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National Museum for Ethnography and Folklore La Paz

At the National Museum for Ethnography and Folklore in La Paz, internships and volunteering options are possible in research, librarianship, media production/video production, and directing courses of dance, theatre and arts.

The National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore of La Paz is active in the subject areas of museology, distribution of culture, and research. The museum is visited by around 100,000 people per year, most of whom are school classes; there are around 10,000 foreign tourists at the museum every year.

The department of museology („Museología“) is primarily conserving and expanding the collection of cultural artifacts which have been produced by the various ethnic groups of Bolivia; further the collection includes archaeological artifacts and objects from colonial time.

The department of distribution of culture („Extensión y Difusión Cultural“) runs the library which specialises in anthropology, cultural sciences, popular culture, ethnohistory, ethnology, ethnomusicology, history, linguistics, sociology, agriculture and archaeology, with a focus on indigenous people. It features around 15,000 printed works, including rare historic book. The Centre of Ethnological Documentation (CDE) hosts around 4500 documents of scientific relevance. The collection of journals encompasses around 14,000 scientific journals from Bolivia and other countries. The collection of maps owns historic maps from the 14th century until today, the audiovisual archive includes around 72 million pictures, 2000 illustrations, 2360 films, 1350 videos in various formats, and 10,000 audio recordings. At the video library, around 3000 titles can be viewed. Most titles of the library, the video library and of the archive are accessible through an online catalogue. There are 4 full time librarians at the library.

Volunteers and interns of librarianship can participate in the following subject areas: Indexing of the library’s assets such as books, journals, audio recordings, moving images, and digitalization of the archive’s historic documents. For the indexing of books, the library is working with the systems MARK 21, ISIMARK and SCDD23. Magazine articles are being indexed in an alphanumerical way. Further, they can translate historical documents from German to Spanish.

The museum is doing audiovisual media production, particularly video documentaries about ethnological and folkloric topics related to Bolivia. The museum has already produced some 1500 documentaries which are not only being provided at the video library, but which are also available for sale. The revenues from the sales however cannot cover the production costs, so the video production is being subsidized.

Interns and volunteers of video production can assist with the design of storyboards, video editing and postproduction, 2D animation, 3D animation, and indexing and digitalization of materials from the archive. For video editing, Final Cut Pro 7 is used, for 3D animation Maya and 3DMax, for 2D animation Anime.

The office of editorial and graphic design produces texts for publications and exhibitions, and is doing graphic design. The museum’s PR is also part of the responsibilities of this department.

Interns and volunteers of this subject area work on printed items for the museum such as brochures, leaflets, catalogues but also signage, information boards etc.

Part of media production is also exhibition technologies, primarily dealing with the lighting of the museum’s exhibitions.

The research department is doing research related to Bolivian culture. This department is further engaging into educational tasks such as offering various courses.

Students of history, ethnology, archaeology, anthropology, architecture and sociology can participate in their specialty subject area at a large research project which has the aim to investigate and describe the characteristics of all churches and local festivities in all villages of Bolivia.      

The museum is further offering courses of activities such as modern, classic and folkloristic dance, arts, pottery and drawing. These courses are taking place from Monday to Friday and are targeting various groups such as youth, disabled children and senior citizens, twice a week for each target group, from February to November. Volunteers who can teach these courses can stay also for a shorter duration and the start is possible at any moment.


Info box:

Location: La Paz, Bolivia

Duration: From 1 month

Special qualifications needed: related subject of studies or experiences

Costs: Trouble-free package is optional

Accommodation: Not included

Meals: Not included

Included: Placement in the project; if you opt for the trouble-free package the whole range of services which is part of the trouble-free package is included

Not included: Travel to Bolivia, health insurance, visa

Book this placement now!