FAQ Individual Programs

1. What does volunteering with Voluntary Horizons involve?

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A volunteer is someone who commits their time and energy working in projects which are beneficial for the local people in cooperation with that community. Examples of volunteering with Voluntary Horizons include: teaching English in primary schools, undertaking environmental projects in a National Park and helping the teachers of a school for visually impaired children.

A volunteer should be willing to undertake their work freely without any financial gain. It is voluntary but not optional; you should commit yourself fully to the project. It is all about being motivated to help and work towards a project or cause that you are interested in.

You should not expect that you will change the world in just a couple of weeks; however volunteering does give you the opportunity to make an impact on people’s lives and your own. You can make small changes that are long lasting.

2. What is the average age of volunteers?

Our individual volunteers are between 18 and 25 years old.

3. Is there a minimum and maximum age for participating on one of your programs?

You have to be 18 years old to participate in one of our programs. There is no maximum age to participate in one of our programs.

4. In which countries is it possible to volunteer?

Our volunteer programs for individuals are currently available throughout Chile.

5. Is it easy to get in contact with other travelers/volunteers?

It is easy to get in contact with new people and to make new friends when travelling or volunteering. It is also the best way to experience the country’s culture, customs and local people. When taking Spanish lessons prior to your volunteer work, you will also meet a lot of new people as the school is a great meeting point for travelers from all over the world.

6. What is the minimum volunteering period?

You should volunteer for at least 4 weeks.

7. What is the maximum volunteering period?

There is no maximum volunteering period.

8. Why should I pay for volunteering?

Volunteering in another country requires a lot of resources and preparation. We also include an administration fee, as we put a lot of care and time in coordinating work plans and developing specific objectives to ensure the project is well organized. Voluntary Horizons has always been to the project site to carry out a pre-visit to ensure that everything is organized, to do a risk assessment and to ensure that you as a volunteer will meet your project objectives. Then depending on the program structure the following is included for which you should pay: accommodation, food and transportation while volunteering and you will need local coordination and orientation, to ensure your safety and to make sure you get the proper guidance.

9. Which costs are not included?

The costs that are not included are different for every program.  However, for each program you should at least consider the following extras:

  • Costs of your flights
  • Any visa fees
  • Costs of travel insurance
  • Costs of any vaccinations
  • Spending money

In the WORK program only the administration fee and project donation are included. Any other costs are not included in this program.

In the WORK & LIVE program the following costs are included:

  • Homestay
  • 2 meals per day
  • Airport transfer
  • Transportation to project site on first day of volunteering
  • VH Representative to accompany you on first project day
  • Orientation meeting
  • 24-7 in country support
  • Administration fee
  • USD30 donation to project

In the WORK, LIVE & LEARN program the following costs are included:

  • Spanish classes
  • City tour
  • Homestay
  • 2 meals per day
  • Airport transfer
  • Transportation to project site on first day of volunteering
  • VH Representative to accompany you on first project day
  • Orientation meeting
  • 24-7 in country support
  • Administration fee
  • USD30 donation to project

10. Where will my donation go to?

The price of every individual program includes a 30USD donation, which will go straight to the project partner. This way you do not only contribute through volunteering but you give monetary aid as well.

11. Do I need to speak Spanish for volunteering in Latin America?

For most programs there is some Spanish knowledge required. However when you do not speak Spanish yet, Spanish courses can be arranged through Voluntary Horizons before you start your volunteering program. The Spanish course consists of group classes of 20 hours per week, though additional private lessons can also be arranged. It is also possible to extend your Spanish lessons, which can be done together with us in the Voluntary Horizons office.

12. Where will I stay during my Spanish course?

During your Spanish course you will be living with a homestay family in Santiago. Here you will experience the local food and their way of living. It also gives you the opportunity to put your Spanish into practice, as most families do not speak English.

13. Where will I stay during my volunteer work?

During your volunteer work you will either be staying with a homestay family or in a hostal. The only program that offers different accommodation is our volunteering program in Torres del Paine, when you are working in a National Park. For this program you will be sleeping on a campsite.

14. Which vaccinations do I need?

This depends on which country you are planning to go to. For the majority of the countries you will need vaccinations. For more information, please contact http://www.cdc.gov/Features/TravelProtection/

15. Do you have any recommendations for insurance?

It is really important that you contract travel insurance while traveling. Insurance protects travelers when unforeseen circumstances occur, after they have booked and paid for their trip. If you need to cancel your flight for any reason it will be (partially) covered. It will also cover any medical emergencies, accidents and treatment that may occur on a trip to a foreign country. For any recommendations, please contact us.

16. Can you book my flight?

Yes, we can! If you would like help with booking your flight, or if you would like us to book your flight we can help. We charge USD$30 per flight per person.

17. Is it safe to travel and volunteer alone?

We would consider the countries that we offer are safe to travel in; however everywhere you will travel or volunteer are risks and local situations can change. You can check the foreign office recommendations on travel in different Latin American countries at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/

This post is also available in: Spanish

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