Volunteer in USA - New Orleans
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 4 meaningful project options
- Projects based in New Orleans in the state of Louisiana, USA
- Accommodation in a volunteer house
- Between 5 and 10 volunteers start in New Orleans each month
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- Program fees from $440 for 1 week
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in United States to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in United States will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organisations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore United States with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ USA volunteer program has volunteer placements located in the neighborhoods around New Orleans, the largest city in the state of Louisiana. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city of New Orleans.
Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.
Environmental sustainability is one of the greatest challenges facing New Orleans - from rising sea levels and sinking wetlands, to bayous and natural disasters, the future of the city is dependent on responding and adapting to climate change. As a volunteer on the Environmental Sustainability project in the United States, you will be on the front line of supporting community development initiatives to help the city of New Orleans meet its long-term sustainability goals.
This project is perfect for volunteers who want to make an active contribution to important sustainability activities in the United States, while also gaining valuable learning opportunities which can be transferred back to your home community. If you love the outdoors, are passionate about conservation and enjoy physical work, this is an awesome opportunity to get out in the community and make a difference to the future of New Orleans.
When volunteering on the Environmental Sustainability project, you can expect to work within community gardens, farms and public green spaces, while being involved in restoring wetlands through planting and assisting with conservation and disaster management plans. The work on this project is varied and our local team focus on supporting a range of different placements to ensure that you will be kept busy during your program. Many of our Environmental Sustainability placements also require administrative support, so you can help out with building websites and social media platforms, as well as fundraising campaigns and data collection. As a volunteer, you can expect to work on these administrative tasks for 1-2 days per week.
You are not required to have any previous experience to participate on this project, as our local team will ensure that you are well directed and supported to complete the work at hand.
Housing and Homeless Support
As a volunteer on the Housing and Homeless Support project in the United States, you will be assisting the city of New Orleans in combating community deterioration and homelessness. Following Hurricane Katrina, homelessness and a lack of affordable housing became key issues for the city, which are issues that continue to persist in some neighborhoods in New Orleans today. On the Housing and Homeless Support project, you will play an important role in strengthening and supporting these neighborhoods to rebuild, while learning about the history of New Orleans and the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the local community.
This project is well suited to volunteers who are looking for an opportunity to provide hands-on support to communities in significant need within New Orleans. This is an immersive project where you will have the opportunity to work closely alongside local community members who come from various backgrounds and have inspiring stories to share with you.
As a volunteer on the Housing and Homeless Support project, you will assist with rebuilding homes and construction work, clearing and cleaning vacant houses, as well as providing support in local homeless shelters. Your tasks may include painting houses, installing drywall and flooring, as well as landscaping. For 1-2 days days per week, you will be assisting with administrative activities to support the long-term goals of the community organization you will be working with. These organizations are always looking for help to improve their website and social media platforms, as well as developing fundraising proposals and collecting data.
The purpose of the Neighborhood Renovation project is to support the continued revitalization efforts of local communities throughout New Orleans. This is a city of many unique and vibrant neighborhoods, each with their own history, culture, highlights and challenges. The Neighborhood Renovation project is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the residents within low-income communities in New Orleans.
This project is well suited to volunteers who are interested in manual renovation work and beautification projects. This is also a perfect project for any artists who are interested in offering their skills for mural painting throughout the city. You need to be willing to work hard and provide support wherever your help is most needed. This is a rewarding way to learn about the people and neighborhoods that make New Orleans special, while providing hands-on support to communities that value your contribution.
When volunteering on the Neighborhood Renovation project, you can expect to be involved with a wide variety of renovation initiatives. Your tasks can range from beautification projects in local parks, schools and communities, to clearing storm drains that would otherwise be left to overfill and flood. You will also be involved in supporting local schools and community centers with various tasks, such as classroom and library organization as required.
It is important to note that our community partners not only require daily support in the field, but also require assistance in an administrative capacity. To complement your field work, you will spend 1-2 days per week helping out with administrative activities, such as website and social media management, fundraising and data compilation.
You are not required to have any previous experience for this project, as our local team will ensure that you are well directed and supported to make a different within the neighborhoods you will be supporting.
Art and Community Outreach
As a volunteer on our Art and Community Outreach project, you will have the opportunity to support the thriving art scene and unique community culture that make New Orleans unlike any other city in the United States. To support the sustainability of New Orleans, an increasing emphasis is being placed on protecting and enhancing the arts and cultural scene, and you will be supporting the city to continue to thrive, while immersing yourself in the fabric of city.
If you’re someone who appreciates culture and believes in the power of art as a means of community development, this project will be a perfect fit for you.
As a volunteer on the Art and Community Outreach project, you will be involved in Mardi Gras bead recycling, restoring a local cemetery, working at a local art or music festival, as well as providing support to local museums or arts education programs. Our Art and Community Outreach placements also require support with administration and capacity building, so you will be helping out with activities like website and social media management, fundraising and data compilation. You can expect to spend 1-2 days per week supporting administrative tasks like these.
