Change the world, one country at a time.

  • Laurys M

8 Countries to Visit as a Volunteer

An amazing way of traveling, visiting a country as a volunteer allows you to help a nation grow while enjoying the experience of being part of a foreign culture.

One of the greatest pleasures of the human being is to feel useful in any kind of way, however, this feeling of personal wellbeing is achieved in different manners depending on the individual. Being a volunteer is just one of the activities that can open the door to learning various trades, experiencing different situations and enjoying the magic of creating unique moments for those who have the opportunity to live it.

Furthermore, international volunteer programs offer you to meet people from other parts of the world, become familiar with their culture, bask in the beauty of their landscapes and discover interpersonal connections, as well as providing the benefits of accommodation and food in exchange for serving others in favor of a better world.

Today, we will be telling you about 8 countries offering volunteer programs that we suggest you go to, depending on the experience you are looking for. You will not regret taking part in these experiences, whatsoever:

1.- South Africa

Volunteer Type: Wildlife Protection

This country is excellent for being part of an animal protection team since it has a total of 22 protected areas in, which there are more than 84 national parks. This type of volunteering is ideal for veterinarians, scientists, or simply for those who are animal lovers (like most of us, to be honest).

Located on the African continent, this country hosts an extensive variety of wild animals, including those that are currently in danger of extinction because of poaching. This is why there is an important movement of protectionists and other people who offer to contribute to the care, preservation and monitoring of these species.

Regardless of the volunteer project you apply to, this country will offer you golden opportunities such as being a spectator to the life of elephants, lions, rhinos and gazelles in their habitat in the savanna, or allow you to enjoy the experience of witnessing white sharks or rare species of fish such as Sparidae fishes in their habitat.

2.- Ecuador

Volunteer type: Environment Conservation

In this Latin American country you can find the most biodiverse archipelago on the planet, in which we mean the Galapagos Islands. This region is comprised of 19 islands and 215 islets and is the second place with the highest volcanic activity in the world.

After the scientist Charles Darwin carried out his studies in 1835 and it was named as a biosphere reserve in 1985, a large community of volunteer biologists, ecologists and environmentalists has grown on these islands, all of them setting up there for learning, studying and preserving the biodiversity that this island offers.

Volunteering will bring you closer to the great flora of more than 300 native species (plants native to the region), around 180 endemic plants (unique species known but modified by their adaptation to the environment) and more than 700 introduced species.

3.- Ireland

Type of volunteering: Farm Maintenance

Although the predominant sector in the Irish economy today is based on service-based companies, traditionally, Ireland is a country with an important agricultural and forestry sector. This island has a wide repertoire of options in which you can apply as a volunteer for different agricultural activities in exchange for lodging, food and of course personal learning enrichment.

Depending on the option you apply to, you can find different types of establishments, from immense farms with a large area of land and crops, sheds with orchards, camping huts, ecological villages, cooperatives, etc.

And of course, the type of farm will also depend on the activities in which they specialize: Horse care, farm vaccines for the care of calves, production of milk and meat, organic or mixed farms, etc. You'll get to see the immense Irish beauty every morning as you wake up to take care of the farm animals, and will allow you to take some gorgeous memories home with you.

4.- Uganda

Type of volunteering: Health Aid

The Republic of Uganda is a country with many unique landscapes and whose culture is constituted by the different ethnic groups that exist throughout its territory.

Despite having many riches from agriculture and mining, Uganda is listed as one of the poorest countries in the world, with serious public service problems, such as electricity, drinking water and waste processing. The life expectancy of the average inhabitant is a mere 58 years old, and the public medical service of the country is alarming and scarce.

The fight against AIDS is one of the most prominent and in which volunteers are needed to raise awareness and educate the population about its prevention, in addition to supporting the community with medicines and medical monitoring that prolong the life of those already infected.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other health professionals are usually those who are part of volunteer projects and are located in small clinics, establishments or camps to provide consultations, emergencies and / or check-ups of the Ugandan population.

