Volunteering opportunities in South America is a noble cause that brings fulfillment to the volunteer, and also leaves a lasting impact on the people in the community, where the volunteering activities are carried out.
Using your time, skill, energy and even money in some situations to help people grow would surely serve as a source of delight to oneself.
These are some of the fulfilment South American volunteers gain and you can be a part of this by participating in theses best volunteer opportunities in South America.
Why Volunteer in South America
South America is a part of the world that comprises countries, such as Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, etc.
And as a result of the diversity present here, volunteering in this part of the world would not only impact the community, but also the volunteer.
Below are some reasons, why you should consider volunteering in South America.
To start with, volunteering in South America would grant exposure to and learn new languages.
South American countries speak different languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and even indigenous languages such as Quechua. And as a volunteer, you would learn one or more of these languages, since you would be required to communicate in them, during the period of your volunteering.
And learning a new language(s) exposes us to new thinking, and also to new ideas and concepts.
Also, as a volunteer in South America, you would have the opportunity of exploring the places on that side of the world and get to know about their customs, traditions, view on issues, history, etc.
Not only will you have the opportunity to get acquainted with the traditions, but you will also have the opportunity to visit historical places of significance in these countries.
You would also be exposed to interacting with the locals in the community, and learn from them, while also giving out of your wealth of knowledge too.
Volunteering in South America also allows your skills and gives you hands-on experience, as you carry out your volunteering duties.
Volunteering experiences help your CV stand out among that of others since it makes you valuable in terms of skills set and experience.
Are there Paid Volunteering Opportunities in South America?
Typically, volunteer work Is done for free, hence, people usually work for free in most situations.
However, some volunteering opportunities pay the volunteers some stipend, to cater for their feeding and housing costs, during the period of their volunteering.
Here, some of these paid volunteering opportunities would be examined.
United Nations Volunteer: Everyone is familiar with the United Nations, and their noble desire to make the world a better place.
They require volunteers, who would help with their skills and abilities in various projects. And in return, they pay some stipend to help the volunteers cater for their personal needs, during volunteering.
GVI Trust Scholar: GVI Trust Scholar has a database full of paid volunteer projects in South America. To volunteer for their program, they usually have a fee attached.
However, the organization’s Trust Scholar Program gives eligible applicant volunteers abroad scholarship awards up to £2000.
How can one Become a Volunteer in South America? A step-by-step guide.
Getting started as a volunteer in South America requires taking some steps, from accessing your skills, up to the point of choosing a project and getting picked to volunteer.
Here, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how one can become a volunteer in South America.
To start with, it is important to note again that South America is a continent, with diverse countries of different cultures, customs, and traditions.
So, the first step to take in becoming a volunteer in South America would be to determine the country one wants to volunteer in.
The countries in South America include; Peru, Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, etc.
Hence, you have to first k a country of interest, and then decide where to go.
Afterward, you analyze your skillset, abilities, or areas of interest, to determine the kind of project you would be able to volunteer in.
After which you then pick a project of interest, which is available in your country of choice.
There are various volunteering projects available, and examples of some of the areas in the society that requires volunteers include wildlife including social justice, childcare, health care, environmental sustainability, disabled care, etc.
So, after picking a project, you are to move forward to get yourself familiarized with the project details, duration of time for the project, volunteers’ tasks and schedule, costs, and other important requirements.
Afterward, you then fill a volunteer application form, where personal details about you, such as your name, phone number, email address, home address, skill sets, etc would be required for submission.
Some volunteer projects also require that you pass a criminal background check.
After which your application is accepted by the organization, and you are contacted and sent an acceptance letter.
In some situations, some organizations require you to do an interview, before you can be chosen.
After the acceptance, you proceed to attend orientations and move forward with traveling procedures to start your volunteer work.
How to Find Volunteer Opportunities in South America?
There are different ways to find volunteer opportunities in South America, and two of these procedures shall be discussed.
