Photo by Say Hueque Tours, Patagonia.
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They also had the pleasure, being part of organizing weekend trips for a group of high school students which where volunteering in Argentina. The group was visiting Argentina through the “No Barriers USA”, while diving in to local communities and experienced deeper cultural understanding. Some examples of these volunteer experiences included teaching English at a local elementary school, assisting in a grassroots community service programs, or simply dedicating time to a local philanthropic effort.
Photo by Emily, Volunteering at WAVES in Peru.
I apologized to my parents last night for taking so long to “find myself.” I can’t even imagine how a “Lobiteno” would reply to that. Ironically, I find myself self-reflecting and reflecting on my trip more so now that I’m back in the rat race than I did during all of my time on the beach in Lobitos or even throughout the long bus/plane rides I endured.
A hard truth I realized in Lobitos is that there are people all over the world that will never get to experience another world outside their own. So it’s hard for me to accept that all the while I’ve been “finding myself,” and driving my family absolutely insane, there exists a small town like Lobitos, where the locals approach each day with a zest for life as they know it.
So while they may not get to travel or experience much outside of their culture, their raw innocence encourages happiness and a nonexistent crime/drug problem in Lobitos. They are inspired by WAVES volunteers, and do not expect pity, nor do they wallow in self-pity. I honestly don’t recall hearing anyone complain about anything at all. After all, why would they?
Photo by Andreas, center, with fellow Volunteers, off to help on a current project.
Andreas took Brexit as his cue to leave rainy England and expensive London! For the past few months, he has been working high in the Andes in Cusco, Peru for Latin American Foundation for the Future, LAFF, an organization that enables marginalized young people to access education opportunities and supports young people’s organizations through income-generation, cost reduction initiatives, and capacity building for staff. In his free time, Andreas loves eating Alpaca burgers and avocados.
Volunteering at LAFF
After a few years working in London and paying debilitating amounts of rent, I was ready to leave, and sharpish. I applied to volunteer with LAFF (Latin American Foundatino for the Future) a non profit organization which gives children and homes in Peru the tools and skills they need to build a more independent future. That gave me the change to working in International Development, living abroad and learn a new language. Or at least attempting to learn a new language.
Photo by Turner Barr, Tiger Temple.
A Guest post from Turner Barr www.aroundtheworldin80jobs.com
Hey there you kind, generous and adventurous stranger. How do I know you are kind, generous, and adventurous you might ask? Well if you stumbled upon this here website, you are looking to donate some of your time to a worthy cause whilst traveling abroad, and that is exactly what we are going to talk about.
My name is Turner and I have spent the last 8 years traversing the globe doing all sorts of volunteering jobs. From volunteering at a shady Tiger sanctuary in Thailand, which has since been shut down) to creating my own fundraiser for children in the Philippines, to working at an Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand, I have had my fair share of volunteering experiences and missteps.
But in no uncertain terms, let me be clear: volunteering while you are traveling is one of the best things you will ever do. Not only are you getting to experience a foreign culture, you will get the chance to contribute to a project that will give you those warm butterflies long after you are back home.
But how do you find the right project for you and not end up contributing to a questionable organization? Good points all around. Here are some questions you should think long and hard about before selecting your volunteering adventure.
Photo by Joshua Berman. He and his wife, pictured above at a health clinic in Ghana, served three volunteer assignments while their honeymoon.
A Guest post from Joshua Berman http://joshuaberman.net
Have you ever thought about volunteering abroad during your honeymoon? Joshua and Sutay Berman did exactly that during their 16-month round-the-world honeymoon to 16 countries (here's a map of their route). They served as volunteers for three months in an Indian tea-growing village, two months working with Sri Lankan tea farmers, and finally, two months supporting Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana in Accra. From their past experience, they knew the benefits of approaching a region as volunteers. As Joshua writes, volunteering would only increase their chances for unplanned encounters and shared adversity—both surefire relationship strengtheners (or relationship killers – they were aware of the risks!).
After several months traveling in Pakistan and northern India, the newlyweds' first volunteering adventure began in Calcutta, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, where they had to report for duty before traveling to their work site even farther north. The following is an excerpt from my book about this experience, Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon (Tranquilo Travel Publishing, 2016).
When Sutay and I met—via mutual friends from our respective U.S. Peace Corps experiences (I’d served in Nicaragua and she in The Gambia), we got engaged pretty quickly, in a matter of months. We began planning a wedding, then suddently canceled the reception and diverted the money to a plane ticket fund. We applied to serve as professional volunteers through American Jewish World Service, and eventually completed assignments with local non-governmental organizations in India, Sri Lanka, and Ghana.
The following is an excerpt from my book about this experience, Crocodile Love: Travel Tales from an Extended Honeymoon (Tranquilo Travel Publishing, 2016).