Latin America is a continent of ancient history, culture and natural wonders including the stunning Amazon, Manu Biosphere and Mindo Cloud Forest. The region was the cradle of powerful ancient civilizations such as The Inca and The Maya, and is a meeting of European influences and mingled with indigenous identities and diverse ecosystems. It is a perfect location for a gap year, volunteer or internship in locations such as Ecuador, Belize and Costa Rica but be warned you may fall in love!
Welcome to Latin America
Latin America is famous for its biodiversity and its impressive natural features including the highest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls, the largest river by volume, Amazon, the longest mountain range, The Andes and the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert. It yields the most biodiverse rainforest in the world, The Amazon Rainforest, which is home to more than half of all the world’s species of plants and animals.
The region was the seat of some of the greatest ancient civilizations like the Inca, The Maya and The Aztec. While the ancient civilizations spanned across the continent, there is a rich diversity in the history of each country, their communities and traditions. Nothing can compare to the drums of the indigenous Quechua in Peru or the sound of waves on the Costa Rican shoreline. You can reveal in the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, the impressive salt flats of Bolivia or the stunning Galapagos islands. It has something to offer everyone.
The richness of Latin American culture has developed from ancient traditions, colonial influences and the mixing of different ethnicities immigrating to the region. Spanish and Portuguese are the majority languages in Latin America and you can find over 600 native languages throughout the continent. While there is a rich history and culture the divide between the rich and poor is larger in Latin America than most other continents.
Volunteers play an instrumental role in the continual sustainability and growth of our projects. There are many grassroots initiatives that understand the struggles of the communities they work within and are able to support them on multiple levels. From creating Healthy Kitchens in Peru, to Building and Organic Farming in Belize you can find a project that utilizes your skills and allows for personal growth.
Since Latin America has such vast natural resources, plant and animals it has become a target for exploitation. That makes environmental and wildlife conservation projects such an important aspect of the future of Latin America through education, research and hands on work. There are amazing projects like Turtle and Marine Environmental Conservation and Education in Ecuador or Environmental Conservation on Biological Stations in the Amazon and on the Coast which have made important and forward thinking impacts in the world of conservation.
Just as Latin America is diverse, so are the options offered by Kaya. Several of our projects do require some previous Spanish speaking skills and you can enhance your knowledge by adding on spanish lessons – there is no better way to learn a language then in the country it is spoken! All our placements that require Spanish have been assessed in line with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR), to help the projects and volunteers understand what is needed to make the placement a success.
Explore the many options available to you and get to know more about the amazing locations and projects offered by Kaya. Make the world a little smaller by making your heart a little bigger and participating in a project!