In 1984, it was discovered that when exposing water to sunlight the number of microorganisms present in the water diminishes, resulting in the beginnings of research and development of solar disinfection technologies. In the 1990’s, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), in collaboration with the Center for Water and Environmental Health (CASA) of the University Mayor de San Simon in Cochabamba, began experiments and projects promoting this technology. In October of 2000, the organization SODIS was formed and since then millions of families throughout Latin America (and other areas of the world), have benefited from SODIS water treatment technologies.

“A world with safe water and health for families.” The Foundation SODIS for Latin America is a private and independent non-profit institution that works to promote solutions to promote better access to safe drinking water as a way to better the health of families that live in rural and peri-urban settings.

“A world with safe water and healthy families.”

Improve the health and wellbeing of rural families through the following:

  • Technologies and techniques that sanitize drinking water at a reasonable cost
  • Use water sanitation technologies as a vehicle to provide better health to rural families
  • Implement projects and offer workshops to create awareness about water safety, security, and sanitation

Current Projects


  • Treatment and disinfection – provide safe drinking water to rural communities
  • Systems improvement – repair, maintenance and education around use
  • Protection of water sources – Tree planting, rain collection and use


  • DIY construction of dry toilets – Teaching communities how to build their own. Will also develop new prototypes.
  • Proper use of bathrooms – Teaching children to use new systems
  • Upgrading other bathrooms – Particular focus in schools


  • Washing hands – Teaching kids how to wash their hands in key moments, especially in rural areas
  • Menstrual hygiene – Running workshops in schools, creating handmade sanitary towels and education on their use

Other projects

  • Waste Management – Teaching how to sort organic and non-organic waste
  • School gardens – Supporting schools to build their own allotments
  • School micro business – Soap making using adapted bicycle, now seeking to provide soap to other schools in Cochabamba
  • Investigation – New technologies en bio-sand filters and other filter method
  • Agua Segura S.R.L. – Selling filters and promoting safe water consumption.
  • Biomass Oven – Building new oven (using less wood, and low CO2 emission) and investigations 


Volunteer/Internship Requirements

  Spanish   Upper intermediate
  Minimum commitment   3 months (preferably 6-12 months)
  Related knowledge/skills   Experience or knowledge of engineering in any area
  Some general administrative / project management skills (optional)
  Marketing / Fundraising experience (optional)
  Other details   Willingness to travel outside Cochabamba