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Bloggers Best Holiday Destinations For Volunteering

Published on November 28, 2011 by Tom Volpe


As volunteering becomes increasingly popular, it becomes more and more important that anyone paying to volunteer during their holiday chooses the project wisely. We asked a few of our favorite travel bloggers for their suggestions of the best holiday destinations for volunteering and for any great volunteer experiences that they would recommend. This is what they came up with:

Costa Rica is a hugely popular destination on the backpacker circuit and there are loads of opportunities for adventurous and eco travel. Add that to plenty of great beaches to laze on and excellent surf and you can see why it is considered to be one of the best holiday destinations in Central America. Volunteering opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, but this fantastic NGO that Erin from Never Ending Voyage found particularly appeals to me. A chance to make a difference to indigenous people around Puerto Viejo with no fees going to any companies, and the flexibility to arrange with the guys at El Puente (the NGO) to make the best use of your skills and time. Read Full Post

Costa Rica Rainforest Reforestation from The Vacation Gals

Jen also recommends Costa Rica as a great place for a volunteering vacation. We tend to think of voluntourism as being something normally aimed at school or university age backpackers on a gap year, but Jen points out that nothing could be further from the truth. Knowing the importance of protecting rainforests, Jen set off with not just her kids but also her parents in tow to get involved in a reforestation project. All three generations of the family had a great time planting trees and taking time out of their tropical holiday to protect the environment actually made it a better vacation. Read Full Post

On Being a First-Time Volunteer from Travels of Adam

Israel might not be the first place you would think of going to volunteer and Adam would probably be the first to agree with you that it was an unusual choice. He did, however, believe that by trying to learn about a culture or place through volunteer work, you actually get more out of it. That’s why during his time in Israel he chose to volunteer at Geneva Initiative. Not many people would be ready to tackle the Israeli–Palestinian conflict as a volunteer, but that is just what Adam did.Read Full Post

Turtles in danger on Zakynthos in Greece from Heather on Her Travels

Heather visited the turtle and wildlife centre at Gerakas on Zakynthos to discover that turtle numbers are in decline on the island, a major nesting site for the Caretta Caretta or Loggerhead turtle. You can visit the Earth Sea Sky information centre to find out how you can help preserve the turtles and they also run a volunteer conservation programme. Read Full Post

Views from My Tuk Tuk and Angkor Wat Photo Essay from Living The Dream

Jeremy visited Cambodia as part of his round the world trip, and heartily recommends it to anyone visiting South East Asia. There is no shortage of volunteering opportunities in Cambodia but (like anywhere) you do need to be really careful about what you end up doing and who organizes it for you. Read Full Post

The Road to Universal Giving from Sharing Travel Experiences

Andy’s contribution to this blog carnival is a fantastic guest post that he published from the founder of Universal Giving, Pamela Hawley. Pamela shares her experiences of volunteering in various destinations worldwide and how they led her to create her own website that showcases opportunities to volunteer (as well as donate.) One thing that I found particularly interesting is her account of a visit to Mexico where by walking just a short distance from the tourist area, she found incredible poverty. This is something that is true of many amazing holiday destinations. Read Full Post

Paid Volunteering and Voluntouring, Scams or Legitimate Social Programs? from Hole in the Donut

A desire to help the locals in holiday destinations that we visit is great, and I am glad to see voluntourism becoming more and more popular. This valuable contribution from Barbara really highlights just part of the dark underbelly of the volunteering industry. It is incredibly important that you choose wisely when selecting a project (or a company) to volunteer with. Sadly there are a lot of sharks out there, and making sure that you pick the right project will not only improve your experience, it will ensure that your efforts (however well meaning) actually benefit rather than hindering the community that you volunteer with. Read Full Post

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