Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others


For those looking for a way to make a difference while on vacation—simultaneously getting away and using their talents to improve the world—this guide shows you how a short-term volunteer stint can transform your life as much as the people, animals, and ecology you choose to help. This fully updated edition is filled with in-depth information and profiles of more than 150 select organizations running thousands of quality programs in the United States and around the world. Inside, you’ll discover ways to • Map ...

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For those looking for a way to make a difference while on vacation—simultaneously getting away and using their talents to improve the world—this guide shows you how a short-term volunteer stint can transform your life as much as the people, animals, and ecology you choose to help. This fully updated edition is filled with in-depth information and profiles of more than 150 select organizations running thousands of quality programs in the United States and around the world. Inside, you’ll discover ways to • Map rock art in South Africa • Tutor children in the Navajo Nation in Arizona • Build houses in Honduras • Teach art lessons in Ghana's only children's gallery • Restore wetlands in Colorado • Rehabilitate wounded elephants in India Each listing includes complete contact information with locations, costs, dates, and project details you won’t find anywhere else. In addition, it features some of the better established long-term projects as well as organizations specifically tailored for families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Stories from recent volunteers and a host of photographs help you further imagine your volunteer adventure.

Fully updated and revised, the sixth edition of this classic adventure travel guide profiles more than 250 charitable organizations and 2,000 projects worldwide that need volunteers. 40 photos. 480 pp.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] comprehensive gathering."  —Booklist

"Anyone who can’t find a dozen projects here to get excited about just doesn’t have a traveler’s soul."  —San Francisco Chronicle

"Would-be volunteers will have plenty of adventures to research."  —Boston Globe

"Takes the legwork out of finding an opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture."  —The Iowan

"Details thousands of opportunities for anyone wanting to see the world with a purpose."  —Westworld Magazine

"Explicitly tuned to matching the needs and desires of prospective travelers with the organizations and projects which will suit them best."  —GoNomad.com

"Handy resource . . .  it's a must-have."  —Emerging Horizons

“For those who like to get their hands dirty, this is an excellent resource.” —Chicago Tribune

O, The Oprah Magazine
If you want to use your time off to do good-and let's be honest, have an incredible experience.
The Tennessean
If...your goal is to reach out to others around the world, then here's the book for you.
Associated Press
Fulfilling and stimulating volunteer work you can do short-term.
Home News Tribune
Combining volunteerism with travel is the ideal getaway.
The Oregonian
The best, all-around guidebook for volunteer vacations.
Explicitly tuned to matching the needs and desires of prospective travelers with the organizations and projects which will suit them best.
Emerging Horizons
Handy resource . . . it's a must-have.
Library Journal

Fully updated, Volunteer Vacations provides one to two pages of information on 150 organizations through which travelers can help others while on vacation at locations both in the United States and around the world. The authors state that they have carefully vetted the organizations but they have stoped short of providing reviews or ratings. While essential information on each organization's work, locations, costs, needed skills, age restrictions, and contact information is provided, the authors encourage readers to research further on their own. They provide tips on how to evaluate an organization, and they intersperse inspiring testimonials from former volunteers throughout the book. Indexing provides access by cost, required length of stay, location, season, type, disability friendly, family friendly, and senior friendly. This guide is both a good starting point and a sound overview for those interested in undertaking a service-oriented vacation. Increased interest in this type of tourism recommends this edition for all libraries with travel collections.
—Louise Feldmann

