IMPORTANT NOTICE: Temporary Programme Suspension
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has required all of us to adapt and rethink how we conduct business. We have decided to consolidate programming for 2020/21 and reduce our offerings to the destination countries where Lattitude is able to send a greater number of volunteers. This will allow us to work efficiently with reduced staffing while maintaining the high level of support to our volunteers that we pride ourselves in. For this reason, we are temporarily suspending our programmes in Argentina, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, USA and Vietnam. We do hope and expect that we will be able to offer these wonderful programmes again in the future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Gap Year Argentina! Volunteering in Argentina offers the opportunity to experience the Latin way of life, working with passionate and enthusiastic Argentinians across some very different placements. Whether helping out in the classroom in private schools, helping coach English students in schools or language institutes, or helping in the community, volunteers will be exposed to an incredible and diverse country. The placements give a chance to get involved in a new culture and learn or improve your Spanish language skills.
Community Volunteer placements are available in residential homes with children and adults with learning disabilities or special needs. In the home, volunteers assist with the day-to-day running of the centre. Activities with the residents, such as arts, drama and sport, are also greatly appreciated and enjoyed. No English is spoken in these centres, so volunteers need to be fluent in Spanish before their placements begin.
Language Coach placements may be in fee-paying schools for both primary and secondary levels, or at private language institutes for children aged from ten through to adults. English is considered to be a very valuable language to learn. Volunteers use their conversational English skills to assist and support both teachers and students in the classroom. Classes at the institutes are run during the day and evening.
School Assistant placements are based in private schools in Argentina. You will provide support to kindergarten or primary teachers and assist the children with their English. These placements are ideal for those interested in working with children or thinking of pursuing a career in teaching, or just for those who love kids and are keen to help out!
What to expect?
The specific nature of your role in your placement will largely depend on which placement you are matched to. You’ll receive a description of your duties before you arrive, and once you get to your placement, you’ll begin your training and learn exactly what is expected of you. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do some of your tasks straight away! You will learn “on-the-job”, and you’ll find yourself up-skilling all the time!
In Latin America, many parents send their children to bilingual schools in order to give them a full exposure to a foreign language from a young age, and so as native English speakers you will be highly valued within the school. Typically, volunteers work from 8am-4.15pm and duties can include assisting teachers in class with written and oral activities, helping to prepare educational materials, replacing the teacher in the event of absence, helping in the organisation of extracurricular activities such as concerts, supervising lunch and break-times and accompanying children on school trips.
Volunteers usually stay with a host family or on site of their community placement. Host families may expect the volunteer to integrate and contribute to family life – this is the best way to enjoy the experience and really adapt to living in the local community!
Despite the fact that Argentina is a big meat producing country, vegetarians have always managed without any problems. Both accommodation and food are provided by the host.
Need to know
If you are looking for a new cultural experience and can adapt to the slower pace of life, then a rewarding time awaits. You will need to show flexibility and initiative and in turn, you will have the chance to develop your Spanish and build strong ties with your hosts.
- Pre-departure briefing – all volunteers are invited to a group briefing prior to departure
- Language – some placements require a good standard of spoken Spanish – this is essential for Community Volunteer placements.
- On arrival – volunteers attend an orientation programme in Buenos Aires and undertake a teaching skills course if required.
Free time and travel
The working week for placements in Argentina ranges between 15 and 36 hours. Weekends are usually free. In your free time, explore Argentina’s rich and intoxicating cultural diversity. Part Latin American, part European, discover the country’s melting pot of cultural roots not only in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, but also in other fascinating cities such as Córdoba, Mendoza and Bariloche.
Must-see Argentinian natural wonders include the unforgettable Iguazú falls, Patagonia’s Perito Moreno Glacier and awe-inspiring Andean peaks near Mendoza and San Juan that rise 6000m above sea level. Argentina’s cultural diversity is matched by the feast of geographical variety it offers curious travellers: from rich wetlands, glacial lakes and mountains to forests, salt flats and deserts. Animal lovers are also drawn to the country’s nearly 3,000,000km², home to the likes of penguins, flamingos, caimans and capybaras. Many volunteers also make the most of their free time to brush up their language skills by taking Spanish lessons. Given that Argentineans are famously fanatic about football, soaking up the atmosphere at nearby matches can also be a very memorable experience.
