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Affordable Volunteer Abroad Programs: from USD 10 per day

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing place and amazing people

Everyone is friendly and warm-hearted. My project is disabled orphanage. It's a hard work, but volunteers in our group are kind to stay there about more than 3weeks where the environment is worse. At leisure, volunteers will sit around and have a excellent talk. I know so much from them.
I'm graduate to this experience and those wonderful people. I love them. I'll do volunteer again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

"Traveling; It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller"

I wish I could explain the feeling of being at home in a foreign country or the feeling of making friends the moment you shake someone's hand. Although I cannot adequately describe all the emotions and experiences I felt while I volunteered in Mexico, I can tell you it was the most life-changing two-weeks I've ever had. Being immersed in a culture that you've only read about while in school is one of the most awe-inspiring feelings. Walking into the house on the first day was like an episode of The Real World. Friends were made immediately. The animal rights program was beyond gratifying. Watching so many animals get adopted in the two weeks I was there gave me an immense amount of hope. Visiting ancient Mayan ruins and being able to see one of the new Seven Wonders of the World gave me so much perspective. In short, my first international trip and volunteer program only made me crave much more. IVHQ gave me the gift of exploration, of culture, and of fulfillment and I plan to experience so much more.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An unforgettable and unmissable experience

The three weeks I spent in China volunteering with children with special needs were the most rewarding 3 weeks of my life. From day 1 in the volunteer centre I could feel the impact that my, and the other volunteers, presence was having on the children. From helping them learn English, to doing art and playing games, I felt that my days were incredibly rewarding. I was lucky enough to volunteer at two different centres within the three weeks and it was a truly humbling experience, one that made me more appreciative of the things I have in my life.

The social aspect of volunteering in China was as fulfilling as the volunteering itself, I met several people from around the world that I am now lucky to call my friends.

The homestay accommodation gave me a feel for the true Chinese experience, with authentic local food being served to us.

The IVHQ staff were amazingly helpful from the moment I registered, until I left the house for the airport. The local program manager went above and beyond to make sure that I had an amazing experience.
If I could use two words to sum up the whole experience it would be: Humbling and Unforgettable.

If you are even remotely considering volunteering, I urge you to consider volunteering in China with IVHQ, you won't regret it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Construction program in Cusco

From the moment I decided to volunteer abroad, I did extensive research on a bunch of volunteer companies, but none of them compared to International Volunteer Headquarters. I was so impressed with the organization, affordability and clarity that they provided. I noticed those things only just by glancing at their website! Once I made the decision to volunteer in Cusco, Peru, I was even more impressed by the eagerness of the my program manager to help me throughout every step of my previous departure process. She kindly and promptly answered every single question I threw at her with the ultimate kindness and interest.

Words cannot express how fantastic my time in Cusco was. From the food to my host family, to all the amazing people I've met and the friendships I developed, my three weeks in Peru were ones that I will hold close to my heart. I cannot thank IVHQ enough for everything they have done for me. I cannot wait to start my next adventure with them soon.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Medical volunteering in Cusco with IVHQ/Maximo Nivel

I completed a two week medical volunteer trip through IVHQ in Cusco Peru and I could not be more pleased with my experience there. Not only did I have the opportunity to make an impact on the local community there, but I had the opportunity to really soak up the culture as we were placed in homes with local families. My host family was tremendously kind and the accommodations clean and comfortable. The local staff were very friendly and helpful.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

IVHQ Fiji volunteer adventure

Bula!