The first way to find volunteering opportunities in South America is to book a volunteer vacation with a reputable abroad-based or international placement organization.
These organizations would refer you to reputable and top-notch volunteer placements and organizations, where you can volunteer and contribute your quota to the environment.
Another way to find volunteer placements in South America is to check reputable websites, which lists volunteer placements in various countries in South America.
These websites list volunteer opportunities, as well as details about them, and how to apply for them.
Best Websites for low-cost Volunteering in South America.
Certain websites list low-cost volunteering opportunities available in South America. Some of them shall be listed below.
WorkAway is a reputable website, where you can get low-cost volunteering opportunities in South America.
In volunteer placements put on this website, volunteers are to stay with a host, and the host provides them with housing and food during the time of their volunteering, in return for four to five hours of volunteering per day.
Also, the host and volunteer are required to write a profile, to get to know the other person, and to make the choice of the location and host to stay with.
Now, before you sign up for any volunteering opportunity on this website, your expectations, as well as that of your host, must be clearly stated and aligned, to avoid unmet or misaligned expectations.
#2. Volunteer South America:
Volunteer South America is a website that helps independent volunteers find grassroots Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to volunteer with.
They emphasize that volunteers should prepare well beforehand, by learning about the country they want to volunteer in, learn the language being spoken there, identity the skills they want to offer, etc.
The Volunteer South America website lists volunteering opportunities, with the full description of the project, such as duration of the project, expectations on the project, link to the volunteering website, etc.
The organizations listed on this website are usually small NGOs. Hence, you would be required to pay living costs.
#3. True Travellers
True Travellers gives a list of free or low-cost volunteering opportunities, with direct links to the organization’s websites, and a description of the opportunities there.
The list is categorized country by country, making it easy to navigate and select from. Some of the countries listed there include; Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru, etc.
They focus on volunteers, who can offer their services to have an impact on the lives of the people they would be volunteering with.
Help list volunteering opportunities in which volunteers are given food and accommodation in return for their volunteering activities.
Here, volunteering opportunities are available on farms, hostels, ranches, etc. And volunteers are required to work for about four hours per day.
Also, for volunteering opportunities listed on Helpx, a fee is required to become a ‘premium helper’, which enables a volunteer to contact all hosts at a rate of £20 for a two-year subscription.
#5. Go Abroad
This is the largest website on this list, as it covers a wide variety of volunteering opportunities in South America, ranging from volunteering to internships, to opportunities to learn a new language, etc.
Here, all the countries in South America are listed, and you only have to filter through, to pick a country and project of your choice.
For the volunteer opportunities listed on this site, the organizations provide a full package of support to the volunteers.
10 Volunteering Opportunities in South America in 2022
Here, the ten best volunteering opportunities available in South America shall be listed and explained as follows:
#1. Wildlife Caretaker:
This is located in Iquitos, Peru. The wildlife caretaker organization is concerned with rescuing animals from illegal trafficking and hunting.
They aim to support these rescued animals, which are mostly young to grow and mature.
Here, volunteers will work with animals and support in the rescue, get engaged in the rehabilitation process and medical treatment of these animals.
They are also saddled with the responsibility of implementing enrichment programs and working with specialists to gain knowledge about the animals, support them, feed them and monitor their health.
Volunteers must be 18+, and will work for about 2-24 weeks, from Monday to Friday, from 8 am -4 pm.
#2. Community Development Volunteer Program
This is located in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
They are concerned with carrying out programs that would help to move the community forward, and they require volunteers to help achieve this goal to the optimal level.
Volunteers here are required to help out with community development programs, garden programs, art programs, assist the local people, and carry out some other big initiative programs.
Typically, volunteers can be placed in various sectors ranging from education, health, art, technology, etc. They should be 18+ and would be required to work for 3-24 weeks, from Monday to Friday, for at least 5 hours per day, within 08:30 am to 5 pm.
