A Broader View: La Serena, Chile Orphanage Assist Program
97% Rating
(13 Reviews)

A Broader View: La Serena, Chile Orphanage Assist Program

Nowadays the Kindergarten and nursery receives 138 underaged children, 42 toddlers and 96 children between 2 years and 3 years 11 months who live in the community of La Serena y Coquimbo.

One of the main characteristic of this project is the incorporation of the families and the community to the educational work.

The parents of the children are so poor that they cannot afford to keep their children healthy or well fed. The projects serve as a day care, kindergarten and support center.

Volunteers assist the local staff with the basic needs such as feeding, bathing and clothing, helping with homework, playing sports, as well arranges games and day trips with the kids.

Teaching basic English, as well as manual labor (sweeping, painting, and gardening) may be involved. Basic in Spanish is required, as well as a positive and flexible attitude.

Locations
South America » Chile
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
Project Types
Language
English
Housing
Host Family
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
A Broader View Volunteers works incredibly hard to keep our costs at a minimum. Our affordable programs feesallow anyone wishing to volunteer overseas the opportunity to do so.

We encourage you to compare different organizations and assess costs and program inclusions.

If you have any questions about our program costs call us: Toll Free number 866-423-3258
Other Locations
La Serena

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.

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    95%
  • Support
    95%
  • Fun
    98%
  • Value
    97%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (13)

Default avatar
Eliza
Female
18 years old
Piney Point, MD
Mount Saint Mary's College

Elderly care and orphanage program in Chile

10/10

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
Male
20 years old
North Carolina

Orphanage in Chile

10/10

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.

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RachelK
Female
24 years old
Fort Collins, CO

La Serena Chile Child Care

10/10

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
Male
24 years old
Connecticut
Syracuse University

Colegio San Jose

10/10

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.

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Robert
Male
57 years old
Atlanta, Gey
Indiana University- Bloomington

Teaching ESL in La Serena, Chile

10/10

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.

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Well-meaning
Male
24 years old
Carrboro, NC

Don't Waste Your Time Recreating Colonial Trajectories

6/10

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.

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Melanie
Female
24 years old
United Kingdom

Chile La Serena Orphanage

10/10

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.

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Ana
Female
57 years old
texas

Day to Day Chilean Life

10/10

I volunteered to gain a better understanding of day to day Chilean life, improve my Spanish and learn traditional children songs and games. I achieved all three and will have a pen pal relationship between the nursery school in La Serena and my Spanish speaking pre-k in Minnesota

I wanted to thank A Broader View for your flexibility in letting me extend my stay in service. I am deeply grateful and I want to thank Lone for arranging my volunteership at the nursery school. It has been a valuable experience and I have formed lasting ties with the teachers there.

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Carolyn
Female
24 years old
Evanston
Northwestern University

I Volunteered at an Orphanage in Chile

10/10

Oftentimes when you tell people that you’re going to volunteer in an orphanage for several months their immediate response is to tell you what a good thing it is you’re doing, how lucky the kids are to have you there, how more people should do the same and devote their time to helping those in need. I have to say this has always bothered me, mostly because in all situations where I have volunteered with underprivileged children, including during my two months at the Hogar, I found that I was the lucky one. I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend so much time with such wonderful, beautiful children, and also with the amazing staff who have dedicated themselves to raising them. During my two months in Chile I have learned so much: how to change a diaper, all of the charming intricacies of Chilean Spanish, how to cook pollo al jugo (thanks to my host brother Cristian), the fastest way to walk to the centro, and so many more little things I will never forget. But most importantly that no matter where you go in the world, you will find people that—no matter what language they speak, no matter how they take their tea—are kind and loving and whose presence in your life, even in a fleeting moment of it, will inevitably and indelibly change it for the better. Gladys and her family were FANTASTIC! I felt at home with them right away. They are incredibly warm, kind, accommodating, and most importantly, present, people. I got the amazing opportunity to see Los Andes, Santiago, and Andacollo with them during my stay when they went to visit extended family in those locations. I always felt that I was treated not as a temporary house-guest, but really as part of the family. Cristian, Gladys’ 19-year-old son and I referred to each other as brother and sister. Coming from a close family at home with two younger brothers, having Gladys and Cristian really helped me feel comfortable during my three months in Chile. One of my favorite parts of Chilean culture is that when you integrate yourself into a family, you don’t only get the nuclear family, but all of the members of the extended family as well. Throughout my stay I was able to meet countless relatives and really feel like I was a part of this large, loving, wonderful family. The only suggestion I have for future housing of volunteers that that two volunteers with the same first language (especially if the proficiency in the second differs significantly) not be placed in the same house (without their explicit request or consent). One of the main reasons I had for coming to Chile was to improve my Spanish, and it is far more difficult to do that when you are living with another volunteer who not only keeps speaking in English to you while in the presence of the non-English-speaking host family members, but is unable to communicate with them in Spanish, therefore leaving you to have to translate for her at almost every interval. It is detrimental to the quality of the immersion of the volunteer with the greater proficiency in the host language, and does not force the volunteer with less proficiency to have to learn anything or improve language skills—basically, a lose-lose situation. In general, I think that the most important relationship a volunteer will have during his or her stay is with the host family, and having two volunteers in the same house at the same time really hinders that bond and dilutes the power of the immersion experience. The Hogar was wonderful. The women working at the project who I was with on a daily basis were kind, helpful, and enjoyable to be around. Angela, the woman who worked in the nursery I was in the mornings, was instructive, kind, and really great to talk to. I came to work in the orphanage to be able to spend time with children, but I got the added bonus of substantial relationships with the “teachers” in each classroom. at a project this size, it was nice to know everyone else’s name and have everyone know your name, something that would not be possible at a project of greater size. Having this sense of familiarity with the staff and with the children really augmented not only my comfort at the site but also the richness of my experience on the whole. It is key to remember that if you’re coming during the winter months (what would be summer in the Northern hemisphere) that you bring warm clothes to sleep in, because there is no central heating in the houses. Get used to wearing jackets inside. As for donations to the volunteer site, it is better to bring money with you and purchase things at the end for the project after you've seen what they need most throughout your time volunteering. Travel as much as you can, even if it’s just going along with your family on day trips to visit relatives. I got to see a lot more of Chile that way than I would have if I hadn't taken advantage of those opportunities. But my most important piece of advice relates to the best lesson I learned during my experience: try to live your time away without fear. Say yes to things, try new foods, go whenever your family offers to take you anywhere, spend as much time integrating yourself into your family as possible. You can walk away from this experience having spent time holed up your room at home and going through the motions at the volunteer site, or you can walk away with meaningful relationships, a deeper understanding of the host culture and a greater capacity for the language. It’s up to you, you just have to go out and get it. My favorite memory was not one particular moment necessarily, but having the privilege over the course of several months to watch the children in the orphanage grow. I worked with infants in the morning, ranging from a few days old to six months old, and being able to visibly see the developmental changes taking place in their lives was astonishing and moving. One of the babies, Vicente, did nothing but cry for his pacifier when I arrived, was not responsive to interaction, and did not yet possess any significant motor skills. I remember the unique and startling joy I experienced one day after a month and a half or so when I went to feed him in the morning—he smiled and gurgled as I greeted him, wrapped his tiny little hands around my fingers as I held the bottle to his mouth, and laughed with vigor when I tickled him after being changed. Getting to witness this distinct moment in a person’s life, where each day and each week brings about significant physical and mental growth, where each moment a personality is gradually beginning to form, was a breathtaking experience I’ll never forget.

