Rewarding: as a volunteer you will work closely with children living in socially marginalized communities, helping them develop in a healthy and happy environment. Sharing smiles, laughs, special bonds and moments, you’ll take with you warm memories and also gain insights into the challenges that these children face. Whether you’re able to work with us for just a week, a month, or more than a year, you’ll be a part of the L.I.F.E. family for a lifetime.
Flexible: You decide how long and how often you’re able to volunteer. There is no minimum commitment: we simply ask you respond to our weekly e-mail of the volunteer schedule to confirm which activities we can count on you for. Our daily programs run Monday through Saturday and generally take place in the afternoons.
Creative: We welcome all new ideas and suggestions from our volunteers. If you have a special talent or project you’d like to coordinate, share or incorporate into one of our programs, please let us know!
Affordable: All L.I.F.E. volunteers are required to make a one time only contribution destined to fund activities, programs and projects taking place at the different community centers we assist to which benefit the children from the underprivileged areas we work in.
USD 50 – regular volunteers staying up to two weeks (1 to 14 days)
USD 80 – regular volunteers staying over two weeks (15 days or more)
USD 100 – regular volunteers staying over one month (30 days or more) USD 100 – interns with a scholarship, grant and/or institutional, state or governmental funding as well as if a final evaluation is required.
Separately, each individual must pay for their transportation to the sites that is USD 8,5 for a round trip for activities that take place in the Ciudad Oculta. All activities that take place at the L.I.F.E. office do not have any transportation fee.
Easy: There’s no language requirements to volunteer with us, just an enthusiastic desire to work and to improve the lives of children. After a brief orientation interview at our office in Recoleta, you’ll be able to start volunteering right away!
Dana Rothkop and family – Nelson, British Colombia, Canada
Our family, myself, my wife and our two teenage daughters all became involved with L.I.F.E. Argentina three years ago. It’s a great way to participate in programs where volunteers can immerse themselves in the culture and language of Argentina at the same time making a difference to those who have been lefted behind. It was also a great way to introduce our kids to another level of reality and involvement. Lili and Victoria, who spearhead the group, have this rare quality which combines sincerity, generosity and organization and results in L.I.F.E. Argentina, a platform where they and others selflessly serve those in need. They set an important example for a lesson that many of us need to learn and provide a place where we can better understand the rewards involved in volunteerism. We have and will continue to support L.I.F.E. Argentina. They are a caring, donation – effective organization.
Rebecca Szucs – Wisconsin, USA
I have an infinite number of tender, sweet and unforgettable memories from my experiences while working with L.I.F.E. Argentina. These memories have embedded themselves into my heart and have forever changed who I am. I remember the niños in Laferrere – their soft cheeks leaning up to saludarme as they came through the gate or entered the comedor, their warm smiles, their mischievous grins, their concentration while playing the memory game, their minds expanded while learning chess or math or English, their excitement, their innocence, their energy, their joy, their eagerness to learn new things. I remember those who jumped to get the most attention and those who where shy and stood back. I remember holding Gaby’s hand all day, each day, on my first visit to the Peruti Guarani village. We had become best friends instantly. I remember returning to the community a year later to see that the precocious 8 year-old had grown taller but still joyfully held my hand. And I remember the tears she I shed when I saw the photo Lili sent me of Gaby opening the gift that I sent her the next Christmas. Through working with L.I.F.E., I learned that kindness is everything. L.I.F.E. Argentina is a beautiful organization that exemplifies the beauty of the human spirit. I will be forever grateful for the experiences, friendships, and memories that L.I.F.E. has provided me.
Barbara and Philip Bennet – Leatherhead, Surrey, England
The best thing about volunteering for LIFE is that the volunteer decides on the level of commitment they want to have week by week. While at LIFE we lived above the office and volunteered each afternoon, 6 days a week, which was what we wanted from the experience, however other travelers and students could fit in as many or as few days as their travels or courses allowed. For the volunteer this creates a large
band of people from different countries with whom they can interact. For the children it creates an opportunity to meet and work with people from many different cultures and to gain an insight into the larger world. The children that LIFE supports live on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and many of them benefit enormously from the after school clubs provided. It was good to make connections with some of the children that attended regularly and very sad to leave them. This was the first overseas charity that my husband and I volunteered for after retirement and we have no hesitation to recommend this charity to both our peers and to younger people. We have since volunteered for charities that have more demanding work loads, but LIFE was a great introduction to South America and an experience we may well repeat in the future.
