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Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

My time in Bali

Volunteering in Bali has been one of the best and most rewarding things I've ever experienced. I believe that getting to see Bali for the first time through IVHQ was the best way to really experience the Balinese culture. For me it went beyond just being a tourist, but orientation week and volunteering helped me really appreciate the Balinese lifestyle, in a way that I wouldn't have been able to without it. I got to know the locals and the other volunteers in my house to the point that they became more than friends, they became family. I absolutely fell in love with all the kids in my class, which was why the last day was so hard for me. On our daily walks to the canteen and the rice fields house, we interacted so much with the locals that I began to look forward to our daily banter more and more. I know without a doubt that I would do this program again in a heartbeat, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to do this, even if it is just once in my life. It is time that I will never forget, and I hope to have the chance to experience it again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

"you can change the world with love"

I travelled to Cartagena, Colombia for two weeks in April 2017, and I volunteered at a rehab facility for youth, focusing on sports development. My time in Colombia was short but so rewarding! I volunteered at two different rehab facilities and the age ranges of the youth were 13-18 years old. The majority of the time I spend playing fútbol, as this is a favorite past time in Colombia. I knew I had to be a role model for the youth as many of them are underprivileged and need to love and support that they may not receive at home. Playing sports was a huge impact on the youth as it’s an amazing way to focus on a healthy lifestyle. My top tips for future volunteers are to go into with an open mind and open heart! I suggest learning Spanish when travelling to Cartagena because many of the youth just want someone to talk to and look up to. As I only volunteered for two weeks, I knew I had to make the most of my time volunteering and encourage the youth. My experience volunteering abroad made me so grateful for each and everything in my life, and to never take anything for granted! My time I spent in Cartagena was eye-opening and when I arrived home it was a culture shock, knowing I have everything I have ever wanted or needed right at my finger tips. Working with children is very difficult as you can become attached to them, therefore, making the goodbye even harder. Although, I find volunteering with children is so rewarding and you can really change the world with love! #justgo

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

I left a part of my heart in Costa Rica

I can not say enough good about the IVHQ program in Costa Rica. Before leaving on my trip I had all these visions about how I was going to help the people of Costa Rica during my medical program... but in reality I they helped me and taught me so much more than I gave to them. The people of CR are so welcoming to visitors and have the kindest hearts. The local team is wonderful and are always willing to help with anything you may need. I could write on and on about how great the program was, but if I had to sum my trip up in 3 points they would be:

1. Don't be afraid to travel alone, many people do, as a volunteer I met people from all over the world. You will truly meet some beautiful souls who want to make a positive impact on the world!

2. Be open to new things. There are so many opportunities to try new things while volunteering abroad, from foods to activities, and traditions to clothing. The best way to immerse yourself in the culture is to try everything!

3. However long you plan to stay will still not be long enough. There is so much to do and so many things to see. Volunteering abroad really gives you the "inside look" at these countries rather than the tourist view. You get opportunities to work along side, interact with, and learn from the locals. On the weekends you are free to go and tour the country. I am already planning my next trip to Costa Rica... and I will be staying for MUCH longer this time!

Go experience Costa Rica... you will not regret it!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 21, 2017 at 9:33 PM

    Hi Jamie, Thanks for your beautiful review! It is awesome to hear that you felt welcomed and supported, met like-minded individuals from all over the world, and immersed yourself in the culture while volunteering in Costa Rica. Thanks for your excellent tips for future volunteers and for being a great IVHQer! We would love to have you back.
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ to see the world!