My name is Georgia Flinn and I've recently returned from Fiji where I was volunteering for 3 months through IVHQ. I decided to go through IVHQ because I had heard that they were the most trustworthy and affordable organisation. My role as a volunteer was initially childcare and community support. For the first 2 weeks I worked in a kindergarten where I was teaching basic English and maths skills. I then started volunteering in the field of construction. With my fellow volunteers I tiled, painted, did plumbing, renovated, the list goes on. I then worked on an island called Ovalau where I was teaching kids club as well as assisting the community with construction after the horrific impact of cyclone Winston last year. Volunteering in Fiji through IVHQ has honestly been the most inspiring, uplifting and rewarding experience of my life. I have made long lasting friendships with fellow volunteers as well as the locals. Not only this, I have seen the incredible impact that my volunteer work has had in the Fijian community. I feel truly blessed to have had such an incredible experience and I have come home feeling so uplifted. If anyone has ever thought about volunteering abroad then I would say DO IT! It is an experience of a life time! I now have a new outlook on life and feel enriched.

Yours truly,

GG Flinn

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Street children in Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador was the experience of a lifetime. We lived in a volunteer house with a host family in Quito, Ecuador. On weekdays we volunteered with at risk children who work with their families in the open-air markets around Quito. Living and working alongside the local people gave us a genuine look into Latin American culture.
Of course we left time for play too. We explored the city, traveled outside of the city to indigitous villages, went ziplining through the Andean forest, we went hiking, and stood with one foot on either side of the Equator. We rode a cable car up past 10,000 ft into the mountains then hiked and rode horses up an active volcano to about 13,000ft, and we went to a bird sanctuary in a town with the highest bird population in the world. We got to experience the people, the food, and the unpredictable weather in Quito’s “wet season.” The slogan of Quito is “ama la vida,” love life, and that’s exactly what we did.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Amazing childcare experience in Peru

I picked IVHQ because it has the most affordable fees for volunteering abroad and an opportunity for Childcare in Cusco. The IVHQ staff before I arrived and the local staff were amazing and more than prepared me for everything I needed to know about my volunteer assignment and Peru. The only thing that would have made my trip better was if I knew a little more Spanish. I was paired with a local orphanage through an NGO in Peru that was working with so many wonderful organizations to provide them with the resources they need. My home stay living arrangements were clean, had WiFi, provided great food and an opportunity to get to know other volunteers from all over the world. I had limited time off from work so my experience was short but it was the experience of a lifetime. In addition to my volunteer placement I got to see Machu Picchu, the sacred valley, Rainbow Mountain, Lima, and I fell in love with Cusco. I can't recommend this experience more to anyone who loves travel and wants to make a difference.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Teenagers perspective Of Peru

I do not even know where to began. As a 14 year old girl, telling your dad you want to travel the world volunteering can be daunting. After months of convincing my parents to come with me to the volunteer trip, I finally succeeded. But then I had another problem. Where? Looking through IVHQs destination list was pretty overwhelming, as I wanted to go everywhere. IVHQ provided me with a flexible schedule, as I was still in 8th grade. I was looking through the destination list for probably the 10th time, and I saw where I was meant to be. Peru. The culture, the people, the food, the living style was something so completely different from mine, but it is was brought me to love it even more. After finishing the application, I was accepted. I began thinking, what am I about to do? After flying into Cusco, I already felt the love and welcomeness from everyone. Peru is something so different and is totally a sensory overload. Car horns honking, people speaking Spanish, children laughing, children crying, heels on the pavement, and the smell. There is something about the smell of Peru, I just cant help it. I fell in love. The first night, I told myself "Katie, you cannot get attached to these kids". But man was I wrong. I found out laughter and smiling was universal. Speaking two different languages, was tough, but that was what it better. I felt a connection to these Peruvian kids, after the first hour. "Holaaaaa" "Teacherrrrrr" were my favorite words. The kids hold on to you for dear life. They smile, they kiss you, they hug you, and they sing with you. There is no other words to say, but I felt like I was on cloud 9. I stayed with an amazing host family. They had the best food, and the most gorgeous house. I had bad altitude sickness, but somehow they made it better. I could not recommend IVHQ enough. One day, I was doing medical campaign in a rural village. I was in-charge of dental work. It was the most inspirational and life changing thing I have ever done. The last day with the kids was the hardest thing I have ever done. Saying goodbye to the kids, I was crying. Hard IVHQ has changed my life for the better, and I will being reunited soon with my kids in Peru. Thank you IVHQ for changing a teenager life. My one piece of advice is do not expect anything. Come with an open heart and full of smiles. That is all you can do. You will fall in love with everything, trust me.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Beyond volunteering

