volunteer opportunities in south america

Feb 11th, 2012, 07:52 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 987
volunteer opportunities in south america

My 19 year old son is looking for volunteer options in South America. He is interested in environmental concerns, but would also be open to working with kids, in a school, etc. He wants to perfect his Spanish, and of course needs to keep it pretty inexpensive. His worried mother of course is concerned about safety issues, and that the organization be a legit one. Right now he seems to be narrowing it down to Peru or Chile though he is open to suggestions. He is thinking of a 10 week to 2 month stint. One organization he has looked at is Otra Cosa. Is anyone familiar with them, or know of any other groups you would recommend.? Any advice re organizations, areas, travel etc would be most appreciated. Thanks.
lauramsgarden is offline  
Feb 11th, 2012, 09:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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We did some work with http://www.livingheartperu.org/ whilst in the Sacred valley the also have a cafe in Ollantaytambo:

http://www.heartscafe.org/hc_projects.html

You might want to check these out. www.saexplorers.org also has some great, current info on volunteering opportunities, travel accommodation and is well worth joining if spending any time in SA. It is also a good place to meet other travelers and their website has loads of info from travelers on volunteer orgs etc.

At the SA Explorer clubhouse in Cusco we also signed up for some Spanish lessons with and organisation than provided immersion classes with local families - a great, practical to learn or improve language skills.

I have never heard of Otra Cosa but I am always wary of "voluntourism" projects as many can be a total rip off,

Travel is relatively straightforward in both Chile and Peru but the infrastructure in Chile is much more developed. Peru undoubtedly needs volunteers more than Chile if this is a deciding criteria. Peru also has the major advantage of being a substantially cheaper place to live and get around than Chile.
crellston is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 11:39 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
ninoshotel.com foundation reputable in Cusco.
saexplorers.org your best site for this.
good ops from $100 week never pay large sums
orbig up front fees to "volunteer"
Those are always scams and there are a tonne of them.
So Caveat Emptor. Usually wiser to pick up a cheap flight down
on spirit.com and scoping situations out carefully boots on the ground to have best experience and do the most good.
If there is interest in medical I helped equip this hospital www.hh4honduras.org serving underserved Mayans needed health care.That would be a good op very worthwhile Happy Hunting!
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 04:12 PM
  #4  
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 987
thanks so much, I will pass these ideas (and warnings ) on. He is currently very excited about Sembrando Semillas con Yoga

http://www.sembrandosemillasconyoga.org/en/links.html

has anyone heard of them?
lauramsgarden is offline  
Mar 16th, 2012, 02:12 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
I know VISIONS Service Adventures offers Spanish language immersion programs for teens that are based in community service but their cutoff age might be 18. You might want to check them out.
almostdone12 is offline  

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