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Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students Projects Abroad volunteer teacher and her students

Care Work with Children in Bolivia with Projects Abroad

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

Volunteering in Cochabamba!

I chose to work on a general care project in Cochabamba volunteering in an orphanage for children with mental or physical disabilities. Before my arrival in Bolivia I was still a little unsure about what I would exactly be doing at my placement. However, once I got to Cochabamba, the Projects Abroad staff were extremely supportive and helped me understand what my role would be at the orphanage and gave me some tips for my time there. Not only did the staff help me get acquainted with my placement, but they also helped me get acquainted with Bolivia in general. I was given a tour of the city where I could venture in my free time. Additionally, the staff showed me how I would use the bus system to go to my placement and go home. They made sure that I was comfortable with using the buses before I began riding on my own. Further, a staff member would continuously check-in with me to see how I was adjusting to Bolivia and how I was getting along with my host family and if I was having a good time. They were extremely supportive throughout my entire trip! On my way to Bolivia my luggage broke, so I had to buy a new one and a staff member assisted me in getting one. I don't think I would have survived without the great support and dedication of the Projects Abroad staff!
Going to a country by myself and being intermediate in the language spoken there was pretty scary, but again due to the support of the staff I felt very comfortable and safe. Additionally, my host family was extremely welcoming and made sure I was receiving everything I needed.
Working in the orphanage was an amazing experience. I had never done anything like it before so I was nervous to start. But, all of the staff at the orphanage were very kind to me and explained to me how the orphanage is run and what kinds of activities they do. Immediately, I felt like I was a part of a family. The children were adorable and it was so rewarding to see how happy they are. By working on activities with them, playing, assisting in changing clothes and feeding, I felt like I was playing an important role there! I highly recommend doing a general care project with Projects Abroad and I can only hope to go back!

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    5

My experience in Bolivia

I was in Bolivia for a total of four weeks. During that time I spent two weeks volunteering at a day care for poor children and families. During this time I helped out with the 3 year olds. It was a hand fun but the kids were so adorable. Even on the first day of you being there they are calling you "Tia" and saying "te quero". It is the most precious thing on this earth. There were some times when I was left alone for an hour with 15, 3 year olds. That was a little much. But my host family was awesome. They always made sure I was safe and taking the knowledge I needed to in order to be safe. I was not so impressed with the leadership in Bolivia. They did take me to my work in the first day, but I am a 16 year old girl, alone in a foreign country. I was a little bit freaked out. I would definitely suggest making insure you are good with your spanish vocabulary, speaking, and listing. You will improve while there but if you don't know any you will be lost at home and at work, as it is uncommon to know English. (Especially in the poor parts of the country).
I suggest this to anyone who likes working with kids or who likes adventures. The city I stayed in (Cochabamba) was so beautiful and very different than my small town city in The United States. I would do it again and I cannot wait to go back to visit the friends that I made there.

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association