Useful Spanish Phrases For Volunteering Abroad in South America - MEDLIFE

Useful Spanish Phrases For Volunteering Abroad in South America

An important thing to keep in mind if you are planning to volunteer abroad in South America is that you will need to brush up on your Spanish if you do not already speak it fluently. Some people you encounter may be able to speak English, but for the most part it is courteous to at least speak some conversational Spanish. This is especially important when you are participating in a MEDLIFE Service Learning Trip. Whether you are working in one of our Mobile Clinics, on a Reality Tour, or working hand-in-hand with a local community on a development project, knowledge of common Spanish phrases will allow you to communicate and connect better with our staff and community members.


Here are some common Spanish phrases that may come in handy while you are on a Service Learning Trip:


Hola – Hello

Buenos dias – Good morning

Buenas tardes – Good afternoon

Buenas noches – Good evening

¿Cómo está? – How are you?

Bien – Good

Me llamo _____ – My name is ______

Soy de los Estados Unidos – I am from the United States

Adiós – Goodbye


Por favor – Please

Muchas gracias – Thank you

De nada – You’re welcome

Disculpe – Excuse me

Lo siento – Sorry

Si – Yes

No – No

Quizas – Maybe

No lo entiendo – I don’t understand

Common Phrases in the Mobile Clinics

Termómetro – Thermometer

Balanza – Scale

Talla – Height

Presión – Pressure

Pararse – To stand

Sígueme – Follow me

Espera – Wait

Respirar – To breathe

Manga – Sleeve

Silla – Chair

Boca – Mouth

Brazo – Arm

Pierna – Leg

Pararse – To stand

Sentarse – To sit

If you are looking for ways to learn and practice Spanish before you volunteer in South America with MEDLIFE, resources like Duolingo, Lingopie, and Babbel are excellent online sources to help you gain more confidence in your Spanish skills. There are also countless resources on Youtube that are incredibly helpful and specific to your needs.

If you are interested in joining an upcoming Service Learning Trip with MEDLIFE, you can visit our website to learn more about the locations we work in and our mission.