Tiny, but lively, Uruguay has a population of merely 3 million citizens, half of which live in Montevideo. The metropolis serves as the nation’s political capital as well as its educational, cultural, and economic capital. A thriving port city on the southern tip of Uruguay, Montevideo has a long rich history stemming back to its earliest colonial roots and today it is considered one of South America’s most livable cities. From its beautiful architecture to the flourishing music, arts, and literary scene, which has risen from its ranks, those who volunteer in Montevideo will find it to be quite an agreeable temporary home in countless ways.
Ways to Volunteer in Montevideo
Montevideo is the picture-perfect setting for a volunteer abroad program, emboldening students to embrace the local lifestyle and soak in the surroundings almost effortlessly. When it comes to the most popular ways to volunteer abroad in Montevideo, consider these GoAbroad approved options:
Popular causes/programs in Montevideo. While Uruguay is a fairly wealthy country compared to its Latin American neighbors, Montevideo still has its fair share of poverty. Volunteer placements in Montevideo are available in areas of community development to bring aid to sectors of the population that go overlooked and underserved. However, most volunteer opportunities in Montevideo are revolved around wildlife conservation. Those who are interested in environmental preservation will have the opportunity to lend a hand by protecting the sea turtle population, engaging in coast cleanups, and serving on various other projects.
Short term volunteer programs in Montevideo. Once you decide on the what, the next step is to decide on the how long. The duration of volunteer programs abroad in Montevideo can vary from days to months or even longer. If you don’t have a lot of time, don’t sweat it. Many like-minded humanitarians opt to volunteer abroad short term and in the summer months because it is a great way to fill that cherished time off and end up with more than an awesome tan by fall.
Long term volunteer projects in Montevideo. A couple of weeks or months of volunteering will definitely make a lasting impression (on you and Montevideo), but volunteers are always encouraged to stay as long as possible to maximize impact. If compassion for Montevideo is consuming you and you’re considering jumping in for the long haul, there are definitely long term volunteer abroad programs in Montevideo.
Life in Montevideo for Volunteers
Montevideo is a vibrant, eclectic city that wears many hats and provides many outlets for entertainment when it’s time to take a break from saving the world. The modern high-rises of beach communities bear much resemblance to Miami or Copacabana, where music and the arts are alive and well. When the sun sets, there is something to lure in every breed of night owl. From elegant older theaters, to cozy little tango bars, to modern beachfront discos, Montevideo will never leave you disenchanted.
For the early birds, strolling the Rambla of Montevideo is a must. It is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world (13.6 miles!) that winds along the waterfront. This waterside roadway is perfect for biking, running, or strolling with a cup of mate and enjoying the views. Also, be sure to set aside Sunday mornings for spending time with the locals on Tristán Narvaja Street, where vendors sell everything from t-shirts to antiques to kitchen supplies. You won’t miss it…the entrance is often marked by people selling puppies.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Spanish is the primary language spoken in Montevideo, and volunteers will find it incredibly helpful to be somewhat proficient in speaking the language. However, español is not always required and some volunteer programs in Montevideo will even combine volunteer placements with Spanish lessons.
Montevideo has Spanish and Italian roots, therefore, you will find sidewalk cafes, clothing boutiques, and family bakeries similar to what you’d find in Europe. When you volunteer abroad in Montevideo you can get all the experiences of South America, and a little European flair on the side without the hefty European price tag.
Montevideo is a highly underrated travel destination (aka a best kept secret). The city repeatedly reigns supreme in areas such as quality of living, peace, democracy, and lack of corruption compared to its neighbors. It is a stable and prosperous city and an ideal place to volunteer abroad.
Not only is Montevideo covered with a well-regarded safety net, but also picturesque landscape and diverse, magical flora and fauna. With an open heart and willing spirit, any student will fall in love with the inherent goodness and simplicity of the local people and surroundings while volunteering abroad in Montevideo.
¡Pronto! Read our comprehensive guide on volunteering abroad in Uruguay.