Volunteer Abroad La Serena, Chile - A Broader View Volunteers

Video and Photos

About

Teaching Education Chile Volunteering volunteer mission. A recently stated goal of the Chilean Ministry of Education is that Chile must become a fully bilingual country. English is taught in all schools from the first to the twelfth grades. English teaching assistants will work closely with Chilean English teachers. We have teaching placements in several small (primary and secondary) schools in Chile.

Volunteers do not need previous teaching experience, although it would be helpful. Basic Spanish is required, as well as a positive and flexible attitude.

Volunteering Abroad in Chile Work: Our programs allow you to take part in meaningful community service work, while discovering the people, sights, smells and tastes of Chile. Volunteering in Chile is a way to totally immerse yourself in Spanish culture

Impact

Volunteer in Chile with A Broader View Volunteers, our highly rated non-profit charity organization. The volunteer programs are based in the coastal city of La Serena. Volunteers can choose between 4 programs options available in La Serena Chile.

We have made huge improvements in the everyday lives of the Chilean orphans and children we work with. ABV volunteer support has helped expand the orphanage services, contributed to the improvement in literacy levels in the pre-school and provided hours of caring and concern for the for the young children.

Questions & Answers

My A Broader View experience was fabulous, from beginning to end. As I recall, I just needed my spending money for a little extra food, for travel, gifts etc. Chile was very reasonable and the peso has fall a lot since I was there, so it will be cheaper now for Americans.

We accept applications year round. Volunteers can apply, online, for free. Programs range from 1 week to 2 months in length. Volunteers should have a strong background in Spanish, or take an immersion course.

Reviews

9.69 Rating
based on 16 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 93.75%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 6.25%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 8 of 16
Default avatar
Eliza
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Elderly care and orphanage program in Chile

I volunteered at both the orphanage (6 weeks) and elderly home (2 weeks) in La Serena, Chile from May 15th to July 10th this year. Both organizations are run my Sisters, who are so kind and made me feel extremely welcome. They made my experience so great. Overall, I had a wonderful experience volunteering with the children and elderly people.

I learned so much about Chilean culture and really improved my Spanish. I also made some great friends with other ABV volunteers and people at my work. I had a great trip after learning to adjust.

My host mom cooked plenty of food for us and adjusted her cooking to my dietary needs (I cannot eat gluten or lactose). Her food was delicious! I always felt safe and everyone was very nice. Vilma and Tanya (local coordinator and Spanish teacher) are very kind.

On my second-to-last day at work at the elderly home, I ate lunch with the Hermanas (the Religious Sisters) and they were SO funny. Everyone jokes with me because I love peanut butter so much and it is not very popular in Chile, but one of the sisters also loves it and even puts it on her fish! They made me feel very welcome and I was able to work closely with them to help at the home.

The organization support was extremely helpful. I asked so many questions and always got a very rapid response. You can also save your chats on the website and email them to yourself which was very helpful.

Default avatar
Amanda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Orphanage in Chile

Chile is a wonderful country and La Serena is a very beautiful city. Downtown is very cute and some days there are artisans tents lined up in the plaza. I never felt unsafe in La Serena or Coquimbo but I always tried to be aware of my surroundings. Everyone I met were very friendly and helpful. People were often intrigued about where I was from and what I was doing in Chile. I met a tia at my orphanage and she made me feel like one of her family. She and her daughters showed me all of the beaches of Coquimbo (they are all very beautiful but COLD in winter!)
The orphanage provided the kids with everything they needed. It was much better kept and supplied then I had expected. My favorite part of the orphanage was the smile on the little kids’ faces when I walked in the door every morning. I worked with the toddlers: four months to two years old.
My host family was fantastic. My home was very comfortable, having warm water and wifi. My host mom and I spent many evenings jogging on the beach or Zumba-ing in the living room. Her food was delicious and the family was always welcoming. I had a “sister” and “brother” at the house who hung out with me and helped me figure things out here in Chile. One of my favorite moments with my host family was watching a U17 soccer world cup game with my host parents – it was Chile versus United States. My host father is very into soccer so he was yelling and shouting at the TV and whenever I watch sporting events I end up doing the same. The house was full of celebrations and frustrations during the course of the game. Chile won in the end but the game was a highlight of my trip and it gave me something to connect with my host dad on.
I really had no problems at all with my host family. The only challenging part was the "Chilenismos/slang" and the difficult Spanish accent (they speak way to fast). I did improved a lot over the two months in Chile.
I would definitely do my whole trip again and not change a thing. My project was rewarding, Vilma was supportive and understanding, and my host family were fantastic. La Serena and Coquimbo were wonderful places to base the program out of because they provided many different opportunities.

