Visit BiblioWorks Bolivia's website to learn more about their programs abroad
BiblioWorks promotes education and literacy in communities in need. We believe that healthy communities require healthy minds. That’s why we have been building libraries, supplying books and training librarians in the poorest communities of Bolivia since 2005. We are committed to bringing the joys of reading to children and communities in rural Bolivia. We are not a religious or political organization and we are looking for volunteers with enthusiasm, passion and the drive to help us continue to implement sustainable community development.
I volunteered with BiblioWorks for 8 months as the both the Volunteer Coordinator and the Communications Director. I am a teacher-librarian and I was able to use my knowledge, skills...Read more
I volunteered with BiblioWorks for 8 months as the both the Volunteer Coordinator and the Communications Director.
I am a teacher-librarian and I was able to use my knowledge, skills and love of books as well as gain a wide-range of new knowledge and skills while having incredible experiences and giving my problem-solving skills a workout. I was based in the office in Sucre but traveled to the rural libraries, initially with the library trainers and later independently.
My Spanish was rusty when I arrived but quickly came back to me as all of the office and library staff are Bolivian and speak little to no English. The BiblioWorks staff are very professional and committed to their work. They work collaboratively and I felt privileged to be a part of the team.
My final month of volunteering was April 2016 and it finished with two of BiblioWorks biggest yearly events - “Sucre Lee” (Sucre Reads) and “La Feria de la Lectura” (The Reading Festival). The lead up to these events gave me a chance to experience the highs (and lows) of fundraising first hand as well as take part in press conferences and live radio interviews (in Spanish!).
I will treasure the memories I have made during my time in BiblioWorks and put my newfound skills and knowledge to use in my future work.
I highly recommend volunteering with BiblioWorks if you have a love of books and reading, a reasonable level of Spanish, an open-mind, and a sense of humour!
I volunteered with Biblioworks because I love libraries, I´m a librarian, and I wanted to do some volunteer work while traveling abroad. I was interested to see what libraries were...Read more
I volunteered with Biblioworks because I love libraries, I´m a librarian, and I wanted to do some volunteer work while traveling abroad. I was interested to see what libraries were like in rural Bolivia and see how I could help bring a love of reading to Bolivian children. My girlfriend and I volunteered for 5 weeks, going to different Biblioworks libraries and putting on a workshop for the children that involved reading books and creating songs together.
The staff at Biblioworks was super supportive and excited about our project. They would travel with us to each library for one day to help us set everything up, get the kids pumped to come to the library, and make sure we were comfortable with our travels and getting around the communities. The Biblioworks staff is caring, helpful, interested, and committed to their mission to bring libaries and literacy to Bolivia. It is so cool to be a part of that drive and enthusiasm.
Volunteering gave us the opportunity to get to know Bolivian people outside of just the tourist industry. We got to understand and explore the country in a much different way than just organized tours. Biblioworks helped us find an affordable place to stay in Sucre, and we fell in love with the city. It happens to be a great place to take Spanish lessons while you volunteer :) If you love literacy, kids, and helping make the world a better place, I highly recommend volunteering in Bolivia with Biblioworks.