Volunteer Work, Child Care, Education / Teaching
Pisco Elqui, Region Coquimbo
flexible start and end dates all year-round
This volunteer project takes place at a cultural and environmental organization that was founded back in 2011 in the town of Pisco Elqui, which is part of the beautiful Coquimbo region in the north of Chile.
The organization aims to develop values and mindsets regarding social and ecological responsibility among young children. This to make sure the new generation grows up with a high level of environmental and social consciousness, striving to protect our fragile planet.
The mission of the organization is to support children and teenagers between the ages of 3 and 18 and to teach them about environmental issues, so that they become responsible ambassadors of our nature and society.
The role of the organization plays into the development of concepts, techniques, and values regarding the environment that the children and teenagers can implement into their normal family lives.
To reach this goal, the project has different programs:
- The TINI-method: Every child receives one square meter of soil on the grounds of the property and can plant this patch with different seeds, plants or vegetables. The child takes responsibility for this particular small piece of land and can watch the growth and development.
- Water-Education Academy: Through workshops about water resources and the responsibilities that come with that, children learn how to correctly handle this scarce resource and can contribute to the fight against climate change. Excursions throughout the region are meant to help the children identify more with their environment. Specialists enable the children to fully understand all of the processes.
- Tiva Excursions: Hiking trips with the kids and teenagers throughout the region help enhance their level of physical activity and awareness of the surrounding natural environment. The aim of this project is for the kids learn to love doing sports outdoors and that they learn about the flora and fauna of their region.
The UNESCO has officially accredited these methods as practices for sustainable development and they have now been adopted in many parts of the world, such as Canada, Portugal, Japan, and Brazil.
Environmental education has gained tremendous importance in Chile in recent years and has now become an integral part of the curricula of many schools and even kindergartens, especially in the big cities. Due to the exceptional geography, there are many regions in Chile that are particularly sensitive to environmental damage and climate change. Droughts are increasing in the northern and central regions of the country.
It is therefore very important to educate future generations to use the environment and natural resources responsibly. This is very important, especially in these sensitive regions and especially in the countryside, where formal education is often not as good as in the metropolitan areas.
Here you can make a valuable contribution to making children from a rural area fit for the future with a lot of fun, so that they are not left behind and may even become multipliers in their region later.
Your tasks can include:
- Supporting different program areas (sports activities, nature trips, workshops, vegetable garden, environmental education, etc.)
- Supervising the children
- Helping with planting the orchards and greenhouses with the children
- Art projects (music, dance, painting, theater, etc.)
- Promoting local crafts
- Assistance in the areas of "eating and healthy living" and "environmental awareness" (sports activities, waste separation, recycling, etc.)
- Project designs for the further development of the organization
- Developping your own ideas to keep the children busy
- English lessons (not always offered)
- Ecotourism (not always offered)
Note: The tasks may vary. They depend on factors such as number of volunteers, weather, season, current needs of the project, as well as self-motivation. Not every volunteer may be fully involved in all these tasks.
During your time in the volunteer project, you will live in a local Pisco Elqui household and thus be part of the village community. Your hosts will also take care of your meals so that you can try Chilean home cooking and also have the opportunity to exchange culture and train your Spanish skills every day. You will be amazed how quickly you will start picking up "Chilean"!
The houses in Pisco Elqui are mostly one-story, plastered and brightly painted brick buildings. They are picturesque on the outside, rather simple on the inside for European standards, but equipped with everything you need for life. You get a single room and have access to all common areas such as living room, kitchen, garden, etc. The bathroom is most likely shared with the hosts.
The small town of Pisco Elqui, where the project takes place, is a village in the idyllic Elqui Valley, in the Coquimbo region approx. 450 km north of Chile's capital Santiago and approx. 100 km east of the beautiful coastal town of La Serena.
Thanks to the irrigation management with water from the Rio Elqui, papayas, figs, chirimoyas, apricots, peaches and grapes grow here.
Pisco Elqui is a popular travel destination for Chilean tourists due to its beautiful location in an Andean valley, the many Pisco distilleries, the extremely clear starry sky and year-round sunny weather, as well as the former home to Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Laureate in Literature.
The beaches of La Serena and Coquimbo can be reached in one and a half to two hours and are therefore ideal for a weekend trip.
The climate is semi-desert-like, so it hardly rains and if so, in the winter months (June-August). The temperatures are pleasant during the day and hot in summer (December to February), it cools down noticeably at night, so you should plan for suitable clothing and lots of sun protection.
Spanish at communication level. For optimal preparation for your volunteer work in Chile, we advise you to take a Spanish course before the program starts. This gives you the opportunity to slowly get used to the language, culture and mentality.
Pre-departure and in-country support
Before arrival, our experienced team will be at your disposal to assist you throughout the booking process and travel planning. With the booking confirmation you will receive our 24-hour emergency number, so that you can reach us 24/7 in case of emergency.
In addition to the assistance given by our office in Santiago de Chile you will be supported by an on-site volunteer coordinator.
Costs & Services
Our Volunteer Work in Environmental Education with Children in Chile includes:
- Single room in Homestay
- Full board
- Translation of your application documents
- Volunteer Work Placement in Chile
- English-speaking in-country support
- Country handbook Chile
- Intercultural guideline
- Insider tips Chile
- 24/7 Emergency number
- Information about suitable travel insurance
- Certificate of participation
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