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Volunteer in Central America and South America 2019

Volunteer in Latin America with IVHQ in 2019

Want to volunteer in Central America or South America in 2019? With the most affordable fees and trusted programs, IVHQ has you covered with the best volunteer opportunities in Latin America! There are plenty of project options to choose from and even more sights to see once you arrive. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a friend, family or as a group, IVHQ is the travel provider of choice for those looking to volunteer in Latin America. Keep reading to find out more…

Volunteer In Argentina - Cordoba

If you’re seeking an immersive cultural exchange and the opportunity to put your Spanish skills into play, then Argentina has your name on it. As an IVHQer on Argentina’s Cordoba program, you’ll be living near Cordoba in a family-style volunteer house, where you’ll be in the company of like-minded international travelers and be well supported by the friendly local team.

Come prepared to take initiative, work hard and be proactive in identifying opportunities to offer support in Teaching, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Healthcare, Sports, Special Needs Care, Community or Elderly Care projects.

During your free time, explore the enticing plazas to meet the local musicians and artisans displaying their work, or venturing into Cordoba city or Buenos Aires for a long weekend.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based just outside of the city of Cordoba in central Argentina
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 12 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts every Monday
  • Affordable program fees from US$325 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore the university city of Cordoba and all its markets, sports and cultural events and student nightlife. The nearby mountains also offer plenty of hiking and outdoor activities if you’d prefer to be more active! You can also read more about Argentina travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Argentina Cordoba

Your volunteering experience is what you make of it. Happiness, openness and general optimism will get you a long way and make your stay unforgettable! Like mine! Rachel Ballegaard, IVHQ volunteer in Argentina

Volunteer in Argentina - Buenos Aires

Few cities around the world are as alive as Buenos Aires is, and IVHQ has a golden opportunity to live and volunteer in this vibrant, bustling environment. Volunteers on the Argentina - Buenos Aires program can choose from five meaningful projects in Childcare, Teaching, Construction and Renovation, Healthcare or Sports Education.

Buenos Aires is cosmopolitan and sophisticated, with a European feel that is often compared to Paris. You’ll stay in a volunteer house nearby to the central city in a neighborhood known for its quaint townhouses and eclectic markets. As Argentina’s biggest city it’s easy to access the Andes, the wine regions or further afield in South America with a minimum of fuss.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, in the central suburb of Recoleta
  • Flexible program durations from 2 weeks to 12 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts on the first and third Monday of each month
  • Affordable program fees from US$620 for two weeks
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore Buenos Aires like only a local can. Get lost in the cosmopolitan streets, enjoy the rich local cuisine or cast your net wider to Argentina’s wine or mountain regions, or anywhere else in South America. You can also read more about Argentina travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Argentina Buenos Aires Pink Building

Volunteer In Brazil

Are you looking for the opportunity to contribute to important community projects while gaining a unique insight into the vibrant Brazilian culture? This program is well suited to energetic volunteers with a strong work ethic, a passion for working in a team and a love of socializing and meeting new people.

As an IVHQer in Brazil, you’ll have the opportunity to join other international volunteers, contributing to projects including Teaching English, Childcare, Sports, Community Development or our Carnaval project, where you’ll support local Samba schools in the preparations for the world-renowned Carnaval festival.

Take advantage of the affordable Portuguese lessons on offer to enhance your communication with the locals and spend your weekends with fellow volunteers visiting Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain or Copacabana and Ipanema - two of Rio’s iconic beaches. Want to know if this is the right program for you? See 6 Signs You Should Volunteer In Brazil.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in Rio de Janeiro, in the waterfront neighborhood of Glória
  • Flexible program durations from 2 weeks to 24 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Affordable program fees from US$525 for two weeks
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support
  • Weekends are free to inject yourself into the Rio way of life and see all that makes this city so famous. Spend your days on Copacabana beach, visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer or catch a cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain. The Amazon and the Iguaçu Falls are also a day trip away for those wanting a break from the hustle and bustle. You can also read more about Brazil travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Brazil Rio de Janeiro

I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s a perfect way to travel and an experience unlike any other, it’ll likely stay with you for the rest of your life. Craig Puttnam, IVHQ volunteer in Brazil

Volunteer In Colombia - Bogota

If you’re drawn to the big city life, historic architecture and lively social settings, Bogotá is your calling. Colombia’s capital city boasts rich South American culture, mountainous surrounds and a historic cobbled downtown hub.

