Volunteer in Latin America

The volunteer program at NPH is full of opportunities. We invite university graduates over the age of 21 to give a year of service, helping vulnerable children and families across Latin America. There are a wide range of roles to choose from. If you are from New Zealand or Australia, keep reading. If you are from a different country, please find the NPH office closest to home.

Our program is a 13-month commitment, in one of 9 countries in Latin America or the Caribbean. We offer our volunteers a range of experiences from unique friendships, life enriching cross-cultural encounters and unique work experience.

Our volunteers share their talents and knowledge while serving others. Often our volunteers are highly trained and skilled individuals, serving in roles which would be difficult to fill in-country. See a list of volunteer roles here.

Benefits

There are no fees charged to be a volunteer! You will receive accommodation and food, as well as a small monthly stipend. NPH will cover your health and accident insurance, as well as any visa costs. You can even apply to IRD (in NZ) to waive your student loan interest during your volunteer year.

However, you will need to cover the cost of your flights and any extra expenses during your stay such as travel and leisure activities within the country. If you go to language school within the country before starting your volunteer year, you will need to cover this expense.

Before starting your volunteer year you receive training from the NPH NZ office, as well as in the country where you will work. You will be able to contact the NPH NZ office at any time to receive support while you’re overseas. Loren O’Sullivan, the Director of NPH NZ, has been a volunteer herself, so she can guide you through the process.

Loren O’Sullivan with the children at NPH Honduras, during her volunteer year.

What makes a good volunteer?

The most effective volunteers come to NPH with a positive life-loving attitude, a strong work ethic, flexibility, realism and a sense of humour.

We also seek candidates whose main motive is to help the children and be good role-models. NPH volunteers are respectful of the cultures in which we work. Spanish language ability is preferred. However, a willingness to learn Spanish quickly is also acceptable.

Unless your Spanish is very advanced, you will be asked to go to language school upon arrival in the country. You are also encouraged to take Spanish language classes in your home country before leaving.

Volunteer Requirements

We’re excited that you are interested in joining the NPH family! Each volunteer is appreciated and necessary for the continued success of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. If you feel that you meet all the requirements below, we invite you to apply to become a volunteer.

  • Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and in good health.
  • Must be a university graduate or hold relevant qualifications/experience for the role.
  • Volunteers must be available to serve for a minimum of 13 months.
  • Please apply regardless of your Spanish level, but please be aware that you may be asked to attend language school before your placement.
  • You must have some experience of working with children/ youth.
  • Successful volunteers are cooperative, flexible, and patient. They have a strong work ethic and are able to adapt in diverse cultural environments. They are respectful of their host country and its culture and maintain a positive attitude.
  • You need to be of good character, which means that you need to present a police certificate.
  • NPH is a Catholic family (like most of Latin America), but you don’t have to be Catholic to be a volunteer. You just have to be respectful of the faith and willing to attend mass with the children and staff.

Volunteering during Covid19

NPHI-Volunteering-During-COVID-19-Guidelines.pdf

Some of the Covid19 requirements have eased now that many of the staff and youth have been vaccinated.

To volunteer with NPH you will be required to have your Covid19 vaccinations up to date, and comply with other measures to slow the spread (such as mask wearing when you first enter the home).

Before your volunteer year, you will need to fill out a health statement, and make sure all your vaccinations are up to date.

Application process

We have two intakes per year for long-term volunteers – January and July.

If you miss the deadlines, please still apply because many of the positions are still available and need to be filled. The next application round is for the January 2023 intake. Please let us know if you’re interested in applying.

See our Frequently Asked Questions, Volunteer Roles as well as our Volunteer Application Form.

Testimonials

You can read some testimonials of past volunteers. You can also read this blog from an Australian volunteer, Christine Hill, who is currently at NPH Honduras.

If you are interested in this opportunity, Loren O’Sullivan from the NPH New Zealand office will get in touch with you once you fill out the form below. She has volunteered for two years at NPH Honduras and would be happy to talk you through the process.

Yes, I’m interested in volunteering with NPH.

Please get in touch below if you are from New Zealand or Australia and Loren will organise a zoom call. It’s always good to have an initial conversation before you apply, so you can have a better idea of the expectations.

If you are from a different country, please find the office closest to your home.