• Bolivia

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Price Details
Volunteering with BiblioWorks is free; there is no fee for volunteers. However, given that we rely entirely upon donations and fundraising to keep us running day-to-day, we ask that you fundraise, where possible, a donation for the organization. This will go a long way towards helping us to reach our mission of bringing reading to the children of Bolivia. Please check out the fundraising guide to learn more. BiblioWorks also does not provide any stipend or housing. We are able to help volunteers locate low cost housing.
May 10, 2017
Apr 28, 2016
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About Program

Are you looking for…
– a genuine and secure NGO to work with?
– an adventurous experience in Bolivia, to be in touch with real local people and culture?
– an environment where you can learn and practise Spanish?

It sounds like you're looking for Real Adventure for Real Change! Come and find it in one of our rural libraries here in Bolivia!

BiblioWorks is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity which has established twelve libraries in poor communities in and around the beautiful city of Sucre, Bolivia. We believe that healthy communities require healthy minds, and our sustainable libraries act as a vital way for communities to develop through literacy and education.

We need volunteers with enthusiasm, passion and dedication to work as Literacy Ambassadors, English Teachers or Women's Literacy Teachers in our rural libraries with a required commitment of five weeks. We also have longer-term positions in our office in Sucre, including Volunteer Director and Communications Director.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

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Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 4 reviews
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  • 4 rating 0%
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  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.75
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Experience

I volunteered with BiblioWorks for 8 months as the both the Volunteer Coordinator and the Communications Director.

I am a teacher-librarian and I was able to use my knowledge, skills and love of books as well as gain a wide-range of new knowledge and skills while having incredible experiences and giving my problem-solving skills a workout. I was based in the office in Sucre but traveled to the rural libraries, initially with the library trainers and later independently.

My Spanish was rusty when I arrived but quickly came back to me as all of the office and library staff are Bolivian and speak little to no English. The BiblioWorks staff are very professional and committed to their work. They work collaboratively and I felt privileged to be a part of the team.

My final month of volunteering was April 2016 and it finished with two of BiblioWorks biggest yearly events - “Sucre Lee” (Sucre Reads) and “La Feria de la Lectura” (The Reading Festival). The lead up to these events gave me a chance to experience the highs (and lows) of fundraising first hand as well as take part in press conferences and live radio interviews (in Spanish!).

I will treasure the memories I have made during my time in BiblioWorks and put my newfound skills and knowledge to use in my future work.

I highly recommend volunteering with BiblioWorks if you have a love of books and reading, a reasonable level of Spanish, an open-mind, and a sense of humour!

33 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A great organization!

I volunteered with Biblioworks because I love libraries, I´m a librarian, and I wanted to do some volunteer work while traveling abroad. I was interested to see what libraries were like in rural Bolivia and see how I could help bring a love of reading to Bolivian children. My girlfriend and I volunteered for 5 weeks, going to different Biblioworks libraries and putting on a workshop for the children that involved reading books and creating songs together.

The staff at Biblioworks was super supportive and excited about our project. They would travel with us to each library for one day to help us set everything up, get the kids pumped to come to the library, and make sure we were comfortable with our travels and getting around the communities. The Biblioworks staff is caring, helpful, interested, and committed to their mission to bring libaries and literacy to Bolivia. It is so cool to be a part of that drive and enthusiasm.

Volunteering gave us the opportunity to get to know Bolivian people outside of just the tourist industry. We got to understand and explore the country in a much different way than just organized tours. Biblioworks helped us find an affordable place to stay in Sucre, and we fell in love with the city. It happens to be a great place to take Spanish lessons while you volunteer :) If you love literacy, kids, and helping make the world a better place, I highly recommend volunteering in Bolivia with Biblioworks.

32 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program


After two months volunteering at the BiblioWorks office in 2013, I fell in love with Sucre, BiblioWorks, and its staff. It's hard to find an organization that believes so strongly in its mission or that executes it with such joy.

I worked at the main office, which I highly recommend. Everyone made me feel welcome from day one, and I loved living in beautiful Sucre. I felt that I was truly contributing to BiblioWorks and its mission as I helped out with citywide literacy events and edited the website. The BiblioWorks staff impressed me with their efficiency and organization, and I always had plenty to do. Although I spent the majority of my time with the team at the office, I was also able to visit several of the rural libraries. I have wonderful memories from my time with BiblioWorks, and I hope to return one day!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be wonderful if BiblioWorks could provide housing or some kind of financial support for its volunteers. Luckily, living in Sucre can be very affordable, and the staff is willing to help find safe housing.
32 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing volunteer experience in Bolivia

I am currently volunteering with BiblioWorks as their Volunteer Coordinator/anything else that comes up. I work closely with our incredibly talented local staff to recruit, train, and place volunteers. A typical day includes communicating with current and potential volunteers, working on grants, collaborating with staff on projects and events such as the Annual Literacy Fair, and much more. I also travel to our rural libraries to participate in various events and trainings, and even to paint a giant world map! Since high school I have volunteered constantly, and I can say without hesitation that this is the best place I've ever worked. The staff are extremely helpful, organized and friendly, and the organization is meeting a real need in Bolivia, and doing so with amazing results. I would recommend BiblioWorks to anyone interested in improving your Spanish, working closely with caring and welcoming Bolivians, and gaining useful skills and experience. Volunteer with BiblioWorks! It may just change your life for the better.

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps there are no perfect programs, but BiblioWorks comes close to a perfect place to volunteer. You might think that it's a shame that the organization is unable to provide any benefits to volunteers. However, if I could change one thing it would honestly be that the organization had a bigger budget in order to open more libraries and hire more staff to continue the great work they are doing. If there existed a magical grant that was only for providing volunteers with a stipend, I wouldn't say no to that either! Also, I would make Bolivian local governments easier to coordinate with, hah.
30 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

I spent about $600 USD per month on housing, food and incidentals when I lived in Sucre. I spent more the months when I traveled.