Our prices are very comprehensive with no hidden extras! We can also assist booking your internal flight from Caracas to El Vigia (nearest airport to MERIDA) or Barcelona (nearest airport to PLAYA COLORADA), and organise side trips to exciting destinations to max your time over here.
Start dates in MERIDA are the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month
Start dates in PLAYA COLORADA are restricted to the following (we can provide accomodation if you wish to arrive a few days earlier than these 'official' start dates):
Remainder 2015: 5th Oct, 30th Nov
2016: Jan 11th, Mar 7th, 2nd May, 27th June, 25th July, 3rd Oct, 5th Dec
Upon request we can assist with process of earning Academic Credits.
We have many Volunteer Work options and these fall into two main categories - working with local communities, and environmental conservation. We have built up partnerships with local communities and voluntary organisations over many years and are proud to be associated with sustainable and worthwhile causes that meet very real objectives. Some voluntary placements are seasonal. We list ones below that are available all year round. You DO NOT NEED to make a final selection before you actually arrive in country - during your first 1 to 4 weeks with us we will familiarise you further with the options so you can make a fully informed decision.
“Street Kids” Fundación Don Bosco (based in Merida) aimed at helping kids from particularly difficult circumstances. Many are street kids – and the aim is to get them off the streets and into a safe supporting environment. There are three-stages to this difficult task: Stage 1 “Off the street” - The school provides food, clothes and shelter. Stage 2 “Making a Connection” – Helping educate the children, including: social education, elementary school curriculum, physical education, art and craft classes and extra activities. Stage 3 “The Next Step” - Foster homes. Eventually the children are offered the opportunity to return to family life. A variety of chosen families are ready to take kids into their homes and a new life.
ABANSA (based in Merida) is a charity association for the assistance of abandoned children established in 1985. A Christian Organization focused on being an efficient alternative in the prevention of juvenile delinquency and maladaptation of tomorrow’s grownups, providing assistance to orphans, abandoned children, children living under precarious circumstances or needing special attention. The Association was created understanding the importance of such assistance as cities grow and with it the number of people living in extreme poverty increasing the number of abandoned, mistreated and sexually abused children.
Zoo/Animal Sanctuary (based in Merida) This was initially a zoo created as a tourist attraction but has now developed into an animal sanctuary helping injured and sick wild animals. All injured and sick animals are cared for with the ultimate goal of returning them to their natural, wild habitat.
“Jakera Club” (based in Playa Colorada) - This was started in 2002 and is based in the fishing village of Playa Colorada where our Caribbean Lodge is situated. Projects include replanting of trees in the surrounding hillside (to help prevent landslide), marine conservation at La Piscina and working in a wild animal sanctuary. We work closely with the local community to make Playa Colorada a fun place for all to enjoy – we also organize games and events and help to keep the beach and recreational areas clean and safe. One off projects have included building a Community Centre, a small base ball stadium, a volley ball court and help maintain the football pitch. Local volunteers and students, tackling a different theme each day of the week, work together to make this a very rewarding and successful program.
Warao Indian School in the Orinoco Delta (program starts in Playa Colorada) – teaching assignments based in Orinoco Delta Lodge. This School was started up to give the children of the families living in the vicinity of, and working at the lodge, a better chance to integrate into our society, and also to teach them their own Warao culture. Students assist local teachers in the daily activities and lessons. In addition students are expected to help out in the lodge in the evenings. This placement is not suitable for everyone as it is in a remote location without access to internet, nightlife and Jakera colleagues!
Pre-departure support / 24 hour emergency phone line in the Europe / Intensive Spanish lessons (20 hours per week) PLUS 10 hours additional Spanish lessons per week during volunteering weeks / Volunteer placement and support / Accommodation in either Merida or Playa Colorada for duration of program / Breakfast and dinner
What's Not Included
International flight / Domestic flight from Caracas to El Vigia (nearest airport to Merida) / Domestic flight from Caracas to Barcelona (nearest airport to Playa Colorada) / Airport transfer to Merida (local taxi) / Airport transfer to Playa Colorada (Jakera transfer service) / Optional trips - there are MANY fantastic trips and excursions from both Merida and Playa Colorada! / Some drinks, including all alcoholic drinks / Spending Money