Up Close Bolivia

We are a well-established organisation that has been welcoming volunteers to support our education and community development projects for the past 8 years. 

Are you seeking a meaningful volunteering opportunity which directly supports local community development? Are you keen to obtain useful new skills and experiences? We need volunteers to support in a range of projects working directly with local people. 


UP CLOSE BOLIVIA is based on the concept of “RECIPROCIDAD” which means “reciprocity”- a concept at the heart of Andean culture. It is all about giving back and contributing in a way which enriches both the person who is giving and the person who is receiving equally. The essence of our work is to ensure the needs and expectations of our volunteers and the local community projects are mutually met and both parties are enriched and strengthened

We are 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 to date has been participating in this small community and getting a very real flavour of Aymara culture. As very few people speak English it is also the perfect place to learn / improve your Spanish.

It is likely that UCB volunteers will participate in more than one of the projects listed below. We place volunteers to respond primarily to the needs of the community and also to match the skills and interests of our volunteers. The usual placement is between 1-3 months but we can also accept individual volunteers or groups for a shorter time to work on some projects.


Our Projects:

  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. Volunteers provide an extra pair of hands to the local educators and bring creativity and new ideas to inspire us. 
  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.


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