My experience with IVHQ in Cusco, Peru was both fulfilling and rewarding. Every detail from beginning to end was well coordinated through IVHQ and the local team onsite. Their help and support lessened so many of the typical stressors and anxieties of traveling in a foreign country, especially with a language barrier. Being able to participate in a project that directly impacts the local community made me feel good about my travels and really provided for a full cultural immersion. I can't wait to volunteer with IVHQ in another country!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 21, 2017 at 9:05 PM

    Hi Marcelle, Thanks for sharing. It is awesome to hear that your experience in Cusco was fulfilling and rewarding - we are happy to have helped facilitate this for you. We would love to have you join us again soon!
    Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The experience that changed me forever

Ghana was simply the best 4 weeks of my life. Don't hesitate. Don't be scared. Just make the decision to go and you will challenge yourself like no other way, and you will learn everything. GO!!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 18, 2017 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Stephen, We are stoked to hear that your time in Ghana was “simply the best”. Thanks for encouraging others to join IVHQ!
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The time of my life

When I thought about volunteering I was never expected something like this.
The project really, but really, changed my life, changed the way I think, changed the way I look at things and changed me.
It's the moments that you share, the laughs all day, the kids that smile when you're arriving, the kids that cry when you're leaving. It's all about love, help, share.
I have never experienced thing like that before.
Already excited to come back.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 11, 2017 at 8:22 PM

    Hi Nitsan, Thanks for sharing! It is inspiring to hear of how the program in Fiji changed your outlook on life. It has been a pleasure to have you join us and we can’t wait to have you back!
    Clover – IVHQ Fiji Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Falling for Victoria Falls

I think we all have our own reasons for going abroad, but the one thing we all have in common is that we got there and we're doing something together. That common goal allowed me to befriend people from a million different parts of the world. (The fact that we were all loud and insane individuals that fed off each other probably helped a bit too.) Not only did this program allow me to engage with people I can now call incredible good friends, but the physical labor was rewarding as well. Yes there was a lot of sweat involved, and you feel empty if you go somewhere without your shovel. Some learned how to do wonders with a pick-axe and others cursed out invasive species with words I cannot repeat. Some became jungle gyms for the primary school kids to climb on and others loved for dessert Mondays. Me? I was all of the above. We motivated each other like no tomorrow and bonded over experiences that no one else truly understands unless they've lived it. Victoria Falls is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people, especially at Nakavango. And some would argue there's a few...beautiful people at Shoestrings, the bar in town, but I'll let you decide for yourselves on that one. It wasn't one thing that made the program what it was for me. It was a bit of everything--the accommodations, the people, the food (oh my god the food), excursions in town, bungee jumping, working alongside zebras, seeing rhinos, tracking elephants, game drives, fixing roads, planting trees, and seeing the progress you've made a long the way. It was the late nights and the early mornings. Laughing at the each other and the staff of Nakavango endlessly. It's the best kind of work I can imagine, and I hope to one day see everyone again and the place that I left a little piece of me behind in.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 11, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    Hi Courtney, Thanks for your awesome review of the Victoria Falls program! It sounds like you were surrounded by an outgoing and inspiring group of people. We are always so happy to hear about the connections and friendships formed while on our volunteer programs. Also, your picture of the Zebra is adorable! Thanks for being a great volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
    Claire – IVHQ Victoria Falls Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Madagascar Memories Last a Lifetime

My visit in Madagascar was absolutely phenomenal! I started out doing the Forest Conservation program with IVHQ there, but then switched to the Teaching Program because I felt I would serve the community best in this capacity for my relatively short 2 week stay on the island. Further, I am a licensed teacher back in America and indeed felt the teaching spirit calling to me much more than the forest conservation one there in Madagascar. Hence, I switched and it was the best decision I made there. The local staff were completely understanding and helpful in this, and needless to say I absolutely loved it! I taught English to all ranges of students from kindergartners in Ampangorina village on Nosy Komba to older adult students in Hellville city on Nosy Be. I grew quite close to several of my students in Nosy Komba and even had them write me goodbye notes in a book I made before I left.

The accommodations on camp were quite nice considering the fact that we were in the middle of serious forest and wildlife in Madagascar. I enjoyed sleeping in my Treehouse hut with my fellow hut mates and honestly made good friends on this trip from our volunteer bunch. I enjoyed getting to know people from other parts of the world and learning about their languages and culture.