Volunteering abroad with IVHQ in Cusco, Peru was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. I was able to volunteer at a variety of sites thanks to their Holiday program. My favorite by far was working at a local community health center where I worked teaching people how to properly brush their teeth. I was surprised that this was my favorite volunteer site given I had no interest in pursuing a career in medicine, yet this is what I wanted from my experience abroad. Volunteering with IVHQ helped me to grow as an individual and exposed me to a new culture I had never once knew. All the accommodations and staff members were fantastic and the housing was safe and clean. I can not wait to travel and volunteer with IVHQ again.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Probably one of the best times of my life!

I spent three and a half months volunteering in Ghana with IVHQ, Im not sure where to begin about all the positive things that happened during my experience. I feel like I have a new home in Ghana, the community was welcoming of all volunteers, I was teaching in a local primary school and established my own charity project there during my time. The volunteer house was a lot of fun and I have made new lifelong friends. Don't go to Ghana expecting to live in 5 star conditions, its very basic, but for those who are able to embrace that you will have an amazing adventure. There is flexibility on the program to help with sports teaching, medical or even agriculture as well. You can use your own mind to establish your own community projects even if not relevant to the program you signed up for. I enjoyed the freedom that IVHQ gave us among the community. The staff for IVHQ were amazing, our cook in the house was fantastic and enjoyable to be around. Evans goes above and beyond anything you ask him to do, anything you needed from the city, he could bring to you in a heartbeat, its nice to have met such passionate staff who are also inspiring in their own way. My advice? Go to Ghana now!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    0

Peru Part 3--fantastic!

I had been twice before to Peru but as a tourist more or less. Being a tourist is not something I am real big on--I like meeting people and working and living with them much better than touring around looking at sites and sights. Also, I didn't have a particularly good time at Cusco/Machu Picchu and the Amazon (for health and personal reasons) and knew that being a volunteer would give me a opportunity to contribute something to the world and be in Peru at the same time. The trip was way better than I'd ever expected or hoped for. Everyone was wonderful: helpful, supportive, friendly, accommodating, competent, relaxed, organized and obviously dedicated to serving the community. I have been a volunteer for over 40 years in the U.S., and many of my experiences have not been that great. I simply can't say enough about how good IVHQ is and how well they partner with Tarpuy Sonqo in Lima. Sometimes I felt a bit lost and didn't know exactly what to do, but that was temporary and often more to do with my mental state than any problem with the program. My mother asked me if I felt we were truly helping the community and making a difference and I said "absolutely." We really helped the staff at the various residences we were at, and being with people who were so happy to have us around, makes one feel great. Everyone is so loved and well cared for by the staff at the places we went to, and I felt honored and privileged to be around "earthly angels."

I needed a private room and the family I stayed with were so great and took such good care of me, or tried to anyway! I felt part of the family and enjoyed being around people who loved each other, eat meals together and did things together as a family. They are so different from my own family and it was a pleasure to be with them. I had a lot of privacy and was comfortable. Any problems I had were caused by my complicated dietary needs and health problems, which no one except a hospital could really manage. I felt safe and secure in the home at all times, and welcomed as a friend or relative, not as some outsider who just needed food and a room. I did feel isolated from the other volunteers who all were in the main house but I could have gone over at any time and hung out with them. I didn't because almost all of them were young women and as a more than middle aged guy, I felt a bit weird trying to hang out with them. But that was not anyone's fault and I did eventually get to know many of the volunteers and chat with them. Volunteers, I've found, are interesting people and always worth talking with. I don't mind speaking English but I felt very glad that I know some Spanish so I could communicate with the family i stayed with and with our "clients." However, not speaking Spanish should not deter anyone from volunteering and every volunteer I met was wonderful and did a great job. The Tarpuy Sonqo staff do a great job of accommodating everyone and managing to have a pretty seamless program with an ever-changing bunch of volunteers.