You are not required to have any previous experience for this project, as our local team will ensure that you are well directed and supported to make the most of your time volunteering on this project.
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of every month and volunteers need to arrive in to New Orleans on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) in New Orleans, where you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation.
If you are traveling in New Orleans prior to your volunteer program, our local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel within New Orleans.
Orientation is hosted by our New Orleans team at the volunteer accommodation in New Orleans. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in New Orleans – Introduction to New Orleans, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, Introduction to Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
A typical volunteer day is as follows:
7:00 AM Breakfast in the volunteer house.
7.45 AM Leave home and travel to your project. You will join with the local staff and will be given a duty roster and plan for work. Work and hours is dependent on the project and location that you are participating in.
12.00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In New Orleans all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours. Some start earlier, some later.
2:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. At this point you are free to travel home, sightsee or do some shopping.
7:00 PM Dinner in the volunteer accommodation.
Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style volunteer house in the neighborhood of Freret in New Orleans. This location is a short drive/taxi from downtown New Orleans with easy access to small shopping and food stores nearby.
The volunteer house can accommodate up to 30 volunteers and you should expect to share a room with up to 7 other volunteers. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding and towels provided. All rooms are equipped with a fan and have a shared bathroom equipped with western toilets and showers. There is staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week, however, we ask volunteers to keep their rooms tidy.
The accommodation is equipped with WiFi which volunteers are able to use. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to access the internet.
As one of the culinary capitals of the United States, you’ll quickly fall in love with the unique cuisine of New Orleans that reflect the city’s French, African and American roots. Volunteers are provided three meals per day on Monday to Thursday. Breakfast and lunch is provided from Monday to Saturday (with a light breakfast service on Saturday) and dinner is provided on Sunday to Friday.
Breakfast is always hot, you will typically be served with eggs, bread, spreads, cereals and fruit, as well as a few extras to ensure you’re ready to go for the day. Packed lunches are provided at breakfast from Monday to Saturday. This will commonly be ‘make-your-own’ sandwiches with a selection of smaller snacks, and fresh fruit.
Dinner is served from Sunday to Friday and will feature a wide range of American, Southern and New Orleans cuisine. The menu will vary from week to week and you can expect to see some spaghetti or parmesan-type dishes, tacos or hot dogs, or your traditional New Orleans meal, such as jambalaya or gumbo.
All meals are prepared by the local staff and volunteers are asked to provide some help with cleaning up the dining hall after each meal.
You’ll have the chance to truly explore New Orleans in your free-time. This Louisianian city is the home of all that’s good in life - mouthwatering food, soulful music and fun loving, welcoming people. The fusion of Cajun, Creole, French, and African roots have made this resilient American city a unique place to visit today.
The biggest problem you’ll have here is figuring out what to do first! Start by exploring the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, famous for its grand architecture and lively street-life. Discover Treme, the city’s cultural pulse and brass band powerhouse. Make the most of Crescent Park, the 1.4-mile-long riverfront park and enjoy the bike lanes that run from the Bywater to the Marigny. Watch the transformation of Bourbon Street at twilight as the home of jazz comes alive and the live music starts up! Or, head further afield and take in the wild backwaters, Mississippi River, and vast sugarcane fields on a swamp tour.
You’ll have worked up quite an appetite by then, so sit back and recharge with a feast of shrimp gumbo, or maybe just a bite of a po’boy sandwich or a spoonful of jambalaya!
And, don’t think Mardi Gras or the Jazz Fest are the only times the city’s in the festival swing, be ready to make the most of the impromptu, authentic festivals and parades that pop up across the city most weekends! It’s an expression of the strong community spirit and thriving arts community.
But most importantly come to New Orleans with an open mind and ready to embrace the city’s motto, “laissez les bon temps rouler”, which translates to “let the good times roll”.
|Currency||United States Dollar (USD)|
|Time zone||UTC-06:00 (Summer UTC-05:00)|
Weather and climate: New Orleans’ southern location means that the climate is humid subtropical, with short, mild winters and hot, humid summers. July is the hottest month in New Orleans with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and the coldest is January at 13°C (55°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 12 in June. The wettest month is July with an average of 168mm of rain. The best month to swim in the sea is in July when the average sea temperature is 30°C (86°F).
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check to IVHQ after registering on the program.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.
If you’re looking for group volunteer opportunities in the United States, this program is perfect for large groups of college students, high school students, corporate teams and families. Whether you’re looking to organize an alternative break trip, team building exercise, or meaningful volunteer vacation, our local team in New Orleans are highly experienced in proving impactful volunteer opportunities for large groups.
We’ll work closely with you to understand the goals of your group, so you can leave the planning to us. We can create a customized itinerary to provide your team members with a well-organized schedule so you can make the most of your time in New Orleans, while making a positive contribution to the local community.
If you’re volunteering with 8 or more people, you can connect directly with our Volunteer Groups team to share your ideas with us.
If your group has less than 8 members, you can go ahead and apply for the program and you’ll be prompted to add your team members in the application process – this will ensure we can accommodate you together.