If you enjoy helping others while traveling, there are opportunities to learn about a destination by being hands on and make a difference among a community. From volunteering following natural disasters or helping at a local organization, you can make an impact where ever you go. Here are some ways that you can help during your next vacation.
Help Rebuild Puerto Rico
Following the catastrophic Category 4 hurricane, Maria, that swept through Puerto Rico in 2017, there are countless ways to help the country rebuild. One way is to pack extra supplies on your Caribbean vacation, including canned foods, hand sanitizer, bottled water, diapers, baby wipes, extension cords or tools. Another way to help is through a “voluntourism” program. Register with the Puerto Rico Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster before your vacation, and if your assistance is needed, the organization will contact you. Here are more ways you can help Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Organic Farming Around the World
Have you heard of WWOOF before? Short for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, this very cool organization is an international network connecting small organic farms around the world to people who are willing to work in exchange for simple food and accommodation. Volunteers for this program love how they are able to connect to real local people and an authentic way of life in the countries they work in.
Sea Turtle Conservation in Bali
Want to get far away from your current day-to-day life and do something good for others in a gorgeous, tropical location? The International Volunteer Headquarters lists several travel opportunities in beautiful Bali, paired with a variety of do-good activities, including local turtle population conservation work. Also in Bali, the organization is looking for teachers in environmental education, kindergarten, healthcare education, and workers for construction projects.
Global Work and Travel Co.
This organization offers volunteer travel opportunities on six continents, in the areas of local community work, nature and wildlife preservation. While these opportunities aren’t free (volunteers need to fund their own trips), part of the plan involves you supporting your own travel fund through your volunteer work. Global Work and Travel Co. can connect you to a school in Kenya that needs reading tutors, or to a village in Central America that needs help digging latrines, all while making sure you have support and a place to land at your chosen destination.
Remember that volunteer travel is almost never simply an opportunity to get a free trip. Volunteer travelers are usually expected to pay their own way in addition to whatever work hours they put in to their chosen cause. So if you’re willing, get on out there and change the world!