It’s right around this time where people start to consider their summer plans, especially since we all want to beat the spike in airfare prices that tend to hit in early spring. So, what are you waiting for?
Make your summer vacation super unique by getting involved in a rewarding volunteer abroad project that’s perfect for college students, solo travelers, adventurous couples, or family vacations. Choose a program that requires you to live on the beach in Costa Rica, immerse yourself in the indigenous Mayan culture in Guatemala, or protect the flora and fauna of the Amazon jungle in Peru.
Whatever you decide, you’ll be sure to experience the rewarding feeling of giving back to the local communities and the natural world while exploring Latin America like never before.
Do you feel a sense of peace and relaxation when you’re near the sea? Do you bask in the feeling of the warm sun while you explore the sensation of soft sand between your toes? Then a project that requires you to live on the beach is right up your ally. A sea turtle conservation project on Costa Rica’s pacific coast is a prime location for witnessing the magic of arribadas this summer with the most popular months being June to December.
A sea turtle conservation project has tremendous importance in helping to protect this endangered species. Sea turtles provide so many unparalleled benefits to the health of our beaches. For example, eggshells and unhatched eggs provide nutrients to dune vegetation which helps to prevent coastal erosion.
If you planned on spending your summer vacation lounging on the beach anyway, why not give back to the species that gives so much to you? Reward yourself for all of your hard work by soaking up the sun, taking some surfing lessons, or setting your sights on one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
The summer season is known for connecting with friends new and old – so why not take that same mindset to the remote lands of Guatemala? Enroll in a volunteer project with the indigenous Mayan communities and explore what friendships and family mean to them.
Placement in this project require you to leave the luxuries of the modern world behind and to fully immerse yourself in the ancient culture of the Mayans. You’ll live with a traditional family and inherit responsibilities to the community. For example, you might be be tasked with working in the fields, learning and preparing traditional meals alongside others, and learn how to create textiles and crafts from reed that grows in a nearby river. There’s ample opportunity to practice your Spanish speaking skills, and an ancient Mayan language called Kaqchikel.
Indigenous community programs not only provide support for these traditional villages, but aims to forge cultural understanding and sensitivity between people. While you remain open minded about a different way of life, you have the opportunity to share your own experiences and language to allow for more insight into the similarities and differences of both lifestyles. Enroll in an indigenous community program this summer and learn what it means to make authentic connections with other people while creating unforgettable memories and unbreakable bonds.
Prefer the shady tree-top canopies and rain showers of a jungle? Choose to make an impact to the environment and indigenous communities of the Amazon jungle. Take a stance in what you know to be right and help to protect the world through your reforestation and conservation efforts in the earth’s lungs.
Deforestation is theorized to have played a tremendous role in the massive wildfires that took place in Brazil’s Amazon jungle during the fall of 2019. The tree-tops maintain moisture that control the expansion of wildfires in the jungle, typically putting them out before anyone takes note they even occurred. However, with deforestation continuing to rapidly outpace reforestation, this leaves the jungle with less retained moisture and prone to more outrageous fires.
This summer, volunteers will help to plant new trees and shrubs, and assist with the removal of invasive species. You might also be responsible for taking inventory of wildlife and animals, maintaining nature trails, light construction as needed, and assisting with educational workshops.
Volunteering abroad takes a special sort of person. Someone who’s selfless, dedicated, and passionate about making a difference. Choose to dedicate your time and effort to the natural environment, connecting with other humans around the world, or maybe a little of both, you’ll be guaranteed to leave your project with a fresh perspective and a heightened sense of gratitude.
Dare to do something different – give back, make an impact, and experience the world like never before with a summer volunteer project abroad.