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556527845
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 1,201,214
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill McMillon is a high school teacher. Doug Cutchins is the director of social commitment at Grinnell College. Anne Geissinger is a part-time photographer. Ed Asner is a professional actor. He appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for which he won an Emmy, and the series Lou Grant. He also appeared on the television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv
Foreword xix
Preface xxi
Introduction xxiii
Sponsoring Organizations
Alaska State Parks 3
Alliances Abroad 4
Amazon-Africa Aid Organization (3AO) 5
American Rivers 6
AmeriSpan Unlimited 7
Amigos de las Americas 8
On Building Stoves in Mexico 10
Amity Institute--Amity Volunteer Teachers Abroad (AVTA) Program 14
Amizade, Limited 16
Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) 17
The Cuttings of a Volunteer Trail Crew 19
Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) 21
ARCHELON, The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece 23
ARFA (Associacion de Rescate de Fauna) 24
Bardou Project 25
Bike-Aid 26
Biosphere Expeditions 27
Amazonian Medicine Women 29
BRIDGES (Building Responsible International Dialogue through Grassroots Exchanges) 32
Bridges for Education, Inc. (BFE) 33
Bristol Industrial Museum 34
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) 35
BTCV Scotland 36
C.A.I. Pina Palmera A.C. 37
California Department of Parks and Recreation 38
Camp AmeriKids 39
Camphill Special School, Beaver Run 40
Canary Nature (Project of the Atlantic Whale Foundation) 41
Cape Tribulation Tropical Research Station 42
Caput Insulae Beli 44
Caretta Research Project 45
Caribbean Conservation Corporation 46
Caribbean Volunteer Expeditions 47
We Brake for Buildings! 48
Casa de Proyecto Libertad, Incorporated 51
Catalina Island Conservancy 52
Conservation, Education, Diving, Awareness, and Marine Research (CEDAM International) 53
Central European Teaching Program 54
Centre for Alternative Technology 56
Centro de Estudios de Espanol Pop Wuj 57
Chantier de Jeunes 58
Chantiers d'Etudes Medievales 59
Cholsey and Wallingford Railway 60
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks 61
Christian Peacemaker Teams 62
Colorado Trail Foundation 63
Father and Sons on the Colorado Trail 64
Connecticut State Parks Division 66
Conservation Volunteers Australia 67
Council on International Educational Exchange 69
Cross-Cultural Solutions 70
Working with Mother Teresa 72
Cross-Lines Cooperative Council 74
Cultural Destination Nepal (CDN) 75
Dakshinayan 77
Dane County Parks Adult Conservation Team 78
The Dwelling Place 79
Earthwatch Institute 80
Eco-Escuela de Espanol 82
Ecovolunteer Program 83
El Porvenir 85
Eno River State Park 86
Explorations in Travel 87
Farm Sanctuary 88
Fellowship of Reconciliation--Task Force on Latin America and the Caribbean (Voluntarios Solidarios) 89
Ffestiniog Railway Company 92
Flemish Youth Federation for the Study and Conservation of Nature 93
Florida Department of Environmental Protection 94
Florida Trail Association 95
Flying Doctors of America 96
Food First 97
Foundation for International Education 98
Foundation for Sustainable Development 99
Four Corners School of Outdoor Education 100
Fourth World Movement/USA 101
Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, Inc. 103
Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad 104
Frontier Volunteer/Society for Environmental Exploration 106
Gap Year in Vietnam 107
Frontiers Foundation--Operation Beaver 110
Fundacion Jatun Sacha 111
Genesis II Cloud Forest Preserve and Wildlife Refuge 112
Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites 113
Gifford Pinchot National Forest 114
Global Citizens Network (GCN) 115
Chasing Elephants in Kenya 116
Global Routes 118
Welcome Teacha' James 119
Global Service Corps (GSC) 121
Global Volunteers 123
Global Works 125
Habitat for Humanity Global Village Work Teams 126
Hanging Rock State Park 127
Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) 128
Heifer Project International 129
Idaho State Parks and Recreation 130
Illinois Department of Natural Resources 131
Indiana Department of State Parks and Reservoirs 132
Insight Nepal 133
International Center for Gibbon Studies (ICGS) 134
International Cultural Adventures 136
International Jewish College Corps (IJCC) 139
International Volunteer Program (IVP) 141
Interplast, Incorporated 142
Involvement Volunteers of Australia (IVA) 144
Jewish National Fund--Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel (CAARI) 146
Jewish Volunteer Corps (JVC) 148
Joint Assistance Centre (JAC) 150
Kalani Oceanside Retreat 152
Kansas Archeology Training Program Field School 153