My best recommendation for this program is the fact that I can't wait to return! I hope to go back in the fall (Sept. or Oct.) and this time stay at least the six weeks I'd planned on this time but couldn't do, or perhaps two months if I can afford it. I wouldn't go during Christmas again because I prefer working with the people in the residences and institutions and not doing holiday activities. To each her/his own and I am not a Christmas lover in any country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Best volunteer program I've ever done!!!

I volunteered in Fiji with IVHQ for a month and it was the best month of my life. The kindergarten class I taught was so thankful to have me. The house we stayed in was just what we needed and gave us rooms to hangout in, play cards, music, etc. I loved it so much that I'm planning two more trips with IVHQ.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 07, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Hi Aly, Thanks for your great review! We are thrilled to hear that you loved your time in Fiji and enjoyed both the volunteer work and free time. It’s been awesome to have you volunteer with us and we can’t wait to have you join us again soon!
    Chelsea – IVHQ Fiji Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Good times in Guate

I spent two weeks in gorgeous Antigua, Guatemala doing the childcare program. I had only been out of my country of residence once before and spent a lot of the time on that trip doing boring touristy stuff. This experience was quite the opposite. Getting to meet and befriend the locals, taste the fantastic food, live with volunteers from around the world made my trip so authentic. I met such great people and got to grow personally through new experiences. I left feeling enlightened by another culture that I was truly honored I got to be apart of. I can't say enough about the helpfulness of the local staff and their ability to provide a range of opportunities we could choose to enhance our stay. The trip allowed for the perfect amount of time volunteering and sightseeing. I felt safe and supported my whole stay. I am counting down the days when I can travel with IVHQ again; hopefully Peru 2018!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 07, 2017 at 6:48 PM

    Hi Emily, Thanks for sharing this lovely review from your time in Guatemala. We are stoked that you were able to have an authentic experience that was completely different to travelling as a tourist. It has been great to have you as an IVHQ volunteer and it would be awesome to see you on our program in Peru!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Two months volunteering in an orphanage in Ghana

If anyone has an interest in volunteering in Ghana, don't hesitate just do it! Travelling to West Africa and getting to immerse myself in the culture for was fulfilling a long time childhood dream, one IVHQ helped me achieve. I had researched many volunteer organizations and IVHQ was by far the most affordable. IVHQ was excellent, all the staff I met were extremely helpful, friendly and accommodating. I would like to particularly thank Evans and Benedict from IVHQ who were extremely helpful, hardworking and friendly throughout my time in Ghana. When I arrived in Ghana there was someone there to pick us up and drop us to the volunteer house. The accommodation and food was great and everyone made us feel at home. IVHQ gave me the opportunity to travel and push myself outside of my comfort zone but also let me be ale to work and contribute towards others and I would like to say huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to them.

The two months I spent volunteering at Potters Village, Orphanage, Dodowa is an experience I will never forget and I am currently working and saving up to return soon. At the orphanage we cared for the children's health and wellbeing, assisting with schoolwork, playing with them and most importantly just simply showing them love and attention. What I can simply say to sum up my time, was leaving was incredibly hard and bittersweet, as Potters Village and the other volunteers I met became a second family to me and filled my days with love and laughter that it would make it impossible for me not to return.

I gained incredible life experience and knowledge that can't be gained from any text book. I fell in love with the children and all the people I met but also the Ghanaian culture. I've met life long friends and will most definitely be returning soon.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 07, 2017 at 6:52 PM

    Hi Ellen, Thanks for your beautiful review! We are glad to hear that this trip fulfilled a lifelong dream to travel and volunteer in West Africa. It sounds like you made the most of your time on the program by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and committing time and energy to your placement. We are stoked that you chose to volunteer with IVHQ and found our local team to be helpful, friendly and accommodating. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Antigua, Guatemala volunteer experience

