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Help in a Community Soup Kitchen

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The community centre does not only give lunch to more than 100 people every day, but it also has a distribution kitchen (like a food bank) which allows families to take food home with them once or twice a week so that they can prepare supper and eat with their families. The community centre is the head office of the business ventures of the centre - a bakery and a textile centre. It also gives training to adults and after-school support and English classes for children. It is a very important space for the whole neighborhood as it supports the whole community.

For volunteers the kitchen is the best place to learn Spanish. You learn whilst cooking and in a relaxed and fun way. The most important thing is to show an interest in helping and learning. The cooks spend many hours in the kitchen, and at times feel that they are only useful in this particular area. The presence of volunteers and the power to teach them Spanish makes the kitchen staff feel very happy that they can help and be part of a cultural exchange.

  • About Your Location

    There are two soup kitchens we work with in Buenos Aires, one in La Boca and one in Barracas. Where you get placed depends on availability at the time.

    The project in Barracas neighborhood started in 1994 driven by volunteer mothers and teachers of Villa 21 (Slums 21).

    Villa 21 is a large unstable housing settlement south of Buenos Aires. It mostly lacks paved roads and sewerage, many houses are made of perishable materials and have no running water or drainage. The neighborhood faces serious health problems as it is located on the creek that divides the capital city of the province, and is highly contaminated, causing respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases that primarily affect children. We also noticed that a large part of the population is of Paraguay origin (some of whom do not speak Spanish), adding a factor of cultural diversity to the existing problems of poverty, overcrowding, violence and general health.

    The dining room is visited by approximately 50 people from the neighborhood for lunch every day. The space is available to support teenagers when there are volunteer teachers willing to help them.

    The community center in the neighborhood of La Boca is about 30 minutes from our Volunteer House in downtown Buenos Aires. The center provides educational activities and workshops, but it also has small cooperatives, micro enterprises, and the kitchen that receives more than 100 people every day to eat.

  • Welcome Orientation

    All volunteer projects start on Mondays. You should, however, plan to arrive in Buenos Aires on a Friday as you have a Welcome Package. This is an excellent introduction to the city of Buenos Aires and a great way to start your volunteer project. It includes a welcome drink, free Wi-Fi, a bike tour and a walking tour of either Recoleta, Palermo or San Telmo.

  • First Project Day

    On your first day you will be shown round the whole community center. You will get to know each area and worker - there are over 80 people who work in the center.

  • Weekly Schedule

    Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 14:00, three or four days per week.

  • Inclusions

    Arrival transfer
    Welcome Package
    Accommodation during the volunteering weeks
    Free internet and Wi-Fi access
    City bike tour
    Walking tour (Recoleta or Palermo or San Telmo) or a nightclub ticket
    Briefing and 24/7 assistance from the volunteering organization
    Donation to the project

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- Lots of people work in the kitchen, but there is never enough help and the volunteer’s collaboration is crucial.
- The volunteer’s "hands" are always welcome in the kitchen, helping to prepare lunch and learning the secrets of traditional Argentinean food.
- Also helping serve the food and drink and collect the plates.
- The people who work in the different areas of the community centre have lunch in the centre every day and so volunteers have the to opportunity to mix with the locals and practice speaking Spanish not only with the people who work in the kitchen, but with everyone who comes to eat.
- Volunteers will not only help the people who have lunch in the centre, but also many school children from the area.

Your hours and days of work are specified in the project description. During the introduction meeting your working hours and days will be discussed and if you want to work more it’s possible. However once you commit to working more hours you have to respect the schedule you have chosen and never miss work. You should always work the minimum number of hours required and in some cases the NGO also recommends a maximum number of hours. Please remember you will also use time travelling to and from your project.


Welcome Package
Arriving on a Friday gives you time to get settled and ready to start project work on the following Monday.

Project Accommodation
You can stay at one of the two Milhouse Hostels that are centrally located in Buenos Aires. Choose between a 6-bed dorm or a private room, both with an ensuite bathroom. The hostels have a lively backpacker community with good facilities.


Arrival transfer is included. Daily transportation by public bus to La Boca or Barracas, takes 30 mins.


Breakfast is included during your whole stay.


All year round (except for the last week of December and the first week of January)

Ekstra information

There is an informal meeting every week where you will have an opportunity to talk with the Milhouse team about your volunteering program.

How long should I volunteer?
Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities.

PLEASE NOTE: The project is not available the last week of December and the first week of January.

Volunteer Application Form that is approved by the volunteer organization