Up Close Bolivia

Up Close Bolivia were are a well-established organisation that welcoming volunteers to support education and community development projects.

Up Close Bolivia worked on the concept of “RECIPROCIDAD” which means “reciprocity”- a concept at the heart of Andean culture. It was all about giving back and contributing in a way which enriched both the person who gave and the person who is received. The essence of our work was to ensure the needs and expectations of volunteers and the local community projects were mutually met and both parties were enriched and strengthened

Up Close Bolivia were based in Jupapina, which is 30-45 mins by bus from the city centre of La Paz. It is a beautiful semi-rural village surrounded by mountains and is home to the neighbouring Valley of the Moon in Mallasa. There is a very strong sense of community - perhaps the most enriching aspect of the experience of the volunteers was to participatie in this small community and get a very real flavour of Aymara culture. As very few people speak English it was also the perfect place to learn / improve your Spanish.

UCB volunteers participated in more than one of the projects listed below. Volunteers were placed to respond primarily to the needs of the community and also to match the skills and interests of volunteers. The usual placement was between 1-3 months but individual volunteers or groups for a shorter time to work on some projects was also arranged.



  1. The Valley of the Moon Children’s Centre: A community run centre for local indigenous children from poor backgrounds, aged six months to four years in Mallasa.
  2. Extra-Curricular Activities for School Children:  NUESTRO ESPACIO, the after-school club for children aged 7-12. and Football Coaching at the local football school for boys and girls aged 4 – 15 years of age
  3. Strengthening local eco-tourism: Support and language training for young people to take advantage of of opportunities in the blossoming eco-tourism circuit. Volunteers teach English lessons to students in the local school. Other with specific skills in business can help with infrastructure development and business support to local tourist services. 
  4. Environmental work and art projects in the community: murals, tree planting, green houses, worm farms and ecological education with school children, rehabilitation of green spaces. 
  5. Communications and fundraising: helping us keep social networks and links with other organisations and donors dynamic and updated.

Up Close Bolivia have ceased operating. For similar opportunities view our volunteer abroad directory.

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