I volunteered in January 2017 in Antigua, Guatemala for one week not knowing exactly what to expect. I was open to work in any medical volunteer site they needed me. From the beginning I received fast replies on my questions from IVHQ . When I finally arrived in Guatemala there was someone there to pick me up. Everyone from Maximo Nivel (the organization there in Guatemala), host family, and clinical site were very friendly and approachable. I had a great time learning about the health care system in Guatemala and helping directly in a clinic. It was amazing to see the dedication that the health care workers have in helping the people. The doctor went above and beyond by listening, diagnosing, and teaching patients at the patient's learning level. It was amazing to see the dedication and love that the doctor has for his profession. The nurses and doctor went out of their way to teach us despite being overwhelmed with patients at times. I really enjoyed my volunteer experience and plan on returning soon to volunteers for a longer amount of time. I returned from Guatemala with a new perspective and drive to complete my Nurse Practitioner program.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 08, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    Hi Jeanette, Thanks for posting such an encouraging review for potential Guatemala medical volunteers! We are so glad that your trip went smoothly and the support provided by IVHQ and our local team was friendly and approachable – that is what we are here for! It is inspiring to hear that your time in Guatemala has given you a new perspective and we wish you all the best with your studies. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Greatest month of my life

IVHQ set me up with the local volunteer organization in Guatemala called Maximo Nivel. Everything went smoothly and I didn't have any problems with the living situation or the food. I volunteered at an orphanage and had a wonderful experience. The kids were so loving and amazing. I felt that the volunteers and I were actually helping the staff there and connecting with the kids. Overall, I would definitely recommend IVHQ to anyone who wants to volunteer abroad and not be completely alone once there. The prices are amazing compared to other volunteer programs. I would absolutely love to volunteer again with them! Hopefully soon!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 08, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Hi Dani, Thanks for your great review! We are stoked to hear that you had a wonderful time in Guatemala and felt like you were having a positive impact at your placement. Thanks for your recommendation and we would love to have you join us again soon!
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ghana 2017

This was by far the best 2 weeks of my life. The kids were amazing!! Everyone was so awesome and welcoming! I met some really cool people from all around the world. I can't wait to go back again in the near future!! I totally recommend this experience to anyone! Not to sound cliche or anything but it truly changes you as a person! I left part of my heart begins in the Potter's Village and I can't wait to be reunited with all of the adorable kiddies!!!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 08, 2017 at 2:12 PM

    Hi Nikki, Thanks for sharing. It is great to hear that everyone on the program in Ghana was awesome and welcoming. We don’t mind clichés - it is beautiful to hear that the program changed you as a person! We can’t wait to have you back!
    Kaila – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ghana! You gotta go!

Last November I left the US for the first time to pursue a lifelong dream of exploring global orphan care. After researching different organizations, I decided to partner with IVHQ to volunteer at a local orphanage in Ghana. It was one of the best decisions I've made and certainly two of the most fulfilling weeks of my life.

I was expecting to fall in love with the kids-which I did, but I wasn't expecting to fall in love with the Ghanaian culture and people-which I also did. I learned so many valuable life lessons that I wouldn't have been able to learn in other countries, and certainly not in any textbooks. The things you think you need to survive...you don't. And that's a liberating and humbling realization to make.

It wouldn't be a thorough review of my time in Ghana without giving a special shoutout to my good friend Evans, one of IVHQs staff. He was one of the highlights during my stay. He has a gift for making people feel like they're part of a family. With Evans around, there was never a time I didn't feel safe and hardly a time I felt like a foreigner. He was the first to show me around and always kept us laughing. It wouldn't have been the same without him and I'm sure if you choose to visit Ghana, you'll say the same! He's the man.