Volunteers on our Colombia - Bogotá program can choose from a variety of projects aiming to improve the lives of locals, including Teaching, Feeding the Homeless, Elderly Care, Childcare and Construction and Renovation.

During your weekends, explore the historic neighborhoods and bustling markets, take a cable car to the central city chapel at Cerro de Monserrate or join your fellow volunteers to experience the Andes or Amazon regions - a must for any traveler to South America!

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in the heart of Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 24 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts on the 1st and 15th of every month.
  • Affordable program fees from US$270 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support
  • Weekends are free to relax and roam around Bogotá and wider Colombia. Take in panoramic views of the city from the cable car up to Cerro de Monserrate, walk the cobbled central streets of La Candelaria to famous museums or pick up a bargain at the local markets. Bogotá is also close to the Andes and even the Caribbean if you fancy going further afield. You can also read more about Colombia travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Colombia - Bogota

When I got back home to the U.S, my best friend asked me if I had made a good decision about going to Colombia. The immediate response was YES! It was probably one of the greatest decisions I have made or will ever make. Elise Wright, IVHQ volunteer in Colombia

Volunteer In Colombia - Cartagena

For those wanting a slightly more relaxed setting while volunteering in Colombia, Cartagena offers a warmer climate and stunning beach setting in the north of the country, on the Caribbean coastline. Picture white sand beaches, palm trees and vibrant street scenes scattered with fruit carts and floral displays. Cartagena has iconic, colorful architecture, cobblestone streets and the UNESCO World Heritage site that is the walled Old Town.

Volunteers on the Colombia - Cartagena program can choose from a variety of projects, including Teaching English, Childcare, Community and Sports Development.

During your weekends, explore the historic neighborhoods and bustling markets, or join your fellow volunteers to experience the Caribbean, Andes or Amazon regions - all popular trips for travelers to South America.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast of northern Colombia
  • Flexible program durations from 2 weeks to 12 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts on the 1st and 15th of every month.
  • Affordable program fees from US$450 for two weeks
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support
  • On your weekends, you can find out exactly why Cartagena is a popular destination for surfers and beach-goers. Roam the walled Old Town by the sea, take a boat trip to nearby islands and coral reefs, head further north into the Caribbean or south into the Andes or Amazon. You can also read more about Colombia - Cartagena travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Colombia - Cartagena

Volunteer In Costa Rica

For those seeking the opportunity to provide hands-on support to community development projects while gaining a first-hand insight into another culture, IVHQ’s Costa Rica program suits all types of volunteer travelers.

While being accommodated alongside other international volunteers in a local homestay, you can opt to sign up for Teaching, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Eco-Agriculture Conservation, Special Needs Care or Turtle Conservation projects, while medical and nursing students/professionals have the opportunity to join the Healthcare project. Those wanting to volunteer over the Christmas period can also help make the festive season extra special for locals on the Holiday Experience project. Students looking to further their studies can also gain university credit on IVHQ’s Spanish Service Learning Course. Most projects are based in the capital city of San Jose, while there are placements available in Manuel Antonio, in the central highlands and in coastal locations.

During your weekends, you’ll have the chance to explore your new home with your new-found volunteer family - you’ll be spoilt for choice with volcanoes, rainforests and beaches within easy access. Don’t miss a trip to Pacuare River to go white water rafting, or to Monteverde - world renowned for its biodiverse cloud forests, hiking and zip lining!

Program Highlights:

  • The program is mostly based in Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. Some projects are based in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast, Turtle Conservation is based on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and Eco-Agriculture is based in the central highlands
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 24 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts every Monday
  • Affordable program fees from US$355 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore San Jose or other parts of Costa Rica. You can visit volcanoes, rainforests and beaches, or roam the eclectic township. Sunday is a religious day of rest so most stores and restaurants are closed. If you wish, you can accompany your host family to their local church, which is often a special experience for volunteers. You can also read more about Costa Rica travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Guatemala, San Jose

Volunteering with IVHQ was a wonderful experience. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and see the world from a different perspective. Jessica Kenny, IVHQ volunteer in Costa Rica

Volunteer In Guatemala

If you’re someone who likes to keep busy and make the most of every day, IVHQ’s Guatemala program gives you the opportunity to engage in meaningful volunteer projects while taking up the many social gatherings and optional Spanish classes on offer. Think salsa dancing, movie nights, guacamole-making classes and photography tours.