I truly enjoyed every part of this trip so it is hard to choose favorite moments, but here are some. One of them was definitely my weekend trip to the gorgeous island of Nosy Iranja. Simply viewing the sunset on that beach there was breathtaking. Walking across the sand bar that connects the 2 land masses of Nosy Iranja was awesome! Another one of my favorite moments was teaching my students each day. I loved singing songs in Malagasy with my younger students at the church school in Ampangorina. A spectacular moment of my trip was visiting Lemur Park and having the Lemurs hop on my back while I fed them bananas! I also got to hold a Boa Constrictor snake, which was nothing short of amazing. One last favorite moment was eating at a local highly-rated restaurant called Christian's, where Chef Christian made the most delicious meal for a group of us. The food was fantastic!

Luckily, I did not get seriously injured or sick on this trip (as some do because you do a lot of walking over large rocks, climbing, and digestions of potentially uncommon foods & drinks no matter what program you are in), as some volunteers do. I also was very cautious and any cut or bruise I got I treated immediately and effectively. If you do this, and follow safety procedures, you really have practically nothing to worry about.

Overall, this trip was extremely memorable and life-changing. I am so grateful that I was able to do this and I truly feel that I made a positive impact in the communities where I taught in Madagascar. I definitely plan to return to Madagascar in my lifetime and hopefully visit my students again! I also plan to volunteer with IVHQ in another part of the globe in the near future.

Remember: The memories that you make in Madagascar will last you a lifetime, and more.

-Hannah Bonecutter

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 10, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    Hi Hannah, Thanks for sharing! We are thrilled to hear that you had a phenomenal time in Madagascar and loved working on the Teaching project. We’ve enjoyed reading about your favorite moments and we know others will too. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we can’t wait to see where you choose to volunteer next!
    Claire – IVHQ Madagascar Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Volunteering in Antingua Guatemala

My experience volunteering in Guatemala was amazing. I loved teaching English to elementary school children and interacting with my homestay family. I felt everyone I met was extremely friendly and caring. The food was excellent and I felt safe the whole time I was there. I also loved meeting other volunteers who were either staying in my homestay or teaching English with me. This was my first experience volunteering and I didn't know what to expect. At 18, I was the youngest volunteer and at first I was a little nervous because I was traveling alone. Everything worked out better than I ever imagined. I did my volunteer work in the morning and enjoyed the sites in the afternoon and evenings. It was a great experience that helped me brush up on my Spanish, learn about the culture, and meet other volunteers. I had a lot of fun and am ready to volunteer again.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 01, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    Hi Allie, It is great to hear that you had an amazing volunteer experience in Guatemala! We are glad that you loved teaching English at your placement and met many caring and friendly people while on the program. It sounds like you had a really special time and we are glad that we were able to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we can’t wait to have you back.
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Best valuable time of my life - short yet sweet!

My time spent volunteering at Cape Town was truly awesome and rewarding. Even though I was there for just one week and I was on the holiday program, it felt like I was there for a long period of time. The volunteers who I stayed and worked with were a lovely bunch and I had a great time hanging out with them. The holiday program was useful as we got to help and advise students on how to write CVs, engage in workshops, attend talks about bullying and also, got to attend a field trip to Cape Point! I had a fantastic time in Cape Town and would definitely go there again in a heartbeat!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 01, 2017 at 4:47 PM

    Hi Josephine, Thanks for sharing! We are happy to hear that you had an awesome and rewarding time on the program in South Africa and found the volunteer work useful and the other volunteers to be friendly and welcoming. We would love to have you back one day!
    Claire – IVHQ South Africa Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Few days in the Amazonas

the adventure begins, I was so nervous, I didn´t know what to expect when i arrived, but when I get there everything was more that i was expecting, been able to live for two weeks in the Amazonas was something that change the way I take care of the environment. when you are there and see all the beauty of the place, all the animals, the big trees, the births, and in the night watch all the stars without any other sound but the one that the animals make it takes your breath. You wake up with the sound of animals, in the afternoon you watch the sunset and is wonderful all the different colors you get to see in the sky.
All the hard work they do to make there a better place is incredible. All the things you do it won´t change the word the next day, but you put a part of your self there, and that makes you part of something more bigger, something that in a few years o months you can go back and watch how your hard work help to improve the place.
I only was able to be there for two weeks, I wish my time there where longer, so I could make more things, and learn much more.
In the jungle the things are so unpredictable, so I think that the if you stay for a longer period of time, you can get to see so many different things.

It was a experience of a life time.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 01, 2017 at 4:23 PM

    Hi Ximena, Thanks for your awesome review! It is so inspiring to hear about how your time in the Amazon on the Jungle Conservation project helped you connect with nature and the importance of conservation. Thanks you for lending your time to this amazing project and for being a great volunteer. We would love to have you back one day.
    Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Amazing

I was in Ghana for 12 weeks and I can honestly say it has been the best experience of my life. The children were excellent, and so loving and all the local people I met were so friendly! Local staff are very helpful- especially Evans, for always checking up on us and making sure the other volunteers in turquoise and I were doing well. He made my experience much better because of all the support in country and out! I also met some really cool people and have made so many friends. Travelling to Cape Coast, Mole National Park, Wli Waterfalls, and so many other places on the weekends was so much fun! The local staff in my program were also helpful, thanks to Seth, Francis and Stephen. I will never forget the memories I made and the people I met!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review May 01, 2017 at 3:49 PM

    Hi Katie, Thanks for sharing! We are so glad to hear that you experienced warmth, helpfulness, friendship, support, and adventure while on the program in Ghana. It has been wonderful having you volunteer with us and we would love to have you join us again in the future.
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Healthcare education and traveling around Bali

I loved everything about the experience! Bali is the perfect destination to travel solo because you meet so many like-minded individuals along the way. I made many new friends from different countries and I will likely see some of them in the future. The volunteer experience itself was quite the challenge but challenges are motivators for me! The language barrier pushed me to think outside the box. My job was to teach children basic hygiene in the English language. To accomplish this, I opted for hands on activities. For example, I demonstrated proper teeth brushing technique by bringing my own tooth brush and bringing some for the children as well. I also created posters to teach the basic function of the heart and lungs and habits that help maintain these organs healthy. Outside of volunteering as a teacher, I also had the opportunity to work with construction and renovation on the days the children had holidays. We also participated in the local community by cleaning the village in support of its celebrations. It's rewarding to see the fruit of your labor and the gratitude expressed by the people!

Ubud is Bali's cultural center and I had the opportunity to experience some of the local celebrations such as Nyepi (silent day/New Year) and Galungan (victory of good over evil). The effort that the Balinese people put into their day to day religious practices is admirable and inspiring! Traveling around Ubud I found several pleasant waterfalls, rice fields, and the hidden canyons which were so much fun to trek! Outside of Ubud, I trekked Mount Batur to catch a stunning sunrise with friends. I also travelled to Uluwatu temple and to northern Bali to visit Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, both of which are majestic! Fiji and Grombong waterfalls are also worth traveling to on a day trip. Find a guide that will jump off of the rock with you! Nusa Penida is also a must! There you will find much less tourism and amazing views. I went to the broken sea, Angel's Billabong, Atuh beach, Crystal Bai, and Kelingking secret point. These are some of the most beautiful sites and beaches I have ever seen. I also traveled to Nusa Lembongan to watch the waves crashing on the Devil’s Tear and for a dip into Dream beach. I ended my trip on Gili Trawangan, an island off of Lombok, snorkeling and relaxing on the swings out on the beach. I think a month is not enough time to see everything you want to see and still give back to the community. I suggest a minimum of 5-6 weeks to truly enjoy the experience and the sites around Bali.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 27, 2017 at 5:31 PM