5.- Peru

Type of volunteering: Educational

If we refer to beautiful landscapes and various climates, as well as when we talk about its cultural and gastronomic wealth, Peru is an outstanding place without any doubt.

This country, located in South America, has a thousands-year-old history dating back more than 10 millennia and in which many indigenous communities still live in the most remote parts of this country as they did in their beginnings.

It is for this reason that both government and non-profit organizations require thousands of volunteers (both national and international) who are given the task of bringing education and enlightenment to the furthest corners of the nation.

There are many ways in which science students, teachers, retirees and young people with baccalaureate knowledge can help with the education of Peruvian children. Teaching math, physics, chemistry, offer support to students in their activities and create didactic assessment plans for teaching Spanish to children who only handle the Quechua language.

6.- Kenya

The beautiful smile of a curious child is worth the trip.

Type of volunteering: Social

This African country is known as "The Cradle of Humanity", believed to be the place where our race originated. Currently, Kenya comprises a vast cultural pluralism comprised of more than 42 recognized tribes. However, these communities can be classified according to the language used in 3 groups by the Bantu, Nilotic and Kushite.

As in other African countries, a large part of the population carries the HIV virus, which results in many children being orphaned at a young age due to their mother and / or father dying from this terrible disease. Social volunteering is one of the most important in Kenya since it mostly helps the care and training of these children who are left alone and lost in the world.

The establishments where the social volunteers are located are mainly in orphanages, nursing homes, schools and places of learning for children with disabilities. It is important to know that the language that is usually handled as a volunteer is English.

7.- Hungary

Type of volunteering: Maintenance - Customer Service

The volunteering system found in Hungary is simply exchanging a few hours of maintenance service (either plumbing, carpentry, painting, etc) to hostels in exchange for accommodation and free food. This type of volunteering may seem out of place in comparison to all of the previous examples, but we wanted to include it because it basically performs the same functions as any other volunteer system, providing a non-profit service.

Depending on the hostel to which you apply, you will have either more advantages or disadvantages. Some offer a private bedroom, while others offer a shared bathroom, and there are those who give the option of a room and a private bathroom. Other examples of what you probably have access to is having a bicycle at your service, free tours, being able to develop your artistic skills at several locations and earning tips from grateful hostel owners, among others.

Although you can practice this type of volunteering anywhere in the world, I chose this European country exclusively because of its perfect geographical location since it borders 7 countries (Romania, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine) and thanks to its small territorial extension you can visit the weekends free to these countries as well.

8.- Italy

Type of volunteering: Sociocultural

A wonderful opportunity to enjoy the famous and legendary cuisine of this country with the humblest homes of the Italian community. In this type of volunteering, a number of people are put in charge of facilitating the tools to the youth population in less favored places by carrying out cultural and sports activities within their community.

For this type of volunteering, the most important requirements are to be familiar with teaching, flexible, understandable and patient, open-minded and quite proactive. In addition, it is required to have an intermediate or fluent English level or preferably to know Italian. Accommodation and meals are provided by the volunteer organization.

These volunteers are responsible for scheduling workshops, educational courses related to theater, painting and music for young people and children. Many sports activities are also organized to develop and strengthen ties of fellowship, cooperation and work. One of the fundamental objectives is to keep the mind occupied of these young people during the most important stage of development of their lives and to improve the coexistence between their community.

It is clear that in this type of "tourism", the luxuries are left aside to give way to new experiences that will verifiably make you grow as a person and sow or strengthen your values. I hope you liked this article and that you make suggestions in your comments about other types of volunteers that we could add to the list or countries to which you have been a volunteer.

Now it is your time to tell us…

 Have you ever been a volunteer or are you thinking of becoming one?

Leave your comment below and… Don’t forget to Subscribe!


Laurys M

My name is Laurys, and I'm a Chemical Engineer living in Venezuela. A lover of great music, good science, and an interesting book, I love learning about new cultures across the planet and discovering new languages and people. I've been a freelancer since 2008, and my career has only grown since then. I want to help others see the world through the eyes of freelancers, which is why I'm part of Begin Wandering!

Share post on: