AU PAIR CULTURE QUESTS
The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Bolivia. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.
Child Care Skills
- Applicants obtain their child care experience through formal schooling, volunteering with girl scouts, working at child care centers, coaching sports and babysitting.
- It is common for Bolivian people to take care of younger family members, and it’s therefore natural to look after siblings and cousins.
- Helping with housework and helping children with their homework is part of the cultural habits in Bolivia, and children are taught responsibility by giving them small tasks from a young age.
- Two or more children per family is very common in Bolivia.
- Bolivians are very close to their parents, and in most cases they live with them forever or until they get married.
- Bolivia is a very family-oriented country. It is very common to visit other family members over holidays or weekends.
- English is taught at all levels of education and is a compulsory subject in every kind of school from first grade to graduation. English classes focus on oral and written skills.
- Most young people also study English in private institutions and they also get the opportunity to practice English by watching movies on TV or at the cinema and by talking with tourists.
- The opportunity to improve their language skills during the Au Pair in America program is one of the reasons Bolivian applicants join the program.
- The minimum driving age in Bolivia is 18, and most applicants obtain their driving license at this age.
- The process of obtaining the license is at least 2 months long, and applicants take formal driving lessons before they are allowed to take the exam.
- Bolivians are used to driving on difficult roads as the quality of a road can vary widely.
- Education in Bolivia consists of 5 years of primary school, 3 years of intermediate school and 4 years of secondary education.
- Secondary school ends with the baccalaureate degree, which is a prerequisite for university.
- There is still a divide between education levels in rural areas and urban areas – literacy in urban areas has received a lot of focus and money, and levels are increasing, but in rural areas, literacy levels can still be quite low.
- Bolivia’s healthcare system is currently under reform, but there is still a long way to go to cover the medical needs of the population. Free healthcare is available to young mothers and newborns.
- A high percentage of the population does not have access to healthcare, but healthcare is provided to the working population. However, workers subsidize the cost themselves through monthly deductions from their salary.
- Private insurance is available, and if you are in a position to pay private fees for you and your family, you will be seen at private clinics and hospitals.
- Bolivian people describe themselves as friendly and hard working.
- Bolivia people have strong family ties.
- Traditions and culture are very important values for young people.
- The amazing “Cristo de la Concordia” statue in Cochabamba city is the biggest in the world; it was built in memory of Papa Juan Pablo II.
- The green lake located in Potosi city at the foot of Licancabur, one of the largest active volcanoes, is one of the most wonderful lakes in the world. The green color is due to high levels of magnesium in the water.
- The slowest flowering plant in the world comes from Bolivia. The “Puya Raymundi” is a very strange and unusual plant. Discovered in 1870, the flower only appears when the plant is 80 to 150 years old.
- How are you? Como estás?
- Fine, thanks. Bien, gracias.
- My name is… Mi nombre es…
- Nice to meet you! Mucho gusto!
- Thank you. Gracias.
“It is a good opportunity to learn more about new cultures and to improve your English.”– Paula – au pair from Bolivia
“It’s a special and important experience – I shared my culture and customs with my host family, especially with the children.”– Very – au pair from Bolivia
“Au Pair in America is the best way to learn about American culture and about other cultures as you meet people from all over the world!”– Luz – au pair from Bolivia
“I like that I can go off to work knowing that I am leaving my children in their own home, happy and eager to spend the day with someone I trust and like very much.”
Hannah, host parent