    Hi Perla, Thanks for your awesome review! We are so glad to hear that you loved your volunteer experience and meeting like-minded individuals from all over the world in Bali. It sounds like you made the most of your time on the program by not only getting immersed in your volunteer work but also thoroughly exploring this delightful location in your spare time. Thanks for sharing your advice on the tops spots to visit and the photos you have included are gorgeous! It has been great to have you volunteer with IVHQ!
    Chloe – IVHQ Bali Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Best experience ever

When I traveled to Cusco, Perú, it was my first time traveling outside of Mexico and the U.S., it was also my first time traveling alone. I did not know what to expect and I was very nervous. The first day I got there I made so many friends! Everybody was so nice and everybody was so inviting. I never felt alone or left out. I was working the construction program and it was hard work but it was really fun. We were building a school bathroom and when the kids got out of school they would stay there and talk to us for a while. Now I am signed up to go to Cartagena, Colombia the childcare program and I am so excited to go!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 27, 2017 at 5:06 PM

    Hi Eva, Thanks for sharing. We are thrilled to hear that you had a great time on the program in Cusco, Peru and found the construction project to be hard work but fun! We are happy that you never felt alone or left out – we often hear about how travelling alone helps our volunteers connect with like-minded travellers from all over the world. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we can’t wait to have you join us in Cartagena!
    Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Volunteering in Ghana

I volunteered in Ghana (Turquoise) through February and March of 2017. Originally I was only supposed to be there for 4 weeks (February) but it was so amazing that I extended for another four weeks! IVHQ was amazing at making me feel prepared before I left and they helped me a lot when I extended my trip. The accommodation was really simple but nice and we had electricity often even. The area it was in felt safe and the people were very kind to us and eager to teach us about Ghanaian culture. My roommate and I both did childcare and went to a local orphanage in the mornings and afternoons to assist the kids in getting ready for school/their day and helping with their homework. We also went to a school and graded papers and helped tutor certain kids. The kids were absolutely amazing and some of the happiest children you'll ever meet-it's truly inspiring. The staff is great, especially Evans, and they really do their best to make sure you have a fun trip while getting the most out of your time there and that you always feel safe. My second month there I was pretty sick the whole time and Stephen took my roommate and me to the local clinic to get blood work done and medications and an IV and that was greatly appreciated because having someone there definitely made the whole process easier. I also definitely recommend taking advantage of the weekends to travel Ghana because each region varies quite a bit. My roommate and I went to Cape Coast, Kokrobite, Mole National Park, The Wli Waterfalls to name a couple places worthy of a visit. No matter where you go, make sure you do as much as possible and try all the local food and go outside of your comfort zone. Overall, my trip was amazing and I'm definitely looking forward to going again. Ghana is an absolutely amazing place with some of the best people you'll ever meet and IVHQ definitely helps you to get a lot out of your trip! :)

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 27, 2017 at 4:56 PM

    Hi Alex, It’s nice to hear from you! We are so happy to hear that you had an amazing time in Ghana and felt well supported by IVHQ, Evans and our local team. Being sick while you are in a foreign country can be really hard, so we are glad to hear that you received all of the assistance you needed and we hope you are all better now. It sounds like, despite the sickness, you made the most of your time in Ghana by exploring Cape Coast, Kokrobite, Mole National Park and the Wli Waterfalls in your free time. Thanks for being an awesome volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future!
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Incredible!

This was more than I could ever expect! Going to Bali and teaching kindergarten was such a fun opportunity! Each day the kids I taught were eager to learn and such a blast to teach! It was crazy how quickly I got attached to each student and how much I smiled during my four weeks there! It was so heartwarming seeing the students learn and then remembering the things I had taught them the previous week! Going there was completely out of my comfort zone and now I am so much more confident and have been changed in a way I can't quite explain by this experience! I am so glad I made the decision to take a year off from school and spend time volunteering!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 26, 2017 at 5:32 PM

