Cochabamba, Bolivia- Rooted in Community

This experience is exclusive to Residence Life Staff and SOPHS. 

During your time in Cochabamba, you will engage with several NGOs related to humanity, education, health and other societal needs. You will work with the community and focus on education and the well-being of children through a number of different channels which may include assisting in English language classes, working with pre-school children and working in the kitchen to help prepare school meals. You will also get the opportunity to work with community to help change the societal perception of people with disabilities. Community groups in Cochabamba will identify the projects that you will be involved with.  This experience emphasizes human connections across cultures, and this influences what service looks like in Bolivia.

Un Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Quality Education UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Gender EqualityUN Sustainable Development Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Community Partners


Dates of Travel

Friday May 1, 2020 – Sunday May 10, 2020 

Participant Numbers

  • 11 Student Participants
  • 1 Student Team Leader
  • 2 Team Leaders

*Note: this experience can accommodate up to 16 participants (including team leaders), assuming airline seats are available; however, this may mean additional participants pay an increased fee (based on new flight prices). 


  • Immerse yourself in Bolivian history and culture while living with in Bolivia’s third largest city, encircled by the breathtaking Andes Mountains 
  • Learn about the school systems and structures influenced by colonialism, and how they have impacted traditions and cultures in Bolivia 
  • Visit archaeological sites of Quillacollo and Qollcas 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of your Impact Experience you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to explore ideas, issues, and global systems from viewpoints other than your own, through reflective practice, group discussions and program activities
  • Work under conditions of ambiguity or uncertainty by engaging with community partners, community members and working as a team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of intercultural competence, sensitivity and humility by completing pre-departure workshops, activities in OWL and the Impact Experience Reflective Practice Workbook, and engaging in the 1-2 week community-based experience
  • Explain the potential impacts of different community development projects by working alongside community members and our partners from Amizade
  • Practice communicating across cultures and languages through participation in local community events and projects

Ideal Participant

Your team will be exposed to a true local Bolivian experience. The ideal participant will be interested in education and community development and leadership. You should be flexible, patient, open to a new culture, hard working and able to handle yourself professionally in delicate community situations. We ask that you are sensitive and open to understanding that Bolivia has a very different culture, history, cuisine, climate and language. This experience will examine Bolivian life through service cultural immersion and learning. Under no circumstances will participants be providing clinical care or performing tasks for which you are not trained or qualified.


Total cost (subject to change) – $4,000 CAD

Costs include:

  • Flight
  • Registration and programs fees with Amizade
  • Contribution to the project and comprehensive on-site support
  • Insurance (health, flight cancellation, baggage)
  • Transportation to/from airport
  • Transportation in Bolivia 
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Administrative Fee (buff, team leader contribution, journal)

Note: Impact Experience participants will be responsible for any luggage costs assigned by individual airlines, airport tax, souvenirs, or additional food/snacks during the trip.

Preliminary Itinerary

Day 1 – you will arrive in Cochabamba, meet your site director and settle into your guest house in Vinto. You will do some sightseeing and get to know the community organizations you will be working with over the next 10 days.

Day 2-4 – You will work alongside the Caramarca Otavi community to help make this school a safe and welcoming learning environment for students. The community is prepared to supply much of the raw materials such as sand, dirt and rocks, as well as their own labour, however there is much more needed as the school expects to see a growth rate of 30 new students each year and are working to construct more classrooms to accommodate their growing community.

Day 5 – You will depart Cochabamba City to visit the archaeological sites of Quillacollo and Qollcas.

Day 6-8 – You will work with CEOLI, a centre for youth with disabilities. Here you will work with the community to help change the societal perception of people with disabilities. You will serve in a number of areas, including advocacy programs, school administration and student art projects.

Day 9-10 – You will make your way from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz where you will check in the Hotel K Missional ( where you will then get to explore Santa Cruz and gather for a final dinner downtown before boarding your flight.

*PLEASE NOTE: this itinerary is draft, and subject to change at any time.


Amizade coordinates appropriate accommodations that reflect the atmosphere of the region. They do this by working with local partners and while in Cochabamba, they will stay in a modest bed and breakfast. The final evening you will stay at Hotel K Missional (


You will eat breakfast at your accommodation each day. Bolivian breakfasts tend to be small and usually include a variety of breads, cheese, jam, fruits, coffee and tea. Lunch is the most important (and biggest) meal in Bolivia. Often times shops, offices, and tourist attractions close during lunch hours. You will have lunch either at your accommodation or at a local restaurant. A typical almuerzo has two courses, basically centered around Bolivia's staple food of potatoes, corn, and rice which is served with meat and a few vegetables. The two courses consist of a large bowl of soup, often with pasta  and a piece of meat or chicken, and the main course. A typical taste enhancer that Bolivians eat with their meal is llaguá, a hot sauce made of tomato, chili peppers called locotos, and herbs. Other principal foods include plantains, fava beans, fresh cheese, eggs, corn, fruit, pastries, and mates (tea). During your program, you will be encouraged to eat the local cuisine. However, the Amizade staff will accommodate specific dietary needs and preferences as much as possible. Dinner is a smaller meal in Bolivia. Many Bolivians will eat a sandwich, empañada, or other snack. You will typically eat dinner out a local restaurant.

All group meals on the program are included, and participants will be responsible for any personal snacks and any meals during travel days. 

Need to Know

  • This experience does not involve travel through the USA.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that you have the required travel documents and travel visas necessary to participate in the experience.
  • If you require disability-related accommodation, or have other special considerations, we encourage you to contact us before applying. We may require further information to determine how we can best meet your accommodation needs.