Frequently Asked QuestionsBolivia
September 7 - 20, 2008
Why volunteer overseas in Bolivia?Bolivia is less frequently traveled than other countries in South America, so there are more opportunities to see life as it is without the influence of Western culture that pervades more touristy places in the world. There is a need for humanitarian volunteering and it is a privilege to contribute. Each person makes a positive change one step at a time. With Karma Yoga and the path of selfless service, extending compassion and removing the borders that divide self from others is a life-changing experience for everyone involved. We have experienced the joy of giving and recieving by making a part of the world a better place for people in need.
Many programs charge fees for international volunteering. For our Karma Yoga Journeys trip to Bolivia, the package includes all accommodations and vegetarian meals, daily yoga classes, several excursions to cultural and historical destinations, and all local transportation. Included in the package fee is the additional cost of the local program operators: all work supplies, local interpreters, and additional staff support. home
What kind of excursions will we be going on?
Throughout our stay in Bolivia and between days of volunteering we will be going to some exciting destinations. These excursions will include guided tours of:
We will visit this local colonial town with an outdoor market early in the journey.
Virgen de Urkupiña Site
Copacabana is a small town on the Bolivian side of a lake (the lake is shared by 70% Peru and 30% Bolivia). The town is a prime Boivian tourist destination, not to be missed. It is the base for exploring the Island of the Sun, and the Island of the Moon, two sacred Incan islands. It is a town with many religous festivals. The town has a large 16th-century shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana. Our Lady of Copacabana is the patron saint of Bolivia.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world (3820 m) and it lies on the border of Bolivia and Peru.
Island of the Sun
Isla del Sol is an island in the southern part of Lake Titicaca. The terrain is harsh; it is a rocky, hilly island. There are no motor vehicles or paved roads but there are over 180 ruins on the island. Most of these date back to the Inca period circa the 15h century AD. Archaeologists have discovered people living on the island as far back as the third millennium BC. Many hills on the island contain agricultural terraces, which adapt steep and rocky terrain to agriculture. Among the ruins on the island are the Sacred Rock, a labyrinth-like building called Chicana, Kasa Pata, and Pilco Kaima. In the religion of the Incas, it was believed that the sun god was born here. home
How do I get there?
There will be an additional cost of $100 for an in-country flight during the trip, which we will arrange for, but you will have to book your own flight to Cochabamba, Peru to arrive on September 7th and to come back on September 20th.
When you book your flights, make sure you enter in the three-letter airport code of your nearest airport for your departure point, and enter in CBB as the three-letter airport code for your destination to the Cochabamba airport.
What about visa requirements for entering Bolivia?
Passports are required for all of our program sites. Most, if not all, international airports will not allow you to leave your originating counAll volunteers will need the following to enter Bolivia:
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and depart Bolivia. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a stay of one month or less (that period can be extended upon application to 90 days). An exit tax must be paid at the airport when departing Bolivia.
Please visit the following website for information on the entry requirements for US Citizens traveling
What is the time difference to the USA?Standard time zone: GMT -5. The time zone in Bolivia is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the US. home
How is the weather? What to wear and bring?The climate is moderate in September. Days have rain with an average high temperature of around 66°F (19°C). Nights are cooler with an average low of 48°F (9°C). Bring comfortable clothes and only necessary items. We recommend packing lightly and expect your clothing to be well used by the end of your program. Dressing in layers is also recommended. It can be cold in the mornings and evening, but hot during the middle of the day. The following items are suggested: raincoat and umbrella, money belt, camera and film, toiletries and personal hygiene, travel towel, sunscreen (the altitude means the sun is stronger), sunglasses, flashlight, sleeping bag, daypack, water bottle, watch, journal, Spanish dictionary, hiking/tennis shoes, sandals, set of long underwear, pants, jeans, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, fleece Jacket, swimsuit, fleece or wool hat, fleece or wool mittens, rain jacket/pants. home
What is the standard accommodation?Lodging is in double occupancy rooms at the Nina Sonqo guest house near the village of Urubamba. Full room and board is part of the program fee and the guesthouse also has direct access to telephone and internet services. Hiking, horseback riding, and biking are also optional at the lodging site. Single occupancy will be available for an additional fee of $250. home
Where is the closest Internet café?There are numerous Internet cafes throughout the area. home
Is there laundry service?Laundry service is available cheaply in nearby town a walkable distance away. There is a laundry service available for a fee and hand washing is possible, too. home
What will the food be like?You can expect lots of substantial and traditionally prepared vegetarian meals. Peru is known for its excellent soups, protein rich grains only found in the Andes, corn, and potatoes. Meals are prepared by local cooks and served family style allowing for a generous amount of reflection on the day's challenges and successes. home
What experience is needed to join?The program is available for individuals from any country, who are over 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or guardian) with an adventurous spirit and a true desire to help others. In terms of yoga, practitioners of all levels are welcome. The asana class will be taught as a mixed level class. The actual karma yoga can usually be adapted to participant's abilities, skills and strengths. We encourage each and every one to share their interests and skills so bring along any musical instrument, games or tools needed to express and share your passion. We strongly suggest you have a genuine will to help and a liking toward children.
As we are very careful not to do more harm than good and to emphasize the need to protect the integrity of these children, we will make sure no participant has previously been registered with inappropriate behavior with children. We apologize for this and hope you can understand our caution in doing so. home
Will I have to be able to speak Spanish?No, a background in Spanish is not necessary for the trip. A project coordinator will be available throughout the volunteering projects and trip excursions as a cultural liaison providing both language translation as well as information on the culture and history of the area. We found it easy to connect with kids and play with them without having much knowledge of Spanish. Most of the time there is a translator available, especially for cultural sites that we visit. home
Who is the yoga teacher and group leader for the trip?Victor Oppenheimer will be the group leader for the trip to Peru and the instructor for the daily Iyengar yoga classes. He has studied yoga directly with yoga master Sri BKS Iyengar in India over the past twenty years and was certified to teach in his style directly from Mr. Iyengar. Victor has been teaching group and private yoga classes and training yoga teachers in the US and abroad for more than twenty years. Each year he travels to Mexico to teach a month long teacher training course; he will also be teaching this upcoming February in St. Lucia. Beyond the mat, Victor is also the founder of Yoga.com and Karma Yoga Journeys. In his own words, "yoga has been a source of joy and added a level of depth and balance" to his life for many years. It is a privilege and an honor to be able to share this work with others. If you would like to learn more about Victor, you may visit his site here. home
What is the itinerary?click here for the itinerary home
What will the daily schedule look like?Be prepared to be flexible, time is fluid. This is our tentative daily schedule. home
Am I insured?
We can direct you to health travel insurance. Your medical policy may give you international coverage. We also suggest that you get flight cancellation insurance. Contact us for information on how to easily arrange this.
What if I have to cancel?
Please, study the registration form for information on cancellations and refund policies.
How do I register?
Please Go to the register tab, and fill out the form. Choose your preferred options for accommodations. Please put in your information in the fields given. You can send a check after filling out the form or simply make your deposit via credit card. A $500 deposit saves your spot. When the rest is due, by 30 days before the journey departs, please send a check for the balance. Arrange your airline tickets for Cochabamba on September 7, 2008. Return on the 20th. We strongly suggest flight cancellation insurance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to answer your questions about the journey.
Are there any additional costs?Just one. There will be an additional cost of $100 for an in-country flight during the trip, which we will arrange for.
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