How you experience life as a volunteer with Bolivia Digna will be different for each person and will be very much dependent on how much time you are able to spend here, what choices you make while you are here, what experience you bring and what preconceptions and expectations you have.
We can promise you that it will not be what you are expecting, whatever that is! Come with an open mind and a positive attitude and we can also promise that it will be intense, fun, stressful, exhausting, at times frustrating, emotionally challenging, but overall very rewarding.
I don´t have Spanish classes today otherwise I´d now be dreading what my teacher will say about
my pathetic attempt at writing sentences using the subjunctive. Instead, I have another cup of coffee and chat with the other volunteers who are now emerging from their slumbers. Some volunteers are going to work with other organizations (parters of Bolivia Digna) in the mornings. Some work with children who have lived in prisons with their parents, while others work with children at the hospital and one is even working in a birds' refuge!
At 10:00 we have quick a team meeting to make sure everyone knows what will happen today on the projects. On Mondays we discuss plans for the week, on Fridays we evaluate how the week went and argue in a friendly way about ideas to improve. After the meeting I finalize preparations for my project for that afternoon. One of the biggest challenges, whatever the project, is to come up with content that is engaging, interesting and educational for all ages. I run my ideas past the teachers and a couple of the volunteers who will be working with me and make some last minute changes to the materials.
At 13:00 we are joined for lunch by the local volunteers. Lunch is one of the highlights of the day as Doña Soledad, our cook, will have conjured up one of the local specialties. We have a different meal every day. As it´s my turn to clean today, I help clear the table and wash the dishes. There is just time to pack a bag with snacks for the kids before the taxis arrive at 15:00 to take us to the projects.
We are greeted by an unruly and excited group of kids hanging around the door of the community center all claiming to have got there first (this gives them priority in the snack queue). Ater about 45 minutes of fun, but slightly chaotic class punctuated with laughter, tears and incredulous stares as my bad Spanish leads us all astray, we all agree that we have achieved something and we have a short break before wandering down to the “cancha” for a game of football.
We return to the building somewhat hot and sweaty with half the kids complaining about the “arbitro vendido” (corrupt ref) and form what in Bolivia is called a queue to get water and snacks, before everyone goes back home.
We generally work 5 days a week so weekends are free to explore the city or travel farther afield to experience all that Bolivia has to offer.”
More information about the accomodation and pictures here.
Interested? Join us!