What is the Sports Coaching and Community Work in the Bolivian Andes project all about?
This varied placement focuses on sports coaching and community work in the Bolivian Andes, aiming to support disabled and disadvantaged children. There are three community-based activities offered to children from impoverished families in the area that you can help with. First, is the day care centre for very young children, which seeks to incorporate a number of physical and sports activities into its program. Next, there is an after-school club for children, aged 10-11, that benefits from the addition of structured sports activities. Lastly, there is a children’s home for victims of abuse, where support is needed to help build self-esteem, communication skills and complete therapy and structured sessions via sports. The idea is to develop the childrens’ English by creating cultural exchange between the students and the volunteers. Additonally, for those with sports therapy experience, there is the opportunity to get involved in equine therapy and other activities for children with disabilities.
Why choose this Sports Coaching & Community Work project?
Sports coaching is a fantastic volunteer placement where you have the opportunity to use your energies to motivate others. Work to promote gender equality and teamwork, whilst developing the skills and knowledge of local people toward sports. You will be able to introduce a range of sporting activities and exercises to the children and staff, creating lasting lessons that can be continued even after your trip is finished. This is a fun and active volunteer placement that will make your CV/Resume stand out.
Role of the Sports & Community Volunteer
As a sports and community volunteer in La Paz, you will participate in a number of different elements of the project. Depending on your skills and experience you may be asked to:
- run after school sports activities for children, aged 10-11 years old
- run exercises, games and physical activities with children, aged 3-4 years old, including those with special education needs
- support a local equine therapy centre by helping at children’s sessions
- participate in international relations and cultural exchange lessons with students, aged 13-16
Every volunteer will be assigned a primary and secondary activity and each volunteer’s activities will vary. You will be asked to participate in community work once a week, assisting with tree-planting and/or land-clearing in an effort to improve the environment. Overall, you will develop your Spanish and team-working skills.
What skills do I need to be a Sports & Community Volunteer in the Bolivian Andes?
Volunteers with all levels of sports coaching or sports skills are welcome. Therapists or those with experience working with young or disabled children are highly valued. You must be caring, patient, willing to listen and willing to work as part of a team. It is important that you respect local methods, even if they are different from your own.
Volunteers must be able to speak Spanish (level A1 Basic User of CEFR or better). Spanish classes can be set up alongside your volunteering to help develop your Spanish speaking skills. You will be asked to submit two personal references and send your CV/resume, before being accepted onto this project.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
To share your passion for sport with others
To encourage girls to participate in sports and exercise
To develop the sports skills and knowledge of the local people
Where will I work in Bolivia?
About the Location
Bolivia is the highest and most isolated of the Latin American republics and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Tibet of the Americas’ due to the country’s ancestral habits. You will be based in La Paz during your time on your project where the temperature does not get excessively hot due to the high altitude. This slightly cooler climate may be well received as you will be hard at work on the projects. If you want to avoid the rainy seasons whilst you are volunteering in Bolivia, then the dry season begins in May through to August with July being the driest month of the season!
The western side of Bolivia’s highlands are made up of The Andes Mountain Range, where there are many natural wonders to discover. The rich blue waters of Lake Titicaca reside in this area, making it the highest lake found on earth. It is also one of the widest and deepest Lakes in the world. To put this into perspective, it would take you 6 hours to cross in a hydrofoil boat! Southwest, Bolivia is home to some of the world’s largest salt flats, also known as “Salar de Uyuni”.
It’s no secret that Bolivians are renowned for their partying and fiestas as they are a fundamental part of the Bolivian lifestyle. It would be hard to miss a celebration, even during the shortest of stays, as they occur up and down the country so frequently!
Your project is based about 30 minutes outside of La Paz, in a stunning, semi-rural village called Mallasa (pronounced Mayasa). Mallasa, is the perfect place to learn or improve your Spanish speaking skills as very few people speak English. You will be able to get a good feel for the Aymara culture as you live alongside locals in the village in a volunteer house.
The volunteer houses are well furnished and have running water, electricity and indoor plumbing, so you will be quite comfortable living here. It is likely that you will have your own room, however you may be required to share with another volunteer during the busy summer months.
Local Bolivian food is available from local stores and volunteers can cook authentic meals in the kitchen area of the volunteer house. You can even dine out with other volunteers – why not try out the pizzeria near the volunteer houses where you can get a tasty pizza for around £4 ($7)!
What to do in your spare time
In your free time, venture to the centre of La Paz to explore its interesting museums, colonial buildings and abundance of craft shops, as well as its many cafes, restaurants, and bars. Stroll along Sagarnaga Street and visit the shops and cafes on offer or head over to Calle Jaen to sample the local cinemas and live music clubs. Bolivia also offers a wealth of artisan goods. The Mercado is a huge market which is not to be missed. It’s stretched across many blocks and offers almost everything you can think of. If you want to do something other than shopping then be sure not to miss the spectacular views from the hilltop destination known as Mirador Killi Killi. For those who want to venture further afield, visit the salt flats, trek in the cordilleras or go to the spectacular Lake Titicaca. Bolivia has so much to offer, so you will never be at a loose end!
Details & Costs
- Duration: 4+ weeks
- Cost: £1099/ $1715 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 volunteer house (meals not included)
- Pick up from Al Alto Airport or the bus station in La Paz
- Training: pre-departure information, orientation and project induction
- Support: 24 hour support
- Excursion Planning: staff help organise weekend activities (activity prices may be extra)
- 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
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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