During the week, there are 12 projects you can support in the surrounding towns and pueblos of Antigua, including Teaching English, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Elderly Care, Eco-Agriculture Conservation, Turtle Conservation, Mayan Cultural Immersion, Special Needs Care, Medical and Animal Care/Animal Rights. Students looking to further their studies can also gain university credit on IVHQ’s Spanish Service Learning Course, and volunteers looking to spend Christmas overseas can go on the Holiday Experience project.

Based in the colonial city of Antigua and set against a volcanic backdrop, volunteers enjoy the experience of living with local homestays and the convenience of having everything located within walking distance. Save your weekends for exploring the world-renowned beach in Monterrico, or the Iximche Mayan ruins!

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in and around the city of Antigua, 30 minutes from Guatemala City
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 24 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts every Monday
  • Affordable program fees from US$310 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore Antigua, which is known for its Spanish colonial buildings, and its surrounding highlands and volcanoes. Sunday is a religious day of rest so most stores and restaurants are closed. Volunteers often enjoy accompanying their host family to their local church, for a unique experience of local culture. You can also read more about Guatemala travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Guatemala, Antigua

Volunteer In Ecuador - Quito

If you’re not sure where to volunteer in Latin America, but want to experience the best of the continent, try volunteering in Ecuador. IVHQ’s Ecuador - Quito program is one of the most affordable on offer, and is also highly rated by volunteers. This program is well suited to volunteers who want to take initiative, are willing to work long hours and want to get stuck in to providing real value to the projects they’re supporting.

In Ecuador, you can choose to support Street Children Work, NGO Support, School Support, School Break, Teaching English, Physical Education, Music, Community Development, Shelter Support or Kindergarten projects. Want to learn more about IVHQing in Ecuador? Read about a volunteer’s experience volunteering in Ecuador here.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, with placements in the city and its surrounding areas
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 12 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts every Monday
  • Affordable program fees from US$270 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore Quito, which is often considered one of South America’s most beautiful cities. There’s plenty on offer for art and history buffs, a cable car up to picturesque views of the city or wider excursions to coastal regions, volcanoes and the jungle. You can also read more about Ecuador travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Ecuador - Quito

Volunteer In Ecuador - Santa Elena

For volunteers seeking a slower pace, Santa Elena on Ecuador’s southern Pacific coastline offers a more relaxing and rustic vibe. Volunteers on the Ecuador - Santa Elena program can expect warm temperatures all year round, but also a good range of volunteer projects that are considered especially rewarding.

Take your pick from Environmental Education, Community Development, Kindergarten, Sports Education or Teaching English projects. For those wanting to volunteer from March to April you can also help provide educational support in the school holidays on the School Break project.

Spend your spare time on the peaceful Ecuadorian coast in the water or on the beach, seeing the unique archaeological history or in the nearby cultural city of Guayaquil.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in and around Santa Elena, on the Pacific coast of Ecuador
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 12 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts every Monday
  • Affordable program fees from US$315 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore Ecuador’s top archaeological site, The Lovers of Sumpa. There’s plenty of beaches for you to wile away your days at, including one five minutes’ walk from your accommodation. Jungle, volcano and snorkel excursions are all an easy day trip. You can also read more about Ecuador travel and tours here.

You can learn more about volunteering in Quito compared to volunteering in Santa Elena here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Ecuador - Santa Elena

Working with and for the community helped me get much more out of the experience than I would have simply as a tourist. I intend to volunteer on every trip I take from now on. I feel more confident in unfamiliar situations and also more grateful for what I have and the support I get from my family and friends. David Haggan, IVHQ volunteer in Ecuador

Volunteer In Peru - Lima

IVHQ’S Lima program is one of our longest-standing programs and offers volunteers our cheapest one-week program fees. Not only that, but there is a wide variety of community-driven projects to choose from including Teaching English, Construction and Renovation, Animal Care, Community Support, Childcare and Medical.

