Volunteering. It’s an amazing way to give something back, gain skills that will stay with you for life, boost your CV, and see the world, all at the same time.
And what better place to do all that than in Latin America? The continent has culture, beauty and adventure in spades, as well as loads of worthwhile projects that needs your help. It’s safe to say that we think volunteering in Latin America deserves a big, fat High Five.
So how do you choose which project to join? Here are five which we think really stand out. Not only are they great causes, but they all last between 1-2 weeks. A pretty different way to use your annual leave, right?
Five of our favourite volunteering projects in Latin America
1. Work with wildlife in the Amazon
Bit of an animal lover? There’s an amazing project in the Peruvian Amazon that will see you volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation centre. These animals are threatened by habitat destruction and illegal trade, and you’ll work alongside the centre’s staff to feed and care for the animals, as they’re prepared to be released back into the wild.
2. Help underprivileged children in Peru
Making a difference doesn’t get much bigger than this. You could spend your days helping out at a drop in centre for children in Cuzco, Peru, where kids are often forced to drop out of school to work and beg on the streets. This project provides children like that with a place to get guidance and support. You could find yourself helping with homework, teaching English, and organizing games. All this bang in the middle of Peru – the perfect place to explore more of the country.
3. Make a difference in Brazil’s favelas
Delve into Rio de Janeiro and volunteer at a community-run daycare centre in one of Brazil’s largest favelas. As well as helping the children there to develop, you’ll be allowing their mums to go to work and support their families. A life-changing opportunity to experience Brazil like the locals, as well as making a real difference to people’s lives.
4. Hatch baby sea turtles in Cosa Rica
This is a unique opportunity to explore Costa Rica and learn more about its wildlife. The highlight? Volunteering at a sea turtle conservation project, where you could end up monitoring the baby turtle hatchery. Truly amazing.
5. Building blocks in Guatemala
Looking for a physical challenge? Head to Guatemala and take part in a community building project. After a couple of days learning Spanish, you’ll work alongside Mayan communities to help improve their standard of living. The people here live on just $1 a day, so helping to build something like an energy efficient stove that consumes less wood will make a real difference to the locals’ lives.