Equine Therapy Volunteer Projects in Bolivia
- Placement locations: Cochabamba
- Role: To look after the horses and help the children and adults learn to ride.
- Type of Placement: Equine therapy centre
- Accommodation: Host family
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport,transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Our Equine Therapy project in Bolivia combines elements of both our Care work and Animal Care projects, and is open to volunteers taking a gap year, career break, or even a volunteer holiday. You do not need any specific experience to volunteer on this project; however volunteers will be involved in both looking after the horses and also caring for the children - so having a love for both horses and children on this project is a must!
Projects Abroad volunteers work with the Escuela de Equinoterapia Cochabamba, which started in 1992 with the aim of helping disabled children both emotionally, physically and mentally. The centre has the capacity to look after over 80 children from all different backgrounds. In addition to working with disabled children they also receive children from the streets and children with drug addictions.
A trained horse can aid the recovery of children with disabilities, as it enables the child to focus on movement, spatial orientation, posture, language and muscle control. Children who have come from the streets or who have suffered from drug addictions form close emotional bonds with the horses allowing them slowly to take on a new focus and more responsibilities before re-entering into society.
Volunteering abroad with horses on the Equine Therapy Project in Bolivia
Your role will vary each day, offering a diverse range of experiences and work to get involved in. The effect of the therapy varies with each child; however, by displaying enthusiasm and a passion for horses you can play a part in their enjoyment and help to create a positive experience for every student. Your very presence will help to make each session enjoyable - which is vital to maintaining the interest of the children.
It is also important that you spend time with the horses warming them up and preparing them for the children when the session begins. For many of the new children joining the centre it will be the first time they come in contact with a horse and time is often spent familiarising the children with each of the horses before therapy begins. Finally, you will receive regular contact with the children and attend the classes and spend time learning the theory behind the therapy. Volunteers will work Monday to Friday. Volunteers will spend the Mondays grooming the horses, riding the horses that are not often used and help clean the placement.
Volunteers are not required to speak Spanish, as the placement staff can all speak English. A certain level of Spanish, though, will be an advantage when communicating with the children and their families. You will receive guidance not only from the Projects Abroad staff, but also from your supervisor at the centre.
You can join the Equine Therapy project in Bolivia for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.