If you are learning a language, there is nothing like immersing yourself in a country where that language is spoken. And with a language like Spanish, you are spoilt for choice in destinations! Spanish is spoken as an official language in twenty countries around the world, the vast majority of which are in South America. Yet travel can be costly; so why not combine traveling with volunteering to keep your costs low while giving you the best exposure to real-life Spanish? Here are some great volunteering opportunities in Argentina to give you a taste of what you could do!
WWOOF is the volunteer site for you to choose if you want your volunteering experiences to have a sustainable, environmentally conscious feel. WWOOF volunteers do everything from helping out on farms to learning new skills in the art of bioconstruction. You’ll be living with a host and possibly working alongside other volunteers, so your opportunities to practice Spanish are plentiful, with lots of help to guide you if you stumble over your words.
Want an idea of what you can choose to do? The WWOOF Argentina website is packed with volunteer opportunities. In the San Luis Province for example, you could work on this family farm, helping to care for their lavender, corn, nuts, and apple crops. Or you could go to Rio Negro to help with pigs, trout, and sheep, as well as maintain a mountain path. Most of the opportunities in Argentina are small, family-owned farms, so you will really get to be a part of a family and immerse yourself in the language and culture.
Top tip: read the ads thoroughly! This way you’ll know about where you will be sleeping, what you’ll be expected to do, what food you’ll be provided with, and when to volunteer.
Workaway offers a wider range of opportunities for volunteering besides farms. You could choose to help with childcare, help run a B&B, or even teach a little English in a language school. This host in Mendoza, for example, is looking for assistance with a green building project, helping in a range of activities from garden maintenance to preparing products for a local fair. Or if you really want to throw yourself in headfirst to using Spanish, why not head to Córdoba, where you can help run a thriving hostel?
Top tip: again, read the ads thoroughly! This way you will know what hours are expected of you, if you’ll have free time, what activities there are for you to do away from volunteering, and so on. Workaway gives you lots of information upfront; sometimes the best way to really judge what a place is going to be like is to read through a host’s reviews. Sometimes reading through the volunteer opportunities is like a Spanish lesson itself!
Other volunteering opportunities
Here are some other volunteering websites you could try!
HelpX is an older volunteering database much like Workaway with its wide variety of hosts looking for volunteers. The website is less easy to navigate and is nowhere near as well laid out as Workaway, but is another good place to search if you’re not entirely sure what you want to do.
Hostel Jobs lists all available opportunities around the world; both paid and volunteer! This hostel in Buenos Aires is looking for help with event planning, for example; would you be able to put your skills to use and learn Spanish at the same time?
Volunteering should be a rewarding experience, and if your goal is to learn Spanish while you do it, you need to go into the opportunity fully prepared. When contacting your host be upfront about your expectations, and ask any questions you might have. You don’t want to get somewhere and find you’re working alone with no chance to speak to anyone, or that you’re expected to pay your way as well as work! The vast majority of hosts on volunteering websites are amazing, warm, welcoming people who can’t wait to hear your stories and share theirs with you. What better way to practice your conversational Spanish?
Are you itching to get packing? We don’t blame you! We are offering a scholarship that might be the perfect opportunity to get your language and travel dreams started. Visit our language travel scholarship page to find out more!