Volunteers meet at weekends and in holidays and generally make the most of their free time to explore Argentina and neighbouring countries. Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil are spectacular and not to be missed, and neither is the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Parque Nacional de los Glaciares down in Patagonia. In-between are gorgeous colonial cities, buzzing artistic and cultural centres, vast sandy beaches, vineyards, the Lake District, the breath-taking Andes Mountains, gauchos and of course Buenos Aires and the tango.
(Please note – we have made several changes recently to ensure our viability during Covid-19 and beyond. One change you may notice is we now list our pricing in US dollars. To convert to your own currency, you can use xe.com)
Lattitude Application Fee – $50 (USD)
The application fee covers the cost of processing applications and conducting interviews.
All applicants are guaranteed an interview. This fee is non-refundable.
Lattitude Placement Fee: $2800 (USD)
This fee is broken into three payments:
Once you have been interviewed and accepted into the programme, you will be required to pay a $500USD deposit to secure your position. The deposit covers our costs for identifying, assessing and matching you to a suitable placement.
Under normal circumstances, this is a non-refundable deposit. However, due to the uncertain timeframe of COVID-19 travel restrictions etc, we have adopted a more flexible approach to ensure there is no financial risk to our volunteers proceeding with their Lattitude travel plans.
Your deposit will be refundable if: You have paid your deposit after 11 March 2020 (the date WHO declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic) and if nearing your scheduled departure, as a result of COVID 19, you are still unable to travel, or if, following government advice, your destination is deemed unsafe to do so.
If you are still unable to travel to your first-choice destination, we can work with you to look at alternative destinations at short notice. In the unprecedented scenario of no appropriate departures being available, we will look to reschedule, offer you the opportunity of deferring, or refunds will be made available.
Deposit Update – October 2020
From 8th October 2020, Lattitude will refund deposit payments in the event that Lattitude needs to cancel a specific programme departure due to COVID 19 or if international/government COVID 19 advice is to avoid travel to that destination. Lattitude will always encourage volunteers to consider an alternative destination or to defer travel.
You will be required to pay an interim payment of $1,000USD no more than 6 months before departure. This payment covers Lattitude costs involved in the pre-departure stage of your placement.
The remainder of the Lattitude fee of $1300USD will be due 60 days prior to your scheduled departure.
- In-depth matching process to align your skills and interests with a placement that really suits you
- Assigned Volunteer Coordinator to help with all your pre-departure advice and guidance
- Links with returned volunteers
- Relevant DBS/police check fees
- Advice on obtaining a Visa
- Pre-departure briefing
- Airport pickup on arrival
- Accommodation for the duration of stay in Argentina (either with a host family or on placement site)
- Food provided by host (may not include every meal, but you will know what to expect before your arrival)
- In-country orientation as part of country programme network of international Lattitude volunteers
- Day to day support from your placement host and a member of staff as your mentor
- 24/7 support from Lattitude, including in-country support from local reps and the Lattitude Country Manager
- Focus on your personal volunteer learning and development
- Returned Volunteer follow up and Debrief Event
- Opportunity to join the Lattitude Alumni Association
- Certificate of completion and references (on request)
- International Flights
- Onward travel to placement (if applicable)
- Travel insurance
- Inoculations (if applicable)
- Pocket Money for weekends/ holidays/post-placement travel
- Accommodation and food during holiday periods
As a charity we always recommend our volunteers to fundraise to help meet the costs involved in volunteering overseas. In many ways it is part of the whole experience. For more information and fundraising ideas please click here
“My host family is seriously my family and I feel like I’ve known them for years. My Nan gives me hugs and loves to thumb through the dictionary with me so we can put sketchy Spanglish phrases together.”Rui