Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Argentina
Look at Argentina through one eye and the country looks nothing but a well developed piece of Europe transplanted to South America, but squint at it again and Argentina’s social issues start to peek through.
Grassroots Volunteering in Argentina
The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:
All Cloudhead projects relate in some way to art, education and technology. They run a variety of workshops and classes: photography, video editing, writing, website design, marketing, teaching, English language skills, soccer, wood working and leatherworking workshops and art classes. They also work with partner organisations to create art and media projects for students ranging from five to 25 years old. After submitting your application, Cloudhead will work with you to create a personalised volunteer programme that can include joining one of their current projects or developing a project of your own.
Accommodation & Costs: They ask that you look at the work they do in the local community, the support provided to volunteers and balance that with what you can afford, choosing what you want to pay.
Estancia La Margarita
An Estancia is a large rural estate with similarities to the English term ranch. Estanicia La Margarita offers horse riding holidays and a place to experience the gaucho life. Volunteers are frequently needed to help out with the horse riding side of the ranch with tasks including riding with guests as guides, horse care, tack cleaning, handling young horses, and being a go between for non Spanish speaking guests. You need to speak Spanish at least up to a good intermediate level and stay for two months, preferably longer.
They sometimes also look for a volunteer who would be willing to look after their park lands and allotment, cut logs and clean the pool and do general simple maintenance. For this position you don’t need to have experience with horses or have excellent Spanish but you must be available to stay for at least two months.
Hostel Work Exchanges
Many hostels use help exchange networks (see below) to find volunteer staff but the following either advertise on their websites or are particularly noted for taking on volunteers:
There are two Milhouse Hostels in Buenos Aires (and another in Cusco, Peru). Work Exchange placements are available on the front desk, doing hostel promotion and administrative work, in housekeeping, or behind the bar. They also understand the power of social media and love teaming up with influencers with over 30,000 followers.
More Hostel Work Exchanges
Of the two Argentine hostels Emma Higgins worked in, one, Cordoba’s Aldea Hostel, is still a going concern. TripAdvisor reviews confirm they were hosting very friendly volunteers from all over the world recently. Further north in Iguazu, straddling the Argentine-Brazilian border, Marco Polo Suites is another possibility.
Hostel Voyage are always seeking for enthusiastic travelers who want to feel the hostel vibes from the inside. They say Buenos Aires is a big city and if you feel you need time to get involved with their culture, then this is your perfect option to be part of a multicultural staff, learn the language and enjoy the city. The minimum stay its one month.
There are several Loki Hostels in South America, including one in Buenos Aires, that are always seeking fun, energetic and driven people to join the team. Spend a month working four shifts on the bar and there is some free accommodation, meals and discounts in it for you. Che Lagarto is another chain active in Argentina.
Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Argentina
Fundación Banco de Alimentos is a non profit NGO food bank that helps provide food to over 85,000 people in need in Greater Buenos Aires. Volunteers help with a variety of programmes from the part-time classification of food to full time work in their administrative office. They are also working on many short term, one to three month, projects that are in need of volunteers. Volunteers, who should be self funding, decide how long and how often they are available to volunteer. Their website must have been in English in the past but now appears to be in Spanish only.
Help Exchange Networks in Argentina
Volunteer Latin America – https://www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/volunteer-abroad/argentina
Workaway – https://www.workaway.info/hostlist-AR.html
Hovos – https://www.hovos.com/host/South-America/Argentina/
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Argentina
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents’ homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). You can also get a free Airbnb credit from us here.
Working With the Wichi People in Salta – After visiting an exhibition of photos by Wichi children, Victoria and Steve went to Salta to meet the couple that provided the cameras and visit the garden building project funded by sales of the photographs.
The Selfishness of Teens: Volunteering in Salta – After volunteering with Cloudhead Art in Salta, Victoria and Steve feel teenagers unfairly get a bad press.
Workaway: My Experience Volunteering in a Hostel in Argentina – Pilar’s Brazilian friend Liliana Germanotta worked as a volunteer in Cordoba. She explains us everything we need to know if we want to volunteer anywhere in the world through the website Workaway.
* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations
Image copyright Cloudhead Art