    Hi Savannah, Thank you for your lovely review! We are so happy to hear that you had a fun and rewarding time while you were on the program in Bali. It is inspiring to hear that the experience has increased your confidence and changed you in other ways that you are not quite sure of yet. It has been a pleasure to have you join us on the program in Bali and we thank you for committing your time and energy to volunteer with IVHQ!
    Chloe – IVHQ Bali Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ Costa Rica- eco-agriculture

What an amazing experience! This was my first trip abroad by myself and it could not have been any better. I was a bit worried about the language barrier (I do not have any Spanish experience) but the other volunteers and staff were very helpful. There were many opportunities to practice your Spanish skills and also lots of opportunity to speak English :). I worked on a coffee farm in Monte Verde for one week and the host families were extremely accommodating and friendly. Not only did you get to drink the coffee, but you also had the opportunity to learn and participate in the coffee making process! On top of all the experience on the farm with the volunteers, there was a lot of down time for exploring. The cloud forest is very close by and is definitely a must see if you are thinking of heading to Monte Verde. Overall, I would highly recommend this program. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! It is scary at first but IVHQ provides you with a great support system and you are sure to meet like-minded volunteers along the way. Good luck!!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 26, 2017 at 5:30 PM

    Hi Jackie, It is great to hear about your experience on the Eco-Agriculture project in Costa Rica! Thanks for stepping out of your comfort zone and for encouraging others to do the same. We would love to have you join IVHQ again in the future!
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ - Ghana with Evans

Recently I traveled with IVHQ to Ghana. It was an absolutely amazing experience mainly because it was s organized. Our IVHQ Ghana team including, Jo, Benedict, and Evans was extremely helpful. Evans was great and he is a reason i would go back. He took us to the Cape Coast one weekend which was one of the best weekends of my life. Not only did he make sure that we had fun but he also made sure that we stayed safe. Evans and I stayed up one night and talked philosophy and religion. It was one of the most beautiful and sincere conversations I've ever had with anyone. Thank you Evans and thank you IVHQ for a perfect trip!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 26, 2017 at 5:30 PM

    Hi Tyler, Thanks for your lovely review! We are so happy to hear that you had an amazing and well-organized experience on the program in Ghana. It is incredible to hear the stories of people forming sincere connections with others from all over the world – we think that is what travelling is all about. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Why volunteering in Brazil was a life changing experience

I volunteered in Brazil with IVHQ for 8 weeks, and it was simply a fantastic experience. Rio is a very vibrant city, you will love it as soon as you arrive because it's magic is everywhere; breathtaking views, stunning beaches, amazing food, and extremely kind and calid people. Happiness, carnival vibes, and joy are in every corner of this city, so be prepared when you have to go back home because you will certainly not want.

On the other hand, volunteering activities will give you a different perspective in your life and will open your mind. Sadly brazilian government is very corrupted; ergo, you will perceive a lot of inequality that will break your heart. However, you will get an awesome sensation by helping the most needed people. Being one of the pieces generating change in this marvelous country, was a very rewarding feeling because these people definitely need your help.

Additionally, the local team (JIVE Brazil) will make you feel as if you are at home. Zach, Vivi and Monique will guide you through all your volunteer work, show you the city, and sometimes they will even hang out with you and the other volunteers. Miguel, will live in the house with you, and every week he will cook for the group amazing cakes, brownies or other treats, and the best part is that most of the time they are vegan, gluten and sugar free.

To sum up, I would recommend you to know a little of portuguese before traveling, not because you will need it, but because in my case speaking portuguese was a plus, as I was able to interact with the locals, get to know more about their way of living, and that way know how to help them more.

So, what are you waiting to volunteer with IVHQ, make friends from all over the world, and have one of the most amazing experiences of your life?

