Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Bolivia

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About

Projects Abroad has been providing volunteer placements in the developing world since 1992. Our volunteers directly impact local communities through service projects arranged and coordinated by expect in-country staff.

We offer a wide selection of volunteer opportunities in Cochabamba, Bolivia including Child Care, Equine Therapy, Canine Therapy, Teaching, Sports, Music, and Animal Care.

Highlights
  • Choose a project you are passionate about that fits your interests
  • Choose your own start date and duration
  • Get 24/7 support from our local staff
  • Make a difference where it is needed most
  • Have fun exploring the country and its culture over the weekends

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 3 reviews
  • Impact 9
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.7
  • Value 8.7
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
bella
9/10

Greatest Trip!

Hi! I am Isabella, a 16-year-old girl from a small town in Connecticut. About three months ago I began to search for something to do over the summer. In July of 2018, I flew out of the country to Bolivia, traveling for over 24 hours, and commencing by far the greatest and most humbling experience of my short life. After traveling for a mere 24 hours, by myself, and for the first time out of the country, I anxiously awaited meeting my host family for the first time. They were some of the kindest and most genuine people I met in Bolivia, next to the Projects Abroad staff. This is a service that knows exactly how to plan and execute a trip for high schoolers from anywhere.
On my trip, though many days consisted of shadowing medical professionals, my favorite work was the hands-on volunteer work that reflected new things we learned. For example, we learned how to take the vitals in the classroom on a Wednesday and the very next day we traveled to a nursing home and took the vitals of over 30 elderly patients. In another instance, and perhaps my favorite activity of the trip, we worked alongside two vaccination nurses who helped us vaccinate dogs for free in impoverished homes where the owners would normally refuse medical care. We ended up having to hike up rocky roads where cars wouldn't normally travel to reach the residences. In doing this I witnessed the most extreme cases of poverty I would encounter in Bolivia. I left that day feeling humbled and blessed-as cheesy as that may sound. However, my emotions were most harshly tested at an orphanage that services children and adults with disabilities, all of which are given extensive physical therapy through their primary physical therapist and volunteers. My partner for the day was a 27-year-old man who had weakened muscles from the waist down. Regardless of his immobility, we were talkative and friendly and a please to have worked with. I ended up donating the majority of the trip money I had to the orphanage is that the patients were low on diapers and wipes. It was the smallest gesture but a rewarding one nonetheless.
On my final day as I loaded my luggage into the car, my host sister gave me a little angel that says “renewal” that is sitting on my bedside table as I write this. I owe all the gratitude in the world to Projects Abroad for keeping me and my roommates who I am still in constant contact with safe and happy for two weeks that were the greatest of my summer. They are an organized, safe, and knowledgeable service that truly wants to better communities worldwide. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone and have been ever since.

How can this program be improved?
I would have packed warmer clothing!
Response from Projects Abroad

Thank you for sharing Isabella! Volunteering abroad in developing countries like Bolivia is indeed a very humbling experience so we are glad you got to experience it and that you were so generous with your patients, not only with your donation but with your time and affection. It is amazing how much of a difference we can actually make in other people's lives, even in just a couple of weeks. We are also very happy that you were able to learn so much about medicine and hopefully it will also be useful to you down the road in your career.
As for the clothes, it is strange to learn that our months of summer are actually months of winter down in Bolivia, but we do suggest the warm clothes on your MyProjectsAbroad page. You will definitely know better next time you decide to join us in another one of our projects.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sean
9/10

Project Abroad - Bolivia Football coach

I came from Canada and did a solo trip so I really didn't know what to expect; lots of nervousness in preparation. That feeling quickly subsided with the incredible helpful staff from project abroad (PA) who gave me guidance in many areas including travel insurance set-up and recommended flights.

The actual trip was even greater. Though I was only there for 2 weeks, I managed to make a bunch of memories and friends with people from all over the world in our host family's accommodation. The host family was set-up from the workers from PA who gave me a thorough description of the home I would be staying in. They made sure to double-check if I had any questions continuously throughout the trip and made themselves available on demand.

The city was beautiful (Cochabamba) and it was well-guided my first few days to figure out the intricacies of the city along with the routes to work.

Could not be happier with my trip and highly recommend using PA for any future endeavours.

How can this program be improved?
More cost efficiency
Response from Projects Abroad

Dear Sean: Sounds like you had a great time in Bolivia! Indeed, our projects are designed so you can have the strongest impact in a short period of time. Thanks for sharing!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Duru
9/10

General Care Project

Pre-departure, Projects Abroad staff were extremely helpful in getting me ready for my trip. I was given a Projects Abroad website where helpful information was posted such as obtaining a Visa, getting a criminal background check, a packing list, host family information, and my project placement. I exchanged multiple emails with staff to help me get set for my trip; it was nice not having to figure out what to do on my own in order to be prepared. Unfortunately, there was not much information about my assignment. I knew I would be working in an orphanage for children with disabilities, but I didn't know much else such as how I would get to and from the orphanage, or where it was located, or how long I would be there everyday. However, once I got to Cochabamba, a staff member from Projects Abroad sat down with me and went over all the details of my assignment. He told me that I could work in the mornings or afternoons, or both, based on my comfort level. The minimum requirement for Projects Abroad is to work 4 hours at your placement, so it was nice that they were not forcing me to work all day long!
Being at the orphanage was an interesting experience. It was my first time doing anything like it so I did not know what to expect. I adjusted very quickly, and the children even started calling me "Tia," which let me know that they had already warmed up to me. I also felt very welcome in the orphanage by the staff. I would assist them in coloring activities and getting children ready for lunchtime. Some days it would rain, and we would be constricted to a small room with over 25 children, which was not too ideal. Most days it was sunny and we were out in the main open area of the orphanage, where it was much more enjoyable. I spent a lot of time simply playing with the children and keeping them company! Some days were slow and some days were fast, but the bottom line is that it was such a great experience and I honestly would not have wanted to spend my winter break from college any differently. I strongly recommend this sort of volunteer work for anyone, even if it is your first time. It was my first time, but definitely not my last!

How can this program be improved?
I think the program could be improved by giving volunteers more information about their placement prior to arriving. Similarly, I think it would be extremely helpful to allow volunteers to write a summary of their experience and give tips for future volunteers at the same placement to read before they start their work to know what to expect.
Yes, I recommend this program

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast...