Volunteer in Central America and South America 2018
Want to volunteer in Central America or South America in 2018? With the most affordable fees and trusted programs, IVHQ has you covered with the best volunteer opportunities in Latin America! There are plenty of project options to choose from and even more sights to see once you arrive! Whether you’re traveling solo, with a friend, family, or as group, IVHQ is the volunteer travel provider of choice for those looking to touch down in Latin America. Keep reading to find out more…
If you’re seeking an immersive cultural exchange and the opportunity to put your Spanish skills into play, the Argentina program has your name on it. As an IVHQer in Argentina, you’ll be living near Cordoba city in a family-style volunteer house, where you’ll be in the company of like-minded international travelers and be well-looked supported by the friendly local team. Come prepared to take initiative, to work hard, and to be proactive in identifying opportunities to offer support in Teaching, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Healthcare, Sports Development, Special Needs Care, Community or Elderly Care projects. During your free time, explore the enticing plazas to meet the local musicians and artisans displaying their work, or venture further afield into Cordoba city, or even to Buenos Aires for a long weekend.
Your volunteering experience is what you make of it. Happiness, openness and generally optimism will get you a long way and make your stay unforgettable! Like mine! Rachel Ballegaard
Are you looking for the opportunity to contribute to important community projects while gaining a unique insight into the vibrant Brazilian culture? This program is well suited to energetic volunteers with a strong work ethic, a passion for working in a team, and a love of socialising and meeting new people. As an IVHQer in Brazil, you’ll have the opportunity to join other international volunteers, contributing to projects including Teaching English, Childcare, Sports Development, Community Development or our Carnaval project, where you’ll support local Samba schools in the preparations for the world-renowned Carnaval festival. Take advantage of the affordable Portuguese lessons on offer to enhance your communication with the locals, and spend your weekends with fellow volunteers to visit Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, or park up on Ipanema - one of Rio’s iconic beaches. Want to know if this is the right program for you? See 6 Signs You Should Volunteer In Brazil.
I’d do it again in a heartbeat. It’s a perfect way to travel and just an experience unlike any other, it’ll likely stay with you for the rest of your life. Craig Puttnam
As an IVHQer traveling to Colombia, you’ll have the option to volunteer in two different destinations - Cartagena or Bogota. If you’re drawn to the big city life, historic architecture and lively social settings, Bogota is your calling. Cartagena on the other hand is perfect for our volunteers who enjoy warmer climates and laid back coastal settings - picture white sand beaches and vibrant street scenes scattered with fruit carts and floral displays. Volunteers on our Colombia programs can choose from a variety of projects, including Teaching, Feeding the Homeless, Elderly Care, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Sports Development and Community. During your weekends, explore the historic neighborhoods and bustling markets, or join your fellow volunteers to experience the Andes or Amazon regions - a must for any traveler to South America!
When I got back home to the U.S, my best friend asked me if I had made a good decision about going to Colombia. The immediate response was YES! It was probably one of the greatest decisions I have made or will ever make. Elise Wright
For those seeking the opportunity to provide hands-on support to community development projects while gaining a first-hand insight into another culture, IVHQ’s Costa Rica program suits all types of volunteer travelers. While being accommodated alongside other international volunteers with a local homestay, you can opt to sign up for Teaching, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Eco-Agriculture Conservation or Turtle Conservation projects, while medical and nursing students/professionals have the opportunity to join the Healthcare project. Students looking to further their studies can also gain university credit on IVHQ’s Spanish Service Learning Course. During your weekends, you’ll have the chance to explore your new home with your new-found volunteer family - you’ll be spoilt for choice with volcanoes, rainforests and beaches within each access. Don’t miss a trip to Pacuare River to go white water rafting, or to Monteverde - world renowned for its biodiverse cloud forests, hiking and zip lining!
Volunteering with IVHQ was a wonderful experience. It allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and see the world from a different perspective. Jessica Kenny
If you’re someone who likes to keep busy and make the most of every day, IVHQ’s Guatemala program gives you the opportunity to engage in meaningful volunteer projects while taking up optional Spanish classes and the social gatherings on offer. Think salsa dancing, movie nights, guacamole-making classes and photography tours. Based in the colonial city of Antigua set against a volcanic backdrop, volunteers enjoy the experience of living with local homestays and the convenience of having everything located within walking distance. During the week, there are plenty of projects to support in the surrounding towns and pueblos of Antigua, including Teaching English, Childcare, Construction and Renovation, Elderly Care, Eco Agriculture Conservation, Medical, and Animal Care/Animal Rights. Save your weekends for exploring the world-renowned beach in Monterrico, or the Iximche Mayan ruins!
If you’re not sure where to volunteer in Latin America, but want to experience the best of the continent - try volunteering in Ecuador. While compact in size, Ecuador packs in the natural attractions that South America is celebrated for, including the Amazon Jungle, snow-capped mountains and no shortage of adventure sports! IVHQers in Ecuador can be based in Quito or Santa Elena and have the opportunity to live with local families in the company of other international volunteers. This program is well suited to volunteers who want to take initiative, are willing to work long hours, and want to get stuck in to providing real value to the projects they’re supporting. Work hard, play hard is the motto here, and the volunteer opportunities are among the most rewarding of all our programs. In Ecuador, you can choose to support Street Children Work, NGO Support, School Support or Kindergarten projects with IVHQ. Want to learn more about IVHQing in Ecuador? Read about Dallas’ experience volunteering in Ecuador here.
Working with and for the community helped me get much more out of the experience than I would have simply as a tourist. I intend to volunteer on every trip I take from now on. I feel more confident in unfamiliar situations and also more grateful for what I have and the support I get from my family and friends. David Haggan
Whether you’re drawn to the capital, Lima, or the historic city of Cusco, volunteering with IVHQ in Peru offers an immersive cultural experience for those looking to engage within the Peruvian community. If you’re wanting to tick Machu Picchu off the Bucket List, both destinations offer easy access to this must-do! Our Lima program is one of IVHQ’s longest-standing programs and offers volunteers our cheapest program fees and the chance to engage in community-driven projects, including Teaching English, Special Needs Care and Healthcare. Volunteers in Lima can enjoy the attractions of an urban city and the opportunity to explore the depths of the catacombs underneath the central plaza, surfing around the coast and traversing the paths along the cliff tops of Miraflores. If you’re seeking a more rural setting, Cusco could be the best option for you. Both the Andean Immersion and Jungle Conservation projects offer incredibly unique experiences, based outside of Cusco central in Amazonian Jungle or Sacred Valley locations. For those seeking Course Credit, the Spanish Service Learning Course is also available to Cusco-based volunteers. Can’t decide whether to volunteer in Lima or Peru? See Volunteering in Peru: Lima vs Cusco.
There is no camaraderie built, like the kind that can be built from reaching a shared goal. Volunteering with IVHQ not only brings you closer to the community of a country, but a community of volunteers who become your friends, your teammates, and your family away from home. Nothing is better than that! Bridget Drain
Based in Merida, IVHQ’s Mexico program is well suited to passionate volunteers who are looking for meaningful travel opportunities in the Yucatan area. As the starting point for exploring the Yucatan and its archaeological treasures, Merida is a thriving tourist town with plenty of cheap eats, bustling markets, cultural displays and peaceful parks. Here volunteers live together in a safe community-setting while supporting a range of projects from Teaching English to Environmental Research. This program is well suited to those who have existing Spanish skills, however there are affordable language courses available to take during your free time. Volunteers who are seeking the opportunity to escape the big city scene while gaining a traditional cultural experience will find this a rewarding program. During your stay, you’ll be accommodated in a quiet suburb, spending your free time and weekends relaxing pool-side, exploring the Mayan ruins, swimming in the cenotes and limestone sink holes, or biking ride into town to grab a taste of the local street-eats. This accommodation here offers the best of both worlds with a large complex situated on the grounds of the local family who will guide you through your volunteer experience. Those seeking a full immersion into the Mayan culture can experience a different style of living on the Maya Agriculture project.
Be open minded, and proactive and make the most of every minute you are there. Enjoy it to the fullest. I highly recommend volunteering with IVHQ. I will definitely be volunteering again with them in the future! Sheema Siddiqui