So if you're looking for an affordable way to get involved globally and want to make unforgettable memories, contact IVHQ today! I have absolutely no regrets in choosing them, and I'm confident that you won't either!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 07, 2017 at 7:22 PM

    Hi Emily, What a great review! We are stoked that you had an incredibly fulfilling time with us in Ghana! It sounds like you arrived with an open mind really made the most of your time by getting to know the local culture and people. We will be sure to pass your kind words on to Evans and we love the photo of you at your placement with a gigantic smile on your face. Thanks for your recommendation and for being a great IVHQer!
    Ghana – IVHQ Ghana Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Palawan paradise

As I landed on Palawan island in South Western Philippines I was welcomed by my co-ordinator and now very good friend Miko, a cheerful Filipino who was around the same age as some of the volunteers. He drove me and a few new friends to Tigman Village, our home for the next 3 weeks. Immediately we were welcomed by the other volunteers who took us straight to a nearby lagoon to get to know each other. Our first week was the cultural week in which we would learn about the island of Palawan, this included traditional food, language class, a trip to the waterfalls and a visit to a sand bank.
Friday was the first day to be introduced to our students, my kids were absolute angels (most of the time), they made it easy to come to school in the morning. Me and my co- teacher were pretty much allowed to teach whatever we wanted and chose subjects we were passionate about; the kids instantly gain an interest due to how excited you are in talking about things you love.
On the weekends I always found myself doing something cool whether it was on waterfall hikes, heading to underground rivers or island hopping up North, these trips are really the best time to get to know some of the best people you will ever meet from all over the world and will become long term friends due to the amazing experience you’re sharing together. Actually as I write this reflection some weeks after my project I am sitting next to a friend I made on the project who has come to visit me from California, so that goes to show the relationships you can build from volunteering abroad. I now truly understand the benefit of going abroad with a purpose to work and help rather than being just a regular tourist for once, you get to experience an entirely different country from an entirely unique perspective.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review January 24, 2017 at 6:00 PM

    Hi Richard, It sounds like you had a great adventure in the Philippines! We are so happy to hear that you made close friends with Miko and other volunteers while on the program. Thanks for providing such an informative and encouraging review, which will be really helpful for potential Philippines volunteers. Those are some great photos of you guys really getting involved in the project. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
    Lynn – IVHQ Philippines Program Manger

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

Sri Lanka experience

In November 2016 I went to Sri Lanka for three weeks through IVHQ where I was working with Green Lion during my three weeks. Before leaving my home country, IVHQ was very helpful in answering any and all of my questions, making me very prepared for my trip. While in Sri Lanka, Green Lion was very helpful in making sure I was in the volunteer placement I most wanted to be at (there is much flexibility and you're able to change week to week). I worked with disabled children which was such a heartwarming experience. I also worked with an overworked elephant named Mali! I thoroughly enjoyed to volunteer placements that I chose. It was also easy to plan trips on the weekends since the coordinators were extremely helpful in figuring out transportation and accommodations. The housing is good but of course it's nothing like home; thin mattresses, cold showers with infrequent water supply. But the food is FANTASTIC and the people you meet there are even better. I'm so glad I chose this country the only thing I regret is not staying longer.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review February 07, 2017 at 7:21 PM

    Hi Taylor, Thanks for your great review of the Sri Lanka program! It is awesome to hear that IVHQ was helpful in preparing you for your trip and that our local team made sure you were happy at your placement. It sounds like you made the most of your trip and we are glad that you found the food and company to be fantastic. We would have loved for you to stay longer and hopefully we will see you on another IVHQ program in the future!
    Sarah – IVHQ Sri Lanka Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Ciao por ahora Peru

My time in Peru will never be forgotten. The people I met, the staff I worked with, my host mom, all the children that forever changed my life, all these things are always on my mind. Peru is a beautiful country with amazing people that live there. IVHQ gave me the opportunity to go into a country and become something bigger then myself. My homestay and host mom made my experience so amazing. Sara is the warmest, kindest, most welcoming, and amazing cook I have ever met. For someone to selflessly let six young adults into your home is quite the task and she handles it with grace and responsibility. I never felt unsafe and always had a meal waiting for me when I came home. When it comes to the children I met I am forever changed. The children I was able to work with showed me what life is really about. Reminded me to always remember the good and not dwell on the bad. Everyday my time in Peru runs through my head. Everyday I miss it. And everyday I want to buy a plane ticket and go back. My life is forever changed because of Peru and it all started because of IVHQ.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review January 24, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    Hi Sarah, Thanks for sharing this awesome review. We are so happy to hear that the program was life-changing for you and all down to the people you met - your host mom, the local team, staff at your placements, and the children you worked with. Thanks for the special shout out to your host mom; we will be sure to pass your praise and appreciation on to Sara. You have been a great IVHQ volunteer and we wish you all the best.
    Lachlan – IVHQ Peru Lima Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An unforgettable time in Antigua, Guatemala!

