Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America is the ultimate guide to the best volunteer experiences available in Latin America. Seasoned volunteer Amy E. Robertson shares her own expertise while inspiring readers to choose the right volunteer placement for their specific interests. Broken into chapters based on destination, the book gives a comprehensive overview of the best programs offered in each country and includes helpful information about housing, program costs, placement length, and much more. The countries covered include Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
Robertson also shares ideas for fundraising, as well as additional sources of information on volunteering, travel, and the various destinations. From discovering the best times to go to navigating the application process to figuring out what to take, this guidebook prepares readers for all aspects of their volunteer experience, whether they're preparing a turtle hatchery in Costa Rica, teaching English in Mexico, or building a home in Brazil. Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America is a must-have for anyone looking to get involved abroad.
About the Author
Amy E. Robertson has been passionate about volunteer vacations since she was 13, when she took her first service trip with Habitat for Humanity. Since then, she's traveled far and wide, visiting more than 60 countries and living in six. She has lived in Ecuador and Honduras and traveled in 12 other mainland Latin American countries (plus four in the Caribbean). In that time, Amy explored the snow-capped mountains, animal-packed jungles, sandy beaches, and temples of the Maya that make up this diverse area. She fell in love with the rich culture of the modern Quechua and the ancient Incas and found passion for salsa dancing. The volunteer experiences she hadfrom building homes in Honduras, to monitoring presidential elections in Ecuador, to working with youth in Bolivia on the creation of social documentarieshelped her to better understand the people she met and enriched her as much as it did those she supported.
Amy has a background in international development and nonprofit management, and has worked in both private and nonprofit sectors. She applied that expertise, as well as the advice and experiences of her extensive network of passionate “voluntourist” friends and colleagues, to her evaluation of volunteer programs for this book.
Amy is a Seattle native who has long been obsessed with travel. She studied in Boston and Madrid for her bachelor's degree and London for her master's degree in development studies (where she also met her husband, who hails from Italy). In 2012, after eight years living in Latin America, Amy moved with her husband and two children to Beirut, Lebanon. She spends three months a year divided between her family's hometowns: Seattle, Rome, and Messina, Sicily. She is the author of Moon Honduras & the Bay Islands, and her writing has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Christian Science Monitor, and Travel + Leisure, among others.
Read an Excerpt
Travel becomes transformative when people share experiences and integrate with the culture and environment of a place. Amy E. Robertsonworld traveler and volunteer expertshares three important reasons to give back with a volunteer vacation.
1. Volunteering helps tourists become travelers.
Volunteer vacations allow visitors to experience a destination and connect with locals in new and meaningful ways. Volunteering is about sharing talents and abilities, mutual learning, and pulling back the curtain that separates the foreigner from the country.
2. Volunteer vacations are fun as well as fulfilling.
Captivated by the extraordinary wildlife of Costa Rica and Ecuador? Longing for the laid-back vibe of Nicaragua and Mexico? From the European-Latin fusion of Argentina to the beaches and colonial cities of less-traveled Colombia, Latin America offers something to entice any traveler.
3. Volunteering is first and foremost about those in need.
Poverty figures in Latin America dwarf those of the United States and Canada. Most Latin American countries don’t have social safety nets like welfare or Medicaid. Children may go to school 100 days a yearor not at all. Wildlife conservation and environmental protection is often left behind in the basic struggle for survival.
Each travel experience has the potential to open windows into unfamiliar and exciting worlds. Whatever travelers choose to do and wherever they choose to go, volunteering can add a new dimension to their trips and create meaningful memories that last a lifetime.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Information on lots of volunteer opportunities - some high end, many free or low-cost. Background information on different countries in Latin America as well.