Volunteer in Argentina
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 8 meaningful project options
- Projects based in and around the cultural center of Cordoba
- Accommodation in a volunteer house
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- Program fees from $325 for 1 week
- Affordable Spanish language lessons available
- Between 5 and 15 volunteers start in Argentina each month
- Programs start every Monday
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Argentina to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Argentina will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Argentina with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ Argentina volunteer program is based in the center of Cordoba Province in the town of Villa Allende. Cordoba is a very popular destination for volunteer travelers and has a lot of volunteer work readily available.
Volunteers can begin the IVHQ Argentina volunteer program every Monday. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. For those wishing to participate on the program for longer than 12 weeks, this is ok, however the extension must be arranged and paid for directly to the local staff, once you are in Argentina on the program. The first day of your volunteer program will be orientation, after which you will begin your volunteer placement.
With the poor living conditions endured by disadvantaged children in Argentina, a large portion suffer from malnutrition and poor hygiene and many are forced to abandon school to help support their families financially. Investment in early childhood development is critical to breaking the poverty cycle in Argentina. Volunteers in the Childcare project act as positive role models introducing new cultures and ideas that broaden the children’s perspectives and stimulate their curiosity. For 3 to 5 hours a day, volunteers interact with the children through various activities including educational games, arts and crafts, sports or simply playing and sharing affection with the children. Volunteers on this project work in kindergartens, daycare centers and soup kitchens. It is important to note that from approximately the 3rd week of December to the end of February, the kindergarten, daycare center and soup kitchen placements are usually unavailable due to summer holiday closures. During this time, volunteers on the Childcare project generally assist in open-air, children’s summer holiday programs at local public swimming pools, or may alternatively supplement their time by assisting on other project activities, subject to availability. The Childcare project also experiences a 2-week vacation break in July, the exact dates of this holiday period vary and coincide with the school holidays. During this break in July, the Childcare project is unavailable and volunteers can switch into to an alternative project, subject to availability.
Although Argentina provides public access to education, almost 50% of children in vulnerable situations abandon school due to a range of social problems, such as the need to work full time or having illiterate parents who do not place importance on education. Volunteers on the Teaching/ Education project generally act as tutors and assist students with their assignments, aiding their understanding of material learned in elementary or high school and covering subjects, such as Mathematics, Science and English. Volunteers also model positive behaviors and engage the students in cross-cultural sharing. Volunteers may also have the opportunity to teach adults to read and write, teach English to children or adults, or collaborate with teachers in schools for children with disabilities. An intermediate level of Spanish is recommended for volunteers on the Teaching/Education project in Argentina. As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, they do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. It is important to note that activities on this project typically conclude for the year around the beginning of December (the exact date varies) and does not resume again until early March. The schools also close for a 2-week vacation break in July and the exact dates of this holiday period vary. During these breaks, the Teaching/Education project is unavailable and volunteers who are crossing into this vacation period can switch into to an alternative project, based on availability. From December through February, this may include providing support to government-run, open-air, Summer School programs for children.
Many senior citizens in Argentina find themselves in desperate situations due to limited access to work or housing, and breakdowns in family or social bonds. The Elderly Care project focuses on providing encouragement, protection and assistance to elders with limited resources, or those facing abandonment. Volunteers on this project have the opportunity to interact, learn from, and provide care to elders in a local community center. Each day, the elders receive breakfast and lunch, and take part in recreation activities, including art workshops, yoga, singing, adapted gymnastics, hairdressing, podiatry and professional psychological assistance. The main role of volunteers is to keep the elders company during their scheduled activities and to develop a range of basic assignments to facilitate their learning and well being. Some knowledge of Spanish is recommended for volunteers to be able to interact with the elders on this project. Please note that from approximately the 3rd week of December until mid February, this project is unavailable and volunteers whose duration runs beyond this date will move into an alternative project. This may include providing support to government-run, open-air Summer School programs for children. When the Elderly Care project resumes in February, volunteers may commence participation by accompanying the elders to a local swimming pool, for exercise 2-3 times per week. From March, the project resumes full operation. This project also experiences a 2-week vacation break in July, the exact dates of this holiday period vary and coincide with the school holidays. During this break in July, the Elderly Care project is unavailable and volunteers can switch into alternative project activities, subject to availability.
Due to the lack of adequate working opportunities in Argentina, socio-economic limitations hinder local community development. Through joint action by the families of each community, the local government and the social organizations ready to help them, it is possible to develop initiatives to improve the quality of life and future possibilities through increasing access to cultural, educational, social and vocational opportunities. Volunteers on the Community project work alongside local staff in carrying out activities in vulnerable communities. Volunteers assist with feeding programs, interaction with community elders, socioeconomic surveys, recreational, sports and social gatherings between different neighborhoods, organization, promotion and execution of cultural and educational events, job skill workshops and community street cinema. Please note that from approximately the 3rd week of December until March, this project is unavailable and volunteers whose duration runs beyond this date will move into alternative activities. This may include providing support to government-run, open-air Summer School programs for children or assisting with activities at a swimming pool. The Community project also experiences a 2-week vacation break in July, the exact dates of this holiday period vary and coincide with the school holidays. During this break in July, the Community project is unavailable and volunteers can switch into to an alternative project, subject to availability.