Amélie Hawkins- Kent, England
I spent 5 months living and working within LIFE and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot about how it started, the difference it makes and the kind of support it needs in order to succeed in the future. The family welcomed me into their lives with open arms and made my experience in Buenos Aires unforgettable and for this reason it has become a project that is very close to my heart. LIFE offers children who don't get a good start in life a little bit of hope. I got to know the children that I worked with really well and felt very torn when I left. The work is sometimes very tiring and frustrating but when you can see how happy the children are to see you, or they finally understand something you have spent hours teaching them, or even just the look on their faces when you remember its their birthday, it is all worthwhile. I would love to go back and I intend to as soon as possible. In the meantime, I continue to support them from here as much as I can.
Andrew Providence- Canada
Our venture into the Misiones jungle to help the Guarani natives was the highlight for me. Being a native person myself, from northern Canada, it was easy to relate to this group and what they have to go through. Even with my limited Spanish I was able to communicate and encourage the young ones. As an artist I was able to relate through pictures, whether drawn on the wall, with charcoal, or in the dirt with a stick. The exchange of ideas was well received by these smiling faces.
Nadia Tadè- Italy
Last summer I spent two months as a volunteer with LIFE and it was a wonderful experience. It was a useful and beautiful way to get to know a country as a whole. I enjoyed the possibility to provide a service to children that really loved spending time with us and that could learn something from us. I also appreciated the opportunity to meet a lot of young people from all over the world that are willing to share emotions and have fun. LIFE is very well organized: the only fee to pay is the transportation to get to the different places and there is someone in charge who makes sure everybody is comfortable and safe. I would recommend this experience to all those interested in really getting to know Buenos Aires and having a lot of fun at the same time.
Anders Pedersen- Copenhagen, Denmark
I did voluntary work for LIFE in December 2006, and was so lucky to join a trip to the Peruti Guarani village. I believe that voluntary work not only helps the organisation itself, but also gives you a better perspective on real facts in places less developed. To make a big change, many people need to have a new perspective
How can I apply to volunteer?
The application process is very simple. Complete the form online and confirm your arrival date. Then, arrange for an orientation once you arrive in Buenos Aires. We have fixed schedules for orientations in English and Spanish as well as French if needed.
Does LIFE offer internship positions?
Yes! LIFE interns have an active role in our organization, taking on specific tasks and important responsibilities. If you are interested in an internship with LIFE, please send us your CV and a cover letter expressing your interests, objectives, skills and availability (number of hours per week you will commit to volunteering at LIFE), along with start and end dates. The minimum time commitment for an internship is 35 hours per week for two months. There are also Program Coordinator positions with less of a weekly time commitment. We will provide you with the needed certification and reports, before the beginning and at the end of your stay.
Are volunteer groups welcome?
Groups of students and friends are welcome to participate together on specific missions and projects. For further details, group coordinators can contact us to make needed arrangements.
How much does it cost to volunteer at LIFE?
LIFE does not charge for volunteering. Volunteers are expected to purchase a LIFE t-shirt to be worn at all activities. Volunteers are also expected to pay for their transportation to and from the activities. Some programs cover these costs. Living costs such as travel, housing and food run at the expense of each volunteer.
What is the cost for transportation to the activities?
The average cost per person for each activity is $20 argentine pesos round trip. Some activities can be accessed by public transportation which is a bit cheaper. Either way. volunteers travel together to and from the different locations.
What docs typical volunteer work involve?
We have programs that take place every day in which we carry out different activities: school support, English classes, recreation, sports, birthday parties, cooking classes, sexual education, etc. You are free to decide how many activities per week you would like to participate in. All you need to do is sign up confirming your attendance by e-mail in response to the weekly schedule which announces the options you can choose from with all details included such as meeting time and point, transportation fare, location, etc.
How can I become involved and what roles can I take on?
You can attend the activities on a regular basis and also participate in the planning and preparation of material to be used. We are open to ideas and suggestions to implement at programs and within the organization and hope you will share yours with us. We also welcome initiatives and team work.
How much time do I need to commit and how long can I volunteer for?
You are free to decide how many activities per week you would like to participate in. You are welcome to volunteer with us according to your availability and depending on how long you stay.
Where is the LIFE office located?
The LIFE office is located in the neighborhood of Recoleta in the city of Buenos Aires. Our office is easily accessed by all transportation means. It is the meeting point for initial orientations and departure to activities. It is also where administrative tasks are carried out and the reception place for donations and supplies.
Where do the activities take place?
LIFE activities and field programs take place at community centers located in the suburbs of the city Buenos Aires, in shanty towns and socially excluded neighborhoods. The children attend these centers for a meal, snack and to participate in the activities.
Is it safe?
In the areas where our field programs take place precautions must be taken for safety reasons and to respect the community. LIFE identification, such as a t-shirt and cap with our logo, must be worn when attending activities. This way, people know volunteers are not lost tourists or unwelcome visitors. If simple safety measures are followed at all times, such as dressing simply, not carrying unnecessary valuables, and staying together with the group, there is no danger or need for worry.
How can I participate in the program whic takes place in Peruti with the indigenous Guarani community?
Every month we travel for one week to the province of Misiones, 1.500 kms from Buenos Aires, to work at Peruti. Additionally, we offer a tourist option to visit Iguazu Falls. If you are interested, please request the dates, itineraries and costs involved for the upcoming trips indicating when you estimate to be in Argentina.
What is the language level required?
You are welcome to join us and help out regardless of your Spanish level. There are many different areas you can help in depending on your language skills. The children are used to having foreign volunteers come and go and can interact very easily. Most of our volunteers speak English.
What ages are the children?
Most of the children are between 5 and 15. Some are older and others younger. What is the average age of volunteers and where are they from? The majority of our volunteers are between the ages of 18 and 35. However, all ages are welcome. Most come from USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, France, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, Greece and other countries too.
Do I have free time?
Yes. We hove a number of activities every day. mainly in the afternoons. However, you have free time which you can use to rest, see the city, meet other people, learn Spanish, and explore Argentina.
Meeting people and socializing at LIFE:
LIFE is a great place to meet other volunteers in your same situation who share similar interests. During the time we are with the children our main focus is to dedicate quality time to them. Yet during your free time you can interact and socialize freely with other volunteers and explore together.
What vaccines do I need for Argentina?
The yellow fever vaccine is required for going to the north of Argentina where we have a monthly humanitarian aid trip. However, you can receive the vaccine in Argentina free of charge. There are no vaccine requirements for Buenos Aires.
Do I need to apply for a visa or work permit in order to volunteer or visit Argentina?
A tourist visa is sufficient to travel and volunteer in Argentina. In most cases, you will be given a visa for 90 or 30 days when you enter the country. If you wish to stay longer you can easily renew your visa and extend your stay once here. Citizens of certain countries must apply for a visa. We can provide the documentation required by argentine embassies and consulates upon your request and specifications in order to facilitate your visa application.
What documentation do I need for traveling?
Documentation required for traveling is your passport and vaccine certifications if you have any. If you are under 18. we recommend you travel with your birth certificate as well.
Do I need a health or travel insurance?
Ideally we recommend you travel with insurance. In case of emergency what health facilities can I have access to? In Argentina we have a very good public health system which you can access free of charge. There are also many private clinics which charge for their services. Most health insurances will reimburse these expenses.
Do you offer accommodation options for my stay?
Housing expenses run at your own expense. We offer home stays with host families, shared apartments with local and/or foreign students and volunteers. Individual apartments for temporary rent are another option which costs more than a room. If you indicate you are interested in housing on our contact form we will send you details on the options we have to offer as well as prices and conditions.
Do you offer airport pick up?
If you send us your flight details and a deposit in advance we can pick you up at the airport when you arrive. This service runs at your own expense.