Argentina - Spanish Language and Community Projects in Córdoba
Join one of three projects in the cultural capital of the Americas, Córdoba, Argentina. Immerse yourself in Argentinian culture and improve your Spanish, all while volunteering with children, animals, or the elderly.
|Location of Project||Córdoba, Argentina|
|Project Length||Min 3 weeks - Max 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Córdoba Airport (COR)|
|Volunteer Work||Kindergarten, Equine Therapy and home for the elderly|
|Age||18 - 100|
|Arrival Day||Sunday (project starts Monday)|
|Accommodation||Homestay, shared room, or private room in a student residence (extra fee)|
|Food||Half-board included (breakfast and dinner)|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Airport Transfers||Included on arrival day|
|Insurance||Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage|
|Orientation||Training and excursions upon arrival|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details are sent following registration|
|Spanish Course||1 week Spanish language intensive course upon arrival|
What's Not Included
Córdoba is known by many as La Docta because of its many universities and scientific institutes. Around 200,000 people study in this city, which makes its population one of the youngest and liveliest in South America. In 2006, Córdoba was designated the cultural capital of the Americas, and the title suites the city perfectly. Four excellent municipal galleries – dedicated to emerging, contemporary, classical, and fine arts respectively – are within easy walking distance of each other and the city center. The alternative film scene is alive and kicking. Young designers and artisans exhibit their work at a weekend crafts market that sprawls for blocks and is one of the best in the country. On top of the natural beauty of this region, the cultural diversity, and developed economy, it is the warmth and hospitality of its people that makes Córdoba such an attractive city.
About the Project
This leading organization partners with non-profit organizations operating in 8 countries in Latin America; Argentina is one of them. The organization helps these non-profits with their individual goals. For many of them, the primary goal is to make a noticeable difference in the community through access to health services, homes for underprivileged community members, services for working parents with children and persons with physical and mental disabilities.
This project is comprised of two parts: the first week is devoted to Spanish language learning, where volunteers are given intensive Spanish language lessons and an introduction to the life and culture in Córdoba.
At the start of this program, you will participate in a 1-week Spanish course. The Spanish course will have 20, 55-minute classes per week with a maximum of 8 students per class to increase the amount of personal attention each student receives. You will be placed in the intermediate or advanced class and will focus on improving your speaking, reading, listening and writing. The knowledgeable staff will offer you support and advice throughout the course. Upon completion, you will receive a participation certificate.
You will have the chance to enjoy excursions in the area, such as visits to La Bombonera Stadium, Evita's Museum, Palermo Forests. There will also be opportunities to participate in recreational activities ranging from tango lessons to bowling night.
Important Note: In order to have a more successful experience and overcome the language barrier, we recommend that applicants with little to no Spanish knowledge take extra Spanish lessons before volunteering.
Extra fee of Spanish course: $370 USD per week.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Following the 1-week Spanish course, you will begin your volunteer expereince and one of two placements.
Kindergarten: This kindergarten provides children, infants to the age of 5, with the love and attention they require. The class has about 10 to 15 children in one room with limited support staff. Children at this age require a lot of hands-on attention and work and any extra helping hands around the kindergarten is appreciated. Your duties may include:
- Supervising and bonding with children
- Providing homework and reading assistance
- Preparing meals
- Setting up and cleaning up of meals and snacks
- Raising money for the project
- Planning fun activities and preparing educational material
- Playing with children during their break
- Routine task assistance to teachers
- Thinking up creative ideas to improve the organization
Equine Therapy: This center supports individuals with various disabilities, including sensory, motor, psychomotor, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. Professional workers dedicate their time and energies to the equine-assisted therapy practice to help both children and adults live better lives. The practice has three modalities: therapeutic horseback riding, hippotherapy and adapted horse riding, for those with sensory impairments. It is important to be constantly mindful of the physical and mental state of the disabled children and adults. You will receive continuous support from the center's team. During this placement, your duties may include:
- Assisting in rehabilitation activities
- Working on maintenance
- Cheering them up
- Organizing sports activities
- Assisting with routine duties
Home for the Elderly: This project takes place at a licensed elderly home for those who have been abandoned and/or excluded from the social system. This retirement facility provides these elderly individuals with fun activities to keep their minds stimulated and their moods positive. The home needs you to help with their efforts to keep these elderly people surrounded by energetic, lively individuals who can make their day just by smiling. Your duties at the home may include:
- Providing friendship to the elderly and keeping them company
- Organizing cultural events and sports activities
- Going for walks and running errands with the residents
- Various kitchen duties
A typical day: You will start your 4-6-hour shift in the morning (Monday through Friday) and in general help with whatever tasks the project is focusing on for that day. For Equine Therapy you will work closer to 6 hours a day and if you prefer the afternoons, it can be arranged for this placement as well.
Accommodations: In order to improve your Spanish skills and enrich your experience, you will be lodged in a local home stay with shared rooms for around 2-3 students. The home stay includes a shared bathroom and shower, towels, bed linen and kitchen access, if required. The accommodations are located about a 20 - 30-minute bus ride from the school and volunteer project sites. Local busses cost around 50 cents per trip and you will be required to travel independently each day. Following registration, you will have the option to book a private room in a student residence for an extra fee of US$70 per week (subject to availability).
Food: Half board is included (breakfast and dinner). Meals are not included when you upgrade to a private room.
Laundry: There are a couple of laundry stores within walking distance of the accommodation, so volunteers can take their clothes there. The approximate cost per wash is around USD 5 - USD 6.
Internet: Available at internet cafes in the city (for an extra fee).
There is more to Cordoba than its many universities and scientific institutes. This city is home to Alcazar de los Reyes Cristiano, where King Fedinand and Queen Isabel retreated during the siege of Granada. This spectacular castle, errected in 1328 houses an ancient Roman sarcophagus. If that hasn't already got you dying to go, then Alcazar's gardens will definitely entice you since they are some of the most stunning gardens of Spain. There is also Palace of the Marquises of Viana, the largest privately-owned palace in the country that offers a public viewing. Both attractions are definitely worth exploring.
- Minimum age: 18 years at the start of the program
- Minimum education: high school diploma or equivalent
- Personal characteristics: flexibility, adaptability, sense of responsibility, and sensitivity towards other cultures, ways of life, and conceptions of work
- Commitment to the project and its goals
- Beginner's Spanish