Guide to Volunteering in Bolivia

Volunteer Bolivia

Bolivia is an up and coming destination and attracts visitors from all over the world and you can do more than just sightseeing by signing up to work as a volunteer. Bolivia has a struggling economy and lacks the natural resources of nearby countries like Chile, but this is a culturally rich destination and the people make this country special. A lot choose to volunteer in Peru or volunteer in Brazil - both neighbouring countries which means Bolivia is less touristy meaning you will get an authentic experience. Bolivia is also a very safe to visit though and crime against tourists is very rare.

The population of Bolivia stands at around 11 million people and over a million are thought to be living in poverty, the government does not have the money nor the infrastructure to be able to help solve all the issues which is where international charities and volunteer organisations help. Once you have experienced Bolivia you won't forget it in a hurry. Thousands of people have volunteered in Bolivia over the past decade and there is a need for even more numbers on the ground so what are you waiting for, apply through our website today.


Location of Projects

Programs are located in places like Santa Cruz, La Paz, Cochabamba and the Amazon. Cochabamba is located in Central Bolivia and it is over 2500m above sea level, this is our top recommendation as it is a lively university town with a great atmosphere. La Paz is a huge sprawling city which is great to explore but if you are looking for a more tranquil experience apply for a placement in a more remote region of the country. Bolivia has long been on the established backpacker trail and in your spare time you might want to visit the Uyuni salt flats, Lake Titicaca or Sucre.


How You Can Help

Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America with high poverty rates especially in rural areas. By participating you can play a role in improving living standards, helping vulnerable street children or joining conservation projects with wildlife. 



Community Development Programs in Bolivia 

Medical healthcare volunteering Bolivia

Work to improve infrastructure and housing, you can find poorly constructed building that are like shanty towns throughout the country. You could help in an office taking care of admin work or helping on the ground getting your hands dirty. There are also medical and healthcare placements available where you can work as a nurse, doctor, general assistant or in dentistry, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

Related Page: Childcare Volunteer Work in Bolivia



Educational & Teaching Volunteer Projects in Bolivia

Volunteer for Free in Bolivia

Teaching and coaching sports like football and volleyball is very popular, there are placements at schools throughout the country. Native English speakers are in big demand and joining volunteer teaching programs in Bolivia is a very worthwhile way to spend time in this country, you will be working alongside local staff and experienced international volunteers at kinder gardens, primary schools, secondary schools and community centers. Bolivia is a very safe country to visit and a popular gap year destination.

If you are planning a trip and would like to do a structure and meaningful volunteer program think about teaching English in Bolivia. Although no previous experience is required, it is important you can be a good team player and be open / flexible to new challenges. Learning Spanish is also recommended as not everyone in South America understands and can speak English. Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program. Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Beginner Spanish knowledge is recommended.


Human Rights Programs in Bolivia

There are programs where you can work to help and protect Bolivias' indigenous population, around 60% of people in the culture can track their history back to a tribe and this makes Bolivian society a very diverse country. These people and their land needs to be protected.


Volunteer with Animals in Bolivia

Bolivia is a destination which has a large part of the Amazon rainforest in it's borders, here you can work to rescue, help and protect indigenous wildlife. There are also zoos and animal rescue centres which need help, as a participant you might get to be a general assistant cleaning enclosures, feeding animals, proving water, caring and also raising awareness within local communities. You could apply to work at an animal shelter, there are also skilled veterinary positions available.



Contrary to what many have thought, most volunteer programs in Bolivia require no official qualifications or applicable education. This is unless you are applying to work in a medical capacity. You will need to be aged over 18 and basic Spanish will really come in helpful and enhanced your experience.


Start Dates

You can apply to join programs every month throughout the year and spaces can also be booked in advance. Most organisations require you to stay for at least 2 weeks.



  • Shared room (hostel, guesthouse)
  • Private room (hotel)
  • Home stay (local family)


How to Apply

Some organisations charge a fee to participate, this can vary depending on where and what you do. Usually this includes a guaranteed placement, accommodation and meals for the duration of your stay, 24 hour emergency service and support, 7 days per week, orientation and training, Spanish phrasebook and also social and cultural activities (some with additional cost). If you need any help arranging a volunteer placement in Bolivia please get in touch.



Volunteer in Bolivia for Free

To volunteer for free in Bolivia you will need to apply with a local NGO, sometimes you will still need to cover your accommodation and food though. The following organisations offer free and low cost volunteer opportunities in Bolivia:

  • Madidi Travel offer a free volunteering placement where you can help jungle conservation in La Paz and in Rurrenabaque. You will need to cover accommodation and meals yourself
  • Intiwarayassi - Low cost project where you can help wildlife
  • Proyecto Horizonte


Bolivia Volunteer Reviews

If you have ever volunteered in Bolivia and would like to review an organisation/project, share your experience or give any advice for future participants write an article for us. Below you can read past participant testimonials:


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