I've had an amazing time volunteering in Antigua, Guatemala for 3 weeks in Nov/Dec. The program staff and other volunteers were so friendly and helpful with everything with smiling faces. i really enjoyed volunteering alongside the local farmers at the eco-agriculture project along with the exotic animal program. Antigua was really beautiful with lots to see and do. Thanks IVHQ for an awesome experience! :)

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review January 24, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    Hi Maria, We are stoked to hear that you had an amazing time volunteering in Guatemala! It sounds like you had a really well rounded experience with an enjoyable project, friendly staff support and a beautiful program location. Thanks for being an IVHQer! It has been a joy to have you volunteer with us.
    Lachlan – IVHQ Guatemala Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Building a life In Cusco

Through my experience, I came to find that travellers can be grouped into one of two categories: the "Seers" and the "Be-ers." In my 4 months in Cusco, I met many other wonderful volunteers, each of whom taught me a valuable lesson on life, but only a part of whom shared in my experience of Being part of the culture (as opposed to Seeing). We few made very concerted efforts to engage with the unique cultural experience, whether it was to try guinea pig meat or dance in the La Hora Loca show. And through these fun opportunities, we built networks of family and friends in Cusco as well as unique new lives in another country. Personally, this helped me learn Spanish to a much higher level than many of the other volunteers that I had met. It also afforded me the opportunity to learn about social structures and norms in another culture. Especially relevant to me, as a future nurse, was seeing medicine and healthcare in Cusco, both on the level of the free care given by my clinic, and on the day-to-day care that my homestay mom gave to the volunteers whenever one of us got sick. Leaving my amazing life in Cusco was much harder than I anticipated, yet I'm so glad that I have a family and group of friends there with whom I plan on keeping in contact with, and visiting again in the future.

For future volunteers, I highly recommend engaging with the homestay family, the students in your Spanish classes, other volunteers in your projects, and even people that you might meet out on the street (I always took the chance to speak with taxi drivers or street vendors -- I always either learned something new or else had a unique opportunity to practice my Spanish!). Don't just go to another country to see how things work. Be part of the culture too. Step outside your comfort zone. You might be surprised at the experiences that affect and change you! :)

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review January 24, 2017 at 5:36 PM

    Hi Ashley, Thanks for your awesome advice for volunteers! It is great to hear that you really immersed yourself in this experience and your words are a great reminder for others to do the same. We are stoked that you enjoyed Peru and grew from interacting with many the many different people you met there. It has been our pleasure to have you as a volunteer and we wish you all the best with you nursing career.
    Charlotte - IVHQ Peru Cusco Program Manager

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

An incredible experience!

I went on an Economy Agriculture trip in Costa Rica with my sister. We both dove into the program with open expectations and were super happy with how it went. IVHQ and our local team, Maximo Nivel were incredibly supportive and gave us all their contact information as well as sent us weekly emails to make sure we were doing well. This experience was the perfect blend of organization and the freedom to make your own choices. It was an amazing adventure surrounded by wonderful volunteers and I'll never forget it. Thank you so much for the support and help!

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review January 24, 2017 at 1:57 PM

    Hi Scarlett, Thanks for diving into the Agriculture project in Costa Rica with no expectations! We are please to hear that you were happy with the program and found it to be a perfect blend of organization and freedom. Thanks for being an IVHQer!
    Clover – IVHQ Costa Rica Program Manager