You've asked us why pay to volunteer, and as this is a fair question, we would like to take this opportunity to give you a detailed explanation:
- Most organizations don't have the means, resources or the time to manage and place volunteers themselves. Therefore, we act as an intermediary between the different organizations and our volunteers, which is a service that we render to our students or non-students, in addition to Spanish lessons. We do not make profit out of this, and we give 100% of the daily donation to the organizations if you're a student and 75% of the daily donation if you're not. The small part ($2.50 USD per day) that we do keep from non students daily donation is to cover our own costs, for the time we spend setting everything up for you (email correspondence, logistics, lodging, placing you and organizing your project), and we will also keep working with you once you're here.
- Our Volunteer Director's full time job is to make sure that you're placed in an organization of your choice, and to set up a volunteering project according to your preferences and skills. Our Volunteer Director will set up your objectives, and make sure that your objectives are reached, and most importantly, make sure that you help exactly where your help is needed. She will also translate whenever you need her to, and accompany you to the different projects. She does that with all of our volunteers, and as any full time employee at our school, she receives a salary which is also partly covered by these fees.
- Finally but maybe most importantly, many organizations receive enough help from different volunteers in terms of physical help, but what they really lack is financial support. The orphanage for instance has a very hard time covering their daily food expenses, or basic things like shampoo and soap or toothpaste. These things seem secondary to us, but to them they are a day to day problem. Therefore they welcome our donations very much, and it really improves the living conditions of these kids. If you were to go there by yourself, you would represent a cost to them (mainly in management time, and time is money), and that is exactly what we are trying to avoid.
If you do not wish to pay for volunteering, you also have the option to teach English to adults at no cost if you stay 3 weeks or longer, as these classes are held at our school after hours, and we offer this free service to our community.
We only ask for a fee to volunteer in an outside organization, like the ones mentioned in our volunteering page.
If you're looking to volunteer and learn Spanish, we will make sure that your time and skills are exploited in the best way possible.