Helping Hands in Bolivia

Immerse yourself in a new culture while working alongside community members to create lasting change.

WHAT ABOUT COVID-19?

Amizade has very closely tracked all aspects of travel to, travel in, and volunteer work in the countries where we run programs. Based on our knowledge of vaccine development, travel safety, and improvements in COVID-19 safety in Bolivia, Amizade is preparing to return to travel in 2022. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide frequent updates. Due to COVID-19, Amizade has revisited our cancellation and refund policies to help volunteers feel more secure when signing up. 

All volunteers will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to travel.

For the most up-to-date information on Amizade’s COVID-19 health & safety measures, please visit our dedicated resource page.

 

The Wachs in Bolivia

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Global Service-Learning isn’t just for students; over the last 25 years, Amizade has worked with volunteers ages 6 – 93! In this program, volunteers from teens to seniors will help build a rural school. This program is open to individuals, couples, families, and friends to join and serve with a group of other Amizade volunteers, spearheaded by Martie and Marvin Wachs. Martie and Marvin are true Amizade champions, Amizade Hall of Fame award recipients, and seasoned travelers to Bolivia. Read about some of their experiences in Bolivia here or on the Amizade blog.

ABOUT COCHABAMBA

This program will take place in and around Cochabamba, Bolivia’s third-largest city, encircled by the breathtaking Andes Mountains. Located in a highland plateau, Cochabamba boasts a perfect climate with a daytime seasonal average of 72 F with no humidity. As a bustling city of over 600,000 people, Cochabamba is home to many beautiful plazas, fountains, churches, and the largest open-air market in the Americas. Despite its beautiful scenery and perfect climate, Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in all of the Americas and faces a variety of social and economic challenges.

The Wachs serving and learning in Bolivia

SERVICE PROJECT

The primary service component of the program will be to assist a rural community outside of Cochabamba with the construction of school classrooms and buildings. Volunteers may be expected to help with tiling, painting, laying brick, and building concrete walkways. Amizade partners with local masons and local community members who will instruct and accompany volunteers in all service tasks. An Amizade staff member will also be present to provide Spanish translation and guidance. No construction experience is necessary—there is work for individuals of all physical abilities (and lots of rest time, as needed). 

PROGRAM LOGISTICS

Volunteers should arrive in Cochabamba, Bolivia on Saturday, July 16th, as the program begins on Sunday, July 17th. During the week, volunteers will work at the service site in the morning and afternoon, with a lunch break and siesta at mid-day. Some afternoons and evenings include educational, cultural and sight-seeing activities (i.e. visiting other schools Amizade volunteers have built and nearby archaeological, religious or cultural sites). Volunteers will have many opportunities to interact with local Bolivians during service and other activities. During the weekends, volunteers do additional sightseeing, usually in the city of Cochabamba or surrounding areas. On Friday, July 29th, volunteers travel to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the country’s largest city (included in the program fee) before departure the next morning, July 30th.

ACCOMMODATIONS

While in Cochabamba, volunteers stay in a downtown hotel which is walking distance to many restaurants, shops, and attractions. During the workweek, volunteers stay at a motel-like conference center in the rural city of Vinto. Both accommodations are simple but clean, have private baths with hot water in the showers, and beautiful gardens. The conference center has family-style dining.

SAMPLE PROGRAM FEES

Sample per person program fee: $1,912*

Final program fee to be confirmed in September 2021.

*This fee is based on a minimum total group size of 6 volunteers. With each additional volunteer who signs up, the final program fee will be reduced for all volunteers. For example, if we reach 10 volunteers the program fee drops to $1,663.

The program costs are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Please speak with an accountant for more information. 

The program fee covers all the in-country costs of the program, including the following items:

• Airport pickup and drop-off
• Welcome and orientation
• Transportation to all program activities, including flight from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz at end of program
• Accommodation at guest houses and modest hotels
• All meals (with the exception of 1 or 2 meals)
• Bottled, filtered water
• Community donation for project materials
• Educational and cultural activities
• In-country support from the Bolivia site team 24/7
• One COVID-19 test, required for re-entry into the US
• Traveler and health insurance

Additional Program Related Expenses (not included):
• Airfare to and from Bolivia
• Applicable passport or visa fees (tourist visa for US Citizens costs $160, purchased on arrival)
• Supplemental meals or snacks
• Personal spending money

A $300 deposit is required to secure your spot on this program. The remaining program fee is due 15 days before the program start date. 

AMIZADE’S CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES

If you must cancel your trip prior to departure, please contact our office as soon as possible. Deposits are refundable until 15 days in advance. Your refund will be determined by the date and conditions of your cancellation. Please reference the chart below for further explanation.
  • Groups or individuals that send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office at least 15 calendar days in advance of the program start date will receive a full refund, including the refundable deposit.
  • Groups or individuals that send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office between 14 to 4 calendar days in advance of the program start date will receive a 50% refund.
  • Groups or individuals that send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office 3 calendar days in advance of the program start date will receive a 15% refund.
  • Groups or individuals that send written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office less than 3 calendar days in advance of the program start date will not be guaranteed any refund. Amizade will work with the community partners to determine if/how much of a refund may be possible.

Amizade continues to monitor global developments and recommendations from government agencies and healthcare professionals as they relate to international travel during this uncertain time. Amizade and its community partners reserve the right to cancel any program. If there is any doubt about the safety or feasibility of a program 60 days before the departure date, the program will have to be canceled or rescheduled.  Amizade will make the feasibility decision for this program and notify enrolled volunteers on or before May 17, 2022.

Timeframe Individual Participant Refund
15+ days in advance of program start date Full Refund
14 – 4 days in advance of the program start date 50% Refund
3 days in advance of the program start date 15% 15% Refund
Less than 3 days in advance of the program start date No Refund Guaranteed

 

APPLY NOW!

Apply now to join this program with the Wachs.
Group program number: Wachs_OGBOL071622
Application deadline: May 1, 2022

PAY YOUR DEPOSIT

To secure your spot, please pay the refundable $300 deposit within two weeks of submitting your application. Payments should be made online or by check payable to Amizade and mailed to our Pittsburgh address: 2211 Lesnett Rd. #12539 Pittsburgh, PA 15241. If paying by check, please include your group program number in the memo line.

MORE INFORMATION

For any questions about this program, please contact Melissa Nix at melissa.nix@amizade.org.

READ STORIES ABOUT THE WACHS IN BOLIVIA

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