My stay in Cochabamba and volunteering at La Colonia orphanage for a month was rewarding and exciting! I am glad to have had this experience through Sustainable Bolivia. One of the factors playing into my decision to become a volunteer for SB is the affordability of the program, because volunteering abroad can be very expensive. I also found the diverse opportunities for work very helpful while choosing work that best fits with my interests and personality.
My flight into La Paz and from there to Cochabamba went smoothly and I was conveniently picked up at the airport and taken to the volunteer house, where I met the other wonderful volunteers! Cochabamba is a beautiful city with beautiful people and beautiful weather! The simplicity and relaxing atmosphere is what I miss about Cochabamba. I was also lucky to spend several days in Salar de Uyuni, the must-see salt flats of Bolivia! My experience as a volunteer in La Colonia is one I will never forget! The children were very welcoming, full of energy, and eager to learn.
I had so much fun with them and enjoyed giving time to help the staff on a daily basis. There’s always something to do, whether it’s helping in the garden or simply playing soccer/football and playing in the playground with the children. I worked mostly in the kitchen and helped children with math, reading and handwriting during homework time. Working with these children also helped me improve my Spanish, which was at a beginner level. The volunteers, the staff and the children in La Colonia are like a huge family helping to maintain a positive environment for all the children and I am grateful to have been a part of it!