Shuffle through the bustling streets of New York City, lose yourself in Banff National Park of Canada, and wander around the pyramids Teotihuacan, Mexico. From the Rocky Mountains to the Caribbean shores, North America has it all.
With so much to offer, it shouldn’t surprise you that North America welcomes more than 272 million international tourists each year (World Bank data). Few regions can deliver as epic of an adventure.
That makes the continent the perfect location for your volunteer abroad adventure. Whether you want to volunteer in Mexico as an English teacher or volunteer in Jamaica to build houses, you have all the choices you could want.
In this article, we’ll highlight what you can do and where you can volunteer in North America. We’ll also cover reputable volunteer programs in North America.
Where Can I Volunteer in North America? And What Can I Do?
Before we discuss volunteer programs in North America, let’s define the region. North America spans from the Arctic Archipelago in Canada all the way through Central America. To the east, it’s bound by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. To the west, it’s bound by the Pacific Ocean. North America has a total of 39 countries and territories.
The region has a lengthy history. According to a National Geographic report, some research suggests that Native Americans have been in the region for 20,000-40,000 years. That’s incredible, isn’t it?
Today, North America has a wonderfully diverse mix of peoples, cultures, religions, nature, and cities. The region has a vital role in world politics and economics. Moreover, much of its natural beauty, especially in countries like Costa Rica, remains intact and vital to global environmental health.
That’s why volunteering in North America is so popular. You have a variety of options. And you can make a huge difference. Fight poverty in the United States, protect the environment in Central America, work as a healthcare volunteer in the Caribbean, and more.
Main destinations for volunteering in North America include:
- Mexico: Through International Volunteer HQ, you can teach English or volunteer in sustainable agriculture in Mexico.
- Costa Rica: Maximo Nivel, a leading provider of volunteer programs in Latin America, has a variety of service projects in Costa Rica, from eco-agriculture to beach conservation.
- United States: Read our guide on volunteering in the USA.
- Jamaica: Read our article on volunteering in Jamaica. You can teach, construct houses, do a medical internship, or volunteer to advance human rights.
- Canada: Fronteering, a leader in wildlife volunteering, runs all sorts of volunteer programs in Canada.
- Guatemala: Maximo Nivel has plenty of volunteer projects in Guatemala, including childcare, healthcare, and construction projects.
- Cuba: Read our guide on volunteer programs in Cuba.
- Belize: Get all the info on volunteering in Belize here.
- Dominican Republic: Global Leadership Adventure, a specialist in educational travel, manages lots of projects in the Dominican Republic.
- Honduras: Love Volunteers runs a great community development project in Honduras.
Volunteering in North America: Featured Organizations and Programs
Now that you know where you can volunteer in North America and what you can do, let’s highlight the best projects.