Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Volunteering in South America for Free

Photo Credit: Twid
Anyone planning to volunteer in South America already knows that the word "volunteer" is thrown around quite carelessly on a number of websites.  Instead of "volunteers needed," the writers of these websites mean to say "people with money needed to give us their money." Money-hunting organizations looking for tourists who want to feel good about themselves abound, and unfortunately, altogether too many well-wishing idealists are taken in by their programs. Rest assured, it is not necessary to pay to volunteer in South America. Let me repeat that just to be sure. You do not need to pay to volunteer! It is absolutely possible to volunteer in South America for free.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yellow Fever Vaccination for Volunteers in Bolivia

The Yellow Fever Mosquito - Aedes Aegypti

As I approach the time when I will be volunteering in Bolivia, I find I have a million things to do!  First step, get a yellow fever vaccine.  Sections of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia are all considered endemic zones for yellow fever, which means the vaccine is a must. Yellow fever is not a pretty disease. Though some cases can be mild, it is not uncommon for those suffering from the disease to die, and travelers are generally more susceptible to contracting yellow fever than are indigenous populations. It is not a pretty death--marked by fever, vomiting, and liver failure.  If you're planning on volunteering in South America or Africa, you'll definitely want to read up on yellow fever.

One more tip: you must have had the vaccine for ten days before it is considered effective.  Because it's required for entrance into Bolivia, you'll want to plan for this ten day period.  (Generally, I'd plan way ahead because many doctors will have to special order the vaccine.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Countdown to South America: Trip Plan and Volunteering in Bolivia

Machu Picchu
Photo Credit: Martin St-Amant - Wikipedia - CC-BY-SA-3.0
Welcome to my travel blog! My husband and I will be spending the summer volunteering in Sucre, Bolivia, and I intend to update this blog as we go. Here are our tentative travel plans:

Baltimore, MD
La Paz, Bolivia
Lake Titicaca
Cross Bolivian/Peruvian Border
Machu Picchu
New York