Closed - Chile Humanitarian Support #1 - 2016

Provide basic health care and support local clean water and sanitation initiatives

Project Dates: 07/09/2016 to 07/17/2016

Country: Chile

Location: Araucanía, south of Santiago, in the lowlands

Cost: $1,720 - AIR NOT INCL

Level of Physical Challenge:

Special Requirements/Qualifications/Skills Needed:

For this project we need doctors, nurses, and physical therapists, of course, and also volunteers with general skills (yes, that means everybody) are especially welcome.

Project Background:

The Mapuche are the only indigenous group that withstood the attacks of the Inca and were never conquered by them. Now, Araucanía, where they reside, is one of the poorest regions in Chile. The main source of income for the Mapuche derives from agriculture, predominantly farming wheat, oats and a few cattle. However, many Mapuche have relocated to urban centers. This migration, coupled with a lack of education (less than 3% of Mapuche receive any education beyond high school) means that many Mapuche are forced into labor commonly disdained by the dominant society (housekeeping, construction, hospitality assistance, etc.). The living standard of the Mapuche is generally low-approximately one-third of all Mapuche live below the poverty line (less than US $100 per capita). The Mapuche suffer from poor housing, malnutrition, illiteracy, alcoholism, tuberculosis and a high rate of infant mortality.

Our project aims to provide some basic health care for them. We will work with local health officials and help support their local hospital with our presence. We will also work with local groups who are establishing projects to improve their standards of living. These projects may involve improving access to clean water and educating the people about better sanitation and even nutritional practices. Some aspects of this part of our project will likely change as we get closer to working there since the face of poverty is ever-changing and we must adapt our assistance to the immediate needs locally. We fully anticipate that there will be no surprises, though, and anyone who volunteers will play a vital role in improving lives. Volunteer Voyages will provide you with all of the information and materials needed.

For the optional vacation-half of the trip we will return to Santiago to explore in and around this rich and proud city with guided tours. We will spend some time visiting the historic seaport of Valparaíso, on the Pacific coast and its neighbor, Viña del Mar. Finally, we will board a plane in Santiago which will once again take us over the Pacific Ocean to Rapa Nui, or, Easter Island, where we will tour the famous parts of the tiny volcanic island, including the gigantic stone heads that are on display.  There will be an additional cost for the optional second week.  Contact us for details (Air Fares Not Included).

We will return home with hearts filled with compassion and warm recollections of our work with these kind and gentle people. We will have memories of all aspects of the trip to last for years to come.


Please sign up by June15, 2016