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Huancarani - Teaching in Indigenous Village

At the educational centre "Fundación pro Huancarani" volunteers give homework support to village children in the afternoon, do creative activities with them, and teach vocational skills and IT skills. In the mornings, volunteers spend time farming with the indigenous families.

Project Details

The village of Huancarani is located around 24 km outside of Cochabamba and around 14 km outside of Quillacollo, close to the main road to Oruro.
Around 100 indigenous families live in the village, most of whom engage in small-scale farming for private use, and in the production of lime. The level of education in the villages is low; even about everyday things such as nutrition and farming, the knowledge of the villagers is shockingly low. The standard of the public school is insufficient and just consists of parrot-like memorizing of a few basic things.
The Bolivian "Funcación pro Huancarani" and the Swiss "Fundación Khushkaw" support development and education at the village.
For several years, both foundations have been running a centre for education and leisure for the children of the village, and assist the village community in development and education. In 2012, a new building will be completed, offering more space and rooms for computer classes, an educational kitchen and workshops for vocational training.
The village children attend public school Mondays to Fridays from 8.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. After this, they are invited to meet at the Foundations’ centre from 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. At the centre, they are offered help with their homework and activities fostering creativity. Volunteers and interns can carry out these activities with the children.
Those who have technical or vocational skills such as carpentry, metal working, baking, cooking and computers are welcome to teach at the centre. From the age of 10, the children start to learn these subjects.
In the mornings, when the children attend public school, volunteers and interns usually assist families in the village with food production, for example in assisting in simple gardening work. It is expected that volunteers and interns show enthusiasm and tolerance to be part of the village community.
A stay in Huancarani is also suitable for ethnological research. We can provide assistance for such research projects. One participant for example wrote her dissertation about the topic of when the indigenous population of Huancarani makes use of traditional medicine and when they prefer Western medicine; a linguist similarly compared the situations when the indigenous people make use of Spanish language to those when they prefer to communicate in Quechua.
Volunteers and interns can be accommodated at the Centre for education and leisure in Huancarani at no further cost. There are two modern rooms available. Food cannot be provided, but can be cooked at the centre.
Participants can buy basic food supplies in the village, but it is also easy just to go to Quillacollo by trufi (10 km) where a wider range of food is available.
Holidays of the public school are from 15th of December to end of January, and for 2 weeks in July; during this time full-day activities are possible at the centre.
Interns and volunteers must be at least of 18 years of age. The duration of stay should be 3-12 months. Qualified participants who can teach technical or vocational skills can stay for shorter duration.
Intermediate skills of Spanish language are expected.
Info Box
Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 3 months, may be shorter for professionals
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: Intermediate Spanish
Home for Volunteers
Supervision Possible: No
Qualification Of Supervisor: -
Minimum Qualification Of Intern: -
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Expectations: 100% motivation, ability to adapt to local culture, Do you have the "right" attitude?


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Most popular! - This is the choice of most of our participants. You live in an apartment with other participants.

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Adventurer - For simplest and cheapest deals: Accommodation of simple standard.



Accommodation in Jupapina

Right next Emma, her husband Rolando and their two children's home, are the lovingly designed volunteer houses. The houses each have several single rooms, fully equipped kitchens and bathrooms, which are shared by the residents. In addition, there are comfortable lounges. From the balconies or the terrace you have an indescribably beautiful view down on the elevations of the Andes and into the valley, where a river meanders. Volunteers provide for themselves. Basic food and hygiene products can be purchased in Jupapina and the neighboring village, Mallasa. For larger purchases, you can use public transport to reach the south of La Paz (about 20 to 30 minutes drive), where there are larger shopping centers. In the volunteer houses, there is WiFi. The Internet service is however, now and then restricted. Both in Jupapina and in Mallasa, there are also Internet cafes. Laundry can be washed by hand in a designated pool behind the family's home. There is also a washing machine; per wash cost is 25 Bolivianos (about 3 EUR) including detergent.

Accommodation in Huancarani



Accommodation in Sapecho
You live with a host family in the village of Sapecho. Following the tradition of the indigenous pluralism the community chooses the host family for you, so we can not predict precisely which family. However, the living conditions are comparable. The default requirements are that you bring a sleeping bag. There is a mosquito net available. In the village occupied by about 100 families, there is electricity and an internet café. There are only small shops selling basic products such as oil, rice, soap, dry biscuits, etc. There is in a hospital with basic medical services in Palos Blancos, a slightly larger village (just 15 minutes by car or motorcycle from Sapecho). Also the exact amount for rent and meals is decided in every single case by the community and we cannot tell you exactly in advance. It should be around 80 Bs/night (approx. 11.60 USD) on full board.


Please note: Accommodation is provided for free to volunteers at this project. The rates hereunder for accommodation don't apply in this case. They would only apply if you prefer to stay in Cochabamba, commuting to Huancarani every day (around 60 minutes).

