Though Chile's economy appears to be the fastest growing economies in the region, Chile suffers from one of the most uneven distributions of wealth in the world. There are estimates that almost 60% of Chileans live near or below poverty levels, with almost 3 million living in extreme poverty.
" You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you" - Anonymous.
La Serena, in northern Chile, is the country's second-oldest town. La Serena maintains a Spanish neo-colonial style according to the "Plan Serena" implemented by the Chilean government, which allowed the city to grow yet keep its own unique style. The heritage of the city includes over 30 churches, a romantic avenue of replica classical Italian statues, elegant colonial buildings and numerous gardens and parks. La Serena is a pretty colonial town with a population of about 120,000. It is the capital city of Coquimbo Province, located about 250 miles north of the Chilean capital of Santiago.
From here you can reach the Elqui Valley, famous for producing "Pisco", (the traditional drink of choice in the Andes), and for being one of the world's major astronomical centers due to its clear skies (Tololo, Campanas and Silla Observatories). The surrounding area has the greatest concentration of astronomical observatories in the world.
- Teaching Education English Missions
A recently stated goal of the Chilean Ministry of Education is that Chile must become a fully bilingual country. English is taught in all schools from the first to the twelfth grades. English teaching assistants will work closely with Chilean English teachers. We have teaching placements in several small (primary and secondary) schools in Chile.
Volunteers do not need previous teaching experience, although it would be helpful. Basic Spanish is required, as well as a positive and flexible attitude.
- Childcare / Orphanages Assistance
Nowadays the Kindergarten and nursery receives 138 underaged children, 42 toddlers and 96 children between 2 years and 3 years 11 months who live in the community of La Serena y Coquimbo. One of the main characteristic of this project is the incorporation of the families and the community to the educational work. The parents of the children are so poor that they cannot afford to keep their children healthy or well fed. The projects serve as a day care, kindergarten and support center. Volunteers assist the local staff with the basic needs such as feeding, bathing and clothing, helping with homework, playing sports, as well arranges games and day trips with the kids.
Teaching basic English, as well as manual labor (sweeping, painting, and gardening) may be involved. Basic in Spanish is required, as well as a positive and flexible attitude.
- Social & Welfare Program
This program is orientated towards elderly people, fragile and humbled who live in grinding poverty, providing direct attention to them in their own place, by means of specific interventions which try to favor their permanence and integration into their own environment. This program attends old men (46 %) and women (54 %) of the urban sector of the communities of Concepción, Talcahuano, Hualpén, Chiguayante, San Pedro del Mar y Tomé, through domiciled visits. The frequency of these visits depends on their individual, familiar and social characteristics of these people.
The beneficiaries of the program live in poor conditions.
- Language & Cultural Immersion
Delve into a new language! We provide you the chance to fully immerse into Chilean culture; learn Spanish, volunteer in La Serena and have the chance to discover the Elqui Valley. The Spanish classes offer a perfect balance between teamwork and the personalized work, creating a climate of concentration and simultaneous fun that will make easy the leaning. The classes are limited to small groups, and focus in conversation practice, grammar, readings and the vocabulary. The lessons are provided 4 hours per day, total of 20 hours per week Monday to Friday. You attend classes in the morning, and the remainder of your day you will volunteer at children's center helping children learn English, while you practice your Spanish.