Open Group Program in Bolivia
Experience the vibrant “City of Eternal Spring.” | July 29-Aug 12, 2023
Cochabamba, sprawling across a valley in the Andes, full of cuisines to sample and causes to support. A growing, modern city — home to thousands of Indigenous people and considered Bolivia’s gastronomic capital. Cochabamba makes an impression that will not soon be forgotten. For more than 20 years, Amizade volunteers have traveled to Cochabamba and returned transformed. The 4th largest city in Bolivia has a history of mobilization against corruption and a strong network of grassroots organizations working tirelessly to address a range of pressing issues. This wealth of activism combined with decades of Amizade service-learning programs makes Cochabamba a wonderful place to be.
This two-week program includes one week of hands-on service on a building project in the hills outside of Cochabamba, followed by a week of sightseeing and cultural exploration in the city. Participants will work alongside local community members and dive into Bolivian culture through community events, cultural and historical presentations by local experts, sightseeing excursions, and delicious meals.
- April 15, 2023: The last day to register. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to complete registration.
Early bird special: Register by April 1, 2023 for $200 off the total program fee!
- April 29, 2023: Mid-payment – 50% of program fee due
- June 15, 2023: Final payment due
- July 29-August 12, 2023: Program dates
Participants should travel on Saturday, July 29th in order to arrive in Bolivia on the morning of Sunday, July 30th. Participants will spend one week of construction-based service project work and one week of sightseeing and cultural activities. During the service week, participants will work at the service site in the morning and afternoon, with a lunch break and siesta at mid-day. Some afternoons and evenings will include educational, cultural and sight-seeing activities. Participants will spend their second week in Cochabamba visiting local attractions and important landmarks while learning more about Bolivian culture. There will be many opportunities to interact with local Bolivians during service and other activities.
This program will take place in and around Cochabamba, 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.
While in Cochabamba, participants stay in a downtown hotel which is walking distance to many restaurants, shops, and attractions. In Vinto, participants 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 wifi. The conference center has beautiful gardens and family-style dining for all meals. Participants of the same gender will share double occupancy rooms with two separate beds and private bathrooms.
If you’re traveling with another person or in a group and would like to room together, or if you would like a single occupancy room (for an additional fee), please let us know.
The primary service component of the program will be to assist a rural community outside of Cochabamba, near Vinto, with the construction of school classrooms and buildings. Participants may be expected to help with tiling, painting, laying brick, and building concrete walkways. Amizade partners with local masons and community members who will instruct and accompany participants 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).
Who is this program for?
This program is open to individuals, couples, families, and groups of friends of all ages who would like to participate in a community-driven service project and experience Bolivia’s vibrant culture. Due to the physical nature of the service project, we suggest that children be at least 12 years of age. However, with advance notice we are open to allowing younger children on a case-by-case basis.
PROGRAM ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS
Day 0 | July 29
– Overnight flight to Bolivia.
Day 1 | July 30
– Arrive in Santa Cruz, then internal flight to Cochabamba.
– Meet site director at airport, transfer to hotel.
– Walking tour and welcome dinner.
Day 2 | July 31
– Transfer to Vinto, program orientation.
– Local sightseeing and time to rest before service project begins.
Day 3 | Aug 1
– Introduction to service project and first day of work.
– Presentation on Bolivian history.
Day 4 – 7 | Aug 2 – 5
– Work on service project continues.
– Breaks for lunch and siesta, some activities in the evenings.
Day 8 | Aug 6
– Visit archaeological sites of Quillacollo and Qollcas.
– Return to Cochabamba and check in to hotel.
– Bolivian Folkloric Dance Workshop
Day 9 – 12 | Aug 7 – 10
– Sightseeing in and around Cochabamba city.
Day 13 | Aug 11
– Final day in Cochabamba, free time to pack and then one last activity (group decides what they want to do.)
– Transfer to airport for evening departure.
Day 14 | Aug 12
– Morning or afternoon arrival home, depending on location.
AMIZADE’S CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES
If your trip must be canceled prior to departure, please contact our office as soon as possible. Deposits are nonrefundable. The remainder of your refund will be determined by the date and conditions of your cancellation as follows.
- Individuals who send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office before April 29, 2023 will receive a full refund, minus the nonrefundable deposit.
- Individuals who send a written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office between April 29 and June 14, 2023 will receive a 50% refund of the mid-payment (exclusive of the nonrefundable deposit).
- Individuals who send written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office on or after June 15, 2023 will not be guaranteed any refund. Amizade will work with the community partners on if/how much of a refund may be possible.
If Amizade cancels a program before the program start date for any reason, we will issue a full refund for the program fee and the deposit.
Amizade requires a minimum of 6 participants to run this open group program. If the minimum number of participants is not met, Amizade will notify all participants by April 20th. We advise against purchasing non-refundable airfare before April 20th unless otherwise notified.
Register now to secure your spot for this hands-on, immersive program in Bolivia!
Registration deadline: April 15, 2023
Early bird special: Register by April 1, 2023 for $200 off your total program fee!
Interested but have some questions before you register? Please reach out to Bolivia site liaison Melissa Nix: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean Carla Costas
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