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Lend a Helping Hand Through Voluntourism

©istockphoto/Gilles_Paire

©istockphoto/Gilles_Paire

Travel opens us up to experiencing an exciting world of different cultures and places, but as some traveler’s know those places aren’t always flourishing. Many third-world countries could use a little help here and there, so why not volunteer during your travels to help make the world a better place?

What is Voluntourism?
Voluntourism is the combination of traveling and volunteering in one trip. It allows you to see the world while also lending a helping hand to communities around the world in need of aid. There are many ways to participate in voluntourism, from teaching to helping build homes or even bringing athletic experiences to kids in smaller parts of the world.

If you’re interested in volunteering across the seas, here are some opportunities you can check out.

Sports Coaching in Africa
If you’ve always fancied yourself an athlete and believe that excelling in sports is a great way to build teamwork and self-esteem you might consider sports coaching in Ethiopia. Projects Abroad is need of volunteers to help teach sports to kids in Africa.

You’ll train one-on-one with an athletic supervisor to put together a program for kids that you’ll teach to kids throughout Africa. They have programs in Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa and more. You have a choice between coaching kids in track & field, soccer and other sports or you can volunteer as a physical education teacher to help at local schools. In your free time you can hit the local safari or just enjoy exploring the country.

Create Sustainable Livelihoods in India
Spiti Ecosphere is committed to making India and the world more eco-friendly and sustainable. You can join them in creating a better environment by signing up for one their volunteer opportunities.

They lead projects like building greenhouses in desert regions to reduce carbon emission created by trucks transporting food, building solar passive structures to reduce CO2 and black carbon emissions and helping out in local villages around the country. As part of these trips you get to learn all about India’s history and see some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet.

©istockphoto/RainervonBrandis

©istockphoto/RainervonBrandis

See the World with Global Aware
If you’re not sure what part of the world you want to see, check out the opportunities at Global Aware. They have projects all throughout Latin and South America, as well as Asia and Africa. Volunteer opportunities include building houses in Peru, teaching English to children in Ghana or preserving Thailand’s native elephant population. We’re pretty sure you’ll find something that interests you.

Help Out Local Schools in Vietnam
Vietnam is home to one of the most stunning environments in the world and Go Differently is happy to show you around.  A voluntourism trip through them will take you around the Mai Chau region known for it’s rich vegetation and limestone mountains. When you’re not taking in the sights you’ll be helping to teach in local schools. Most of the focus is on teaching English, but you’ll be able to help out in other areas too if you’d like.

Have an Adventure Holiday with World Expeditions
World Expeditions is another great organization that can take you across the world to help out. They have voluntourism programs in Tanzania teaching kindergarteners, building much-needed gardens in Australia and helping to repair schools in Vietnam among other things. Most of these trips last between one to three weeks and include a few days spent helping the community projects, a few days exploring the surrounding wilderness, hikes and even safaris.

Save the Sea Turtles with SEE Turtles
Sea turtles are some of our favorite marine animals and they’re in desperate need of help. If you want to create a more sustainable environment for these guys, consider going on a SEE Turtle Conservation and Volunteer Tour. SEE Turtles leads volunteer trips all throughout the coast of Mexico and Latin America. You can help hatch leatherback turtles in in Costa Rica, research turtles in Cuba or  help patrol the nesting grounds of Nicaragua. Their trips help fund conservation efforts for sea turtles all over the globe and they’re always in need of a few extra hands.

There are endless opportunities out there for anyone looking to combine their love of travel with their desire to help others in need. Pick your destination and find a way to use your skills to help others foster a better environment. You’ll see the world and feel accomplished while doing

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