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Stephanie
Female
24 years old
california
California

Best Orphanage Experience

10/10

I had an excellent experience working with this program in La Serena. When first arriving at the orphanage I was surprised at how much the children and tias immediately trusted us. It too some times for us to adjust to the way things were run especially since Sam and I did not have experience working with young kids. Though we knew it would be no means be an easy job working at the orphanage, we were definitely taken a back by some of things we saw. That being said this has been a life-changing experience and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.Throughout the past three weeks I have learned a great deal about the Chilean culture and about myself all while being able to contribute something to the wonderful kids and workers at the orphanage. My host family, Vilma, made me feel right at home and helped us to become familiar with the city. Pack clothes that you wont mind leaving as donations once you are done the project. Also take advantage of the tours such as Elqui and the Mamulluca Observatory.

How can this program be improved?

The language barrier

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Carol
Female
24 years old
La Porte, Indiana

Nice Orphanage

10/10

During my volunteering in La Serena Chile, I lived with a nice familia. I was provided with my own small bedroom, which was very nice and cozy! I wasn't expecting to have much privacy, but I did. Also, the host family location was great made it very easy for me to go to the orphanage every day–only about a forty-minute walk, or 10 minute bike or 5 minute taxi.

This trip gave me the opportunity to find my calling in life, made stronger my core beliefs, and affect positive change in the world. But this trip wasn’t all about me–the seventy hours that I spent volunteering at the Orphanage made a change in the lives of others, too. I feel that my work, no matter how small, had the power to influence the Orphan children for the better! -

How can this program be improved?

I wished that I had brought more pairs of pants and several jackets, because the weather can change suddenly throughout the day.

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contagioushippie
Female
24 years old
Zanesville Ohio
Ohio University

Great experiance

10/10

Highly recommended for those interested in later going into humanitarian work. The interactions and service learning are invaluable to what you will gain. interacting with the children is perfect for those like myself going into child and maternal health in graduate school. The best thing about the program is being able to play with the children .

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YUTAKA
Male
24 years old
Surrey, BC
Simon Fraser University

My entire experience at La Serena is a favorite memory

10/10

My entire experience at La Serena is a favorite memory, starting with the time spent with my host family. Everyone in the family was extremely kind. They all made me feel welcome and like a member of the family. Despite being busy with their own lives, they always made sure I was comfortable and had everything I needed. They took me sightseeing, drove me to my volunteer locations, took me shopping, taught me Chilenismos, fed me a lot, and even taught me to make empanadas! They did so much for me – thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Work at both schools will also stay in my memory forever. Again, I was met with extreme kindness by all, including school staff and students. Daily, the kids received me with smiles and hugs, and when I finished my stay, I was given thank you/goodbye/que le vaya bien cards. I also learned a lot from them.
Overall, volunteering through ABV was both a language and culture exchange that I will never forget. I’m going to miss (echar de menos) everyone at La Serena. Thank you all!

About The Provider

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A Broader View Volunteers is a registered 501c(3) nonprofit charity located in the USA. Our organization was founded in 2007 and is based in Pennsylvania. Our charity # is 26-0594308, you can fundraise for the cost of the trip in our website and all your

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