Skip Navigation

Volunteering and travelling in South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Volunteering and travelling in South America

  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by LinTravel (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Im planning on travelling to South America in August for about 3 or 4 months. I am turning 18 in July and i'm travelling by myself. I want to volunteer in Bolivia and Ecuador preferably with a reliable organisation. Im wondering if anyone knows about any good volunteer programs avaliable and whether i should fly between or bus and how long would it take? I would like to volunteer with orphans or animals, i've heard of a place called inti warra yassi which is apparently really good.
Any help or information would be appreciated.

2. Posted by findemundo (Full Member 127 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,
I love this question! I spent a month on a farm associated with Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) in Ecuador, and LOVED it. While no two volunteer experiences will be the same, my time working on a farm with an indigenous family was the HIGHLIGHT of my year in South American.

You specifically mentioned you want to work with animals. In Bolivia, there is an animal rescue/refuge that takes volunteers. I know nothing about the cost/qualifications, but I met several people volunteering there and they seemed pleased with the opportunity. Town = Villa Tunarí, park = Parque Machia Animal

You can read about my experience volunteering on the farm here at my online journal (Start at Aug. 9 entry)

or about my visit to the animal park (May 5 entry)

Let me know if you have any specific questions.

3. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Best resources are i
in several languages
in English and Spanish to start

contact those projects in the countries in which you wish to travel, then visit them after arrival
Nothing is more magic than "showing up"
Remember many staff members spend much of their time at meetings, conferences and fund raising to stay above water, so volunteers always required.
Never pay online to volunteer, ask to visit in person!
Generally, these small non profits ask you pay your own room, board and local transportation expenses, unless you offer very special and needed skills such as nursing, medical doctor or technican, dentist and are conversant in Spanish.

4. Posted by JMO1985 (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Can anyone share their experiences of any volunteering work over in South America? I'd love to do it when I'm over there, but I've never done this before, so I am very clueless!!

5. Posted by JMO1985 (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Any volunteer work with sports? Like football??

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


Many many humanitarian aid organizations exist in
Central America and require long or short term
volunteers, with or without special skills, all year
around..view these non profit portals for no cost or
low cost opportunities, contacting yourself any and
all organizations you are interested in working with
well in advance of your departure..from another bloq
of mine…”volunteering abroad, especially in the
developing countries, as a volunteer, long or short
term, you'll make valuable and lifelong friendships as
well as trusted local contacts which may lead into
time employment in your chosen field locally.
Ordinarily you'll have to pay your airfare and room
and board to volunteer with many small projects as
most have barely enough money to stay above water.
Fundraising, a year round effort, often takes up much
of paid staff’s time and energy! The 'pro' is you'll
be there in your target country or region and not
online behind a computer screen at home! The smiles of
a child or family in need we have assisted beats any
computer screen or laptop for me by a wide mile!

More information view these web portals: in several languages. English English, Spanish.

NEW! ... entral-A...

7. Posted by alice_pops (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

i did a placement in Sri Lanka after the tsunami with the organisation called Projects Abroad and absolutely cherished every minute of it! I can definitely recommend them cause they are very well organise (my placement and host family), very flexible and above all the local staff are super helpful in every way.

Good luck x

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2009, at 23:23 by alice_pops ]

8. Posted by alice_pops (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Quoting JMO1985

Any volunteer work with sports? Like football??

check out projects abroad i heard they have a good football placement in ghana....oh btw, i did a placement with them and they are good so it's worth checking them out :)

good luck x

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by vickycrook (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

It depends on what kind of volunteering you are interested in doing, i went to South America three years ago with a company called Quest Overseas who work with partner charities in areas such as Lima (Villa Maria shanty town) Ecuador (Yachana conservation project in the jungle - which i went on) Ambue Ari in Bolivia (Working with animals rescued from the pet and circus trade)
Whatever you do decide to do its important to fully research the organisation and make sure the time you spend is benefitial both to yourself and the project,
Check for relevant questions you should ask !