Kibbutz Program Center 154
Kimochi Incorporated 155
Landmark Volunteers 156
Latin American Language Center (LALC) 157
LEAPNow: Lifelong Education Alternatives and Programs 159
Life Line International 161
Little Children of the World, Incorporated (LCW) 162
Loch Arthur Community 163
Lolo National Forest 164
Mar de Jade 165
Learning from the Children in Mexico 166
MAR--Bulgarian Youth Alliance for Development 168
Marine Environment Awareness Project 169
Medical Ministry International (MMI) 170
Aerobics for the Soul 172
Los Medicos Voladores (LMV)--The Flying Doctors 175
Soaring in Sacrifice 176
MERCI (Marion Edwards Recovery Center Initiative)/North Carolina Conference United Methodist Church Disaster Recovery Ministries 179
Mercy Ships 180
Michigan Nature Association (MNA) 182
Mingan Island Cetacean Study, Incorporated (MICS) 183
Missouri Department of Natural Resources 184
Monkey Sanctuary 185
Morrow Mountain State Park 187
Mount Vernon Ladies' Association 189
National Audubon Society 190
National Meditation Center for World Peace 194
National Trust for Scotland Thistle Camps 195
National Trust Working Holidays 196
Nevada Division of State Parks 197
Nicaragua Solidarity Network 198
Northern Cambria Community Development (NORCAM) 199
North York Moors Historical Railway Trust 200
Nothelfergemeinschaft der Freunde e.V. 201
Oceanic Society Expeditions 202
Operation Crossroads Africa 204
ORDEX Cultural Exchange 205
Oregon River Experiences, Incorporated 206
Orkney Seal Rescue 208
Pacific Crest Trail Association 209
Pacific Northwest Trail Association 210
Pacific Whale Foundation 211
Passport in Time (PIT) 213
Magic at Roundy Crossing 214
Peacework Development Fund, Inc. 216
Peruvian Safaris 217
Philanthropy Host Families (Ghana) 219
Planet Drum Foundation 220
Nature in the City 221
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club 224
PRETOMA (Programa Restauracion de Tortugas Marinas) 225
Turtle Tracks 226
Prime Care Network 230
Quest 231
Rebuilding Together 233
Religious Society of Friends, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting 234
Rempart 235
Romanian Children's Relief (Fundatia Inocenti) 236
Royal Tyrrell Museum: Day Digs 237
Royal Tyrrell Museum: Field Experience 238
La Sabranenque Restoration Projects 239
Samaritans International 241
Santa Fe National Forest, Pecos-Las Vegas Ranger District, Wilderness and Trails Program 243
Sierra Club National Outings 244
Service Civil International--International Voluntary Service (SCI/IVS) 246
The Share Centre 247
Simon Community of Ireland 248
Sioux YMCAs 249
Siuslaw National Forest 250
Societe Archeologique de Douai 252
Sousson Foundation 253
South Dakota Game and Fish Parks 254
Student Conservation Association (SCA) 255
How Volunteering in the Mojave Desert Really Did Change My Life 257
Student Conservation Association (SCA) Conservation Internships 259
Sunseed Desert Technology 261
Tahoe Rim Trail Association 263
Teaching and Projects Abroad 264
Third World Opportunities 266
Transformational Journeys 267
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)--Just Works Workcamp Program 268
A Playground Paradigm Shift 270
United Children's Fund, Inc. 275
United Nations Volunteers 276
University of Alaska, Anchorage, Department of Anthropology 277
University Research Expeditions Program (UREP) 278
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 279
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 280
U.S. Forest Service (USFS)--Volunteers in the National Forests 282
Visions in Action 286
Voluntary Workcamps Association of Ghana 288
Volunteer Nepal Himalaya 289
Volunteers for International Solidarity (Center for Creative Activities) 290
Volunteers for Israel 291
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) 293
Volunteers for Peace, Inc. (VFP)--International Voluntary Service 294
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission 296
Washington Trails Association (WTA) 297
WTA Weeklong Vacation 298
Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway 300
Wild at Heart 301
Wildlands Studies 303
Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) Australia 304
WWOOF Canada, WWOOF USA, WWOOF Hawaii 305
Winant-Clayton Volunteers, Incorporated 306
Wind Cave National Park 307
Winged Fellowship Trust 308
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 309
Worcestershire Lifestyles 310
World Challenge Expeditions 311
World Horizons International LLC 312
WorldTeach, Inc. 313
Wyoming Dinosaur Center 314
Wyoming Parks and Cultural Resources 316
YEE Office 317
Youth International 318
Zoetic Research/Sea Quest Expeditions 320
Additional Resources 321
By Project Cost 325
By Project Length 333
By Project Location 341
By Project Season 351
By Project Type 359
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