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 26, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Hi Luisa, Thanks for volunteering with us in Brazil for 8 weeks! We are stoked to hear that you had a fantastic experience and fell in love with magical, vibrant, and joyous Rio. Thanks for encouraging others to travel to Brazil and for being an awesome IVHQ volunteer!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Brazil Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A fantastic experience

I loved volunteering with IVHQ far more than I expected to before I signed up. It was an amazing experience all around. The volunteer house was well-equipped and spacious, the staff members were incredibly helpful and friendly, and I made plenty of friends.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 19, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    Hi Ben, We are happy to have exceeded your expectations! It is great to hear that you had and amazing experience and that you were well supported by our friendly local team. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ Guatemala

After landing in Guatemala City, I remember asking myself 'what are you thinking?' A young woman traveling alone to a foreign country, not knowing anyone else, or even where I would be sleeping was scary. However, it was the best decision I have ever made in my life. On this trip, I have met some of the most amazing people, seen some of the most beautiful things, and felt the strongest sense of self I ever have. From hiking Pakaya, touring the macadamia farm, shopping at the open market, walking around Antigua, visiting the cross, and going to my project, there was never a moment where I was bored. This project had influenced my life so heavily, and knowing that I have had an influence on this community will be with me for the rest of my life. If I could, I would volunteer and work with IVHQ for the rest of my life.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 19, 2017 at 8:16 PM

    Hi Autumn, Thanks for sharing such an awesome review from your time in Guatemala! It is inspiring to hear that this trip has allowed you to have experiences that have helped develop your sense of self. Thanks for being a great volunteer and we would love to have you join us again.
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Who would have known

As I embarked on this trip I had no clue just what I was getting myself into. I always wanted to travel alone, so my first thought was to travel alone with a volunteer agency. After researching this topic for days, I finally saw that VolunteerHQ was not only the cheapest, but the most reliable in responding to questions I had, which was why I chose this organization. As the day came closer I was terrified. I had never traveled alone and I barely spoke Spanish. After watching all the videos, joining the facebook page, and preparing every document I needed, I knew that even though I did not feel ready I was ready for this. Once I arrived at the airport I met two wonderful girls. They told me how they were also volunteering and met up in Guatemala. We all went to out placements were I met four other girls and traveled Guatemala for our first day there. We were given wonderful maps and told were we should go and how we should travel to make sure we stay safe. As the two weeks went on, I was lucky enough to get at a wonderful placement with another girl who spoke Spanish. Even though I did not understand the nurses as well as I wanted to, they still made me feel comfortable and I helped take the vitals of the babies that came to this placement along with giving the babies their vaccinations. Everyday, the placement saw over 50 patients and it was interesting to be able to speed the processes up while also seeing how these placement substituted different things for the equipment they did not have. My placement was one life changing experience in the way I dealt with healthcare, but I also found another life changing experience in traveling. I got to see a coffee farm and I got to roast a marshmallow on a volcano while a thunderstorm took place. Never in a million years did I think I would climb a volcano, let alone in the rain. Not only did I get to experience I whole new country, but I made life- long friends with life-long experiences that I would never want to take back and I can't be more thankful for such a wonderful opportunity and experience.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 19, 2017 at 8:03 PM

    Hi Karenjeet, Thanks for sharing a little about your experience on the Guatemala medical program. We are so glad that you pushed through your hesitation and fears to have a wonderful and life changing time in Guatemala. We hope your inspiring personal growth continues and we thank you for being an IVHQer!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Kenya Party

