Work and Travel in Paraguay
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN PARAGUAY FOR TRAVELLERS
Paraguay is one of the smallest countries in South America and often not touched by tourists. It tends to get overshadowed by Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil.
But if you decide to travel in Paraguay you'll find that it has a lot to offer the intrepid adventurer. This is a relatively untouched part of the continent. It has a low level of crime and plenty to see in both the urban and rural areas.
Read our travel guide to Paraguay for now to find out everything you need to know before you go (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/paraguay).
1. Work with Street Children in Paraguay
About a third of Paraguay's total population lives in poverty. Volunteers are desperately needed, and nowhere are they needed more to work in Paraguay than with street children.
Efforts are being made to take children off the streets and put them into care homes. You can work in these care homes.
Helping them with their education and just playing with them to keep them occupied are all potential volunteering opportunities in Paraguay.
There are also similar roles in orphanages, which have been setup across the country. You'll find orphanages in both rural and urban areas.
2. Teach English in Paraguay
Paraguay is a Spanish-speaking country with a modern capital. Younger people are quickly realising that they need to speak English if they want to progress in working with international organisations.
There's a big appetite for English teachers, and already a sizeable expat community.
If you're a native English speaker, you'll find it easy to get English teaching jobs. Anyone who already has a TEFL qualification, or an equivalent qualification, will be highly desired in all settings.
3. Participate in Eco-Tourism in Paraguay
Paraguay is trying to become a tourist destination, so they can bring more money into the country.
One area they're beginning to capitalise on, as you'll notice when you work and travel in Paraguay, is eco-tourism.
Volunteers who care about the environment can go into the rural areas and help these eco-tourism projects get off the ground.
You'll usually have to possess some manual skills, as much of the work revolves around construction. You don't need to have formal qualifications, but you do need to show that you have a passion for eco-tourism and a strong work ethic.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR PARAGUAY
Paraguay has a relaxed visa policy, like the majority of South American countries. Citizens of the UK, the European Union (EU), Russia, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea are able to enter the country without worrying about a visa (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/paraguay/entry-requirements).
It works in a slightly different way for Americans, Canadians, Australians, and Kiwis, however.
You can enter without a visa (despite the official guidelines) because you'll receive a visa-on-arrival when you cross the border (https://py.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/customs-and-immigration/). But the reason why these visa requirements are in place is because of the reciprocity fee.
In other words, Paraguay charges these nationals what their citizens are charged. So an American may be charged around $100 USD for their visa.
For this reason, it has put many people off coming to the country.
Chinese and Indian citizens must apply for a visa at an embassy of Paraguay prior to travelling (http://www.mre.gov.py/Sitios/Home/Index/embaparusa/ENG).
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN PARAGUAY
The spring makes up the shoulder season and the beginning of winter. Winter in Paraguay can be extremely cold, with higher elevations dropping below freezing.
For this reason, we strongly recommend that you choose to stick to the urban areas.
There are so many volunteering opportunities in Paraguay to choose from.
Teaching English is always a popular option from spring onwards. The Paraguayan winter can be difficult in the rural areas, so we recommend you stick to the capital and Ciudad del Este from May onwards.
You may also choose to work with street children in the big cities. There's a big demand for volunteers here as there are thousands of children in need of help.
Another option could involve becoming a teacher of primary education. The slums of the urbanised areas often see a lack of resources and many children don't go to school. For these roles, you will likely need qualifications.
The summer is the main winter season. You should refer back to the 'Spring' section for more information on some of the things you can do in summer.
The autumn season makes up the second shoulder season until October. The Paraguayan summer is hot and humid, with the majority of tourists visiting during our autumn and winter.
The autumn offers you a chance to get into the rural areas. Working to develop communities through improving their infrastructure will help them to function better.
You can also teach English and primary education in local schools that have been setup in villages.
This is also the time of year when eco-tourism villages open for business. Anyone who has a passion for eco-tourism and some useful skills will easily be able to find work.
Finally, another type of work in Paraguay could involve working with conservation organisations. Protecting the natural environment of Paraguay is a big priority as the country continues to develop.
Unlike many other South American countries, there's still a chance to save the environment. And the conservation organisations in the country are eager to do just that.
Winter is the high season and delivers the best weather. You should consider this the best time of year to visit the country.
Refer back to the 'Autumn' section for a full list of the seasonal projects you can take advantage of during the high season.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN PARAGUAY
Volunteerism is still a relatively new concept in Paraguay. But the local people have shown that they're grateful for the help, no matter how small.
Anyone who wants to work and travel in Paraguay will find an authentic people who want to help you as much as possible.
If you think that travel in Paraguay is the option for you this year, then what are you waiting for?
- Edited on Mar 11 2019 by Mariia