Volunteering Abroad at Such Great Heights

by Amizade Global Service-Learning

When Amizade volunteers travel to Bolivia, they are welcomed by the stunning landscape that is the Bolivian Andes. High and magnificent snow-capped mountains surround, offering breathtaking views in every direction. Amizade volunteers have the thrilling opportunity to ascend these lofty elevations as they journey to the heights of Cochabamba and the even more elevated La Paz during programs in Bolivia. It is an incredible adventure that offers the excitement of venturing into the heights of the Bolivian terrain, as well as the challenge of acclimating oneself to such an elevated environment.

The city of Cochabamba rests at 8,445 feet above sea level. The high altitude has its rewards along with its difficulties. At this height, the threat of malaria is nonexistent. However, the lower oxygen levels present in areas of high elevation can be challenging to adjust to, and often require a period of rest and acclimation before taking part in any fast-paced activities such as exercise or extensive walking. These challenges increase when Amizade volunteers ascend even higher to the city of La Paz which sits at an impressive elevation of nearly 12,000 feet! Despite the challenge of adjusting to a high altitude environment, Amizade volunteers proceed to contribute to meaningful service and have the exhilarating experience of adventuring throughout the Bolivian landscape, exploring its mountainous terrain and gorgeous cities. Volunteers have the chance to take part a variety of service opportunities that include: tutoring local children, volunteering a local orphanage, assisting in public health projects, helping to build local schools, and much more. In addition to these amazing service experiences, Amizade volunteers also get to wind through the maze of stalls and shops of the La Cancha Market in Cochabamba, visit historic Incan ruins upon the slopes of the Andes, explore the vibrant urban area of La Paz, and many further opportunities for adventure.

It is a unique experience to travel into the elevated heights of the Bolivian Andes and take in such a new and scenic environment. As Amizade volunteers trek into the elevations of Cochabamba and La Paz, they simultaneously elevate their statuses as adventurers and global citizens. Both challenging and thrilling, the meaningful service, learning, and exhilarating adventure that are characteristic of Amizade programs in Bolivia often result in a life-changing experience.