Spring is here, and that means Summer is just around the corner. So whether you’re a senior in high school or immersed in college studies, you’re probably thinking about what to do with that extra time off before getting back to the books in the Fall. Have you considered volunteer programs?
Volunteer programs in Latin America and elsewhere provide some incredible and sometimes life-changing experiences. Imagine –
- Making a real difference in our world.
- Meeting like-minded people from all over the world and building life-long friendships.
- Having an impressive and valuable addition to your resume.
Of course, it may not be a good idea to just head off to some foreign land. You know little about the logistics and have no one to guide you through the maze of foreign culture. And that’s why organized and guided volunteer programs were developed.
Curious about what volunteer programs might look like? We’ve pulled together a summary of the top 5 volunteer programs in Latin America to whet your appetite.
Sea Turtle Conservation
Imagine being part of the international efforts to save the worlds sea turtle population! From doing egg counts to assisting the newly hatched babies, you might be involved in any part of sea turtle conservation. Check out this video!
In the past, agriculture in less developed countries didn’t give much consideration to ecologically sound farming practices. Of course, that’s short-sighted. It not only damages the environment and soil, it also will ultimately make it difficult to maintain productive farms.
As a volunteer in organic farming, you’ll work with sustainable farming communities in Costa Rica and Guatemala helping local coffee growers and learning sustainable coffee production from bean to cup or have the option to work on a macadamia farm.
Indigenous Community Volunteer
Want to get more involved in the local culture? This option could be for you. You’ll be immersed in the daily life of locals who live a basic, necessity-only lifestyle.
The possibility for cultural exchange is obvious. But imagine the heightened understanding of our world. You’ll be doing life in a completely different way than what you’ve been accustomed to.
Building & Construction Projects
Are you the type that likes to see the results of your labors? As a building and construction volunteer, you build, mix, cut, paint, install and whatever is necessary to help a community build a home, expand a school, or improve an orphanage.
It won’t be just your memories you’re building. Every time the community looks at what you’ve helped build, they’re going to have fond memories of the time and labor you gave to help improve their lives.
Most people don’t realize the difference that learning English in many parts of the world can make in the lives of children. And that you don’t have to have a degree in English to teach, or even speak Spanish.
After going through some essential training, you’ll be directly impacting the lives of boys and girls and opening up a world of opportunity for them.
Yes, It’s Hands-On
Remember that volunteering is always hands-on. You won’t be just an observer. You’ll be part of the action. There’s still plenty of time to experience the local life and culture on your own time. But you’ll be in the trenches with other volunteers, the locals, and of course your volunteer coordinators.
What a great way to be able to answer the question -“What did you do last Summer?” Yeah, let me tell you about it . . .
So what’s it going to be? Hangin’ out? Or making a difference?