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Farm in Bolivia

Internship and Volunteering Possible
 
You can help with farm work on the farm of the Sisters of Ave Maria, about 30 km outside of La Paz in the Bolivian Altiplano. Accommodation and meals will be provided in return. On the farm, vegetables and fruits are grown, chicken are reared and cheese is produced.
 
 

Project Details

 

The farm is located in Achocalla, around 30 km outside of La Paz and is run by the Ave Maria School of La Paz.

It has been transformed by the Catholic sisters, from a desert landscape to fertile land. Today, as food supplies of around 300 children staying at the boarding school, the farm produces fruits and vegetables; chicken are kept and cheese is made.

The farm is also used for celebrations and excursions.

Volunteers can assist with farming activities and will be provided accommodation and meals. Basic knowledge of Spanish language is expected, but not a necessity. Minimum duration is 3 months.

Info Box
General
Location: Achacolla (at La Paz), Boliviabr /> Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 3 Months
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: Basic Spanish
Accommodation:
At the Farm
Internship
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Farmers
Minimum Qualification Of Intern: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Expectations:
Motivated worker, Do you have the "right" attitude?
 

Accommodation

 
Accommodation is provided at the farm at no additional cost.
 

Rate

 

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
450 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 750 EUR 850 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR 700 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)
  • Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
  • 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 (see costs below)
  • In case of Jupapina: Transfers from/to La Paz/El Alto (LPB) on arrival and departure. In case of Sapecho: Pick up from airport La Paz/El Alto (LPB) on arrival, one night of accommodation in La Paz for orientation, then the next day proceeding by public bus to Sapecho (ticket fare included for arrival trip). In case of Achacolla: You can join the sisters every Thursday by car from La Paz to the farm. One night in La Paz is included if you arrive on a Wednesday. If you need additional nights in La Paz, they are 15 USD/night on full board.
  • Assistance with the booking of domestic connection flights within Bolivia if you arrive in Cochabamba or ViruViru
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in La Paz
  • 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 find accommodation costs in the tab "Accommodation"
 

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 of 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. One 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 (unless we inform you differently for certain placements). There are ATMs. 
 
 

Extras

 

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.
 

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.
 
 
 

Achacolla

 
Achocalla is a small town with about 18,500 inhabitants, 20 km southwest of La Paz, situated at an altitude of 3762 m. The municipality (county) itself is named Achocalla. To the east, there are views of the imposing Andean peaks of the Cordillera Real, including its highest peak, the Illimani (6438 m). Due to its proximity to La Paz, this rural area can easily be reached by public transport from the city.
 
 
 
La Paz is located at an altitude of around 3600 meters (11,600 feet) within the canyon of the Río Chokeyapue, deeply cutting into the surrounding Altiplano highland. On the highland west of La Paz, the city of El Alto has been built, which during the last years, with more than 1 million people, has grown larger than La Paz; in El Alto you find the international airport of La Paz-El Alto. The difference of altitude between the southern parts of La Paz, which are located further down the canyon, and the upper parts of the valley, is almost 1000 meters (3300 feet), resulting in spectacular views when driving down from El Alto into La Paz.
 

Coordinator in La Paz

 
Our coordinator in La Paz is Sandra, a housewife and mother.
 

Recreational Activities in La Paz

 
La Paz is a metropolis and offers similar recreational opportunities such as some European cities.
 
Popular, but also dangerous are Mountain Bike Trips on the "road of death" in the Yungas, a narrow and unpaved mountain range with hundreds of deep chasms. An abstruse spectacle is the wrestling matches of Cholitas, the women who wrestle in traditional indigenous garments, in El Alto. In cooperation with the Center "Vive Bolivia", we offer a variety of courses and cultural activities.

Getting There

 
The nuns travel to the farm every Thursday and you accompany them. Hence, you get to La Paz on a Wednesday, where our coordinators will give you an introduction and orientation, following which, you get to the farm the next day.
 

Getting To La Paz

bolivia map
 
You fly to La Paz El Alto (LPB), 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). In that case, you can fly there and then take a connecting flight to La Paz, 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.  

FAQs

 

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 even at night. You cannot start a project during certain 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 Bolivia 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. You can also meet a lot of local and foreign students in the lively city of Cochabamba.
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?
You can go through the housing options in the tab "Accommodation".
Can I choose my accommodation?
You can send us your preference and we will try our best to organise that for you. However, some Organizations provide accommodation, in which case, you can only opt for that.
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 boarding offered by some Organizations. You can find information about the availability of internet in the tabs "Accommodation". If there is no wifi internet, you can buy yourself a USB modem 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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