Unidad Académica Campesina – Carmen Pampa, Bolivia Volunteer Information and Application Form Contact: Hugh: email@example.com Maria: firstname.lastname@example.org General Information for Potential UAC-CP Volunteers: 1) The school year has two semesters, one of which begins on the first Tuesday in February and the other on the last Tuesday in July. You should consider arriving a week before school starts to orient yourself. 2) Important! Volunteers must be able to communicate in Spanish! You must take responsibility for this, studying in the USA or in Bolivia before our semester begins. 3) We share all community tasks, each one taking her/his turn shopping, cooking and cleaning. Our meals are simple; in the community of Carmen Pampa we can buy eggs, rice, noodles, potatoes and sugar; there are quite a few fresh veggies available in the organic gardens at the university such as carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, squash, cabbage, onions, garlic, Swiss chard etc. These are available at different times of the year. There is a meat processing factory where there are chorizo sausages, baloney, bacon and other pork products. In the town of Coroico (half an hour by minibus), one can find poultry, cheese and yogurt; flour and other dry goods. Fruits include papaya, oranges, bananas, mangoes, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, etc. All of us usually start out with good ol’ American recipes, adjusting them to whatever is available; some volunteers have then branched out and have become quite expert in Bolivian specialties! 4) Some of the difficulties volunteers have experienced: a) Extreme caution is needed with regard to water, fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. (The rule for vegetables and fruit is wash it, peel it, cook it or leave it!). b) Every Bolivian home, including ours, is host to flies, ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, toads, lizards and other creatures. Screens and doors generally keep insects out, however. c) There are occasional power outages, affecting all electrical equipment. Flashlights and extra batteries are necessities, and candles are a part of our lives. d) We do not have hot water except for electric showers, and the water occasionally stops or gets a little cloudy with clay. We do have a water filter that we use in these cases. Water is boiled before drinking. e) Up to now, each volunteer has had her own small room (with one or two beds, small desk and chair, small closet with two small drawers or shelves). But we have had to double up when visitors come and would have to do so on a regular basis, if we had more volunteers than bedrooms. Think about how you feel about that. f) Since one of the purposes of this program is to work alongside the rural poor and learn about their reality (although compared to our neighbors we lack for nothing!), we do quite a bit of washing our clothes by hand and try to put up cheerfully with the sudden loss of electricity and water. The people here are quite used to these aspects of life. Though we sometimes have students help with our wash, expect to wash your own clothes. g) Public transportation here is unique—and sometimes stressful. One has to adapt to very crowded public cars and busses, with drivers who are not always careful. 5) Lessons learned: a) On the topic of male-female relationships, you should know that there are opportunities for friendship and fun; you will meet young people whom you can safely go out with. We encourage you to socialize in a group setting; experience has shown us that entering into an exclusive kind of romantic relationship distracts the volunteer from her/his goal and can be detrimental to community life. Please keep this in mind. b) We ―Americans‖ can be paternalistic and can create dependencies without intending to. Giving things away to people (candy, pencils, crayons, money, etc.) causes them to love us (great for the ego!). But this puts us in the superior position of ―those who have,‖ while it keeps them in the inferior position of ―those who have not.‖ We do not want the image of ―Lady Bountiful,‖ nor do we want to cultivate any dependencies on us. c) Informal attire acceptable in the USA for going into town or to Church is often seen as inappropriate here. We have been criticized and told, for example, that shorts are OK for around the house, but are not appropriate for going out. Although USA styles are seen more and more here, we ask our volunteers to dress modestly and professionally, remembering that you are representing all Americans. d) Experience has shown that to do this kind of work, one must enjoy good physical and psychological health, have normal energy levels, and be able to go without unusual dietary needs that cannot be met here. e) You will definitely go through a period of adjustment, the length of which varies from person to person; be patient with yourself and don’t waste time worrying about how things will be: we’ll be here to help you with all that is new and unfamiliar, and you’ll learn by doing – one day at a time! We have e-mail which is a great help! f) One of the greatest truths that we are still learning is that we are here to ―walk with the people‖, to do things their way and not to impose on them our (supposedly) superior way. The Latin Americans put people and personal values over efficiency – and this can be both inspiring – and frustrating! We want them to see that we are here to humbly learn and work with them, and that we have not come with solutions to their problems. Thank you for taking the time necessary to read this. If you decide to apply to volunteer at UAC-CP, please return the enclosed application form to the volunteer coordinators of UAC-CP (preferably as an email attachment). Your responses may be brief, but please be honest and thorough. Unidad Académica Campesina – Carmen Pampa, Bolivia Volunteer Application Form Applicant Information Full Name: Sex: Male ____ Female _____ Date of Birth: Month _____________ Day ______ Year ______ Place of Birth (City, Country): Citizenship (Country): Permanent Legal Residency (Country): Address in Home Country: Telephone: Home Work e-mail address: Marital Status: Single _______ Married _______ Religion: Emergency Contact Information Relative to be contacted in case of emergency: Phone: Address: Email address of contact: Education Beginning with HIGH SCHOOL (age 16) until now, supply the following information: Institution - City, State & Country - Name of Degree (if applicable) - Year Finished - No. of Years Page 1 of 4 Relevant work, voluntary or teaching experience (if applicable) School, Company or Institution - Type of School - Location - Inclusive Dates - Full-time or Part-time - Student ages - Grades - Subjects Taught Total Years of Work, Intern or Teaching Experience: Other Related Experience: Summarize below Languages (for each language indicate speaking, reading and writing ability as Fair, Good or Excellent). You must have at least a fair level of speaking and comprehension ability in Spanish. Have you ever lived or traveled outside your native country? If yes, please give details. Country - Dates - Reason Your native language: Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain on a separate sheet of paper. Describe any health problems, chronic illnesses or disabilities from which you suffer: References List the following information for 3 individuals who can comment on your skills, character and dependability. Do not list relatives. Name - Address – Telephone – Position - Relation to you Page 2 of 4 Brief Essay Questions (If you need more room, please continue on reverse side). How will your participation in our volunteer program benefit the following: 1) You 2) The Unidad Académica Campesina 3) The Community of Carmen Pampa In your opinion, what personal characteristics or qualities of yours are important in order to be an effective and successful volunteer in rural Bolivia? What motivates you to participate in our volunteer program? Please list other skills and talents such as playing musical instruments, sports, computer expertise, carpentry, etc. Please comment briefly on the following 1. Your possible arrival and departure dates. 2. Your thoughts on sharing community duties? Can you cook? Page 3 of 4 3. Any difficulties or concerns about the following… a) tropical heat b) extreme care about food c) insects, spiders, toads, lizards, etc d) frequent electricity outages e) water shut-offs; no hot water f) possibly sharing a room g) washing clothes by hand h) public transportation 4. How is your physical health? ...your psychological health? ...your energy level? 5. Do you have any eating requirements? 6. How do you see yourself adjusting? Easily? With difficulty? 7. How do you feel about ―walking with‖ and ―learning from‖ the people? 8. Any other questions, comments or concerns….. To the best of my knowledge, the information provided is correct. I understand that incorrect information could be sufficient grounds to invalidate an arrangement between myself and UAC-CP. Signature: Date: ________________________ Print name: ______________________________ Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us. If we decide together that you are right for this kind of work, we can assure you that it will be an experience that will change your life forever! Please submit this application by email, as an attachment, to Hugh: email@example.com and Maria: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the Carmen Pampa Fund in St. Paul, Minnesota with any questions at email@example.com or by phone at 651-641-1588.
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