Spring Break volunteer work around the world is becoming a very popular alternative to partying away the famous student sabbatical. Volunteering is a way to get away from it all, participate in a worthwhile cause, and in many cases, experience another culture in an entirely different country. It’s a chance to trade the typical Spring Break for one filled with merit and pride. And a major perk is you don’t always have to give up sun and sand to volunteer either. Plenty of volunteer opportunities are available overseas in tropical countries where the standard of living is low, but the rewards are sky high.
Hundreds of Spring Break volunteer programs are available for those seeking to look beyond their own needs in 2016 and return home with a huge sense of accomplishment. Habitat for Humanity, a long-celebrated homebuilder with a nonprofit status, accepts student volunteer to help build homes for low-income families around the world. For instance, one of the major destinations for Spring Break volunteer work in recent times is within the Gulf Coast where Hurricane Katrina all but ripped up most communities. If you’re handy in any way, this could be the perfect choice for you.
If you’re prone to spending time in the rugged wilderness, than you might just find the perfect opportunity to volunteer with one of the Spring Break volunteer programs offered by the American Hiking Society. The vast network of trails within the United States needs maintaining with plenty of areas needing to be chopped, raked, lopped, trimmed, and shoveled. These volunteer vacations are a great way to get outdoors, get some exercise, and be a part of one of the most lauded organizations in America.
Spring Break volunteer work with the United Way is yet another challenging yet rewarding way to spend time off. For several years, the United Way has run Spring Break volunteer programs called Storm Corps, where, much like Habitat for Humanity programs, volunteers aid in rebuilding communities torn apart by infamous hurricanes Ike, Katrina, and Rita along the Gulf Coast. Another opportunity to volunteer with the United Way is to offer your services to ASB, a United Way collective where students help to better local housing, day cares, and similar community centers.
If heading overseas is a dream, the good news is there are plenty of ways to offer your time. Spring Break volunteer work in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Jamaica, among other countries, are available through various volunteer organizations. Groups band together, working on projects arranged by major volunteer organizations that often pair with local groups. In almost all cases, volunteers enjoy accommodation and food in exchange plus some free time to explore.
In Costa Rica, a major focus is improving the conditions of local community centers, especially those focused around children. In Mexico, major conservation efforts open the doors to volunteers to execute tasks such as working at crocodile farms, educating communities on environmental responsibility, cleaning up beaches, and protecting newly hatched turtle eggs. In Jamaica, the need for volunteers lies in specific areas upset by natural disasters. These Spring Break volunteer programs don’t require any formal experience, only a strong work ethic and plenty of spirit.
Image: Student City