BEN IN BOLIVIA
I’m Ben and I volunteered in the highlands of La Paz, Bolivia for one year. I was involved with two human rights NGO’s and I lived with a host family.
Adesproc Libertad (the oldest LGBT rights organisation in Bolivia) and Capacitacion y Derechos Ciudadanos (a legal organisation committed to training people interested in human rights for the benefit of the wider population, particularly vulnerable groups).
MY ROLE IN ADESPROC/CDC
General office work, helping out with reports and admin. Socialising in the Adesproc café and organising their library. Attending workshops, fairs, schools and colleges, to raise awareness of LGBT rights. Legal training in CDC and the implementation of legal workshops in prisons, to women’s groups, victims of violence, and others.
A TYPICAL DAY FOR ME IS…
Heading to Adesproc via slightly precarious minibus to help out in their office and café, then making my way to CDC, either to do some research, have a meeting, or give a workshop or presentation. A large and long lunch and dinner with my host family.
WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO WHEN I’M NOT VOLUNTEERING
Spending lots of time with my host family; eating, cooking, playing games. Exploring La Paz, being in the capital meant there as always something new to see. Playing football with friends or going out together. Lots of travelling around the different regions of Bolivia and beyond.
THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT LIVING & VOLUNTEERING IN BOLIVIA IS
The diversity and vibrancy! So much culture and history to soak up. Every street corner sold something different, from textiles, to food and drink. Every region was different geographically, from the tropics, to deserts, and highlands, each with their own music, food, dance.
FROM MY VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT I LEARNT/GAINED
Confidence speaking and socialising with people from diverse backgrounds, and in different languages. A greater awareness of Bolivia and South America. A new language, wonderful friends and valuable work experience.