Chile

 

Gap & Volunteer – Chile

Defined by its striking geography, Chile spans an amazing 2700 miles along the southwestern edge of South America

At the same time the width of Chile never exceeds 150 miles. What’s even more amazing is the variety of climates, landscapes, and cultures within those borders. From the bright lights of Santiago to the beauty of Patagonia there is always something for volunteers to explore in Chile.

No Barriers Youth offers volunteer opportunities in Chile as diverse as its geography. Care for blind and disabled children in the capital of Santiago. Teach English in local indigenous communities. Work with locals to develop sustainable tourism practices and skills. Work with children and surf in the town of Valparaiso. Travel further south and explore the majestic Torres del Paine National Park and the wonders of Patagonia. Do trail maintenance and camp inside the park. Also, take optional Spanish language classes while you’re there to further enhance your South American experience!

Volunteer Highlights:

  • Teach English to the local indigenous community, local authority workers, and in local schools
  • Care for blind and disabled children
  • Work with local communities to develop sustainable tourism projects and skills
  • Work in an organic garden and greenhouse of native species from Patagonia
  • Mentor underprivileged kids in at-risk neighborhoods

Gallery

Program Details

  • Available to ages 18 and older
  • Participants come from around the world with 1-5 volunteers on site at any one time
  • 4 week minimum

What’s Included:

  • All service program costs
  • Pick-up and drop off at the Santiago airport
  • All in-country ground transportation
  • Majority of meals – some exclusions. Ask about details
  • On-site supervision and service at all program locations
  • 24 hour support in the US

What’s Not Included:

  • International airfare
  • In-country airfare
  • Additional food and bottled water
  • Souvenirs, personal expenses like laundry, sunscreen, entertainment, etc.
  • Travelers insurance and trip cancellation insurance

Accommodations

Volunteers stay with carefully screened local families. Host families provide home cooked meals, laundry facilities, a private bedroom, shared bathroom and a warm, welcoming environment.

Meals

Your home-stay family will provide 2-3 meals daily with the flexibility of eating out on occasion. Food allergies and preferences can be accommodated.  Please contact No Barriers Youth for details.

Prices

  • 4 weeks………….$2129 – $2669
  • 8 weeks…………..$4039 – $4499
  • 12 weeks………..Inquire

Prices are approximate and vary based on project and location. No Barriers Youth volunteers customize their own programs and dates. Please contact No Barriers Youth about your customized program.

Spanish classes are available for an extra $400 per week for 20 hours of instruction in grammar and conversation skills.

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader

Chile FAQ’s

What is the food like?

The country’s extensive coastline make seafood a staple in Chilean cuisine, but meat lovers will be happy to hear that beef plays just as important of a role. Empanadas are the country’s favorite snack, consisting of a baked pastry filled an assortment of ingredients, most often cheese and beef.

How is the drinking water?

Drinking the tap water is not advisable but filtered or boiled water is available at the accommodations.

Will I need to purchase and drink bottled water?

Maybe at times, but filtered water will be available at the accommodations. Bring an aluminum water bottle from home so as to not contribute to the growing problem of trash disposal and recycling. Water bottles can be brought through airport security as long as they are empty.

What’s the weather like?

Chile stretches over 2,600 miles north to south, resulting in vast differences in climate depending on where and when you wish to travel. The southernmost parts of the country are very cold in the winter, which begins in June and lasts through September, (although skiers and snowboarders may wish to take advantage of the snow). The northern part of the country is dominated by desert and experiences very hot summer days and chilly nights. The middle of the country is rainier, with cool summers (December through March) and moderately cold winters. Weather-wise in general, the most pleasant times to travel to Chile are in September and November. No matter the time of year, travelers should pack smart, bring layers, and be prepared for whatever extremes the weather may bring.

Are there a lot of bugs?

It depends upon where you will be traveling and the time of year.

What if my Spanish language skills aren’t great?

Most of the homestays in Santiago will have some ability to communicate in Spanish. Further away from the big cities the less English you will find. Spanish classes are available in Santiago for a additional fee.

Will my cell phone work in Chile?

Depending on your plan it might.

Will I have access to the internet?

Most of the homestays will have internet available although it will probably be slower than what we are used to. In Torres there is very limited access to the internet.

How much spending money should I bring?

It depends upon how much you plan on spending on entertainment and souvenirs. ATMs are widely available in the larger cities.

How will I be traveling inside Chile?

Flights will be taken for some of the farther destinations such as Torres del Paine. Shorter trips will be taken by local bus but you will be escorted on those.

Will I be chaperoned?

During your orientation you will be given a tour of the city and escorted to your volunteer project site. After the first day you will be able to get to the volunteer project site on your own.

What type of supervision and oversight is there at the project?

24 hour supervision by an English speaker is available by phone at all locations.

What types of safety issues should I be concerned about?

Street smarts in the bigger cities are needed as theft and pickpocket can be a danger in some tourist areas.

Do I need to get vaccinations before I go?

For recommended vaccinations visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for up-to-date recommendations and/or consult your doctor.

What do I need to know about my passport and visa?

If you don’t have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible. It’s a good thing to have even if you are unable to travel. If you already have a passport make sure you have at least 6 months of validity on it from the date you return home. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days. Confirmed round-trip or onward airline ticket is needed to enter the country.

How do I start the registration process?

First, email volunteerabroad@sageprogram.org to discuss your desire to volunteer. Then, begin the registration process.

“Every journey starts with a single step.” – Confucius

Facts & Figures

Chile
Capital: Santiago
Population: 17,363,894
Special Note: World copper production: 35%
Languages:

Spanish - official

99.5%

English

10.2%

Indigenous

1%
Religions:

Protestant

16.4%

Roman Catholic

66.7%

Literacy Rate

Unemployment Rate

Below Poverty Line

Life Expectancy

HIV/Aids

Carbon Emissions (%)