The Wachs 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 believes a July trip is a legitimate possibility. However, should the July trip be judged premature, we have scheduled alternate dates in September. 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. 

 

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! 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 400,000 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 10, as the program begins on Sunday, July 11. 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 23, volunteers travel to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the country’s largest city (included in the program fee) before departure the next morning, July 24th.

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.

PROGRAM FEES

Program fee: $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 to Santa Cruz at end of program
• Accommodation at guest houses and modest hotels
• All meals (with the exception of 1 or 2 dinners)
• Filtered water
• Community donation for project materials
• Educational and cultural activities
• In-country support from the Bolivia site team 24/7
• Traveler and health insurance

Additional Program Related Expenses (not included):
• Airfare to and from Bolivia
• Applicable passport or visa fees
• 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 45 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 45 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 45 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 at least 16 calendar days in advance of the program start date will receive a 50% refund.
  • Groups or individuals that send written cancellation notification to the Amizade Office within 15 calendar days of the program start date or less 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.

Timeframe Individual Participant Refund
60 – 45 days in advance of program start date 100% Refundable
44 – 16 days in advance of program start date 50% Refund Guaranteed
15 days or under in advance of the start date No Refund Guaranteed

APPLY NOW!

Apply now to join this program with the Wachs.
Group program number: Wachs_OGBOL07102021
Application deadline: April 21, 2021

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 office: 305 34th Street, Pittsburgh PA 15201. If paying by check, please include your group program number in the memo line.