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Volunteer in Chile

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If you'd like to see and experience the real Chile but only for a few weeks, while making a difference - we've got you covered!

Do more than Just Travel!

  • Volunteer in Chile with children in childrens´ homes or kindergartens, social work in homeless shelters and nursery homes, help NGOs rescuing animals in shelters, work in a national park, or help animals and protect the environment.
  • Placements are all over Chile and accommodation is in a screened Homestay Family (half board) or shared accommodation (meals not included) for the more independent. 
  • You will always have your own single room and access to the common areas of the house or apartment. All accommodations are cozy and located in nice, safe areas. 
  • You will have access to public transportation, supermarkets, stores, and other facilities in the city. 
  • You can decide whether you want to live with a Chilean host family or in a shared apartment. 
  • Living with a host family allows you to become immersed in Chilean family life, while a shared apartment lets you live with other young foreigners or Chileans. 
  • Half-board can only be offered when living with a host family.

Volunteer in Chile- give back to society and help make the world a better place!

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Give up your time for a good cause and show your commitment to help others by participating in a Volunteer Work project in Chile!

Unfortunately, social disparities in Latin America are very prevalent, and as a result, many social institutions are often left without adequate volunteers and funds to help all of those in need. 

You can help alleviate this problem by participating in one of our volunteer projects in Chile where you can work alongside local institutions and foundations that provide direct assistance to those who need it most. 

  • You can choose from a few different projects to find the one that best suits your interests. See list below.
  • As a volunteer, you will have an authentic cultural experience that stretches far beyond mere tourism.
  • In most cases, you will work directly with the needy and take on responsibilities, such as caring for sick or abandoned children, helping handicapped children or elderly adults, and supporting the homeless population. 
  • There are also opportunities to work in animal rescue centres with street dogs and cats or to take part in projects centered on environmental sustainability.

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List of Volunteer Options

  • Volunteer Work with Children
  • Volunteer Work with Disabled People
  • Volunteer Work with Homeless People
  • Volunteer Work in Environmental Education for Children
  • Volunteer Work in a Shelter for Street Cats
  • Volunteer Work in an Animal Shelter
  • Volunteer Work on the Easter Island
  • Volunteer Work in Wildlife Protection on Chiloé Island
  • Volunteer Work with Disabled People
  • Volunteer Work in Equine Therapy
  • Volunteer Work in a Dog Shelter
  • Volunteer Work with Stray Dogs and Cats
  • Volunteer Work in Ecotourism and Conservation
  • Volunteer Work in a Monkey Rescue Centre

The best way to get to know the language, people, and culture of a foreign country is to become a part of their everyday life, and volunteering allows you to do just that. 

As a volunteer, you will explore and appreciate Chile from a perspective that is entirely different than that of a typical tourist.

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Volunteering not only benefits others, but it is also a very rewarding experience. 

In addition to knowing that you made a positive impact, having international volunteer work experience on your resume will demonstrate your generosity, adaptability, optimism, and tolerance to any future employer. 

You will also rapidly acquire Spanish skills while volunteering, which makes you even more marketable. Spanish is great to learn because it is now one of the most spoken languages in the world due to Latin America’s growing economic relations with the industrial countries. 

Overall, gaining volunteer experience will make you stand out from the crowd and give you a significant advantage when applying for a job.

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Volunteer with Children in Chile

Be a light of hope through one of the serval outreach projects that help underprivileged children and families in Chile. Primary schools, and daycares frequently voice their need for more funds or helping hands, which is why they are dependent on the support of volunteers. 

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Teaching and nursing staff, as well as educators, do their very best to alleviate the worries of the underprivileged children. However, they can only do so much themselves, and are always thankful for any extra helping hand they can get. 

  • Many of the children have parents that have been sent to jail or they are children who have simply been abandoned.
  • Others live at home with their families, but in a very unstable environment. 
  • Due to the harsh conditions that these children and families face, many charitable facilities, children’s homes, serve as save shelters and offer both guidance, counseling and adoptions.

 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Support the educators and nursing staff with daily routines
  • Supervise children/teenagers
  • Encourage creative activities (singing, dancing, painting, playing)
  • Help with household duties (cooking, feeding, brushing teeth)
  • Organising extracurricular activities
  • Giving lessons in subjects such as English, art, design, and computer courses
  • Preparing teaching materials
  • Give tutorials/help with homework
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Volunteer Work with Disabled People

Show your compassion for helping others through a project centered around helping people who are not always given the respect they deserve due to their disability. 

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Volunteers will support an outreach project for physically and mentally disabled people. The facilities for adults and children with disabilities offer recreational activities and several creative workshops as well as care and rehabilitation. Volunteers are responsible for supervising and helping the disabled during their daily routines. 