I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
 wu servicepackage
1 Person
300 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
250 EUR 400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Assistance with visa extension in Bolivia or arrangement of visa (depending on duration of stay) and other official permits (if required), but not the official government fees for it/them
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Cochabamba Airport (CBB) on arrival and departure
  • Assistance with the booking of domestic connection flights within Bolivia if you arrive in La Paz or ViruViru
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Cochabamba
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • 50 USD Contribution to your project
  • Local SIM Card with 60 Bs. air time
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Bolivia (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
Rates in US-Dollar!
Convert Currency
 Short-time stay
(1-31 Days)
Long-time stay
(32-365 Days)
(You pay proportionally per day)
Shared House or Hostel   
House shared with other participants
1 Person
(Single Room)
120-180 USD/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
- 80-120 USD/Month
Hostel at Plaza Colon, Dorm bed
per person 8 USD/Day 240 USD/Month
Host Family
Host Family of Middle Standard
on Full Board
1 Person
(Single Room)
15 USD/Day 380 USD/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
15 USD/Day 380 USD/Month
For incomplete months you will pay the exact amount proportionally per day.
In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates.

Overview of other costs:

  • For most citizens except US Citizens, no Visa fee for a stay of a maximum of 90 days per calendar year. Any time you stay in excess of 90 days within a calendar year, 20 Bs. fee per day. US Citizens pay currentyl 135 USD Visa fee.
  • If meals are not included: around 70-150 EUR /100-180 USD)/month
  • Small local expenses (e.g. Internet, local transport): around 30-50 USD/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 30-50 USD/Month


How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. 3 months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package and for the first month of rent.
Rent from the 2nd month, possible further contributions to the NGO or for internship supervision (see info box of the respective project description), and costs for visa and possibly further official permits you pay directly at your destination. There are ATMs. 



Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.

Spanish language or indigenous language lessons

Cochabamba Language SchoolIn Cochabamba, you can attend Spanish language lessons at a language school. The school has been teaching for more than 20 years, using the communicative method. The teaching is active and requires intensive participation. The language is taught at all levels, from beginner to advanced, with all intermediate stages.
The school also offers instruction in the indigenous languages, ​​Quechua and Aymara. For volunteering and internships in rural areas of Bolivia with indigenous communities, knowledge of the respective language is of great advantage.
For 40 hours of private lessons: 330 EUR.
In the registration form, tick "Language Training Required" and the required number of hours (minimum 40 hours).

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.


To arrive at the village of Huancarani, you have to take the road that goes from the city of Cochabamba to La Paz, and after approximately 25 km, turn left and keep going around 700 meters. In the village, there are a handful of shops where you can buy basic foodstuffs; in about 10 minutes you can walk to an Internet café. For larger purchases, you can go to Sipe Sipe which is running distance of around 30 minutes or you can take public transportation to Quillacollo (about 10 km) or directly to Cochabamba, which, depending on traffic conditions is around 40-60 minutes by public transport.
In Huancarani there are about 70 families, living sometimes in very simple houses with reduced water and electricity supply. Many of the inhabitants are of indigenous origin and belong to the Quechua. Their language, Quechua, is everyday language in Huancarani and some residents have little or no formal knowledge of Spanish. Culture and language of Quechua is part of the plurinationality of Bolivia. Plurinationality, that is, that the State recognizes different cultures; in Bolivia, 37 different ones. The Plurinational State of Bolivia was developed after the election of Evo Morales, who is of indigenous origin, as President in 2005; until then, many people of indigenous origin had to endure a life of exclusion. The consequences are still felt. Compared to the non- indigenous population, many people of indigenous origin are disadvantaged and are strongly affected by the existing social inequality in Bolivia and in poverty. 


With 700,000 inhabitants, Cochabamba is Bolivia's fourth largest city. Today, it merges in the west with Quillacollo, which itself has some 150,000 people. Both cities are nested in the densely populated Valley of Cochabamba, at an altitude of around 2560 meters (8700 feet) above sea level. The fertile valley has a flat bottom, expanding around 25x10 km (15x6 miles), while the framing mountains reach heights of some 5000 meters (16,400 feet). The Valley of Cochabamba enjoys a protected, sunny and moderate climate. The daytime maximums during the whole year are around 23-26 degrees C (73-79 degrees F), while the nighttime minimum oscillates between 13 degrees from October to March and 3 degrees in June and July. Rainy season is from December to March, whereas, there is almost no rain during the rest of the year.
Cochabamba is a city with a lot of youth. In downtown Cochabamba, you find the "Prado", "Plaza Colon" and the botanical garden, modern, green and clean. Cochabamba is home to "La Cancha", one of the largest markets in South America and is overlooked by the "Cristo de la Concordia", the second highest statue of Christ in the world.
Due to its central location in Bolivia, Cochabamba itself is a convenient destination for excursions into the country.

