What are the best places in Latin America to volunteer? How do you know if a volunteer project is reliable? Is the project good for the local community? Do you need a basic level of Spanish while volunteering? And how can you be sure that the time and energy you give to a project is really well spent? In this blog we give you all the answers about volunteering in Latin America. And how we as Spanish Travel Classes help to give you a fantastic volunteer experience.
VOLUNTEER WHILE TRAVELING THROUGH LATIN AMERICA
Volunteer in Central or South America with Spanish Travel Classes. We offer different projects in multiple countries, so for sure you will find something that suits you the best. Which project you go for. You will be part of a life changing experience and be part of the answer to specific problems within the local communities.
There are so many different volunteer projects you can choose from. Consider conservation projects, such as taking care of animals in the Amazon, helping to protect baby sea turtles or nature conservation of beaches in Costa Rica. We have also several volunteer projects with animals, like this program on the Galapagos in Ecuador. Or if you are someone who likes to work with children, you can support their educational development and teach them new skills in a school. We have also volunteer projects where you contribute your expertise if you have a specific skill, for example with a volunteer project with a medical background in Colombia.
These are just a few of the volunteer opportunities in Central and South America. We organize everything to perfection, so you can focus on the valuable work you will be doing for the project. By participating in one of the volunteer projects you contribute with your own knowledge and commitment, in an effort to directly support the local community. You get to know the Latin American culture very differently than if you would do as a normal traveler. Besides that, it`s the ideal situation to practice your Spanish in a real-life setting. As a volunteer in South America you can work in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Argentina. You can participate in volunteer projects in Central America in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Cuba.
VOLUNTEER WORK IS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE
Volunteering in Central and South America is a great experience. We see and experience this every time when someone volunteers in one of our trip destinations. Volunteering is an exchange between two cultures. You learn a lot about yourself, but you also learn to adapt in a new culture and way of life. To make your volunteer experience a success you should leave your comfort zone and be ready to immerse yourself in a different culture. If you open up yourself to Latin American culture. You will experience why this part of the world is so incredible. Sometimes it takes a lot of your patience. But everything is slightly different than you are used to and more relax. What you will learn in the country of your destination is to look at certain things from a different perspective. You also have to let go of prejudices and you will experience a huge personal growth. You learn, among other things, to reflect on your own actions and to increase your self-knowledge. And finally, you will immerse yourself in a different way of living, a different culture, with new eating habits and of course with beautiful travel memories from the country itself and with a bunch of new friends.
ETHICAL VOLUNTEER WORK
Are you going to do a gap year or volunteer abroad? Then a good preparation is essential for your trip. At Spanish Travel Classes we think ethical volunteering is very important. Our volunteer work projects always contribute to the improvement of the local community. Effective, honest, sustainable, and meaningful are important keywords for us. You can easily book your volunteer work in advance through us. The minimum time you need to be available for (free) volunteer work is usually one month, but can vary. This is described for each project. The length of a volunteer project is very important and can`t be determined just like that. Consider, for example, working with children, this group certainly doesn`t benefit from short-term working volunteers. For us, voluntary work is not a ‘tourist product’.
FREE VOLUNTEER WORK LATIN AMERICA
Volunteer abroad is for many of us a dream. You work on something beautiful and you will help your fellow human beings. But at the same time, you have a unique and educational experience. So, what about free volunteer work in Central and South America. With most organizations you often have to pay for participating in volunteer projects around Latin America. But many people they don`t find this really logical. Because, you are going to help! And for that reason, why should you have to pay for it?! Why isn’t it completely free?
We at Spanish Travel Classes fully agree with this. Free volunteer work in Latin America or work for a small fee that fully benefits the project, that is definitely possible. Unfortunately, there are also many organizations and language schools in Latin America that charge substantial amounts to arrange the volunteer work for you. We are not happy with such kind of projects. If you follow a volunteer project with us, you can be sure that your money will directly benefit the project. We only work with language schools in Latin America that offer free volunteer work projects. Sometimes we find very cool projects where they ask for a small (but very reasonable) fee. Or they offer a complete language immersion program with a combination of Spanish classes, adventures and volunteering. We therefore add these volunteer projects also to our trips.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR SPANISH TRAVEL CLASSES
At Spanish Travel Classes we feel a responsibility to prepare students for a volunteer trip. To help volunteers have realistic expectations of their contribution, in the project and with their stay at the destination. And for finding the right balance between what the volunteer wants to do and what the project actually needs. We can advise students in the best possible way. We know every project very well and we will not leave our students with any unpleasant surprises.
HOW DOES VOLUNTEERING WORK WITH A LANGUAGE TRIP?
Study Spanish with volunteer work at one of our volunteer programs in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador or Peru. The language schools we work with, can arrange volunteer work for you (often free of charge) if you reserve your Spanish classes through our website. Some schools even have a special dedicated volunteer work coordinator. Because we know all the projects. We can help you find your volunteer program that best suits with your wishes, specific learning goal and experience. Sometimes it`s also possible to visit the project in advance with your teacher or the volunteer coordinator. And if you don´t like the project, then you can chance from one project to another. We have also Spanish schools and projects, where they allow you to have Spanish lessons and your volunteering activities on the same day. Or sometimes our programs are a mix of Spanish classes, volunteering and travel experiences. Whatever you are looking for, there is a choice for every student.
HOW MUCH SPANISH DO YOU NEED BEFORE YOU CAN START WITH YOUR VOLUNTEERING?
This depends on the type of work and or the project requires a basis level of Spanish. If you want to work with people as a volunteer, your level of Spanish must be very good. Also be aware, that if you have a conversational level of Spanish, that you can talk with the people about the project. The volunteer work will be more fun if you can make a deep dive and have some little chats! The employees in a project usually don`t speak any Spanish. Therefore, we recommend that you take some Spanish lessons before you start with your volunteering.
However, we have also volunteer projects in Latin America which are perfect for beginners. For example, the ones on a forestry or on plantations. Those volunteer opportunities are ideal situations for practicing your Spanish in real life situations. Or be part of a language immersion program with volunteering and the best activities that each place has to offer. You don`t need to have any Spanish on these programs and you will be surprised how much you improve with your Spanish in a short time.
INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEER WORK?
Are you interested in volunteering in Latin America after reading this blog? Have a look on our page with all our volunteer projects and start your language adventure today! Feel free to contact us and you will receive an answer within 24 hours, so we can see which project suits you best. We are happy to help you!