Special Needs Care
The Special Needs project offers vocational, educational, therapeutic and recreational services to young adults with different forms of physical and mental disability. Through teaching trades, training and education, this project offers disabled adults useful tools for their active development, stimulating independence and integration within their families and local communities. Volunteer activities are dependent on a volunteer’s level of Spanish and program duration and can include facilitating workshops or classes, organizing events, and supporting therapeutic activities. Working with the disabled can be an emotional challenge for volunteers, as well as highly gratifying work. Please note that this project will experience disruptions during the Christmas and New Year holiday period due to some placement closures. During this time, volunteers may supplement their time on alternative activities, subject to availability. This may include providing support to government-run, open-air Summer School programs for children. Once the Special Needs project resumes operation in January, volunteers will assist with summer activities held at a local swimming pool until regular operation recommences in mid February. This project also experiences a 2-week vacation break in July, the exact dates of this holiday period vary and coincide with the school holidays. During this break in July, the Special Needs project is unavailable and volunteers can switch into alternative project activities, subject to availability.
Volunteers on the Healthcare project help professionals in small community clinics run by the municipal government in Cordoba. These clinics are predominantly located in poor neighborhoods and provide general medical care, nursing services, vaccinations, gynecology, dentistry, social support, and other primary health attention. Vulnerable families in the local area visit these clinics to address minor health problems. It is important that Healthcare volunteers have realistic expectations with regards to the activities that they will be involved in. Volunteers mainly contribute by shadowing doctors and socializing with patients. In most cases, volunteers will not be directly providing patient care and independence in the Healthcare project will be determined by the level of training and demonstrated expertise, Spanish language level, personality and ability to take initiative and also program duration. Please note that volunteers on the Healthcare project are required to bring their own medical scrubs to wear while volunteering in the local clinics. Volunteers who wish to participate on the Healthcare project should speak Spanish at least at an intermediate level to ensure they have a successful placement. This project has a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks. Please note that although the Healthcare project operates year-round, during January and February volunteers can expect reduced volunteer hours (morning shifts only) and may supplement their time on the program with participation on alternative project activities, subject to availability.
Construction and Renovation
The Construction and Renovation project offers volunteers the special opportunity to work alongside local people to help improve the infrastructure in small, rural communities. This project focuses on the construction and renovation of day care centers, clinics, community centers, toilet facilities and schools. Volunteers work closely with the local people and IVHQ Argentina staff on tasks which include renovating buildings, painting, landscaping/gardening and building new rooms or spaces. Volunteers do not need to have experience with construction work however, having good energy levels, a reasonable level of fitness and good dedication will go a long way to ensuring you get the most out of your volunteer project. Please note, projects and volunteer roles will vary during the year, dependent on where the most help is needed. Volunteers should bring gloves, flash light, scarf or hat, working boots and a water bottle. The Construction and Renovation project has an extra cost of US$35 per week for supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project. This amount will be included in the Program Fee quoted to you by IVHQ when you apply.
In Argentina most underprivileged children and adolescents attend public school for half a day (mornings or afternoons shifts). The Sports Education project helps disadvantaged children and adolescents who cannot afford to do sports and recreational activities before or after school. Work hours in this project are typically Monday to Friday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. During school holiday breaks in July this project runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The main objective of this project is to provide the children with fun and healthy activities in an effort to keep them off the street, which is where their major risk factors are. The Sports Education project aims to provide friendly competition in a safe and fun environment. Volunteers in this project have the opportunity to work with children in popular sports, mainly football (soccer) and basket. It is important to note that the Sports Education project takes place in open areas and the daily activities will therefore depend on the weather. During periods of bad weather, our local staff will place volunteers in alternative project activities, subject to availability. Please note that this project operates as described above until the end of November and recommences activities in March. From December through February, volunteers add their support to government-run, open-air Summer School programs for children. This may involve spending recreational time with children at swimming pools, and adding value to other outdoor leisure activities.
Orientation is hosted by our Argentina team at the volunteer house in Villa Allende. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Argentina – Introduction to Argentina, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, Introduction to Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: Volunteers will have a morning or afternoon shift, which will last around 2 to 5 hours. A typical morning schedule is as follows:
7.30 AM – Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.
8.00 AM – Volunteers travel to their placements to join local placement staff. Start time and daily workload depends on the project that the individual volunteer is participating on.
1.00 PM – Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer accommodation, go sight seeing, or do some shopping. If volunteers are taking Spanish language lessons, they will usually do this in the afternoon (or in the morning if they are volunteering in the afternoon).
8.00 PM – Dinner at the volunteer accommodation.
Please note, this schedule can vary as some projects take place in the afternoon. If volunteers are taking advantage of the Spanish language lessons, they will usually volunteer for half the day and spend the other half of the day (1 to 2 hours) taking Spanish lessons.
