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Travel Opportunities for Volunteers

Volunteer Tourism is a Great Way to Experience Undeveloped Countries Like a Native While Contributing Something of Worth to the Country You're Visiting

"... We help communities who want to help themselves, but do not have the resources to do it on their own. The restoration efforts aid communities in their sustainable development both environmentally and economically. The restored buildings will not become museums, but functional cultural centers within the communities..." Cultural Restoration Tourism Project.

"... Travelling as a volunteer, therefore, can be a life-changing experience. Consider that you can "share yourself" on work projects in places and with people you might not ordinarily have the occasion to visit. You use your skills and interests in an unconventional setting to benefit others....." Global Volunteers

Starting Points for Volunteer Travel

TravelAbroad.com "... The Portal for Volunteer Work and Vacations Overseas..."

Volunteers For Peace "... a non-profit membership organization that offers placement in over 3000 volunteer projects in more than 100 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. ..."

Global Volunteer Network "... Our vision is to connect people with communities in need. We do this by supporting the work of local community organisations through the placement of international volunteers...."

Wilderness Volunteers "... Wilderness Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.... We work with public land agencies including the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.... we are offering a selection of trips with a variety of service projects; all trips cost $259. All food including snacks is provided. We don't charge the agencies for our work, but they supply tools and supervision for the projects. Participants provide their own camping gear (a list specific to each trip will be mailed with registration confirmation), a sense of adventure, and a willingness to contribute time and energy to worthy projects. It's incredible how much work a group of hearty volunteers can do in a week's time! All trips are led by volunteer leaders. Trips are one week long and are limited to 12 or fewer participants. Meals are included in the trip price. Participants share camp chores. Most trips include extra time to explore and enjoy the area in which they are based. Wilderness Volunteers teaches and follows Leave No Trace outdoor living  skills and ethics...."

Idealist.org "... is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives...."

Volunteer Vacation Organizations

Here are some organizations whose PRIMARY purpose is to provide an unforgettable vacation experience while helping others. Most, but not all, offer non profit tax deductible status for your travel expenses.

Cultural Restoration Tourism Project "... a unique non-profit organization established to provide communities around the world with a chance to restore cultural artifacts that are in danger of extinction. What really makes us different is that we give people like you, from any background, the opportunity to participate in the restoration process. Our participants spend their vacations putting their hearts and hands to work on something truly meaningful. They return from their experience invigorated, knowing that they have had a real impact on the community they chose to visit. Our opportunities allow travelers to get a true experience of the culture, its people and its traditions...."

Generous Adventures "... an on-line auction of award-winning accommodations, unusual trips and eco tours from around the world. The majority of offers are donated. The profits from Generous Adventures Travel Auctions benefit a variety of non-profit organizations worldwide...."

Global Aware "... currently offers volunteer vacations in Peru, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cuba, Nepal, Brazil, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, India, Jamaica, Romania, Ghana, Mexico, and China . These short-term (one week) adventures in service focus on cultural-awareness and sustainability, and are often compared to a "mini peace corps". All program costs, including the cost of airfare, are tax-deductible. Globe Aware is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt charity...."

Global Service "... a non-profit leader in service learning and overseas volunteer programs and international internships in Thailand, Cambodia and Tanzania offering international volunteer opportunities including Volunteer Vacations, 2 week Introductions to Service Learning, 4-6 week Short-term Volunteer Abroad Assignments and 9 Week to 6 month International Internships and Overseas Volunteer Assignments...."

Global Volunteers "... Join short-term volunteers in our non-profit network providing long-term, ethical service on a volunteer vacation abroad or a USA volunteer program. Live and work with local people on life-affirming service programs for one to six weeks. Extended-term service options up to 24 weeks. We support some 100 service partnerships year-around through short-term volunteer teams, direct project funding, classroom support, child sponsorships and student scholarships. Join our programs serving local people as a family, group or individual. No specialized skills are needed to contribute genuine, long-term development assistance...."

i to i "... If you're looking for a unique travel experience abroad, look no further! i-to-i's programs are the perfect way to meet new people, immerse yourself in new cultures and make a difference abroad. Whether you fancy volunteering around the globe or want to get TEFL qualified and start your career teaching English, we'll get you there!..."

Sierra Club Outings "... No matter where we are—whether swinging from a zip line in Costa Rica, repairing a trail in New Mexico, or puffing up a switchback in the Cascades—we never forget the Sierra Club's mission: to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet. Over the years, we've found that these ideals mesh pretty well.... "

Wilderness Inquiry "... a non-profit organization that helps people from all walks of life to personally experience the natural world. We believe there is nothing like being there to fully appreciate the environment and the people we share it with. Each year we operate more than 100 multi-day trips to locations around the world. In addition to these trips, we offer a variety of daylong programs, training sessions and other events...."

World Youth International "... a not for profit, non-religious & non-political international development organisation that offers people the opportunity to volunteer overseas in a meaningful way. We offer a range of programs and placements to countries including Kenya, Uganda, Nepal, Cambodia, India and Peru...."

 

Volunteer Travel Opportunities

Here are some examples of organizations who accept volunteers, but who aren't specifically engaged in volunteer travel. These organizations typically offer short term volunteer opportunities in a wide variety of interesting and life-altering situations... where volunteering would indeed wind up being a 'volunteer vacation'. For additional volunteer opportunities, see "Starting Points" in the left column.

Airline Ambassadors "... a network of students, medical professionals, families and retirees who volunteer as "Ambassadors of Goodwill" in their home communities and abroad. It provides a way for members to share their unique skills and talents to care for others and bring compassion into action.... AAI provides humanitarian aid to children and families in need as well as relief and development to under-privileged communities worldwide. We escort children in need, hand-deliver humanitarian aid to orphanages, clinics, and remote communities, raise public awareness and involve youth in humanitarian efforts around the world.... "

American Hiking Society "... at the forefront protecting the nation’s trails and the hiking experience. Our deep roots in outdoor recreation, advocacy, volunteering and experiencing nature through hiking bring me enormous pride and satisfaction. Hiking our nation’s trails offers Americans boundless opportunities to enjoy nature, renew themselves and establish a lifetime of fitness. American Hiking Society works toward ensuring that hiking trails and natural places are cherished and preserved for us and for future generations as well...."

Amizade "... empowers individuals and communities through worldwide service and learning.... a 15-year record of cooperating with communities on service that local individuals and organizations define and direct. We not only cooperate with communities on issue identification, we also work collaboratively on project implementation, continuous evaluation, and regular improvements...."

Archaeological Institute of America "... is North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology with nearly 250,000 members and subscribers belonging to more than 100 local AIA societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas, united by a shared passion for archaeology and its role in furthering human knowledge...."

Bridges "... low-impact independent backpacker tourism seems to allow the best compromise between development and conservation..."

Caribbean Expeditions "... exists to support local efforts to record and document historic the architecturally valuable resources.  We seek to contribute to the broader base of information about the Caribbean styles and stylistic influences, history, and the architecture of the Caribbean..."

Cross-Cultural Solutions "... volunteer programs around the world in partnership with sustainable community initiatives, bringing people together to work side-by-side while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding. We are an international not-for-profit organization with no political or religious affiliations..... believes that the most successful approach to international volunteering is one that defers to the needs and goals of the local community. We recognize that local people know what is valuable and appropriate for their own community. We're committed to providing volunteer work that helps them carry out their own set of objectives, rather than imposing another one...." They define themselves as a 'mini Peace Corps'.

Earth Watch Institute "... Earthwatch expeditions are more than just ecotours, voluntours, or volunteer vacations. Our international volunteers include teens and adults of all ages, and range from teachers to bank executives — all united by a desire to save our environment, its biodiversity and its endangered species. As a volunteer, you’ll learn about critical ecological and cultural challenges worldwide and how you can take action after your volunteer adventure. With Earthwatch, you change the world — yourself...."

Eden Project "... an unforgettable experience in a breathtaking location; a global garden; a place of beauty and wonder. Our world famous architecture and art draws inspiration from nature, our educational work is about creating a positive future in a world that is going to go through radical change, and we try to ensure everyone who visits Eden leaves knowing something more about their connection to the world. That's the big stuff…Eden is also about simple pleasures; enjoying tasty food, rediscovering what puts the great into the great outdoors, imaginative play for children, taking time to stop and smell the flowers, having a good time...." Located in Cornwall UK

Food for The Hungry "... embraces an intensely personal and biblical response to God’s call to end physical and spiritual hungers worldwide. This intentional walk with the poor mirrors God’s walk with each of us, recognizing our own brokenness and His transforming grace that brings out our God-given potential...."

Food First "... shapes how people think by analyzing the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change...."

Global Citizens Network "... strives to develop creative and effective local solutions to global problems by providing opportunities for individuals to interact with people of diverse cultures who share common global values...."

Habitat for Humanity International "... Join in the fight against poverty housing and homelessness around the world!..."

Mobility International USA "... Empowering people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development...."

Oceanic Society "... primary mission is to protect endangered wildlife and preserve threatened marine habitats worldwide. The Society works to establish protected natural areas, supported and sustained through scientific research, in cooperation with local communities.... conservation approach is to foster alternative livelihoods for the benefit of local communities bordering marine protected areas through the development of eco-friendly economies as an alternative to those that are destructive to wildlife and natural habitats...."

Remote Area Medical® (RAM) Volunteer Corps "... is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.... Volunteer doctors, nurses, pilots, veterinarians and support workers participate in expeditions (at their own expense) in some of the world's most exciting places...."

Service Civil International ".... Each year more than 5,000 volunteers participate in 2 to 3 week workcamps all over the world. Living and working together in an international group with people of various backgrounds and nationalities helps to break down barriers and prejudices between nations. You pay travel and we provide food, a place to stay, and the most amazing experience of your life.  Work with asylum seekers in Norway Help on an organic tea farm in Japan Work with a childrens theater group in Kosovo Repair fencing for a wolf sanctuary in Colorado Hundreds of other opportunities in over 60 countries..."

 


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