In addition, volunteers will support and encourage the special talents and skills of everyone through helping with workshops, seminars, or dance classes. All facilities are specifically equipped and suited for the psychological and physical needs of disabled adults or children. 

Within a very friendly and comfortable atmosphere, volunteers will give help to provide a better quality of life for those with disabilities, while also learning more about the language and culture of Chile.

 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Helping with workshops
  • Organise a fun computer workshop in order to teach basic computer skills
  • Support the nursing staff
  • Participate in creative activities such as work projects, painting, or knitting courses
  • Support the staff to create a family-like atmosphere where residents can feel at home
  • Feed the people/children
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Volunteer Work with Homeless People

Give hope to homeless people and help improve their living conditions everyday by engaging in big and small acts of kindness!

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Although Chile ranks as one of the most developed countries in South America, the progress has not yet reached all parts of the society. Unfortunately, the amount of people with lower incomes and poor living conditions is still very large. 

Homelessness is still one of the problems faced by Chile today. As a volunteer in this sector, you will be helping Chilean organisations that support people who live on the streets. In 1977, a charitable initiative was established and now includes five projects that fight against poverty. These homeless outreach projects serve almost 100 people, many of whom have been living without a roof over their heads for years.

 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Create and organise files in order to register the current living conditions of homeless people
  • Contribute your own ideas about how to better reach those in need
  • Register the needy and their background history in order to improve the supervision within the project
  • Accompany members of the organisation as they make initial contact with homeless people
  • Assist with meals, accommodation, and health care
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Volunteer Work in Equine Therapy in Chile

In this volunteer program, you can combine your passion for horses and charity work. You will work directly with both people and animals, while enjoying the outdoors and gaining valuable insights into the specific treatment method of equine therapy.

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Equine Therapy is a treatment method that approaches the senses on different levels, resulting in fast progress. The main goal of the therapy is to enhance the coordination, orientation, and balance of patients with disabilities. By sitting on the horse’s back, the body is in a more loose and free state, which allows targeted treatment methods to be applied. 

The equine therapy centre specialises in treating young patients who suffer from down-syndrome, autism, or other development disorders. The horseback riding therapy gives patients new movement impulses, which help them develop a new feeling for their bodies.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Maintenance of the facility and cleaning the horse stable
  • Preparing the animals for the therapy
  • Supporting the therapists during the therapy sessions
  • Therapeutic guidance of the horses (kinesiology, muscle therapy)
  • Playful interaction with the patients
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Presentación de PowerPoint

Volunteer Work in Environmental Education for Children in Chile

This volunteer project takes place at a cultural and environmental organisation that was founded in 2011 in the town of Pisco Elqui, part of the beautiful Coquimbo region in the north of Chile. 

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The organisation has a goal to develop values and mindsets about social and ecological responsibility with children at a young age. There mission is to make sure that the new generation grows up with having a high environmental and social consciousness and strives to protect our fragile mother earth. 

The mission of the organisation is to support children and teenagers between the ages of three and 18 and to sensitise them about environmental issues, so that they become responsible ambassadors of our nature and society. 

A big part is in the development of concepts, techniques and values towards the environment that the children and teenagers can also take home and implement into their normal family lives. 

To reach this goal, the project applies different programs that have been officially accredited by the UNESCO (TiNI Method, Water-Education Academy, Tiva Excursion). 

Responsibilities may include:  

  • Work in the organic garden or greenhouse
  • Assistance in the area of "food and a healthy lifestyle“ (yoga, sports, excursions, etc.)
  • Assistance in the area of "environmental awareness“ (waste management, recycling, reuse of materials)
  • Preservation of the regional biodiversity
  • Ecotourism
  • Art (dance, music, theatre, painting)
  • Brainstorming and drafting new projects for the foundation
  • Teaching English
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Volunteer Work in a Dog Shelter

This volunteer project takes place in a private foundation that helps stray and mistreated dogs. The current dog population at the centre is about 120 dogs. 

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The centre strives to improve the relationship between humans and animals through animal welfare. In the upbringing of the dogs, the physical and emotional protection of the animals is especially important at the centre.

They want to make sure the animals that are later adopted out are healthy and well trained. The foundation wants to be part of an effective cultural change that benefits not only animals but also humans. They believe that, through the promotion of responsible pet ownership and the concept “one health” (healthy animals, healthy people), this change will be possible. 

They also run a small social project that was especially made for pet owners living in the socially disadvantaged regions around the centre. People can bring in their pets and get their animals checked, vaccinated and sterilised at the pet clinic, that belongs to the shelter, to a very low cost or even for free.

