Want to get the most out of your vacation?
Discover volunteer opportunities that range from teaching English to rescuing wild animals, explore various options for ecotours, learn about eco-friendly places to stay—and make a difference.
Amy E. Robertson shares how volunteer vacations convert the tourist into the traveler, allowing you to experience a destination and connect with locals in a new way.
Identifying the right experience depends greatly on knowing yourself and your own expectations. Here are a few questions to consider when looking to volunteer.
Learn more about the many options for your international volunteer experience with projects ranging from community development to agriculture to wildlife protection.
Articles on Volunteering
- Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station sits amid verdant jungle on the shores of the Río San Pedro, a 20-minute boat ride from the village of Paso Caballos. It is one of the best places in Petén to combine wildlife-viewing and rainforest trekking while staying in relative comfort, offering easy access to the ruins of Waka’ ...
- Alternative Tourism on La Isla de Ometepe There are numerous opportunities to support everyday Nicaraguans with your tourism dollars on La Isla de Ometepe. From long-standing solidarity partnerships to sustainable agriculture work and research projects, Ometepe awaits those looking for something a little different.
- Volunteering in Cambodia Following decades of conflict, Cambodia is still an extremely poor country. With a plethora of aid projects in the country, it’s difficult to know where to go and what to do. The organizations listed here are your best bet at making a positive and meaningful impact with your volunteer experience.
- Off the Beaten Path: Ecoadventures in Costa Rica Looking to get environmentally involved on your next vacation? Escape the touristy crowds and experience the real Costa Rica that many visitors often miss. Author Christopher P. Baker suggests some fascinating places and experiences.
- Volunteer with Constru Casa in Guatemala Constru Casa seeks to provide basic, safe housing to families across Guatemala who live in extreme poverty. Volunteers and the home recipients work together under the supervision of a local mason to build a three-room, concrete and corrugated iron house in two weeks’ time. Cultural experiences and fun excursions are organized on the weekends.
- Volunteer with Two Brothers Foundation in Rio de Janeiro Successful volunteers with Two Brothers Foundation are those with initiative and strong self-management skills. If you’re eager to propose programs or workshops in community development and education you’d like to initiate and be responsible for, TBF is a fantastic opportunity.
- Volunteer with Grid Alternatives’ International Program in Nicaragua Grid Alternatives’ International Program is a nonprofit voluntourism group that helps disadvantaged communities in Nicaragua install solar electric systems on community buildings such as schools, libraries, health clinics, and orphanages. Volunteers help with installation, training, and sometimes minding children for working community members.
- Volunteer with Bridges to Community in Nicaragua With an emphasis on shared work and community empowerment, Bridges to Community makes long-term commitments to the communities where it works. Learn how volunteers can help, along with practical details such as how to apply, costs, and requirements.
- Volunteer with Long Way Home in Guatemala Long Way Home’s focus is the promotion of green and alternative building practices. Volunteer work is either physically demanding or educational in nature with children and youth. Learn more about organization and its work, along with practical costs, requirements, and volunteer opportunities.
- Volunteer with Spanish in Bariloche, Argentina Spanish in Bariloche is a language school that works with several different organizations near the busy ski resort town, providing the opportunity to combine formal language lessons with volunteering. Learn about the volunteer work coordinated by the school, the benefits of its programs, along with the practical details and free time activities.