Opportunities for volunteers to join projects that aim to tackle the social issues faced by many communities in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. They include volunteering with orphaned children, volunteering as a teaching assistant and volunteering in soup kitchens & kindergartens.
You can join for 2 weeks up to 12 weeks all year round and we have places all throughout 2015 available.
Individuals, groups and couples all welcome.
Cost for airport pick up, accommodation at a shared volunteer house, programme materials and training start from £665.
For those with intermediate or advanced Spanish ability, we also have many other volunteer projects available in Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Iguazu as well as further afield in Bolivia and Mexico. Example projects include; Healthcare/ medical volunteering, Teaching, Psychology, Sustainable development, PR & Journalism internships with NGOs, community development and so on.
For further information or to request a list of all of our available volunteer projects in Argentina please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that you can join this volunteer programme even if you have no Spanish skills. We can arrange for you to take an intensive Spanish course at the start of your stay, to get your language skills to a level where you will be able to participate in one of the volunteer projects in Argentina later on. We will work with you to assess your suitability and structure a plan to get your Spanish level to a sufficient level to volunteer.
Spanish lessons are also available for all volunteers, no matter your Spanish ability. We can organise a course for you to get you ready to volunteer on your chosen project. Comprehension, Grammar, Pronunciation and Conversation are all covered and courses are designed to use these skills in real-world situations. All the Courses have didactical and pedagogical materials. Generally it will take you 4 weeks of Spanish courses to go up from one level of Spanish to another, and we assess your suitability for each project depending on your Spanish level (none, basic, intermediate or advanced).
Lessons are priced starting at $240 (about £160) for a 1 week regular course (10 hours), and $280 (£185) for a 1 week intensive course (20 hours). For costs for longer durations or if you have any questions please email us.
Around 40 children and adolescents have found a new home in two small houses outside the city of Buenos Aires; children who have been abandoned by their parents, others whose parents have been imprisoned or are in rehabilitation for psychological problems. Some of the children are HIV positive; many of them have behavioural disorders. Almost all come from poor areas and have suffered poverty, violence, mistreatment and the effects of drug abuse. There is little stability in their lives. However, the orphanages allows the children to learn to love and gives them the attention their own families cannot.
Each home houses around 15 children and two people taking care of them at a time. As a volunteer, you will work for up to 4 hours a day, 3-4 times a week. Tasks include helping to organise toys, helping to prepare meals, laying the table for the children, helping to feed the younger children, helping to wash up, clearing the dining room and kitchen, picking up children from school or kindergarten, putting them to bed, playing with and looking after toddlers, taking younger kids to the park and so on.
Minimum stay 4 weeks - Intermediate Spanish Required
There are two kindergartens located in the neighborhood of Necochea, Buenos Aires. The teachers there care for and educate about 40 children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Both projects began in 2008 and so their infrastructure, educational and recreational materials for the kids are still improving. Children also eat breakfast and lunch there. Although it’s a simple kindergarten, it’s an educational, recreational, healthy and safe environment for the kids to stay in while their parents work. Tasks will include:
Minimum stay 4 weeks - Basic Spanish Required
Volunteer in a bilingual elementary school in Buenos Aires, for children aged 6 to 13 years. Besides teaching English and basic subjects such as math and science, the school organises art workshops so that the children develop comprehensively.
The goal for the school's teaching methods is for the children to be open-minded, so that they develop a critical mind and are individuals with a social conscience. It encourages participation, discussion of ideas and learning to listen to others. The school needs volunteers who speak native English to help the teachers in giving classes. Tasks will include:
• Helping the teachers to prepare classes and workshops.
• Practice pronunciation, reading, writing, listening skills, grammar and vocabulary with the students.
• Creating special workshops for the students.
• Helping the students to prepare fror their international exams.
Minimum stay 4 weeks - No Spanish Required
Volunteer in an extra-curricular English school for more than 30 students learning English in order to improve their future job prospects. The children generally have demanding timetables from their state schools and come to the English school in their free time for four hours. The school doesn’t just serve as an academic centre, also offering the children a safe place where they can use their free time productively. Tasks will include:
Minimum stay 4 weeks - No Spanish Required
This project started in 1994 driven by volunteers of Villa 21 in Barracas neighborhood. La Villa 21 is a large unstable housing settlement south of Buenos Aires. The neighborhood faces serious health problems, as it is located on the creek that divides the capital city of the province, and is highly contaminated, causing respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases that primarily affect children.
The dining room is visited by approximately 50 people from the neighborhood for lunch every day. The space is also available to support teenagers when there are volunteer teachers willing to help them. Volunteer tasks include:
Minimum stay 4 weeks - Basic Spanish Required
This Kindergarten is located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, next to an old landfill site. About 60 children in the age 3-5 attend everyday while their parents are working. The kindergarten is an educational centre where the kids can develop both intellectually and emotionally.
As a childcare volunteer, you will support the teachers at the kindergarten by:
• Helping the two teachers cook and serve food, do the dishes, the cleaning or any other tasks there are to be done
• Interact with the children through games, songs, drawings and workshops,
• Help to take care of the children
• Help to plan the activities in the kindergarten
• Teach the children numbers, the alphabet in Spanish, their first English words etc.
• Maintain personal contact and be a role model for the children
Minimum stay 2 weeks - Basic Spanish Required
1st August to 15th August
15th August to 29th August
29th August to 12th September
12th September to 26th September
26th September to 10th October
10th October to 24th October
24th October to 7th November
7th November to 21st November
21st November to 5th December
5th December to 19th December
You can join the project year round, for 2 weeks up to 12 weeks. Please check each individual project description for minimum durations. However, for projects involving children, projects do not run during the school holidays I.E not available during December, January and February (summer holidays in Argentina) and for 2 weeks in July (winter holidays).
On all projects you can volunteer up to 5 days a week, for a maximum of 5 hours per day.
For all volunteer programmes, the costs are as follows; 2 weeks is £665, 4 weeks is £815, 6 weeks is £1040, 8 weeks is £1255, 10 weeks is £1435 and 12 weeks is £1615.
This cost includes volunteer placement, accommodation in the volunteer house in a shared room (to cover the duration of your project dates, you are of course welcome to stay in the house before and after your placement, but this would incur extra costs), airport pick up and drop off, training and volunteer coordination, and support from our partner organisation in Argentina. What is not included is your flights and travel to and from Buenos Aires, visa costs, personal and food expenses, and your own health and travel insurance.
For more information on costs for other durations, or to have a private room in the volunteer house, or to live in a homestay or shared apartment, please email Aaron at email@example.com
Lodging in Buenos Aires
Most volunteers choose to stay in the volunteer guest house, located in central Buenos Aires. The guest house is available for all projects.
The volunteer house is located in the heart of Buenos Aires, 4 blocks from the famous Plaza de Congreso. The house is 20 metres from Line A subway, which will take you all the way to Plaza de Mayo. The house has comfortable rooms (usually shared), a fully-equipped kitchen and living room, TV, and Internet access (including computers and WiFi). Facilities include; a breakfast room, computers, luggage storage, and tourist information.
The volunteer house also acts as a social and communications hub for all volunteers. It is also somewhere for communication and ideas exchange to take place, and also serves as a venue for lectures, talks and film screenings.
If you wish to guarantee a space in the volunteer house, a portion of your balance payment must be paid up front upon confirmation, with the remainder due 1 month before arrival. We would advise this if you are keen to stay in the house, especially if arriving during the Summer months, as it tends to fill up quickly. However If you are happy to potentially be placed in alternative nearby accommodation (at no extra cost), then the full amount only needs to be paid one month before departure.
Other accommodation options are also available, either a homestay or a shared apartment, please email us for more information.
Food and Meals
In the volunteer house, meals are not included. However, the house is surrounded by high quality, cheap restaurants, and most volunteers choose to eat out. The house is also equipped with a good kitchen, and volunteers sometimes cook traditional meals in the house.
All volunteers should be aged 18 and over, flexible, and willing to adapt to a new culture. Also, those interested in a professional internship project require either some relevant experience or a strong motivation in that area e.g. radio, health, graphic design.