Coordinator in Cochabamba

Our supervisor in Cochabamba is Mauge. Mauge comes from Cochabamba, is an intercultural trainer, and has studied in the US. She speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Recreational Activities in Cochabamba

In Cochabamba, there is an active youth life with bars, clubs, cinemas, etc. because of the 14 universities present.
The city of Oruro can be relatively easily reached by bus. You can visit Oruro's historic mines and the city's famous Carnival, every year in February. During the whole year, there are numerous Christian and indigenous festivals in many villages and cities that you can visit, such as Intiwatana on the 21st of June (Andean midwinter) and Urqupiña in August.
From Cochabamba, we arrange affordable small group excursions, including:
* Day trip to Tunari Nationalpark and climbing Cerro Tunari (5035 m/16,500 feet).
* Day visit of the Inca ruins at Incallajta
* Day trekking trip in the subtropical misty forest of Incachaca
* 3 day trip to Catavi mining area (has socio-historical importance) on the Altiplano highland
* 3 day trip to Chapare into the tropical lowland of Cochabamba - swimming in rivers and hiking in the rain forest
* 3 day trip to Torotoro Nationalpark, including a visit to the Inca ruins and climbing Cerro Tunari

Getting There


Getting To Cochabamba

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You fly to Cochabamba (CBB), where you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation. Often, there are cheaper international flights to Santa Cruz de la Sierra (ViruViru Airport, VVI) or to La Paz El Alto (LPB). In that case, you can fly there and then take a connecting flight to Cochabamba, booking separately with Aerosur or BoA. The tickets between these cities are quite low (30-50 EUR / 38-63 USD), but you cannot pay by credit card from overseas. We can buy you a ticket in Bolivia. 



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from the Cochabamba airport at any time. Certain projects cannot be started during holidays, of which we will inform you in advance.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course, you can do this - most of our participants do so. However, when the travel destination is too far away, it may not be possible over a weekend; these, we would recommend you keep for before the projects begins or after the completion. You could even plan these out during holidays (e.g. Semana Santa). We will notify you of the destinations and the recommended time to visit.
Is it safe to travel in Nicaragua alone as a single female traveller?
About 80 percent of our participants are women and many of them 18 to 24 years old. Not a single instance of any serious security issue has been reported. Our supervisors on site will advise you on how you should conduct yourself in order to avoid problems - issues such as clothing style, carrying valuables, and in dealing with machismo and patriarchal societies. Our preparation material brings attention to these issues. It is very important to follow these basic rules, that are just as applicable to many other places, in order to reduce risk as much as possible.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Bolivia?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Cochabamba, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so. In addition, there are also many tourists on the road, whom you can easily meet at bars, shops, etc. Cochabamba being a University town, it it easy to meet Bolivian and foreign students there too.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info - PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
In the tab "Accommodation", you will see the various accommodation options.
Can I choose the accommodation myself?
Please share us with your request, so that we can organize your accommodation accordingly. Some organizations offer accommodation themselves. In such cases, that is the only accommodation option you have.
How free or bound am I in my accommodation with the host family?
While you will have your privacy, in Bolivia, it is customary to let your host family know when you will leave or return to the house so that the doors can be unlocked, due to safety reasons. It is unacceptable to have casual acquaintances visit you. The level of closeness or privacy with the family can differ.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
The shared accommodations in Cochabamba and in Sopocachi/La Paz have internet, as does the hostel in Cochabamba. As for the host families, Internet is not always available, and the same applies to the lodgings that are rented for some projects/internships. You can find information about the availability in the tabs "Accommodation". If there is no wifi internet, you can buy yourself a stick or surf the Internet with your smartphone.
How can I do my laundry?
In general, clothes are hand washed in Bolivia. Many households have someone employed for the purpose, while others have washing machines. There are also laundromats.
Can I cook in the accommodation ?
Yes, the families allow the use of the kitchen, but may charge a small monthly fee for additional consumption of electricity and gas. The families also offer meals for you, if you want to eat with them. This, you can decide when you arrive. Details are in the tab "Accommodation".
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Yes, host families are familiar with vegetarian meals and allergies or food intolerances can be considered. It is also possible to buy vegetarian food.
What language skills do I need?
In Bolivia, Spanish, as well as indigenous languages ​​such as Aymara or Quechua are spoken. If you have little or no knowledge of Spanish, we recommend that you begin your stay with a Spanish language course. We can also organize Skype Spanish lessons with a Bolivian language teacher. The majority of the volunteering/ internships expect basic to medium level of Spanish at the start of the activity. That is, you should be able to communicate and express yourself during your stay, at a basic level. Please let us know what you level of knowledge of Spanish is, so that we make sure we organise your stay/project accordingly.
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