Volunteer vacations continue to increase in popularity, as surveys show young adults and teens have great interest in voluntourism. And it’s easy to see why.
After all, not only is volunteering abroad a meaningful way to spend your time off: you can have a blast, too! Especially if you go to a destination near cozy sand or epic mountains.
As an article in the New York Times notes, your charitable getaway will be even more spectacular if you choose a bucket-list destination. The key to ensuring the trip to your dream location is magical then depends on choosing a cause that matters to you, working with a reputable volunteer abroad organization, and making sure everything aligns with your budget and preferences for accommodation, work hours, and project structure.
To simplify the task of finding a volunteer or teach abroad program near a beach or mountain (there are lots of programs and beaches and mountains out there), we’ve compiled this list of excellent organizations and programs. So, start your research below!
Types Of Beach And Mountain Volunteer Activities
When you volunteer, teach, or intern abroad in an exciting destination, like a beach town or mountain village, you have ample ways to do some good. Program types include:
Community development: Raise awareness about a public health issue, teach skills training workshops, build houses overseas, implement sustainable farming practices, and more. Community development volunteer abroad programs are common in both mountain and beach areas. For those that want to volunteer in Bali, International Volunteer HQ has a great program in Ubud, Bali, which is in the cool mountains and still within a manageable day trip to beaches. You can assist with community construction and teach health and nutrition.
Wildlife preservation: This is a popular kind of volunteer abroad program for mountainous regions. For instance, Projects Abroad runs a conservation program in the Himalayas. Head to Nepal and engage in wildlife research and other activities to protect biodiversity.
Marine conservation: Join in on marine and coastal conservation efforts, from beach cleanups to marine life research. For example, Fronteering has a shark diving and conservation program near Cape Town, South Africa that’s quite popular.
Education and childcare: Whether you want to help out at a daycare or support women’s empowerment initiatives, you can find a suitable education or childcare program near a beach or mountain. For example, International Volunteer HQ has childcare, English teaching, and sports education projects in happening Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Enjoy the beach as you volunteer with children in need.
Country-hopping service trips: Many service organizations have great adventure travel experiences and volunteer vacations. You could go on a 10-week Central America Ethical Adventure, which allows you to see beaches, mountains, and cultural sites in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and other countries all in one trip (program is offered by Frontier).
So, no matter what you want to do, and whether you want to volunteer in the tropics or volunteer in the mountains, you can find a reputable program in the location of your choice. Below, you’ll find projects hosted by the best volunteer abroad organizations around the world. See what catches your eye—and get ready to go!