Let me tell you about my second home, Kenya. This incredible place is abundant with joy, love, magical wildlife and a friendly-natured people. The opportunities I've had on this two-month trip stretched way beyond what I was expecting and it's left me with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction that feels seemingly endless. The placements themselves were phenomenal - having spent two summers working in the US with fairly wealthy children it was a huge change to be with kids who had so little. However what surprised me is that the Kenyan kids who had so little were so thankful for what they had and were so joyful despite everything. I was given so much affection just for being there and interacting with the kids, it was a kind of celebrity status I feel I didn't deserve. The teachers in the schools I worked at were amazing too, everything they do for the school is completely child-centred and they were also very appreciative of the work that IVHQ does for them. As well as the placements we also had optional weekend expeditions, my favourite of the trip was one where we visited a countryside town called Naivasha and an organisation called KCC. KCC is a school as well as a slum, set up by an IVHQ volunteer in 2009. Visiting this place was my first glimpse of the real harsh poverty that engulfs a lot of Africa and it was the first time where I realised what I needed to do while I was out here. I bonded with the other volunteers over how upset and helpless we felt visiting this place but we supported each other and grew closer through this tough experience. My second month volunteering was in Kibera slum, the second biggest slum in the whole of Africa. There was a lot of need at this school, which was to be expected, but I found these needs to be much more evident than in my last school. It was after I started work here that I chose to set up a gofundme page so that I could use contributions from my friends and family back home to give aid to this school. As a side note, I would thoroughly recommend setting one of these up, once you're out here it is likely you'll feel desperate to help these people out and with a little extra planning you can set this up - another benefit of doing this is that the people who donate can directly see what their money and it eliminates the skepticism of money direction that can be associated with large charities. With the money I raised I managed to buy for the school: pens, pencils, coloured pencils, desks, tape (for fixing books), erasers, sharpeners, text books, medicine and first aid. That was with about 3 weeks of having a page, if you had a few months of fundraising you could do so much more! I have to give a word to the other volunteers I was with on my journey, they have become like family to me and I have so many memories to look back on with them as we went through this journey together and we will definitely be seeing each other in the future. This experience has been more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined and there's no doubt I'll be doing this again in the near future.

Amani.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review April 18, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Hi Andrew, What an awesome review! Thanks so much for sharing with us your insight into your second home in Kenya and the lessons you learned while volunteering there. It is apparent that you went into the program with passion and commitment and we are sure that this would have been noticed and appreciated by our local team and the students and teachers at your placement. We hope your advice to fundraising for additional donations while is taken up by other volunteers as this is a great way to give back to the community that opens their arms to international volunteers. Thanks for being an outstanding volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the near future!
    Will – IVHQ Kenya Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

One of the best weeks of my life

My time in Merida, Mexico was absolutely one of the best weeks I have spent abroad. The organization was extremely well run, and I felt more than prepared before I even left the United States. They did everything they could to make us feel comfortable with our placements, providing flexibility to all of the volunteers to accommodate what we each wanted to do. There are really amazing things being done through IVHQ, and the volunteers in these programs really are making an impact on the communities they are serving in. You might think if you only have a week of time to give, that you won't make much of a difference, but I am here to tell you that regardless of the amount of time you have to give, at the end of your week, or month, or whatever it might be, you will see and feel the impact that you have made, and even more than this, you will be able to see the change in yourself that the experience has had. IVHQ is doing amazing things, and you absolutely will leave your placement wanting and needing more. With so many options and places to go, you will find yourself quickly researching your next adventure. Such an awesome experience.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 30, 2017 at 5:19 PM

    Hi Daniella, Thanks so much for your kind words! We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your week on the program in Mexico. Thanks for encouraging others to join the program, even if they can only join for a week. It has been great to have you volunteer with IVHQ and we hope that you will join us again soon.
    Clover – IVHQ Mexico Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

2 unforgettable weeks

My time in Cusco, Peru was invaluable and too short. As a pre-med student, I was placed in a medical clinic around 25 minutes away by bus from the center of the city. The nurses running the clinic showed me various procedures and allowed me to have a hands on experience with the locals that came in. My placement was eye-opening to the differences in the medical field between my home country and Peru, and it was a wonderful experience. My home stay was one of my favorite parts of my two weeks, because we met some of our good friends there and the host family was incredibly hospitable! My two weeks in Cusco were filled with adventure, friendship, and rewarding work, and I cannot wait to do another abroad volunteer trip.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review March 29, 2017 at 6:23 PM

    Hi Niloo, Thanks for sharing. We are stoked that you experienced adventure, friendship, and rewarding work while on the Peru Cusco Medical project – that is what we like to hear! It has been amazing having you volunteer with IVHQ and we are excited to see where you will be volunteering next!
    Charlotte – IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager