Latin America and the Caribbean Featured Program: Bolivia
Global Village is no longer accepting trip proposals to Bolivia. We will notify team leaders when this program is open again.
Bolivia’s population of roughly 9.2 million is growing at about 1.4 percent annually. About one-third of the population lives in rural areas. La Paz and Santa Cruze each have more than 1 million people. Nearly 60 percent of the total population is of indigenous ancestry and some 25 percent of the people are “criollo” (or “mestizo”), who are of mixed indigenous and European heritage.
Bolivia has a population of more than 9 million people, more than 55 percent of which do not have access to potable water and sewage services. Thirty-one percent of homes have three or more people per bedroom.
Approximately 38 percent of Bolivian homes are built with adobe (clay and straw), and 69 percent of the houses have dirt floors. Due to the materials used for their construction, these homes are highly susceptible for the breeding of pests, such as the vinchuca bug which transmits Chagas disease, an incurable neurological disease that can result in death. The vinchuca bug thrives in adobe. However, it cannot survive in the brick and cement homes built by Habitat for Humanity Bolivia.
Habitat for Humanity Bolivia was established in 1985 in the Alto Beni community in La Paz, with the purpose of eradicating substandard housing in Bolivia. Habitat Bolivia works in eight locations throughout the country: Alto Beni, El Alto, Oruro, Tarija, Cochabamba, Chimoré, Santa Cruz, Ichilo and San Julián.
For more information, visit www.habitatbolivia.org.
Spanish, Quechua and Aymara are all official languages.
Types of construction for volunteers
The team will be divided into small groups and spread out at multiple construction sites. Volunteers may work in all stages of construction, from digging the foundation to painting the houses. Regardless of what stage the house is in when the team arrives, responsibilities will likely include carrying bricks, mixing cement, compacting dirt and moving materials.
There will be designated resting zones with drinkable water and latrines with water and soap on work sites. The team will be supervised by technical advisors and construction experts who will provide construction goals every day.
Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.
Santa Cruz teams will arrive at the Santa Cruz international Airport.
Cochabamba teams will arrive at the Cochabamba Airport.
Habitat Bolivia will determine the best lodging option for your group, taking into consideration the group size as well as proximity to the construction site. Work teams usually stay in hotels, retreat centers or dorm-style accommodations that are basic, safe and clean.
The team will stay two to four people per room. Typically, rooms are equipped with a private bathroom, though in some locations, only shared bathrooms are available. Volunteers are not required to bring any bedding, but will need to pack a towel.
Teams going to Cochabamba will stay at Hotel Aranjuez, situated near various sites of interest and restaurants. Lodging includes shared double room with private bathroom, wireless Internet, cable television, a safe, wet bar and a telephone with direct national and international access. The hotel offers its guests a beautiful garden to relax in and a pool, cafe and laundry service.
Transport to and from the airport and daily transportation to and from the work site will be on a private bus. In some cases, the hotel is near enough to walk to the site.
Food and water
Breakfast: This generally consists of a roll, toast with butter and jam, fruit and coffee or tea. Breakfasts are typically served in the hotel or at a local restaurant.
Lunch: The midday meal is typically served at the construction site. The food is prepared by a certified chef.
Dinner: This is the time to try a wide variety of typical Bolivian meals. Meat is served with most meals, and dinners tend to be “heavy.”
Dinner is typically served in the hotel or at a local restaurant.
Snacks: A light snack is typically provided on the worksite.
Water: Though the water in Bolivia is drinkable in almost every area, bottled or purified water is recommended.
Vegetarians: Please remember that vegetarianism is not the norm in Bolivia and is sometimes a difficult concept for local providers to grasp. Volunteers who are vegetarians can enjoy salad, fruit, eggs, cheese, rice and beans and potatoes. Other dietary needs will need to be discussed in advance with the host coordinator.
Hosting structure and services
Habitat staff in Bolivia can be contacted by phone or email and in most cases are able to answer correspondence within 48 hours. A Habitat Bolivia staff representative will accompany the team for at least 50 percent of the team’s stay.
Teams will be greeted at the airport by Habitat staff and will have transportation arrangements from the airport to the build location. The national office arranges a welcome activity that involves the community and partner families and will help volunteers learn about the traditions and customs of Bolivians. Educational materials and informative worksheets will be given to explain the housing needs that people have in Bolivia.
Starting at US$1,880
See what is included in the standard budget.
March–May; September to November
Volunteer Engagement Specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact the Latin America and Caribbean Volunteer Engagement Specialist Heather Ewing at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-410-7700.
Please note: Proposals for LAC trips should be submitted no less than six and no more than nine months prior to departure. This timeline ensures our team can best support you in the Global Village trip planning process.