While many people enjoy the idea of relaxing on the beach and sipping margaritas, there is a majority of them that look for traveling with more purpose. Volunteer vacations is a great way to do your part in helping the world, while at the same time experience a new and exciting destination. There are so many options available that you might want to go on more than one. Read on to find out some of the many organizations waiting for you to join them.
Wild Dolphin Foundation
This organization does highly respected research on the marine environment as well as spearheads conservation efforts for marine mammals in the Pacific Ocean. Based in Hawaii, they are open to various people who want to help to protect whales, turtles and other marine wildlife.
You will need to make at least a six-week commitment in order to join. You also don’t need to have advanced diving experience. As long as you are comfortable in boats and like swimming, you’ll be fine. The only costs you’ll incur are living expenses while there. The organization will be more than happy to find suitable accommodation.
Cultural Restoration Tourism Project
Recent projects with this foundation include restoring a Buddhist temple in Mongolia. They helped to fund the restoration and volunteers got to work alongside locals. This is the kind of opportunities that CTRP provides. They aim for their volunteers to get involved in local communities to help restore culturally important artifacts.
Bi Feng Xia Giant Panda Base
Who doesn’t love pandas? You can head over to Sichuan, China to see these cute cuddly creatures. Volunteer duties include helping to handle pandas (when they feel you are ready), cleaning cages, and feeding the animals.
There are no minimum requirements for volunteer here. You can stay as little as one night up to a few weeks. However, it is recommended that if you want to really get to know the pandas, stay at least four days. Uniforms are provided, so no need to worry about getting your best clothes dirty.
There are many local and international agencies that can arrange your vacation. Check out Pandas International to check out reputable operators.
Tea Estates in Darjeeling, India
Care for a spot of tea? The owner of Makabari, Rajah Banerjee, has created a sustainable tea estate, both for the environment and its people. He has made sure his tea estate is an organic farm, and has made stakeholders in each of his employees. They are well taken care of and use manure for fuel instead of cutting down trees all around them.
Volunteers have the option of helping in one of the four schools, with medical facilities, or even with creating innovative ways to create more sustainable systems. There is no cost to volunteer, though participating in a homestay program will bring some income to this wonderful community.
No matter what option you choose, feel proud knowing that you’re doing significant in the world. You can come back from your vacation and encourage others to do the same.