Paraguay specific questions
Do I need any experience?
Not at all. Volunteers, or more accurately put, cultural exchange visitors, are needed to simply live with the family, acknowledge their rural way of life and get involved alongside local people whether helping with livestock, mending a fence, collecting firewood or teaching a class to local children after school.
Will I be met on arrival?
All volunteers are met at the airport in Asuncion on arrival. This is the easiest way to arrive as independent travel on public transport can be lengthy involving two or three changes and the last bus might not be running if you arrive after 9 in the morning.
Where will I be staying?
Most volunteers stay their host families in basic accommodation between the small provincial towns of Pirebebuy, Caacupe and Paraguari.
Are visas required for Paraguay?
Visas are not required for UK/European passport holders on short visits. An entry date will simply be stamped in your passport.
What are the start dates?
There are no start dates but Monday or Tuesday is recommended so you can get over your journey and make friends with your host family before your first weekend when everyday family routines might change.
Can I stay with my friend?
All volunteers arriving with friends or other volunteers are placed together with the same family. However, we do recommend to get the most out of your stay that you choose a different routine to your friend on a few days of the week to create a personal experience that is unique to you, enables the family to get to you know you better and provides greater opportunity and incentive to improve your Spanish.
I am worried about travelling on my own – can I buddy up with someone?
On this programme there is a high chance that you may be the only volunteer as places are limited. If you would like to volunteer on a cultural immersion program amongst a larger volunteer community then our Kenya Masai cultural experience might be an ideal alternative.
Will I need any jabs?
We advise all volunteers to consult a trained travel health nurse a few weeks before travel for up to date advice as you may require some boosters (Taken from the nhs website fitfortravel 17/08/14). Cholera is not required.
Do I need to bring anything for the children?
Winter coats are always in demand between July and August when the temperature drops. Most children only have jumpers to wear and it can get more than a bit chilly up in the hills, cheap puff jackets and woolly hats would be great for 4 to 11 year olds.
Should I bring anything for me?
The ground is grassy and can get muddy after rain so walking boots are the best footwear. Socks can take longer to dry in the winter too so bring plenty! Here are some more ideas to make your stay more comfortable: A super warm sleeping bag (that can cope with minus 5 – 10. Days of 17 – 20 Celsius during the day can be followed by nights of zero. A fleece liner/extra blanket. Basic camping gear from plastic bowl, mug, utensils, plastic container for food/snack storage, favourite packet sauces, travel kettle. Warm clothes and layers are essential as it can take some time to get used to outdoor living if you have arrived after warm summer weather at home. Some volunteers have previously taken their own small tents and a thermal thermarest camping mat whilst others have preferred to stay in a spare room or a hut, the voice is yours, although camping equipment can be hard to find in the capital and may be overpriced compared to what you can get at home.
How can I keep in touch with home?
Signal is quite poor so although always essential to bring an unlocked phone from home and buy a sim card on arrival, you may have to get closer to the town to be able to get messages form home. Internet cafes in all local towns and buses go in at least once a day, usually between 06:30 and 08:00 and often again between 12:00 and 13:30 although if you take a midday bus you will need to get a taxi back as the last bus from most valleys at midday do not make a return journey.
Contact us for specific questions
We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. We pride ourselves in the vast knowledge of our projects and are always willing to share. Pop us an email [email protected] to get the answers you need!