The goal of this project, just like Voluntario Global's other cooperative, Su Lavanderia, is to give the young people from the community the skills necessary to find a job and be able to sustain their families. At Pacheco Community Center, we work toward local development and try to reach sustainability in its three dimensions: environmental, social, and economic. We believe that by creating more community experiences, we empower people, youth especially, so they can build their own future and have a better life.
The classes taught at Pacheco teaches the students how to use the machinery they will use while working, and how to properly tend to a garden. With these proficiencies, it will be easier for young people to a stable and consistent job. The Pacheco Project will also serve as a community center where people from the community can come together with the volunteers of different cultures and participate in an exchange. This exchange is important because that's how the members of the community learn about foreign countries since many of them have not had the opportunity to travel because of a lack of means.
The community approach implies a joint construction, the permanent exchange of ideas and perspectives where all voices are important. In Pacheco, reflection activities are as important as working together in the garden. It is also a place to exchange knowledge and different perspectives, the Center organizes assemblies and reflection activities with the young ones to discuss topics of interest. On the assemblies, the young ones also make decisions about the Community Center, as we are all equals.
Why is this project important for the community?
The members of the community we work with are families that work hard every day to better their financial situation. They are families that look out for each other and hope to one day be able to sustain their loved ones without worries. This is why Pacheco exists: to establish a foundation for those families who are dreaming of something bigger. Many of the young people from the surrounding neighborhoods have not been able to finish their basic studies and access to university is limited. The Pacheco Community Center allows them to learn a practical trade, work in a team, and be prepare for labor market integration, as well as encourage them to continue with their studies.
We focus on training. We help young people build new capacities by offering a variety of activities such as language courses, music, and art workshops. Not only can they learn about gardening, landscaping and begin an immersion in agroecology philosophy, but also the Pacheco Community Center has a greenhouse for the students to plant fruits and vegetables, which they will be able to sell and generate their own income. Additionally, the students enrolled in the classes have access to many gardening tools so that they don't have to buy their own. Those students who want to be part of the community center once they finish their course can be part of the coordination team.
The Pacheco Community Center also works as a network with other organizations of the community, especially with the health center of the area. The idea is to spread a sustainability perspective on food, encourage food sovereignty as well as political participation to make these changes real.
Role of the Volunteer
The volunteers that come from different parts of the world to exchange knowledge and experience and to work alongside the community members create a mutual spirit of solidarity. They take part in establishing connections in natural and relaxing surroundings.
Volunteers will enhance their knowledge in practice, helping in the tasks of daily maintenance of the garden, in the organization of community space with the armed schedule, lists of participants' management and administration tasks of space. They may provide art workshops, English, school support, orchard, and recycling.
What can you learn as a volunteer?
The Pacheco Community Center is a place that can provide a different perspective on life. Volunteers will be able to learn about many topics and maximize what they learn by helping us to maintain the garden and grounds. Being a volunteer at Pacheco will facilitate you to get a wider understanding of how community organizations work and learn more about Argentinean social and political context.
Long term volunteers can apply for a soft skills certificate from GLORE, a Project from the EU. You can choose up to 5 skills to certificate according to your experience and will.
These are the soft skills that volunteers are most likely to develop during the volunteer period in Pacheco:
- Communication and Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
- Decision Making
- Ethics and Work Commitment
- Multicultural Awareness
- Public Speaking
- Self Awareness
- Team Work
How does your work impact the community?
Volunteers can be a source of motivation for young people who want to strive for a better future. The energy and knowledge that volunteers bring with them can be essential in changing young people's perspectives. A volunteer can make students believe in a brighter future and instill in them the motivation and aspiration to achieve their goals, no matter how big and regardless of their current socioeconomic status.
Most gardening activities take place during the morning, and classes are held in the afternoon. Volunteers will participate in different activities according to their interests and abilities. The Center is open all year round, however, during wintertime (July-August) there are fewer activities based outdoors. Volunteers will work 5 days per week and have 2 days off.
General Pacheco is a neighborhood located northeast of Buenos Aires's Metropolitan area. It is about 90 minutes from the City of Buenos Aires, and 70 minutes from Ezeiza International Airport. Pacheco is a neighborhood located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Away from city noise and commercial areas, but connected to the city by bus, so it only takes 1 and a half hours to be downtown.
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers working on this project will stay in our Volunteer House. The Volunteer House provides accommodation for a maximum of 6 volunteers in spacious, and bright rooms overlooking the garden where you can enjoy the sounds and scents of nature. These are shared rooms with private bathrooms and showers for each room and exclusively for the use of volunteers. Breakfast and lunch are provided during workdays (5 days a week).
In addition to this, there is a completely equipped kitchen, which is a shared space for the volunteers and community members to enjoy.
The House also offers free WIFI, a TV, and a living room where volunteers can unwind and rest during their off-time.
- Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on visas are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.
- Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.
- Spanish Level Required: Spanish is not required, however, we recommend volunteers to work on basic Spanish skills to communicate with the community at the Project.
- Minimum Stay: 2 weeks