Default avatar
RachelK
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

La Serena Chile Child Care

I have to start by saying that my program and trip was amazing, the experience of living in Chile was something everyone should have. I was nervous to travel to La Serena without knowing a soul, but my host family welcomed me and made me feel at home. The work can be difficult and tiring at times, but it is worth the effort. The kids are adorable and it is obvious to see the difference the volunteers make. I did branched out and tried so many new things while there. It was like I went through years’ worth of experiences in six weeks. I did also learned lots.... My Spanish did definitely improved: both my understanding and speaking. I did learned how to navigate through an unfamiliar city at night and ask for help if needed. I did learned how to keep multiple toddlers entertained, if not quiet sometimes. Overall, the last six weeks of my stay was some of the most memorable ones of my life. This trip did heightened my desire to travel more and see the world as well as continue to volunteer and help those who are less fortunate than I am.
The host family exceeded my expectations. The mom, Vilma, was amazing. She was so thoughtful and helpful. She packed my lunch every day and had dinner ready for me when I was hungry. We traded off picking movies to watch together on the weekends and played cards during the week. I never felt unsafe or in danger. Walking to work in the mornings while it was still dark made me a little uncomfortable at first, but I never had any issues. Most people in La Serena were very friendly and helpful. Everyone smiles and says hola as you pass on the sidewalks. The city of La Serena is a good size and offers enough to do to stay occupied on the weekends. I didn’t really go out much on weeknights.
A few days after I arrived in La Serena, I received an email from ABV checking to see how I was settling in. We corresponded a few times. I decided to work at the day-care center for my last two weeks instead of just staying at the orphanage. The staff was very easy to work with to allow me to make that change. Thank you again for everything.

Default avatar
Jeorge
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Colegio San Jose

The experience with Broader View was once-in-a-lifetime. The volunteer opportunity was very enriching, and the chance to learn Chile and its people was very special. The teachers at Colegio San Jose not only made me feel useful, but they invited me to their homes and showed me the beautiful scenery of the region. Moreover, the residents of La Serena were very eager to learn about me, just as I was eager to learn about them. Chilean food is among the best in the hemisphere, and the host family mom was always very attentive with the matter. How great an experience it all was.

Default avatar
Robert
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching ESL in La Serena, Chile

The experience I had in La Serena, was exactly what I envisioned after reading the A Broader View webpage. My host family treated me exceptionally well. They helped me improve my Spanish, and took time to teach me "Chilenismos". The teachers at my school, Colegio San José, were fantastic in setting up a schedule that worked for me and allowed me to meet my personal Spanish tutor, Tania, in the afternoons.
The local program coordinator picked me up at the airport and whisked me through my arrival without a problem and attended to my needs whenever I called her. I got to live the life of a typical Chilean teacher from the very first day in La Serena. It was an awesome experience and I have remarkable Chilean friends I can revisit.

Default avatar
Well-meaning
6/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Don't Waste Your Time Recreating Colonial Trajectories

A Broader View in La Serena is an average experience. The work at the schools needs to be more structured for any meaningful impact to occur. Even more, the thought of having institutional or structural change, even teaching effectively, in a small a week or a month's work is incredibly problematic. Safe yourself the time and stop re-creating colonial trajectories in these spaces. Also, the on-site coordinator cared more about publicity for A Broader View and her own image to the organization than the actual work done. Not once were we asked how our experience working with whatever kids was - all we were told to do was wear the t-shirts and have our pictures taken. Not okay and almost sickening. This is not a reflection of their other programs but should be said.

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

Volunteer in Chilean Schools

ABV is a not for profit organization and really focuses on the volunteer and the work of the volunteer, instead of the business. I highly recommend ABV-my host family was extremely kind and helpful, the coordinator was involved and always available, and the people I worked with wanted me to be there and made me feel useful. All of the promised services were provided. However, as with any volunteer experience, situations are different and never match up to expectations. Most importantly, the success of the volunteer, depends on the volunteer. You must be the type of person who can take initiative and not wait for others to come to you. You have to be comfortable with being different, and embrace those differences, always sharing and learning with others. I helped teach English in Chile, and felt like a celebrity in the school. Whenever I entered into the patio, students would rush up to me with there many questions about the U.S., or my personal life. The constant questioning never bothered me, and I looked at it as an opportunity to build connections, while allowing kids to practice their English.

What would you improve about this program?
I was lucky to be the only volunteer living with an entire Chilean family. Other volunteers were put with four other volunteers in a house, with one Chilean woman. Keep in mind that each experience and situation is different.
Default avatar
Melanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chile La Serena Orphanage

My experience in La Serena was really amazing and I am so glad that I did it. The work that is done at the children’s home is truly incredible and I am really happy to have been a part of this project. Getting to know the children and the workers was so great and I learnt a lot during the 6 weeks, whether it was about Chilean culture, the language or washing and changing babies. Also my host family (Wilma, Juan Carlos and Romina). Wilma did so much for me during the stay, she was always willing to help me with anything at all, and nothing was too much for her. The family really did make the experience for me, I felt completely comfortable and welcome in their home and learnt a lot about Chilean culture from them.