Canada is huge. Spanning from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean just north of the United States, the environmentally rich nation is a favorite place for outdoor activity. Yet, for its massive size, it has a relatively small population at 36.5 million — roughly 10 percent that of the United States. Still, you can find lots of ways to give back to Canada during a volunteer experience. Whether you visit the Great White North during its famously cold season or volunteer abroad in Canada during the delightful summer months, there are several volunteer programs to choose from. Here are some things to know before you sign up to volunteer in Canada — and a couple of organizations ready to pair you with the right opportunity.
Know Before You Go
Canada may share a 1,500-mile border with the United States and be driving distance from many northern states — but it offers a unique cultural experience and requires an understanding of different laws and rules. While American money may be accepted at certain border towns and cities, you should plan on converting currency during a longer volunteer experience.
You will also need a passport to visit — a driver’s license used to suffice, but updated laws require you to carry a valid passport. Canada is also quite conservative about who they let cross the border when it comes to criminal behavior. If you have a few minor offenses on your record, don’t despair, but do make sure you will be allowed to cross the border before signing up for a Canada volunteer program!
Canada is a developed and flourishing country, but its small population leaves tons of openings for people to visit from abroad and lend their time and energy. Rural communities are often short-handed when it comes to animal rescue and care and ranch maintenance. Conservationists can also use eager minds to help them collect vital data about native animals that are important to regional ecosystems. No matter your background, you can find a way to lend a helping hand to friendly Canadians in their efforts to improve and conserve their animal (and human!) communities.