SamConnects is a consulting service for people who want a meaningful volunteer experience in Chile. We are based in the southern Chile city of Osorno. We work with individuals one-by-one to create a unique opportunity for rewarding volunteer service and immersion in Chilean culture
Samantha Sparks founded SamConnects in 2002, just after moving to Chile from the United States. Samantha is a 1985 graduate of Yale College and has a Master's Degree in Social Science from the University of Stockholm. Married to a Chilean, they have 2 teenage boys. She has lived and travelled in many countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
We have a couple of placements for as little as one month. Most of our placements are for 2 - 3 months minimum. We have found that a truly meaningful experience for both you and your Chilean hosts generally requieres at least this long.
Please give 3 months of your time for work with children - either in a home or at a school.
You can take intensive Spanish language classes before you start your placement, but we don't recommend coming if you speak no Spanish at all. Many of the people who have the most rewarding experiences come to Chile with intermediate high school Spanish, and find that they become near-fluent during their placement.
Quite a bit of work goes into finding good opportunities and housing for our volunteers, and also finding good volunteers for our placements!
Our experience shows that it is worth paying for a quality volunteer experience. That said, SamConnects' consulting fee is lower than many other placement services, thanks to our low overhead and the fact that we genuinely enjoy this work!
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