 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Care (bathing, grooming, etc.)
  • Walking the dogs
  • Feeding the dogs
  • Cleaning of the compounds and facilities
  • Playing with the dogs
  • Training and rehabilitation of the dogs.
  • Support of adoption events
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Volunteer Work in a Shelter for Street Cats

This volunteer project, founded in 2010, is a nonprofit group with legal personality, is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and resettlement of stray cats in Santiago. 

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Unfortunately, in Chile, animal lives are not given as much value as in some industrialised countries. While improving, the idea of spaying and neutering pets is seriously lacking, and it is with this type of education diffusion that the organisation hopes to improve animal welfare in Chile. 

Cat lovers will greatly enjoy being able to offer kindness and attention to many cats that have been rescued from the streets. The shelter provides a foster home and much needed veterinary care to the abandoned, neglected and abused kittins. 

The organisation regularly carries out adoption events for the nearly 200 cats that are cared for by the shelter. Many of the cats that get to the centre are pregnant and need a safe place to give birth. Others arrive extremely sick, malnourished, or with serious injuries after having been abused. Once in the shelter, the cats receive basic care, such as food, water, vaccinations, socialisation (with other cats and humans), and treatment for their injuries/illnesses. 

Additional veterinary help is given, if needed, such as sterilisation, medical therapy, etc. The organisation operates on public and partner donations, receiving nearly all of the goods provided to the cats (food, cat litter) by donation from known domestic animal goods brands.

 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Feed and give fresh water to the cats
  • Care for the cats
  • Play and cuddle with the cats
  • Maintain and improve the infrastructure of the shelter
  • Cleaning the cages
  • Campaigning for responsible pet care
  • Supporting adoption and fundraising events
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Volunteer Work with Stray Dogs and Cats

Volunteers on this project can show their passion for animals and contribute to the improvement of living conditions of pets living on the streets.

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The streets of Chile’s capital often include the presence of stray dogs and cats. Their health condition is usually very bad, because they eat rotten food out of the garbage to survive. Illnesses as well and wounds, which are often a result of fights with other street animals, usually remain untreated. 

Excruciating pain resulting in death is often the sad consequence. Fortunately, there are many animal lovers in Santiago who help with the rescue and protection of these helpless animals. At nonprofit facilities in Chile’s capital, staff members work together with volunteers from all around the world to care for and improve the lives of street animals. The main goal is to take care of dogs and cats until they find a caring owner and new home.

Responsibilities may be:

  • Taking care of (bathing, combing) and feeding the animals
  • Feeding of weak and young animals (puppies, cat babies)
  • Cleaning of the pens and facilities
  • Walking the dogs
  • Giving animals medicine and assisting with sterilisation
  • Accompanying members of the organisation on rescue tours
  • Food distribution for animals who live on the street
  • Public and educational work, as well as taking care of the online presence of the organisation
  • Supporting adoption processes
  • Helping out at donation events
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Volunteer Work in an Animal Shelter

In this project volunteers are able to combine their passion for dogs and the willingness to participate as a volunteer. Your effort will help to improve the living situation of the street dogs in Viña del Mar. 

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The dogs are happy when they finally receive the attention they deserve especially since they normally experience a lot of violence and abuse. As you know if you are empathic with the dogs and you soon will feel their unconditional gratitude.

You volunteer at an NGO which was established in 1994. Since then, the organisation has been caring for stray dogs. There is an unofficial number of approximately 1.5 million street dogs in Chile. That is a lot and although the shelter only can receive up to 200 dogs, this work is a very important step into the right direction to help these poor animals. The general organisation's goal is to protect the abandoned dogs and act immediately when animal abuse or mistreatment occurs. 

Here they will find the appropriate attention, love and medical assistance they need. As well as that, the animal shelter promotes respectful and responsible pet ownership as well as campaigns for speying of female dogs in Viña del Mar.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Taking care of (bathing, combing) and feeding the animals
  • Feeding of weak and young animals (puppies, cat babies)
  • Cleaning of the pens and facilities
  • Walking the dogs
  • Giving animals medicine and assisting with sterilisation
  • Accompanying members of the organisation on rescue missions.
  • Supporting the adoption processes
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Volunteer Work in Ecotourism and Conservation

Help protect the breathtaking nature and unique wildlife in Patagonia. The project was founded back in 2004 as a conservation project of the rich vegetation of Southern Chile. The aim is to protect and maintain the forests and integrate local communities into the project in order to improve their quality of life in this remote yet beautiful region of Patagonia. 

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The project has developed several programs to protect the local environment and wildlife. The most important one is the reintroduction and reproduction of a very rare deer species, the Chilean Huemul. 

In recent times the project also protects, reproduces and reintroduces the local Guanaco. 

