© 2010 by Nola Lee Kelsey All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be repproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meeans, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior wrritten permission of Nola Lee Kelsey. ISBN: 978-0-9825494-8-3 LCCN: 2010921227 Published by Dog’s Eye View Media Edited by Barbara Hautanen Cover design by Nola Lee Kelsey Distributed by Small Press United Printed in the U.S.A. Cover photographs: Reclining Buddha, Monkey, Lady with Elephant, Macaw,, Lao Children, Man at Zion NP by Nola lee Kelsey http://www.NolaKelsey.com Tiger, Hiking Boots (back cover) courtesy of Alan K. Andderson at Reflected Sun: http://www.ReflectedSun.com Disclaimer: Most project descriptions contained in this title have been submitted by the organizations themselves and should be considereed subject to change. They are not recommendations, but illustrations of the vvast variety of volunteer opportunities available. Always check recent references aand ask questions before signing up for a project. Prior to booking travel you shouuld check a country/region’s current political situation, visa regulatioons and travel requirements. Both countries and project hosts may havee specific requirements. www.DogsEyeViewMedia.com .
Table of Contents Introduction 1 You Want Me to Pay to do What? 5 What Makes a Good Volunteer? 9 Considerations in Selecting a Project 15 The Guide’s Guide 25 Project Listings by Location South America 29 Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Columbia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela North America 123 Antigua and Barbuda Ba hamas Belize Bonaire British Virgin Islands Canada Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic El Salvador Grenada Guadalupe Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Netherlands Antilles Nicaragua Panama Puerto Rico Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago United States U.S. Virgin Islands .
Volunteers are not paid -- not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. ~ Unknown When first presented, the concept of paying to do volunteer work frequently rubs people the wrong way. I was no exception. All through college I scooped poop, cleaned wounds and built enclosures (mostly held together by my own dried blood) as a 25+ hour per week volunteer. The only costs to me were those of the occasional rabies shot and tetanus booster, or so I thought. Later, as a ‘real’ wildlife keeper, foolish people paid me money to do what I loved. Given that lofty accomplishment, how could anyone now ask me to give up both my vacation time and my money to contribute such fabulously honed talents? The audacity! Time changes all things, especially perspective and attitude. Recently I read a blog comment from a young man proclaiming, “Sorry to say it, but all projects where you pay money to volunteer are a scam.” His ignorance rubbed me the wrong way. By scratching just below the surface a case for paid voluntourism can easily be made. Consider the following points, only then will you 5 .
“Don't ever question the value of volunteers. Noah's Ark was built by volunteers; the Titanic was built by professionals.” ~ Unknown Is volunteering right for everyone? Honestly, no. However, when approached with some thought, volunteering is right for almost every traveler. Consider that it is the nature of the traveler to have an unyielding thirst for visiting new places and a craving for new experiences. Volunteering heightens these sensations 100 fold, because the experience is real. Reality, not tour buses, adds a quantifiable quality to your journey. Of course, we can’t all be Mother Teresa. We do not need to be. Those who only know me by reputation as a serial volunteer and writer could presume me to be delicate and gentle. I assure you, those who know me in person don’t often make that connection. But, most everyone will agree they likely never wanted to witness a 90 year old Mother Teresa push-boarding a sea lion into a squash cage, nor do I have any business working with children. My voluntary style, or niche as it were, is best practiced on projects where more colorful English language phrases will not be readily absorbed by the locals - then past from one generation 9 .
"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." - Anais Nin Now that you know what traits organizations hosting volunteers desire in their participants, the next step in matching yourself to an adventure will be determining what you yourself want in, and from, a project. Yes. I said “you” and “want”. This is not as selfish as it sounds. Everyone has different ideologies, and even physical needs which determine what experiences in life are best tailored to them. Like projects, no two volunteers are the same. It is important you be honest with yourself about what you need from the experience of volunteering. What are your mental expectations and physical limitations? Just one example of expectations would be that some travelers are happy knowing a percentage of the fees they pay to volunteer will go to help ‘global’ building projects. Others may expect (or assume) it is all invested in the exact community where they volunteer. Check with your provider in advance, so you are not disillusioned mid-trip. 15 .
“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” ~Herman Melville In the creation of this guidebook over a thousand organizations offering volunteer opportunities to travelers were contacted for information. The responses are fresh. Most of the project details were created by the NGOs, individual project representatives or organizations coordinating volunteer travel programs themselves. They were not harvested from old data found lying around the dusty basement of the World Wide Web. As indicated in the table of contents, the listings are organized by region and then alphabetized, usually by country if not prominent destination (e.g. separate listing exist for both Israel and the Palestinian Territories). The types of projects detailed are diverse. There are books for those who have only one specific interest, such as publications geared toward travelers wanting to volunteer at an archeological site. However it is the nature of travelers to want to, even need to, discover new things. Even if you have a feel for the type of volunteer work you are mostly interested in, 25 .
Only with a burning patience can we conqueer the splendid City which will give light, justice and dignity to all mmankind. In this way the song will not have been sungg in vain. ~ Pablo Neruda Argentina Support Communities Affected by Mininng Organization: Asociación MAPU/Assembly of Seelf-Organized Neighbours against Mining of Esquel Location: Esquel, Patagonia Cost: $550 includes MAPU membership and 1 month’s accommodation Duration: 1+ month Age: 18 Contact: [email protected]patagoniavolunteer.org Learn more: www.patagoniavolunteer.org Special skills: Intermediate level of Spanish plusEnglish, German, French or Italian as mother tongue Details: MAPU Association is currently cooperatinng with the Assembly of Self-Organized Neighbours against Mining of Esquel on the national and international awareness campaign regarding thhe issue of communities affected by mining. The goal is to raisse awareness about the environmental, social and economic dangers of metal mining 29 .