i will finish my bachelor's degree in June of this year and as of September I would like to do some development work for a period of approximately six months in Peru of Bolivia.
Does anyone have any interesting tips for me? NGO's, where to go and where not to go, what to do and what not to do? Would it be best to arrange something before I go there or to just go there and first find out about the country and how development assistance works over there, if at all.
I am looking for the nearly the same thing you are and will be graduating in May 2005. As you have probably already seen, everything seems to charge an outrageous amount of money to do volunteer or internship work in South America. I am not sure about Bolivia, but I have found a couple of things for Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina. Contact me personally, because there are too many websites to list here. I haven't specifically looked for Bolivia, so they are probably on some of the websites I have, but I have not checked. Another route you might want to try is going and teaching in South America, while volunteering on the side. Let me know and I will try to point you to some interesting websites.
I volunteered for Plan Internacional during part of three years in Bolivia. It is an aid foundation that was founded after the Spanish Civil War. If you want to know any particulars about Bolivia or about volunteering, just shoot. I'll be checking back on this thread.
What you do should depend on what skills you have. If you have medical or engineering skills, volunteer ogs will be on you like starved chiuauas on a pork chop. Spanish skills are a must.
Hey I read your post...I had not really lookd into Bolivia, but I am definately open to almost anything. Can you tell me more about that program that you participated in Bolivia. I would appreciate it....Thanks!
Basically it is an all-around development plan, but it focuses primarily on children. It was established after the Spanish civil war as a relief for children left homeless and parentless by the war. Now it undertakes projects in most developing countries throughout the world.
One of the main sources of funding is through paying penpals from counties like the US, UK Sweden, etc. They write to thier third-world penpal, learn all about them, send small gifts, oftentimes even travel there to visit them in person. The proceeds from the system go towards things like improvement of rural roads, building potable water canals that supply clean water and help keep communities free of typhoid, cholera, etc. They build schoolhouses and often give lectures in rural areas on wide range of benificial subjects such as the ups/downs of insecticides, animal husbandry, sex ed, etc.
I have seen alot of kids broaden out and seen communities left so much better than they were found. Kids have gotten free of the vicious, rather grapes-of-wrathish farm-till-you-die circle, and kids and adults both benefit from learning things that they would never have the opportunity or resource to learn on their own. I recommend it. I don't have the contact info any more, but I'm sure it won't be hard to find on the web.
In most cases Spanish skills are a must, at least basic communication skills. For more detailed information on Bolivia, contact my associate, who was and is a legal resident of the country, teaching, interpreting and translating there for several years, mostly in and around Cochabamba. Bolivia is still very inexpensive and the people are amazingly friendly. Send me a message for contact details.
There are many volunteer programs here in Central America that will pay your room and board if you contact them far in advance.
I am working with several projects now, as adoption laws in my country are being made more flexible.