On a whim, I did an internet search for volunteer work and found Sustainable Bolivia. I hadn’t planned to go to Bolivia, but quickly changed my mind after scouring the website that suggested so many interesting work possibilities, and communicating with the director of the organization.
The professionalism I encountered with my first inquiry lead me to believe it was a well-run and committed organization. During my two months working with Sustainable Bolivia my initial assumptions were never challenged. Their volunteer placement for me suited both my interests and my experience appropriately. I spent two unforgettable months working at a center called Atendi that provides basic education and therapeutic services to youth with special needs. I worked as a teachers’ aid as well as doing other tasks to assist the flow of the day. The relationships I cultivated during this time, both with the children and colleagues have made a lasting impression on my heart, and therefore my view of the world.
While I gained practical skills volunteering at Atendi, what is of most importance to me in retrospect are the compassion and tenacity of human spirit I witnessed. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a splendid group of people doing meaningful work. My memories of my time in Cochabamba and working at Atendi are some of the most precious from my travels in South America. I would recommend Sustainable Bolivia to anyone!