tourism circuit. Training of local guides and coordination with zoo and other local tourist services. Business support to local tourist services.
- Environmental work: Art projects and murals and environmental work in the community: tree planting, worm farms and ecological education with school children, rehabilitation of green spaces.
- Communications and fundraising: helping us keep social networks and linkages with other organisations and donors dynamic and updated.
Costs & Benefits
We are based in a valley, 30-45 mins by bus from the city centre of La Paz. It is a beautiful semi rural village surrounded by mountains and there is a very strong sense of community - perhaps the most enriching aspect of the experience of the volunteers to date has been participating in this small community and getting a very real flavour of Aymara culture. As very few people speak English it is also the perfect place to learn / improve your Spanish.
Children’s Centre: Volunteers help as classroom assistants working alongside local indigenous women educators following a Montessori curriculum and bring creativity in extra curricular activities.
Strengthening local eco tourism: English teaching, preparing and delivering classes in local primary schools (working alongside teachers and also extra curricular English Clubs) and evening classes for young people. Training of local guides and coordination with city zoo and other local tourist services. Business support to local tourist services.
Environmental work: Art projects and murals and environmental work in the community: tree planting, worm farms and ecological education with school children, rehabilitation of green spaces.
Communications and fundraising: helping us keep social networks and linkages with other organisations and donors dynamic and updated.
The basic cost is 3150 Bolivianos –approximately USD$450 – a month. This includes:
- Prior to your arrival we will communicate with you to discuss what your expectations and interests are.
- You will receive and orientation information pack about La Paz with practical advice and tips from past volunteers covering issues from safety, health topics, cultural do’s and don’ts, travel in Bolivia and neighbouring countries etc.
- We will set up the voluntary placement in a local community-run project with young children, youth and indigenous groups.
- Accommodation in a private or shared room in volunteer houses with stunning views of the mountains and access to terraces and gardens, where you can self-cater in a full equipped kitchen.
- Meals and snacks when working at the Children’s Centre.
- We will provide you with twenty four hour support for emergencies and there will be weekly meetings with a local Volunteer Coordinator.
What isn’t included?
- Meals - (lunch and snack are provided if you are working at the nursery see above). There are many cheap local shops and restaurants nearby.
- Local transport - approx. 50 cents/ 30 pence a day.
- Travel and tourism in La Paz and beyond – however, we can put you in touch with good local travel agents and share our tips on travel in Bolivia.
- We will arrange a pick you up from the airport / bus terminal when you arrive approx. USD$12-15.
- Language classes: We can set up one month (or more) of Spanish classes with experienced teachers.
Perhaps the most important aptitude which we seek in our volunteers are sensitivity and respect to work and live in a close knit community – people with an open mind to deal with unexpected events, as often happens in a country like Bolivia, but which often are transformed into new and exciting opportunities. We usually accept people who are 21 years or over – however, exceptions can be made if the potential volunteer can show evidence of maturity, independence and experience in similar situations that will await him or her on our programme.
We encourage all volunteers to have a basic level of Spanish before they come – this will make their experience so much more enriching.
We particularly welcome people with teaching experience or work with children and young adults, TOEFL teachers, people with experience or interest in ecological projects which may include working on the land and getting their hands dirty, artists / muralists, and people with IT and communications skills. All potential volunteers need to fill out an application form (link on web site www.upclosebolivia.org) and send us the name of two personal references that we can get in touch with.
Once the placement has been agreed we will ask you to fill out an agreement which sets out both the roles and responsibilities of UP CLOSE Bolivia and the volunteer, so that everything is clear and we can avoid any misunderstandings during the placement.
Up Close Bolivia
Calle 4, no. 123, Jupapina,
La Paz, Bolivia
Tel: 00 591 73079008 / 65170449 / 72055665
Whats App: 00 591 76295658
Location: La Paz, Bolivia
Average cost per day: $15
Focus: Education and Community
Skills needed: Volunteers must be at least 21 years old or over and speak Basic Spanish