Learning Spanish and Volunteering in Sucre

Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia, is one of the coolest cities to hang out in. It’s no wonder many travellers come to Sucre and stay more than few days: Sucre offers beautiful colonial architecture, great restaurants and markets, lots of volunteering options and awesome Spanish schools.

We stayed 2 weeks and a half in Kultur Berlin Hostel. The hostel is in a good location near the center and has good prices. The dorms were clean and comfortable, the showers were ok, some days we weren’t lucky with hot water, but it wasn’t too bad. The highlight of this hostel is the breakfast! It’s really nice to start your day with a great variety of fruits, drinks, bread, yogurt and more.

Our rating for Kultur Berlin Hostel is 7 out of 10.

When we got to Sucre we were already traveling in Spanish speaking countries for 2 months. We were able to catch few words, we spoke in a very broken way and we really wanted to speak better during our travel, so we decided to stay in Sucre to learn Spanish properly!

Sucre- the perfect place in Bolivia to learn Spanish

Sucre- the perfect place in Bolivia to learn Spanish

We chose Open Spanish and we really recommend this school. Open Spanish is located near the center (and near Kultur Berlin Hostel). The teachers are friendly and professional, they helped us learn in a fun way. The price is pretty cheap and definitely worth it. We studied in private lessons for 10 days, 4 hours a day. You can choose as much hours and days as you want. We were surprised to see how our Spanish improved after 40 hours in total. It was a great experience.

If you’re doing a long travel in Latin America, learning Spanish will completely change your trip. Learning Spanish will help you communicate with locals, you’ll be able to have conversations that contains more than ‘thank you’ and ‘how much it costs’. It will allow you to speak with confident and make your trip even more memorable.

When I speak to locals in Spanish I feel that I give them more respect. They know we made some effort to understand them better because we are the guests in their country, and it opened many doors for us. Knowing Spanish helped us meet new friends from all Latin America. It makes haggling much easier. It also helps a lot in your daily travel needs: in public places, transportation, restaurants, and off course, emergencies. You won’t feel frustration while speaking with locals, and you’ll earn a new language. Go for it!

Zebra helps you cross the street in Sucre. Isn't that sweet?(=

Zebra helps you cross the street in Sucre. Isn’t that sweet?(=

We wanted to do some kind of volunteering while staying in Sucre, so we decided to give from our heart the best thing we can: wall paintings!

There are lots of poor children in Bolivia in general, and in Sucre some of the places for children are dirty and lacks the colorfulness of places for children like nursery schools.

First we bought all the equipment for painting on walls. It was a bit hard to find brushes and acrylic colors. Finally we arrived at the psychiatric hospital for children in order to make some paintings for them. When we entered the place it was pretty hard for us. Most of the children in this hospital are orphans or not in touch with their families. We heard lots of children screaming, crying for their parents, some children walking around with sad looks. Some of them looked normal, but their lives are complicated and hard. All of them have mental problems and special needs, some of them also had physical problems.

When we started painting some kids wanted to help and paint with us

When we started painting some kids wanted to help and paint with us

I tried to speak to a young boy who sat next to me. He looked at me but didn’t answer to anything. I smiled to him and gave him a little hug. When I stopped, He looked at me, took my hands and put it on his back again, asking for more kindness and attention. My heart was broken when I realized how much love those children need, and they don’t have anyone to give it to them. It took us more than an hour till we finally started to paint the walls. The brown bricks were really sad and almost reminded prison. We decided to paint some happy and colorful stuff for them.

After we started painting, some kids came to look at us, and some of them wanted to paint with us and talk to us. I was happy to see the good effect it had on them. It took us 2 days to complete the paintings and the kids loved it. It’s not an easy place for volunteering, but it was nice to see some of the kids smiling and playing near the paintings we did.

 

Painting in the psychiatric hospital for children, trying to make it a bit happier

Painting in the psychiatric hospital for children, trying to make it a bit happier

The next place we went for volunteering is one of the nursery schools in a poor area in Sucre. It’s hard to admit but it was a nice feeling to have fun and play with regular kids. We had some fun with the children, they were happy to see us and to sing and dance with us. All of them were so friendly, they were excited and wanted to hug us a lot. We painted on the walls in the garden, we covered ugly graffiti with nice animals, and the result was lovely.

Volunteering in one of the nursery schools in a poor area in Sucre

Volunteering in one of the nursery schools in a poor area in Sucre

The experience of volunteering was really important and meaningful for us

The experience of volunteering was really important and meaningful for us

We covered ugly graffiti with nice animals, and the result was lovely

We covered ugly graffiti with nice animals, and the result was lovely

It took us 2 days to finish all the paintings and the kids were really happy about it, they loved it. There was a girl who stood next to me while I was painting and when I did a break and sat down she came to sit on me and hug me. Love has an international language!(=

The kids were happy singing and dancing with us

The kids were happy singing and dancing with us

The final result of wall painting, definitely looks more colorful!(=

The final result of wall painting, definitely looks more colorful!(=

The experience of volunteering was really important and meaningful for us. There are many places who need help and they’ll be thankful for whatever you can give. We were happy to see the children smiling and enjoying looking at their colorful walls. It won’t change their lives, but we hope it will make those places a bit nicer and happier.

Between studying Spanish and volunteering, we had some fun time in Sucre. Having lunch at the market was a great experience. It was cheap, tasty and a good place to practice Spanish. We also did a daytrip to the small town Tarabuco, which was nice and worth a visit. So many great memories from Sucre, we really enjoyed our time here.

 

A wonderful viewpoint of Sucre

A wonderful viewpoint of Sucre

2 thoughts on “Learning Spanish and Volunteering in Sucre

  1. Love those paintings. Super-cute!

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