The project encourages the region’s economical and touristic development; it runs a very successful eco-lodge focusing on sustainable tourism, guest cabins and a camping ground for both national and international visitors. 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Supporting the breeding station of Huemuls
  • Reforestation work
  • Support forest protection
  • Assisting visitors and work at the Eco-Lodge
  • Working in the park’s administration
  • Maintaining the park and surroundings
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Volunteer Work on the Easter Island 

The volunteer program is located close to the capital Hanga Roa. The national forestry authorities supervise the volunteer project on the Easter Island. 

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Easter Island suffered in the last few centuries from massive logging and destruction of local plants. The work of the forestry authorities concentrate on the reforestation and reintroduction of endemic plants. 

There are vast areas left infertile, because wind, water and sun affect them daily. This means more must be done than only planting new plants, which is why the authorities also concentrate on the research and breeding of the local flora. 

A laboratory and plantations where diverse local flowers, plants and seeds are grown under controlled conditions also contribute to the reforestation process. This is very important because Easter Island is the most species-poor island in the South Pacific with less than 30 local plants. 

A healthy flora also indicates a chance for animals to survive which is why the project also aims for a reintroduction and protection of local animals. The sensitisation of the population and tourists also belongs to the important tasks in order to create a sustainable togetherness. 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Collection, treatment and recording of plant seeds
  • Work with germination and seedlings
  • Preservation of local seeds and plants
  • Reforestation, supervision and recording of forest and plant stocks
  • Support in the environmental education
  • Attending tourists at the park
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Presentación de PowerPoint

Volunteer Work in a National Park, Patagonia

This volunteer project fights for the maintenance of natural and cultural resources in the Patagonian region. It is located in a private reserve that spans acres of untouched beautiful nature. It borders with the Torres del Paine National Park and is situated at one of the most visited places - the entrance to the W-Trek and starting point to visit the famous 3 towers.

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The project’s efforts in this natural reserve are of high importance in order to make sure that the ecological footprint is kept as low as possible, even though the number of visitors in the park increases annually. To ensure the accomplishment of this goal, the organisation’s employees work in different areas. 

They assist in providing and maintaining a good and nature-friendly infrastructure throughout the park. They also raise awareness for the importance and significance of the Torres del Paine natural resources by holding informational seminars and events. 

All of these aspects promise volunteers an interesting work environment with a multicultural team. They are looking for people who love to work outside, who work well in a team and who really have the desire to work hard in order to protect local nature.

 

Responsibilities may include:

  • Work at the visitors' centre
  • Reforestation and ecological restoration
  • Maintenance of trails
  • Environmental education
  • Support campaigns and scientific studies
  • Biological monitoring of species
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Volunteer Work in Wildlife Protection, Chiloé Island

Help to protect the fragile ecosystem and wildlife on Chiloé Island! The volunteer project on Chiloé Island is supervised by a non-profit organisation, that aims to protect and preserve the biodiversity of Chile’s biggest island. 

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It was founded in 2009 and today consists of researchers, professors, volunteers and is being supported by private and public institutions. The project is developing and the facility is still growing in order to take in more animals in need. 

Wild animals, that suffer from injuries or illnesses and therefore cannot survive in their natural habitat, are taken in at the rescue centre. Here, they are cared for, rehabilitated and in the best case released into the wild again. 

Animals such as foxes, eagles, sea lions, sea and land birds, penguins, huemuls, pudus, beavers, small wild cats and others live in the centre. 

Additionally, the organisation seeks to educate the population about topics such as environmental and animal protection. The volunteers teach children and adults about the necessity of protecting local flora and fauna and show them examples of dangers influencing the fragile ecosystem of Chiloé.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Construction
  • Rescue and rehabilitation of animals
  • Research
  • Environmental Education
  • Maintenance work
  • Wildlife protection
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Volunteer Work in a Monkey Rescue Centre

The project started back in 1994 with the arrival of a male wooly monkey of 8 months. During the year 1996 the project requested authorisation at the Agricultural and Livestock Service of the Chilean government to create a centre to shelter primates seized by the authorities.

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At the beginning the idea was to recover the monkeys, to rehabilitate them and, when possible, to return them to their natural habitat. Rapidly, the centre realised that this was not going to be possible. Their history in captivity and the trafficking of the monkeys had left them with severe damage. Some of the monkeys have arrived to the Chilean centre blind, mutilated, with chronic diseases as hepatic cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and cardiac diseases. 

Unbelievably, the project also rescued monkeys effected by alcohol and drug consumption.

Obviously, they will never return to their habitat. From the year 1996 up to now, the project has received 175 primates of 12 different species. The majority of them have recovered physically and behaviourally and most of them will remain in the centre for the rest of their lives. The centre is not open to the public/tourists because the centre wants to make sure the environment for the primates is as recreational as possible.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Prepare food for the animals
  • Cleaning monkey territory
  • Helping with building, repairing, painting
  • Gardening
  • General maintenance of the centre
  • Monitor monkeys’ behaviour
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