What is the Special Needs Equine Therapy Internship in Bolivia project all about?
Intern abroad on our specialised equine therapy for disabilities project and help to provide therapeutic horseback riding for disabled adults and children in Bolivia. The center is funded and hosted by Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, which is located about 30 minutes away from your accommodation. It supports both adults and children that are experiencing physical disabilities, mental disabilities or some kind of emotional distress. The center welcomes approximately 10 to 25 children receiving therapy on a daily basis.
Benefits of this type of equine assisted therapy are undisputable to people with special needs and with daily challenges that have experienced a trauma. Indeed, horse-assisted therapy is known to promote relaxation, coordination, muscle toning, confidence and overall well-being. The patients learn to control horses while riding which develops sensory and motor skills. Indeed, riding horses improve posture and balance as well as coordination. Also, equine therapy helps patients deal with their differences on a daily basis and learn essential life skill. “Standing taller” and being in control of an animal helps them accept their disabilities better, as well as teach them about themselves and trust the people and animals surrounding them.
The center helps the patients achieve their therapeutic goals as well the families providing additional emotional support.
Intern abroad on our specialised equine therapy for disabilities project and help to provide therapeutic horseback riding for disabled adults and children in Bolivia. The center is funded and hosted by Universidad Mayor de San Andrés. It supports both adults and children that are experiencing physical disabilities, mental disabilities or some kind of emotional distress.
Benefits of this type of equine assisted therapy are undisputable to people with special needs and with daily challenges that have experienced a trauma. Indeed, horse-assisted therapy is known to promote relaxation, coordination, muscle toning, confidence and overall well-being. The patients learn to control horses while riding which develops sensory and motor skills. Indeed, riding horses improve posture and balance as well as coordination. Also, equine therapy helps patients deal with their differences on a daily basis and learn essential life skill. “Standing taller” and being in control of an animal helps them accept their disabilities better, as well as teach them about themselves and trust the people and animals surrounding them. The center helps the patients achieve their therapeutic goals as well the families providing additional emotional support.
Why choose this Special Needs Equine Therapy Internship?
This internship is the perfect opportunity to get involved in a unique type of physiotherapy treatment. You will work with local professionals learning unique physical animal-assisted therapy techniques. You will work alongside with physical therapists and provide physical and emotional therapy to both adults and children with disabilities. You will gain valuable perspective through your own observation and the mentorship from the local staff.
When you arrive, you will receive training to assist in the therapy session, therefore, acquiring new skills. This internship will also help you acquire your own leadership and mentorship skills, as well as add a unique type of experience on your cv / resume increasing your desirability for future potential employers.
Role of the Healthcare intern
As an intern, you will assist to evaluate the patients’ progress and create lessons’ plans. Your role will be split between assisting with therapy sessions as well as lend a hand with the maintenance of the center and the horses. You will help patients work with a horse including mounting, dismounting, and caring for the horse with the goal in mind to help the patients gain confidence in the animal and help them learn to deal with their disabilities on a daily basis. You will assist to organise recreational, team building and educational activities for the staff, students, and families around inclusion, environmental and social issues affecting disabilities.
You will also need to help in the care and grooming of horses, stables and the surrounding areas.
Whats skills do I need to be a Special Needs Equine Therapy Intern?
Interns must love animals and more specifically horses for this internship. The ability to ride a horse will be an advantage; however, you will get adequate training upon arrival. Individuals with considerable experience with horses that can help care for, exercise and train up the therapy horses are welcome. Interns must be physically fit as the work can be strenuous helping patients mount, dismount, etc. A good level of Spanish (level B1 Intermediate User of CEFR or better) is needed to make the most out of this internship. You will be asked for a CV/Resume and to attend a telephone interview to assess your suitability for the internship.
Please bring a laptop with you to complete your final report.
Travel during COVID times
The health and safety of our travelers and our local communities remain central to our plans for reopening countries and projects. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been adapting our programs and protocols to protect all those involved, and ask for everyone’s patience and collaboration as new rules are implemented in-country. For all projects, new standards of sanitation, procedures and social behaviors are in place, including new health and hygiene protocols and social distancing practices. You can read more here. Each location may be slightly different in the way they operate. We encourage you to inquire to your placement advisor to learn more about your specific project as you plan for your responsible return to travel!
REOPENING IN 2023
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To learn new skills and have a positive impact on the lives of Bolivian adults and children with disabilities
To experience Bolivian culture, traditions and scenery as well as perfect your Spanish!
To gain an insight into the healing power of horses
where will I work in Bolivia?
About the Location
Your living accommodation is based on the outskirt of La Paz, Bolivia, in a semi-rural village, called Mallasa. Very few people speak English in the village, so it will be a great place to perfect your Spanish language skills and immerse yourself! Especially given that the villagers have a very strong sense of community. Your project will be just 30 minutes away from your accommodation. Bolivia is known to be the Tibet of the Americas and is considered to be the most isolated and highest in Latin America. You will wake to stunning views, and have the opportunity to explore on the weekends.
All the volunteers live in the volunteer house with access to balconies to enjoy the beautiful views of the Andes Mountain, shared living area, and a well-equipped kitchen. While at your volunteer house, you can relax in the hammock, reading a book, or enjoying a walk around the mountain. Meals are not included in your project, but interns and volunteers do tend to still eat together and share food and conversations around a big family table. The accommodation is a great place to enjoy the beautiful Bolivian sunshine and incredible views of the mountain. You should be able to get a room of your own unless you go during busy season and may have to share it with another like-minded intern or volunteer.
What to do in your spare time
Why not visit the Lake Titicaca which is the highest Lake on the planet and can be found at the Peruvian border. The Andes mountain hides away many natural wonders that are waiting for you to discover on the weekends. You can take a trip up the mountains, do rock climbing, horseback riding or participate in cultural activities in the community. Bolivians are very friendly people who love their culture and celebrations and will happily welcome you to their fiestas on your time off! This will be a great opportunity to learn about the Aymara culture. You will also be able to explore the local cafes and restaurants, as well as explore Bolivian cuisine. And don’t forget to check out the Mercado market for your souvenirs!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4+ weeks
- Cost: £1299 / $2028 for 4 weeks
Additional weeks fee varies
- Requirements: Age 18+
- Location: La Paz, Bolivia
- Working hours: Monday - Friday - 5-6 hours a day
- Project availability: Project open all year
- Arrival day: Monday
What is included
- Accommodation: shared room in a volunteer house (meals not included)
- Airport pick up from El Alto Airport or the bus station in La Paz
- Training: pre-departure information pack, on-site orientation and project induction
- Support: 24-hour support
- Excursion Planning: staff helps organise weekend activities (activity prices may be extra)
- Learning Reflection Document
- Certificate on completion of internship
- Supervision from qualified professional
- Fundraising Guide
What is not included
- Food, though a kitchen is provided and volunteers regularly cook or eat out together
- Daily transport to and from your project
- Optional Spanish classes are available
- Police/Government Background Check: US and UK citizens will be processed through Kaya (admin fee applies); all other nationalities must provide local police check.
- Any costs for COVID-19 PCR tests required pre-departure and in-country
Easy 4-step application process
Click here to apply online and pay your application fee to apply for your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
Once we’ve received your application, we’ll review your details and be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
Following your interview, we will provide you a placement offer. Once you are ready to confirm your placement and dates, you can pay your confirmation fee to book and secure your space.
When you have confirmed your project dates we'll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
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