Volunteers are typically accommodated in volunteer house in Villa Allende, although home-stay accommodation may at times be assigned by the staff in Argentina, depending on volunteer numbers. The volunteer house is located just 10 minutes drive from the Córdoba airport. The two-story house has free WiFi and great facilities for volunteers,including an orientation room, games room, barbecue area and plenty of space on the property for volunteers to go jogging, or play football.
In the volunteer house, volunteers can expect to share a bedroom with two to four other volunteers of the same gender. Bedrooms are compromised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding and towels provided. Bathroom facilities are shared between volunteers with hot showers and western toilets. Single or double private bedrooms, with private bathrooms, can be requested at an additional cost of US$15 per night (for a single bedroom) and US$20 per night (twin share for a double bedroom), to be paid to our partner organization in Argentina.
There is an accommodation upgrade available for volunteers wishing to have more privacy or to experience an Argentinian home-stay. This costs an extra US$35 per person, per week and volunteers are placed in smaller home-stays with a local host family and a maximum of 2 to 3 other volunteers. The majority of the home-stays available have WiFi, but it is not guaranteed and should specifically be communicated as a preference, when arranging an upgrade. Home-stay accommodation is located within 5-8 km of the placements and volunteer house, with transport available via public bus. Please note, host families only speak Spanish. Upgrades must be arranged once registered.
Your Program Fee covers breakfast and dinner during your program, which is served at the volunteer accommodation. Volunteers can purchase lunch from restaurants in Villa Allende (15 minutes’ walk from the volunteer house), or they may wish to catch a bus to the Cordoba city center (45 minutes to one hour). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. Remember that you should be open to trying new foods and be flexible with your eating habits and we will do our best to see that you are well taken care of. If you require any additional nights of accommodation before or after your program duration, this costs US$20 per night, which can be paid to our local staff in country and should be arranged prior to your arrival.
“I would recommend it to others, especially if they were interested in improving their Spanish and getting to know Argentina. Overall, it was a great experience and I would like to thank IVHQ for everything they have done for me. The meals were excellent and the care provided by hosts exceeded my expectations by far. They created such friendly and comfortable environment, which really contributed to the quality of my experience in Argentina. My favorite moments were the times I spent getting to know the country/local community. Communicating in Spanish with the local people, including the staff members and the hosts was challenging but absolutely exciting. I also loved getting to know the fellow volunteers, and sharing our process of discovering Villa Allende, Cordoba and Argentinian culture.” - Sena Fukumoto (Community Development Volunteer in Argentina)
Cordoba is one of the major tourist destinations in Argentina, hosting millions of tourists every year. On weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or explore this famous university city and cultural hub. From visiting Cordoba’s many museums and flea markets, to enjoying sports and cultural events, to experiencing the student nightlife, there is something to suit every volunteer. Volunteers can also spend their weekends exploring surrounding villages in the Sierras de Cordoba (mountains), like Alta Gracia (where the very popular Che Guevara museum is located), or Villa General Belgrano (a Bavarian style mountain village). Many volunteers also take advantage of the short flight or overnight bus to Buenos Aires (Argentina’s capital city), or pay a visit to Mendoza (near the Andes), or Rosario. Argentina offers plenty of activities for adventurous volunteers, including trekking, mountain climbing, horseback riding, paragliding, and abseiling - just to name a few! Our local team in Argentina will be happy to assist you in making weekend travel arrangements when you arrive in Cordoba.
See our Argentina Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Argentina!
Weather and climate: Argentina’s climate varies greatly, ranging from subtropical in the north, to humid in the central regions, to sub-Antarctic in the south. Winter is the driest period of the year (June to August). The coldest months are June and July and the warmest month is January. Average annual temperatures in in Buenos Aires and Córdoba range from 11°C (51°F) to 24°C (75°F).
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Argentina. Additional requirements apply for Healthcare and Teaching/Education volunteers, please review the project description above.
Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Argentina volunteer program, however on certain projects, such as Community Development, Special Needs Care, and Elderly Care, volunteer work will be restricted with limited language ability. The Healthcare and the Teaching/Education project requires volunteers to speak Spanish at least at an intermediate level. We strongly recommend that all volunteers take advantage of the very affordable Spanish lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our local team in Argentina. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Spanish lessons can arrange these directly with the local team once in Argentina.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.
Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ strongly recommends these for all volunteers unless they are fluent. Volunteers with a basic level of Spanish should strongly consider these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. These language lessons are organized upon your arrival in Argentina during your program orientation. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish and are taught by professional Spanish teachers, so volunteers find these lessons very effective and worthwhile. Classes run for the duration of your choice, Monday through Friday. The cost is highly affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. Spanish lessons must be paid for in Argentina to our local staff.
- 2 hour small group lessons (10 hours per week): US$75 per week
- 1 hour private lessons (5 hours per week): US$80 per week