The Democracy Center offers opportunities to people worldwide to be part of its efforts to build citizen democracy. This includes opportunities via the internet to assist with research, getting information out to the public, and support for our projects. We also have an in-country volunteer program in our office in Cochabamba, Bolivia – a chance to get even more involved in our work.
The Center has two kinds of volunteers:
Volunteers in Bolivia: Join us in our office in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We are looking for volunteers who already have some solid experience related to our work, are able to make at least a six-month commitment and have basic fluency in Spanish. Apply online to be a volunteer in Bolivia.
Distance Volunteers: Help with the Center’s work from wherever you live, via the internet (minimum 3-month commitment).
- To apply: Simply fill out the application form for distance volunteers and our Volunteer Coordinator will respond to you.
Current Volunteer Openings
Our team in Bolivia is currently complete. We will have another round of volunteer applications in September 2014 for positions beginning in January 2015. Please consult this page for details.
Volunteer in Bolivia
The Democracy Center is looking for committed people to join the staff for a minimum of six months to work on a variety of projects. We’re interested in people with a demonstrated commitment to social justice with three years of university education recommended, though this requirement could be waived in lieu of experience and skills in one or more areas of the Center’s work. The skills we often need at the Center include: research, writing, advocacy, video production, web design, etc. and we are especially interested in volunteers who have a strong interest in at least one of the Democracy Center’s key focus areas: Climate and Democracy, Corporate Power, and Citizen Advocacy. Our volunteers are given a great deal of real responsibility and many have joined us afterwards as long-term staff.
Want to help the Democracy Center from your own home?
Distance Volunteers are accepted at any time. Here are some of the things we need most:
- People who can help us with research and investigation work, for projects small and large.
- People who can help us with outreach and promotion of the Democracy Center’s work.
- People who can help us deepen our understanding and connections to citizen efforts related to our work, on issues such as climate change and corporate power.
Or you may have some skill to offer we haven’t even thought of! Apply as a distance volunteer by filling out our simple on-line application.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What do Democracy Center volunteers work on?
Our volunteers have done everything from help develop reports and book chapters, to producing videos, to helping support global citizen action campaigns. The Center’s work is quite diverse and also varies during the course of the year. So we need people with a mix of skills and a good deal of flexibility.
2) Is there a stipend?
We do offer a small stipend for volunteers in Bolivia who make a commitment of six months or more. We also encourage volunteers to seek funding from outside sources if needed.
3) How much will it cost?
A round-trip flight from Miami to Bolivia, for example, can range from $700-$950 round trip. A home-stay with a Bolivian family or a private room with shared facilities ranges from $80-$200 per month. Transportation and other basic living costs are relatively inexpensive. The Democracy Center covers the immigration costs of its volunteers.
4) I’m only going to be in Bolivia for two months. Can I volunteer?
No, we have learned from experience that short-term volunteers really aren’t a good match for the Center’s needs. But there are many other organizations in Bolivia that set up short-term volunteer opportunities. See our links page for a list (scroll to the bottom for volunteer programs). If you do decide to come to Cochabamba, please contact us to arrange a visit! We love meeting our readers.
5) Do I really need to understand Spanish to be a volunteer in Bolivia?
Yes. We conduct our meetings in Spanish, and you need to be able to communicate comfortably with Bolivian staff members to work effectively with us.
Profiles of Our Volunteers in Bolivia
See this article in the Seattle Times for a profile of the work done by two Democracy Center research volunteers from Seattle.
“Working at the Democracy Center has given me the unique opportunity to learn about advocacy in both a US and Bolivian context. I have also been able to learn about a wide range of issues facing Bolivians today. Because of the small staff, everyone is involved in all of the Center’s projects. As a result, I have gained experience in research and investigation, writing, and publication. As importantly, the work is done in a supportive environment, which allows everyone to pursue their own interests in accordance with the goals and mission of the Democracy Center.”
– Elliot Williams, former volunteer
“I went about volunteering at the Democracy Center the old fashioned way. I sent in my resume from abroad, waited two months to hear back and was subjected to a phone interview, facing a series of rigorous questions. In the end, somehow, I was invited to spend six months as a volunteer for the Democracy Center. My main duties consist of creating and editing the Democracy Center ‘s magazine, j’allalla. I also contribute to the blog, sit through meetings and make a mean cup of coffee.”
– Caitlin Esch, former volunteer
“At the Democracy Center, I worked as the Media Coordinator and Journalism Associate which entails web and new media development, research, editing, placement of articles produced by the Democracy Center, and helping facilitate writing workshops. On the side, I pursued independent journalism projects.”
– Alexander Provan, former volunteer