Volunteering in a developing country is an experience that is rewarding, selfless, and often life-changing. Here are my suggestions for the top South American countries for volunteering.
Volunteering abroad is a decision that you will never regret but knowing where to volunteer can stump even the most careful of planners.
You should try to visualize the type of environment you feel that you can realistically adapt to during your stay.
It’s one thing to think that working with mountain tribes might be a fun and rewarding experience.
It’s another to get there are realize you’re miserable because it’s freezing cold at night and your internet keeps shorting out.
People who crave high-speed internet access and a vibrant nightlife probably won’t be happy working in the Amazon.
Likewise, those that don’t want to deal with the hectic lifestyle of large cities shouldn’t plan on staying in a sprawling South American metropolis for their volunteer experience.
Environmental considerations should also be taken into account when you’re planning to work abroad.
If you’re terrified of bugs and wild animals, the hinterlands of the Colombian and Ecuadorian jungle are probably not the best place for you either.
Cost is certainly something else to consider.
While many programs are free and some do provide lodging and/or food, they often require you to pay for your own start-up expenses such as airfare.
You will also need to investigate appropriate medical insurance and ensure you are covered before you leave your home country.
This is especially true if you plan on working in areas where medical facilities are sparse.
You’ll also need to keep in mind general travel costs including visas, vaccinations and other things of that nature.
Some countries that you may want to check out include the following:
There are lots of volunteer opportunities in cities like Quito that cover a broad range of interests.
In-country volunteer options include teaching English, serving as a farm hand, or working in the Amazon.
A basic daily budget of $21 USD should cover most of your expenses so, even if you’re paying your own way, it won’t cost you too much.
The nearby Galapagos Islands remain a prime attraction that you’ll probably want to check out once your term of service is done.
Once again, there are plenty of educational and medical volunteer opportunities to be found here which is why it made my Top South American Countries To Volunteer.
It might also be a prime spot to get your hands dirty since the country was just named among Lonely Planet’s top destinations for 2018.
It’s also reasonably priced if you’re paying your own way since a basic daily budget of $38 should cover most of your expenses.
Once you get done working, you can always kick back with a pisco sour or check out the scenery in the Atacama Desert.
Volunteer opportunities in the healthcare sector and education are primarily what’s available here.
Budget Your Trip lists the basic daily price at $15 per person but you might want to bring more than that with you, just to be on the safe side.
Spots to check out in your free time include the Mayan ruins at Tikal, the beautiful pools of Semuc Champey, the popular resort island of Antigua and the Lake Atitlan area.
Hiking and mountain biking are also popular activities in the country.
The volunteer positions here can mostly be found in the education sector since the country’s sluggish economy has greatly affected their school system.
Yet it remains a popular travel destination all the same.
The capital of Buenos Aires, in particular, has a very European flair that will probably appeal to some travelers who want to help out but don’t want to sacrifice their own comfort levels to do so.
Learning how to salsa dance, tucking into juicy steaks and visiting the wilds of Patagonia are just a few of the top things to do when you’re not working.
One of the greatest things you can do is travel and teach English abroad. In any of these countries you will experience local life while making a difference and positive contribution.
Learning English will empower local people, making life better for themselves and their families.
There is a great satisfaction in helping others better their lives.
For more information or to see which program is best for you visit us at www.tefluk.com.