Summer 2022 course dates and application coming soon

Bolivia

The Rio Beni Health Foundation
see info below

Course Details

DATES
Aug 7-14

14DAYS

Departure City
Miami International Airport
TUITION

Coming Soon
*IMPORTANT DETAILS

AVAILABILITY
14 Spaces

We partner with the Rio Beni Health Foundation to install water filters for communities in the Bolivian Amazon

 

After landing in La Paz, SStS students will take a short flight to Rurrenabaque, a small town that serves as a gateway into Bolivian Amazon region. In this region, the rivers are the highways, and the indigenous communities lay scattered along its banks. The communities of the Rio Beni live a remote existence, with subsistence living conditions and minimal access to clean water. These local people (primarily Chimane, Mosetene, Tacana and Quechua Indians) historically have had little access to primary health care services. Our non-profit partner, the Rio Beni Health Foundation, provides these essential medical services to the people of the Rio Beni. The SStS project primarily focuses on supporting mobile clinics, participating in local trainings, and building filters for a clean water initiative.

After building filters for schools and homes that have scarce access to clean water, SStS students will travel, typically by river, to stay among the communities they have come to support. The filters they will install will aid in minimizing the high infant mortality rate in these communities. While there, SStS students will interact with the local individuals via community meetings and recreational activities like soccer.

After completing their work in the community, students will return to Rurrenabaque where they will spend the night before heading up the Yacuma River the next day to learn about the Pampas, the pre-Amazonian wetlands in the Beni region. Students will have the opportunity to spot diverse wildlife, see striking sunsets in the forest, and swim with dolphins in the river while staying at a locally-run eco-lodge. During this time, students will have the opportunity to reflect upon their course in ethical leadership in the midst of this strikingly beautiful setting.

Course Elements

The course elements are based on a rating from 1 to 5, 1 being the least rigorous, 5 being the most rigorous.

5
LEARNING SERVICE
After spending a few days constructing bio-sand water filters, the group will travel to a remote Rio Beni community to install them in homes and schools.
5
CURRICULUM
Prior to their travels, students complete a series of online activities (30 minutes each). While traveling, they also read engaging articles, participate in cultural experiences, and create presentations in small groups.
2
TREKKING
While in Rurrenabaque, students typically take short hikes in the surrounding hills. Then, during the last days of the course, the group will take day hikes while exploring the Pampas.
4
LIVING CONDITIONS
In addition to staying in hostels while the group is in Rurrenabaque, La Paz, and the Pampas, the group will camp in the rainforest for a few nights while installing filters in the Rio Beni community.
3
ON THE MOVE
After arriving in La Paz, the students take a short flight to Rurrenabaque. While in this area, they travel several hours, typically by boat, to the community receiving the filters. At the end of the course, students will travel by boat to the Pampas.
4
REMOTENESS
For a majority of the days, the group will be in rural areas (the small town of Rurrenabaque, a remote community in the rainforest, and an ecolodge in the Pampas). A day will also be spent in La Paz, a major city where the Bolivian government is seated.

Itinerary

Day 1

Depart from Miami, begin group orientation

Day 2

Arrive in La Paz, fly to Rurrenabaque, continue group orientation

Day 3

Introduction to the Rio Beni Foundation health clinic, begin building filters

Day 4

Continue building filters

Day 5

Explore Rurrenabaque, cultural experience

Day 6

Finish filters, prepare for expedition, travel to the Rio Beni community

Day 7

Set up filters with the community

Day 8

Finish installing the filters, last night in the community

Day 9

Return to Rurre, debrief community experience, hike to the lookout

Day 10

Travel to the Pampas, spend night at an eco-lodge

Day 11

Spend the day learning about the Pampas tour, spend the night at an eco-lodge

Day 12

Morning at Pampas tour, return to Rurre, farewell dinner with Rio Beni staff

Day 13

Return flight to La Paz, night in La Paz

Day 14

Return to Miami

Bolivia : In Three Phases

1

The 5 Lens Curriculum

Prior to departure, students are guided by their course instructors through a series of interactive, online lessons. Organized by SStS’s Five Lenses Curriculum, these activities (30 minutes per week) allow students to directly engage with other members of the group.

2

Partnering with NGO's

The majority of the days at each site are spent engaged in meaningful service work with our NGO (non-governmental organization) partner. Days not dedicated to project work are spent immersed in intriguing cultural activities.

3

Post Travel Advocacy

During the next school year, students educate others by advocating for our NGO partner through public presentations to the community at large and/or younger, school-based audiences.

Travel Journal

During the travel phase of each SStS course, students spend time reflecting about the learning that occurs through their immersion and service experiences. These posts capture the impact of our programs on individual students. Explore the posts below to learn about the SStS Bolivia program from the important viewpoint of our students.

Explore Bolivia

Don't Cry Because It Is Over. Smile Because It Happened

When I was younger I would always hear the saying, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened," but I never had many opportunities where this idea was vital to follow. But, tonight, after a day full of questioning government officials, and playing intense games of Wallyball (volleyball...

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Life Lessons

"Life is not the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away." Whether the breath taking moments are in a good way or in a more physical way (like heavy panting from carrying many heavy things down very slippery hills), that is what life is all about. This quotation seems...

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Making the Most of our Final Day

As I sit on this balcony overlooking the picturesque Lake Titicaca and a setting sun on the horizon, I begin to reflect on this life-changing experience I have had the privilege to partake in. Isla del Sol is jaw-dropping, and today, the group hiked around the island heading towards the north for 3...

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Resilience

As our course winds down on the breathtaking island of Isla del Sol, we have begun reflecting on our experience both as a group and individuals. After our delicious breakfast of eggs and warm, fresh bread (what a treat), the group took a small hike up to the peak of the mountainous island. Here, as...

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Important Details

Cost Information

Students who attend a school that is a member of SStS’s Global Schools Coalition receive a tuition discount. To see the list of schools in the coalition, click HERE. The prices below are from 2021. 2022 pricing is coming soon.

Tuition (students from members of the Global Schools Coalition): $3370
Tuition (students not from members of the Global Schools Coalition): $3570
Airfare & Fees: $1610

SStS is in search of curious, compassionate, globally-minded students. Thus, we will do all that we can financially to support students who require assistance. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please indicate this on the application. Financial assistance resources are limited. Scholarships tend to be less than 50% of tuition.

Please note, tuition does not include airfare and immunizations.
Tuition costs are all inclusive with the exception of personal expenditures (e.g. souvenirs).
Tickets and medical & security evacuation services are purchased as a group. The cost of these services is included in the tuition.
Talbot Travel Agency provides travel services for SStS, working personally with us to find the least expensive group fares. As a result, it is not possible to use airline miles or credit card benefits for the international flights. However, these can be used to purchase tickets to the gateway city.

Travel Expectations
Please note that we expect all participants to travel together, adhering to the identical itinerary. We will depart the United States as a group from a gateway city. Exemptions may be made for international students. Additionally, travel in the developing world inevitably includes “the unexpected” (e.g. weather disruptions, transportation strikes, etc.). SStS will adjust the itinerary accordingly, making the best of uncontrollable situations. Due to the unknown variables in international travel, participants are asked not to make travel plans or to enroll in programs that start immediately after their return. SStS is not responsible for expenses incurred due to missed flights if the group is delayed in their return.

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