My time in Cochabamba with Sustainable Bolivia was definitely one of my best experiences in South America. After backpacking for several months it was great to settle into a town, get to know the people, culture and everything else Bolivia has to offer. Immediately upon my arrival in Cochabamba, Erik Taylor, and the Sustainable Bolivia staff were very accommodating. With only two days notice they promptly organized a place for me to live, Spanish classes as well as a wonderful volunteer placement.
Volunteering at the Colonia Ecological was such an exciting experience. The children had so much energy and always greeted the volunteers with a smile and a hug. They really enjoyed having people from other countries visit and were very patient with my beginner level Spanish. Not only was it great getting to know all the children, the two people who run the La Colonia, Carmen and Kiko are simply fantastic. The work they put into providing housing, activities and schooling for the children is amazing.
While in Cochabamba I moved into one of Erik’s houses. This was such a nice change from living in hostels and still very affordable. Living in the house gave me the opportunity to meet many other international travelers all staying in Bolivia for a variety of reasons. The house also provided a great social network of people and volunteers. Sustainable Bolivia organized cultural activities, outings, and festival celebrations for those of us living in the houses. This definitely enriched my time spent in this city. As a part of my South American experience I wanted to learn to speak Spanish.
Sustainable Bolivia organized private Spanish lessons for me at a very affordable price. I really appreciated how patient my teacher was, as well as all the information she taught me about the Bolivian people and culture. In addition to the in-class written learning we also went on a field trip through Cochabamba’s biggest market. This gave me a chance to practice what I had learned and become more confident speaking Spanish. I really enjoyed my experience in Cochabamba and definitely recommend Sustainable Bolivia to anyone visiting South America.