GoEco - Top Volunteer Organization of 2015
This project takes place in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, the oldest city in the country. From the iconic Table Mountain to the magnificent Cape beaches, this city
Make an impact while learning
Submitted by Guillaume Pailhoux - Ecole Jeannine Manuel | August 26, 2016
While the trip had a few minor setbacks, I thought the trip overall was a great success! Many parts of this trip I will remember for the rest of my life. The best part of this trip is the time spent at the Casa de las Idiomas with the kids. Not only is it fun, it is also extremely rewarding to see these kids have even more fun while learning. Is it a great way to see how most of the families in these communities actually live compared to what tourists usually see by only going to Lima and Cuzco. Another great part of this trip is the freedom to roam around Pimentel and the liberty the organizational staff gives you, which lets you truly interact with the local people and learn even more than just by doing touristic visits. Overall, I strongly recommend this trip as it is a great way to give back while learning first-hand a new and fascinating culture!
Program: Peru - English Teaching Experience
Island hopping and turtle saving!
Submitted by Gillian Cullen - Torrance | August 26, 2016
My experience in the Maldives can only be described with positive words, and wonderful memories. Not only did I learn a huge amount about marine life, I also got to work hands-on with sea turtles everyday. The location is breathtaking, and weekly excursions to uninhabited islands gave us a chance to snorkel on some of the most beautiful reefs in the world. I met some amazing people there and along the way discovered my passion for marine biology and conservation. Releasing turtles, educating the locals on the importance of their well-being, and doing beach cleanup a were only a few of the ways the projects contributed to the amazing country of he Maldives.
Program: Maldives - Sea Turtle Conservation
The trip that changed my life
Submitted by Chloe Malsick - Groton Dunstable Highschool | August 22, 2016
When I first arrived at the volunteer house, both the culture shock and the tiredness of a 48 hour flight journey immediately struck me. I had never traveled alone before, and the first night I got there was definitely the hardest. But each day got progressively better. The introduction week was so fun and very busy, so I didn't have much time to think about home. Teaching in the slum was very rewarding, but it also required hard work. All of the students are split into groups, and there are kids from 3-22, so usually they are in a group with kids on the same level as them. I ended up teaching two 11 year old girls, and by the end of the trip, we had become very close. I think 3 weeks, the amount of time I stayed in India, is a really good amount of time, especially if you are new to solo traveling. The first two weeks I had a bit of homesickness, but by the third week I almost didn't want to leave. As chaotic and somewhat scary India can be, it is also magical. I also had the opportunity to travel to New Delhi with two other girls from the volunteer house, and we had an amazing time seeing different temples and visiting the Taj Mahal and immersing ourselves in the Indian culture. I am so glad that I went on this trip, and I highly recommend a volunteer trip of some sort to everyone. I also highly recommend doing it alone. Even though I had wished I had someone with me during the first few days, I'm glad I didn't now because I got to meet so many amazing people and I got to make new friends that I probably wouldn't have made if I had gone with a friend or family member. Overall, I am so happy I went on this trip and it has definitely changed my perspective towards the future.
Life is about the people you're with
Submitted by Blair Warren - Skidmore College | August 04, 2016
Sometimes I hear the common saying, "Oh, life's about the people you're with!" I'd usually just nod and mumble at this, as if it was too obvious or unnecessary of a statement. But if I've learned anything from my time in Nepal, nothing is more accurate.
From the moment I stepped off the plane in Kathmandu, I was greeted by smiling faces and warm-hearted people, asking me about my flight, if I was hungry, and if I liked it there so far. Immediately I felt out of place (as expected). Nepal was completely new to me, yet still it did not take long to feel right at home (making it impossible to leave).
From the friendly staff to my fellow volunteers, from the women I taught to the children I visited at the orphanage, there was only love and smiles. The kindness in people radiated through them and I found myself smiling too, constantly, and genuinely meaning it.
Through the Women's Empowerment program, I taught English to women in the mornings and in the afternoons I went to an orphanage/disabled home for children. Each day I woke up excited to get to work. I loved getting to know the women and finding new ways to teach the language. The children at the orphanage were also so enthusiastic and sweet, greeting us with a hearty, "Namaste!" each day. We played games and helped them with their homework, and I was very impressed with what they were learning. Sometimes, it was difficult to help them with their "computer studies" class because I did not know all the parts to a computer! Happily, they taught me the basics.
Volunteering abroad is not just meant for the people of the cultures you visit, nor should it be. It is not about being a "savior" to a foreign society; this is the wrong mindset. Instead, it should be treated as a learning experience for yourself, and as long as you're open to the new culture, it will be undoubtedly a powerful, beautiful, and rewarding chapter in your life.
I am incredibly grateful to everyone who made my experience in Nepal so unforgettable. Now that I've left, I am counting down the days until I can go back...
Out of Africa
Submitted by Kimberly Loewel - Naples, Florida United States | July 12, 2016
This experience was, by far, one of the best I have ever had. I have never volunteered abroad before and can say that the Wildlife Sanctuary was the perfect place to start. The people and workers on the farm were a big part in my positive outlooks. Everyone was very friendly and willing to help you feel as comfortable as possible. Don't get me wrong, you did have to pull your end of the job and get down and dirty sometimes, but, for me, it lead to some of the best memories. Just being around the animals created a happy place for me. As we did conservation work, we also shared the time with animal work, which was the best part. We were able to interact with various types of animals up close and personal. The farm was like one big, happy family which made me feel at home. I learned a lot about nature and conversation, as well as, the animals and their habitats. Every day I spent on the farm was a moment to cherish and realize just how beautiful Africa is and all it has to offer. Thank you GoEco and Glen Afric for one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of!
Program: South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary