Volunteer while Travelling
Participating in a volunteer program while travelling is a fantastic option to extend your trip while enjoying the chance to give something back to the local communities that have welcomed you and taught you so much along the way. There are literally thousands of foundations and web organisations that provide volunteer opportunities for travellers that want to promote goodness or improve human quality of life by sharing skills, knowledge or anything available.
Many programs require payment which covers your transportation, food and housing costs during your stay. These generally tend to be profitable organisations with more resources and therefore have a more organised program. Others are completely free or based on a non-profit type of structure. Try to keep your expectations realistic when searching for a program. The work can be challenging especially if you find yourself in a foreign country and need to overcome a language barrier. Often times the appropriate tools or resources to do the job are scarce. You may be asked to tend a garden with a few basic tools or teach English to a group of 30 children who don’t know how to read or write. Choose the program that feels right for you and have a sense of humour about the situation you might find yourself in. Know that your efforts are greatly appreciated by the people you are helping.
To help you out, here is a selection of free or low-cost volunteer projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Make sure to do extended research of any project you want to join before purchasing your flight ticket.
- (Argentina) Union de Los Pibes
- (Bolivia) Proyecto Horizonte
- (Brazil) Casa do Caminho
- (Chile) VE Global
- (Colombia) Fundación Mariposas
- (Ecuador) Teach English, Volunteer
- (Guatemala) Niños de Guatemala
- (Haiti) All Hands Volunteers
- (Honduras) Honduras Children
- (Honduras) ProNiño
- (Mexico) Oaxaca Streetchildren
- (Nicaragua) Building New Hope
- (Peru) Threads of Peru