#3. Music Education Volunteer Program: This is located in Quito in Ecuador.
Here, volunteers are required to help out in teaching music classes, lead a music session, help students explore new sounds, and even teach them how to play musical instruments.
The students involved in this environment are usually about 3-12 years old.
Typically, in this area of the country; the Guitar, Melodica, and Recorder are the only musical instruments used. However, volunteers can introduce new instruments to the students, as they wish to.
Volunteers must be 18+, and if not, they must be permitted or accompanied by a guardian. They are also required to work for 1-12 weeks, from Tuesday to Friday, for at least 5 hours between 08:30 am to 5 pm.
#4. Special Needs Care Volunteer Program: This is located in Cordoba in Argentina.
This organization is aimed at providing young disabled people with useful tools, which would aid their active development, stimulate their independence and integration in their immediate family and even in the community at large.
Here, volunteers facilitate classes for these disabled individuals, organize events to support therapeutic activities, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+, and if less than 18 years old, they must be given approval by their parent or guardian or accompanied by them.
Volunteers are required to work for 1-12 weeks, from 8 am to 1 pm.
#5. Environmental Education
This is another volunteering opportunity, which is located at Santa Elena in Ecuador.
The organization is concerned with educating locals about environmental issues and how to live sustainably. They also teach techniques for preserving and conserving the environment, to foster social and economic development.
Volunteers are saddled with carrying out beach cleaning, community in cycling and recycling programs, gardening, tree planting, etc.
Volunteers should be able to speak Spanish, and should be 18+, and if lesser than that age, parental consent is required, before such an individual can join.
Volunteering work spans from 1-12 weeks, from Tuesdays to Fridays, from 8 am to 5 pm.
#6. Childcare Volunteer Program
This is situated in Buenos Aries in Argentina.
This organization is passionate about helping children, who were born into marginalized communities get a good support network and the right nurturing.
Volunteers are required to encourage the children, help them develop skills, and have a better perspective on life. They are also to facilitate games, cook, etc.
Volunteers are required to be 18+, able to speak Spanish, and be great in handling children, etc.
The work lasts for about 1-12 weeks, and they require each volunteer to work for about 5 hours in a day, between 8 am and 7 pm.
#7. Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project
This is situated at Cusco in Peru. Here, volunteers are required to get involved in construction and renovation projects, build local projects which are incomplete, paint, and pay some amount to help pay for building materials needed.
Volunteers would also be opportune to work under the supervision of local foremen, who provide direction and expertise.
Volunteers must be 18+ and are required to volunteer for about 1-24 weeks.
#8. Elderly Care Volunteer Program
This is situated in Bogota, Columbia. This volunteer program is concerned about caring for elders who have been left to fend for themselves, and who live with various kinds of diseases and illnesses.
Here, volunteers are required to rescue elders from the streets, provide companionship, conversation, help with tasks, medication, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+, and be able to speak Spanish. They would also be required to work for 1-24 weeks for about 5 hours a day.
#9. Sports Education Volunteer Program
This is in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. They aim at providing opportunities for healthy, and fun recreational activities for children, teenagers, adults, and disabled people in a safe and supportive environment.
Volunteers are required to work in a community center that offers a wide range of activities, such as; dance, martial arts, swimming, volleyball, soccer, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+ and are required to pass a criminal background check. They are also required to volunteer for about 2-24 weeks.
#10. Medical Campaign
This is at Cusco in Peru. The organization is concerned about the healthcare sector; hence, they carry out activities to help out in that area.
Here, volunteers are required to visit local communities to provide basic health care services, treat and educate patients, do a medical check-up, etc.
Volunteers must be 18+ and are required to work for 1-24 weeks.
Volunteering in South America is a worthy cause that should be considered by anyone, to give back to the world, in a significant way.
There are various sectors in this continent, which require the help of volunteers to foster growth, especially at the grassroots level.
Any volunteer’s work, no matter how small would have a huge impact on the lives of the local people.