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 4 weeks - Max 12 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Córdoba Airport (COR)|
|Volunteer Work||Community center, animal shelter, or home for the elderly|
|Age||18 - 100|
|Arrival Day||Sunday (project starts Monday)|
|Accommodation||Shared rooms in volunteers' residence|
|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||First 2 weeks of program; includes Spanish language course and cultural events|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details are sent following registration|
What's Not Included
The city is known by many as La Docta because of its many universities and scientific institutes. Around 200,000 people study here, which makes the city's population one of the youngest and liveliest in South America. In 2006, Córdoba was designated the cultural capital of the Americas, and the title fits 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 Cordoba such an attractive city.
About the Project
This project is comprised of two parts: the first two weeks are devoted to Spanish language learning, where volunteers are given intensive Spanish language lessons and an introduction to the life and culture in Córdoba. Following the first two weeks, participants will proceed on to their volunteer work in any of the following projects:
Córdoba Community Center
This community center assists people of all ages: children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly that are at risk of social exclusion. The center organizes events, gives food and clothing to those who need it, and provides a comfortable social environment for all.
This animal shelter is a facility that houses homeless, lost, or abandoned animals; primarily a large variety of dogs and cats. The goal of the animal shelter is to provide a safe and caring environment until the animal is either reclaimed by its owner, placed in a new home, or placed with another organization.
Home for the Elderly
This project takes place at a licensed elderly home whose mission is to be a haven for elderly people who have been abandoned by their families and are excluded from the social system.
Orientation & Spanish Course in Córdoba
Upon arrival, volunteers will spend their first two weeks brushing up on their Spanish language skills to ensure that they have the best volunteer experience possible. Following orientation, volunteers will receive a certificate indicating their achieved Spanish level. The weeks will consist of:
- 20 hours of Spanish lessons per week
- First day welcome lunch and city tour
- Weekly tours and educational activities including dance lessons, musical shows, guided visits to the main cultural and historical attractions, etc.
The classes will be small, consisting of no more than 7 students each. There are three level placements, beginner, intermediate, and advanced to ensure the appropriate fit for each individual. The classes will focus on speaking, reading, listening, and writing, and will provide a contextual learning environment to expose students to the local culture as well.
If volunteers are fluent in Spanish, this part of the project can be forgone, with a decreased price and a minimum participation of only 2 weeks.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Following the 2-week Spanish intensive orientation, you will move on to your volunteer work in Córdoba.
Córdoba Community Center
You will work 5 days a week, around 4-6 hours per day. The work is usually in the morning, although help is sometimes needed in the afternoon as well. Normally weekends are free although you may be needed on special events and occasions. Your duties will include:
- Assisting in various kitchen duties
- Serving breakfast or lunch
- Setting up workshops and planning events
- Assisting the regular staff with routine duties
- Helping with the community closet
- General maintenance work
- Welcoming people to the organization
Here you will work 5 days a week, around 4 hours per day. Your tasks will include:
- Feeding and walking the animals
- Checking on the animals and their cages
- Processing new animals
- Assisting owners that are looking for their pets
- Providing assistance in the spaying/neutering of animals at the nearby vet clinic
- Setting up veterinary appointments
- Assisting with research activities
- Educating the community to protect the environment
Home for the Elderly
Here you will work 5 days a week, around 4-6 hours per day. Your duties 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
- Assisting with gardening and general maintenance
- Providing support to the existing staff
- Organizing music shows and games
- Assisting the residents in their daily tasks
Accommodations: located in the center of Córdoba, nearby many different facilities such as banks and grocery stores. Volunteers stay in a residence or hostel with kitchen access, internet service, cable TV, cleaning service once a week, telephone service to receive calls (available to make calls with prepaid cards), and towels and bed linens (changed once a week). There is electricity and hot water, but no washing machines. The rooms are shared between 2 volunteers each and a bathroom is shared with other volunteers as well.
Food: not provided, however there is a kitchen to cook in and the accommodations are near a grocery store.
Laundry: towels and bed linens changed once a week
- 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