Archive for the ‘Volunteer in Buenos Aires’ Category

Why Volunteer in Buenos Aires?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 11:21

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Since the economic crisis in 2001, many parts of the Argentinian community have continued to face many financial difficulties, a rise in poverty and lack of funding in education and public services. There are many organisations within Buenos Aires which focus on these issues, providing aid to the people that need it most with the aim of improving the quality of life for people in Argentina and they always need help from volunteers!

As part of your experience at Expanish, you could also be part of one of these initiatives alongside your spanish studies and make the most of your time in Buenos Aires. It is a great way to help the community and to practice your spanish outside of the classroom and extremely rewarding all at the same time. There are many different volunteer programs that you can get involved with.
 
First of all, if you are a native English speaker, the easiest thing would be teaching English! There are many people who are very eager to learn English and have had little or no contact with native English speakers. You may be asked to assist local teachers or take English conversation classes yourself depending on your skills and the requirements of the organisation. (This option is usually only available during the school year so may not be available if you come during the school holidays).
 
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Another option could be assisting with underprivileged youth. There is a large number of children who are in need of assistance. There are many orphanages, children’s homes and community centres that work with the local youth providing different projects and offering much needed stability to these children. Simple things such as helping with homework, playing games and sports, preparing meals or assisting with after school activities can be a great help and very rewarding for you too.
 
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There are also projects for helping senior citizens in the city where you could be required to help prepare meals or play games and read or simply provide some company. Many senior citizens can be very lonely and spending time with people and taking part in activities is a great help for them.
 
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Maybe you could take part in an environmental project such as assisting with a community garden. There are also initiatives to assist people with disabilities by participating in educational workshops, games and recreational activities.
 
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As well as having all kinds of projects to get involved with, there are also projects available no matter what your level of spanish but we request students to take a minimum of 2 weeks of classes so that they at least have some basic spanish to be able to communicate with the locals whilst volunteering. It makes for a better experience for you and it makes life easier for the people you are trying to help because Spanish is likely to be their only language.
 
In addition to the 2 weeks of classes, we also ask that you commit to any project for 2 weeks, working around 15 hours per week and you normally won’t need to commute for more than an hour to get to the location where you will volunteer. There will be an initial orientation meeting where you will find out everything you need to know before you start and to talk through how the time for volunteering will be structured around your study time.
 
So if you are looking for a rewarding and different way to experience the local culture and you are enthusiastic and committed, then why not contact us to discuss the different options for volunteering in Buenos Aires?

 

Volunteering in Buenos Aires

Thursday, June 18, 2015 12:27

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volunteer 300x200 Volunteering in Buenos Aires

Despite being a more developed country, Argentina has faced a lot of hardships since the crisis of 2001. With this recent rise in poverty, organizations and NGOs have been trying to improve the quality of life for the people in Buenos Aires. Expanish has partnered with many of these NGOs and volunteer organizations and there is always a need for more volunteers to assist them!

How to participate in the Expanish Volunteer program:

Well, first, all volunteers are required to take at least 2 weeks of intensive Spanish classes; this is to help volunteers adjust to the vocabulary and accent that is unique to Buenos Aires. Volunteers are always welcome to take more than 2 weeks of classes before starting, or they can also continue take classes during their time volunteering.

Commitment:

On average, you will be working about 15 hours per week, for at least 2 weeks, alongside other Argentines and foreigners. If you do decide to volunteer, it is a commitment, so you will need to be punctual and enthusiastic! This program starts every Monday and the commute is on average one hour. Before you get started, there will be an orientation and you will be taken to your volunteer site and introduced to the coordinator. While you will be able to make a work schedule with your coordinator, the schedule is generally in the morning or the afternoon.

Volunteer Placement:

Overall, there are 8 different volunteer placement areas that you can choose from based on your interests. Before you get started, you will take a survey that will help place you into one of these areas. In this survey you will be able to tell us which site most interests you, and based on your Spanish level, your personal and professional background, your goals, and the length of your time with us, we will place you into the program best suited for you!

If you’re interested in taking Spanish in Buenos Aires while also giving back to the community, this is a great opportunity! The volunteer program also allows you to practice your Spanish outside the classroom! To learn more about the program, to sign up, or to see prices go click here. The different volunteer areas are listed below:

Working with Underprivileged Youth (beginner level)

Possible tasks: games and sports, prepping meals and snacks, helping with after-school activities

Social Services (beginner level)

Possible tasks: prepping meals and helping in community kitchens, help with a specific community group (single mothers, unemployed, etc.), administrative tasks

Tutoring and Academic Support (high-intermediate level)

Possible tasks: help with homework, tutoring, organize educational workshop

Teaching English (beginner level)

Possible tasks: lesson planning and preparing, lead English conversation classes, assist local teachers

Volunteer with Senior Citizens (high-beginner level)

Possible tasks: reading aloud to senior citizens, participating in games and activities, prepping meals and tasks

Fundraising (beginner level)

Possible tasks: Assistant in event coordination, help with community outreach, organize and classify donations

Environmental Volunteering (high-beginner level)

Possible tasks: work in community garden, help give environmental workshops, animal and plant conservation

Helping People with Disabilities (high-beginner)

Possible tasks: educational workshops, games and recreational activities, assist in reintegration

 

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Volunteering in Buenos Aires and how to get the best out of your experience

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 13:30

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Expanish offers a range of volunteer opportunities in and around Buenos Aires. As well as being extremely interesting and rewarding, volunteering abroad can be an intense experience. Expanish Blog wanted to get the lowdown on what volunteers volunteering in Buenos Aires with Expanish can expect and how to get the best out of their experience.

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So… we spoke to Delfina Medeot. Expanish´s Volunteer co-ordinator. And here is what she had to say….

Buenos Aires is a very intense and interesting city, where many cultures and traditions collide, primarily as a result of families from the provinces and bordering countries coming here to make a living. Volunteering abroad is an opportunity to get to know an aspect of this society that sometimes is overlooked by the average tourist.

DSC 1679 300x200 Volunteering in Buenos Aires and how to get the best out of your experience

Volunteers are the link that makes possible to tend bridges between people. Expanish Volunteer programs encourages this exchange between cultures by offering several projects in its three areas: underprivileged youth, volunteering in the community and teaching English.

There are some useful tips that apply to all the areas and that I invite you to follow during your volunteer experience:

  • Spanish classes! With our program, you will have classes, they will be very useful and will help enrich your experience. So study and don´t skip class! • Smile! Sometimes the beneficiaries of the programs may take a bit to open up to new people, have a little patience and keep smiling and being kind and the ice will be broken soon.
  • Be commited! Arrive on time, keep your schedule and notify the NGOs coordinator of any changes.
  • Take initiative! Maybe you are a dancer, or have taken music lessons or cooking is your hobby. No matter what it is, it is valuable, and we and the NGOs invite you to share it with the community. You can plan a workshop or class and have a great time with the beneficiaries of the programs!
  • Keep your word. Especially when working with children and youth, they will be counting on what you say to them. Let´s keep the trust strong!
  • Be flexible. NGOs in Argentina are very much swimming against the current. They have wonderful staff and professionals who are committed and believe in what they do. But often, because resources are scarce, things might look a bit disorganized. Offer your help and keep the work going.
  • Have an open mind and heart! This is the most important thing. Sometimes, your most appreciated gift can be a conversation, a shared lunch, a joke. Don´t be afraid of listening to people and engage in conversation. Volunteering in BA is a very profound experience and we welcome you to take part in it! Delfina Medeot

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