Since the economic crisis in 2001, many parts of the Argentinian community have continued to face many financial difficulties, a rise in poverty and lack of funding in education and public services. There are many organizations within Buenos Aires which focus on these issues, providing aid to the people that need it most with the aim of improving the quality of life for people in Argentina and they always need help from volunteers!
As part of your experience at Expanish, you could also be part of one of these initiatives alongside your Spanish studies and make the most of your time in Buenos Aires. It is a great way to help the community and to practice your Spanish outside of the classroom and extremely rewarding all at the same time. There are many different volunteer programs that you can get involved with.
First of all, if you are a native English speaker, the easiest thing would be teaching English! There are many people who are very eager to learn English and have had little or no contact with native English speakers. You may be asked to assist local teachers or take English conversation classes yourself depending on your skills and the requirements of the organization. (This option is usually only available during the school year so may not be available if you come during the school holidays).
Another option could be assisting with underprivileged youth. There is a large number of children who are in need of assistance. There are many orphanages, children’s homes and community centers that work with the local youth providing different projects and offering much-needed stability to these children. Simple things such as helping with homework, playing games and sports, preparing meals or assisting with after school activities can be a great help and very rewarding for you too.
There are also projects for helping senior citizens in the city where you could be required to help prepare meals or play games and read or simply provide some company. Many senior citizens can be very lonely and spending time with people and taking part in activities is a great help for them.
Maybe you could take part in an environmental project such as assisting with a community garden. There are also initiatives to assist people with disabilities by participating in educational workshops, games and recreational activities.
As well as having all kinds of projects to get involved with, there are also projects available no matter what your level of Spanish but we request students to take a minimum of 2 weeks of classes so that they at least have some basic Spanish to be able to communicate with the locals whilst volunteering. It makes for a better experience for you and it makes life easier for the people you are trying to help because Spanish is likely to be their only language.
In addition to the 2 weeks of classes, we also ask that you commit to any project for 2 weeks, working around 15 hours per week and you normally won’t need to commute for more than an hour to get to the location where you will volunteer. There will be an initial orientation meeting where you will find out everything you need to know before you start and to talk through how the time for volunteering will be structured around your study time.
So if you are looking for a rewarding and different way to experience the local culture and you are enthusiastic and committed, then why not contact us to discuss the different options for volunteering in Buenos Aires?