A French-speaking overseas territory sitting pristinely in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean region, Guadeloupe is a beautiful island country where volunteers from around the world can enjoy a laid-back lifestyle while contributing their time to valuable local causes. Whatever area you are interested in helping out, making the leap to volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe will be a fun and educational adventure in a country with a diverse blend of French and Caribbean cultural influences. Are you ready to take the journey abroad?
Located among the Leeward islands of the eastern Caribbean, Guadeloupe is a small French territory with just over 400,000 inhabitants. Its two main islands, Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, constitute the bulk of the region’ land area, while several other smaller nearby islands also fall under Guadeloupe’s jurisdiction. The population is very diverse, with most Guadeloupeans hailing from a mix of African, European, Asian, and indigenous ancestry.
With a population of roughly 170,000 people living in the metropolitan area, Point-a-Pitre is Guadeloupe’s largest city by a considerable margin, home to nearly half of the territory’s population. A scenic coastal city and major economic and transportation hub of the Lesser Antilles, Point-a-Pitre is typically the most popular destination where to volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe.
If you are hesitant to live in the center of activity however, then there are a variety of smaller cities speckled across the island chain where you can also look to volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe. Saint-Anne, for example, is an especially popular destination among these. Sitting quaintly on the southern shoreline of Grande-Terre island with a population of just over 20,000 locals, Saint-Anne has blossomed of late into one of the more popular travel destinations in the region.
Projects & Placements
Being connected politically and economically to French jurisdiction, Guadeloupe has enjoyed a more stable path to development than many other Caribbean nations. However sectors of the rural and urban populations still do often go overlooked when it comes to the provision of many social services, making fields such as youth and community development beneficial areas in which to volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe.
Because it is a major travel destination widely regarded for its scenic beauty, it’s understandable that many international volunteers look for placements within the overarching field of conservation as well. Water and wildlife surveying are two examples of areas therein where you can devote your time to having a positive impact on the environment while you volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe.
While each volunteer program in Guadeloupe has a unique internal structure, most will last either for as short as a few weeks or as long as a few months, depending on the volunteer’s own preferences and availability. As French is the primary language spoken throughout the islands (Creole also being popular), many volunteer programs in Guadeloupe will also feature language immersion as a primary component. This is a great opportunity for fledgling speakers to advance their fluency to new heights!
Costs & Affordability
Because it falls under French jurisdiction, Guadeloupe utilizes the euro as its major currency. As a popular travel destination for French citizens, and because it is more developed than neighboring countries, Guadeloupe will not be as inexpensive as other Caribbean destinations to volunteer abroad in. Price shouldn’t deter you however; check out our fundraising page for ideas about how to start making your dream trip come true!
Accommodation & Visas
Housing will typically be provided by your program provider while volunteering abroad in Guadeloupe. Group living situations and homestays are traditionally the most popular forms of accommodation for international volunteers in Guadeloupe, but alternative housing situations may also be utilized depending on your location.
Citizens of many countries will be allowed to stay in Guadeloupe for up to 90 days before having to obtain a visa. This policy may change, however, depending on your home country and the type of work you will be doing while you volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe. While Guadeloupe is a territory of France, it does not officially fall under the Schengen area with other EU Countries.
Benefits & Challenges
History Speaks. Along with the rest of the Caribbean region, Guadeloupe has emerged today from a fascinating and often tragic past. Volunteer abroad to learn all about a region that is not often talked about in history books.
Language Immersion. Guadeloupe is a great off-brand destination where you can develop your French language skills while volunteering abroad. Who knows, maybe you will pick up some Creole as well!
Island Getaway. Don’t work yourself too hard while you volunteer abroad in Guadeloupe; this is also a great chance to get away from the fast paced life of the mainland and reflect on your travels.