Volunteers in Lima can enjoy the attractions of an urban city and the opportunity to explore the depths of the catacombs underneath the central plaza, surfing around the coast and traversing the paths along the cliff tops of Miraflores. No trip to Peru is complete without seeing the world famous Machu Picchu, and the local team in Lima can help to arrange your visit.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in Peru’s capital city, Lima
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 24 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Affordable program fees from US$180 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to explore the sprawling city of Lima, the coastline or the jungle. You can also read more about Lima travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Peru - Lima

Volunteer In Peru - Cusco

If you’re seeking an action-packed volunteer setting, Cusco could be the best option for you. What’s more, with 10 meaningful project options there’s a volunteer project that’s perfect for everyone. As an IVHQ volunteer in Peru - Cusco, you’ll be based in one of the oldest cities in South America, on the main route to the popular tourist mecca of Machu Picchu.

Both the Andean Immersion and Jungle Conservation projects offer incredibly unique and rural experiences, based outside of Cusco in the Amazonian Jungle and Sacred Valley. For those seeking Course Credit, the Spanish Service Learning Course is also available to Cusco-based volunteers. Other projects in Childcare, Special Needs Care, Construction and Renovation, Teaching English, Medical and Animal Care are also possible. If that wasn’t enough, volunteers over the Christmas/New Year period can also opt for the Holiday Experience project, helping make the festive season one to remember for locals.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in the city of Cusco in the Peruvian Andes, a one hour flight from the capital, Lima
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 24 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts every Monday
  • Affordable program fees from US$310 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to check out the historic old city of Cusco. One of the world’s leading tourist attractions, Machu Picchu, is a short drive away, as are a number of other popular walks in the Pervian Andes. You can also read more about Cusco travel and tours here.

Can’t decide whether to volunteer in Lima or Peru? For more information to help you figure out what’s best for you, see our guide to Volunteering in Peru: Lima vs Cusco.

IVHQ Volunteer in Peru - Cusco

There is no camaraderie built like the kind that can be built from reaching a shared goal. Volunteering with IVHQ not only brings you closer to the community of a country, but a community of volunteers who become your friends, your teammates, and your family away from home. Nothing is better than that! Bridget Drain, IVHQ volunteer in Peru

Volunteer In Mexico

IVHQ’s Mexico program is well suited to passionate volunteers who are looking for meaningful travel opportunities in the popular Yucatan area. As the starting point for exploring the Yucatan and its archaeological treasures, Merida is a thriving tourist town with plenty of cheap eats, bustling markets, cultural displays and peaceful parks.

Here volunteers live together in a safe community setting while supporting a range of projects including Teaching English, Childcare, Special Needs Care, Animal Care and Sustainable Agriculture.

This program is well suited to those who have existing Spanish skills, however there are affordable language courses available to take.

During your stay, you’ll be accommodated in a quiet suburb, spending your free time and weekends relaxing poolside, exploring the Mayan ruins, swimming in the cenotes and limestone sinkholes, or biking ride into town to grab a taste of the local street-eats.

Program Highlights:

  • The program is based in the city of Merida, slightly inland from Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
  • Flexible program durations from 1 week to 12 weeks
  • The program is available year-round and starts on the first and third Monday of every month
  • Affordable program fees from US$270 for one week
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country volunteer support. It also entitles you to discounted language lessons
  • Weekends are free to relax on the white sand Caribbean beaches or explore famous Mayan ruins such as the popular Chichén Itzá. The historic town of Izamal is also a short drive away from central Merida. You can read more about Mexico travel and tours here.

IVHQ Volunteer in Mexico

Be open minded and proactive and make the most of every minute you are there. Enjoy it to the fullest. I highly recommend volunteering with IVHQ. I will definitely be volunteering again with them in the future! Sheema Siddiqui, IVHQ volunteer in Mexico

Still not sure where to volunteer in Latin America? Maybe, it could be that volunteering in the Caribbean is the best option?!

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