Volunteers should aim to fly to Buenos Aires Ezezia Airport, arriving on a Saturday (I.E. your project start date), as volunteering starts on Mondays (flights are also often cheaper on weekends). Upon arrival at the airport you will be collected by a member of staff and taken directly to your accommodation. Most (but not all) nationalities can volunteer for up to 3 months without a tourist Visa.
Below is an interactive map showing the location of the project:
Argentina, the eighth-largest country in the world, has experienced significant economic and developmental improvements in recent years, and this growth is projected to continue. However, despite this, Argentina faces issues with inequality, unemployment and developing in a sustainable way, and this project aims to address some of these problems.
From the mighty Iguazú Falls in the subtropical north to the thunderous, crackling advance of the Perito Moreno Glacier in the south, Argentina is also a vast natural wonderland. The country boasts some of the Andes’ highest peaks, several of which top 6000m near Mendoza and San Juan.
Read more about Argentina: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/argentina
Kelby Broddie, from the USA, volunteered in the Organic Garden of a Psychatric hospital in Buenos Aires in November 2013
My time on the project was amazing! I learned not just about the Argentinian culture but a little about some of the other people that I was living with in the house. I really felt like I made an impact on everyone there. It was nice to see the progress being made on the house in Villa Elisa and rewarding to talk with the patients at the psych hospital. I learned a lot about myself and developed more patience and understanding for others. I would definitely go back. I learned that you don't really have to know the language to communicate. I was one of the worst spanish speakers down there and yet I developed a great connection with the locals. Thank you for the opportunity to do this.
Andrea, from Canada, volunteered in La Quiaca community centre
I had an excellent time in La Quiaca. I loved the work and the people here. I've made some great friends in the community who I will stay in touch with after my time here. Volunteering in La Quiaca is a great way to immerse yourself into the culture and language of Argentina. Also I must admit that I love being able to walk to another country! I don't think that there is anything that could be improved here. It's very well organized and everything ran smoothly from start to finish.
Sara, from the USA, joined the Health Centre professional internship
I learned a lot by being in a health environment. The placement and application process helped to fit my interest although it was far. I gained knowledge from the various health professionals at La Salita that will help me with my future goals. I loved being able to be with the doctors and staff while learning of the social issues the community faces. In addition to health plus, I feel my spanish comprension skills improved by listening to the doctors.
ex-Volunteer Tiffany from Canada
While my intention when going to Buenos Aires was not to volunteer, it was no doubt the best decision I made there. I think it is easy to underestimate the juxtaposition within BA, and how difficult it is as a tourist, or even student, to really get to know what life in Buenos Aires is for the Locals. The project not only helps you see the real lives that are hidden behind Buenos Aires touristic exterior, but helped me understand the culture, language, and norms we so rarely come to understand when in a country so different from our own.
Arpine from the United States joined the teaching assistant project
My time working on the project was absolutely an experience of a lifetime! The staff was very helpful, organized, appreciative, inspiring, fun and passionate about their work. It was the perfect way to experience Argentina- by both having fun with other volunteers and feeling like you are part of a positive movement. I'm thankful to all the staff who put so much energy into making the organization what it is. I also made some amazing friends from all over the world (how often do you get to do that?) I have such great memories of the time I spent teaching English. I even became friends with a few of the kids on Facebook and get to chat with them every now and then! I hope to return to Argentina soon! I would highly recommend this program to anyone whose interested in volunteering in Argentina.
To secure a placement volunteering in Argentina on one of our volunteer projects, please complete and submit the form including two references and your application payment of £195. If for some reason, your application is not accepted, we would reimburse this payment fully. However for those who are accepted, if you wish to guarantee a space in the volunteer house, 20% of the balance payment must be paid upon confirmation, with the remaining 80% due 1 month before arrival. We would advise this if arriving during the Summer months, as this is when the volunteer house is likely to fill up. However If you are happy to potentially be placed in alternative accommodation, then the full amount only needs to be paid one month before departure. Once you are confirmed on the programme, you will receive a pre-departure package with all detailed information on your project, amenities at the volunteer house, suggested items to bring etc.