Just under India lies one of the great spaces of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and adventure in the world. Though it may be a small island, Sri Lanka is certainly mighty when it comes to biological diversity and welcoming people. Also known as the “nation of smiling people,” this 25 thousand-square-mile nation boasts one of the top five biodiversity hotspots in the world, both on land and in the ocean surrounding.
A predominantly Buddhist country and the oldest democracy in Asia, Sri Lanka’s history and culture are steeped in different religious traditions and an ever-interesting political system. The food is likewise dynamic and intriguing: traditional dishes including curry, string hoppers, wattalapam—coconut pudding with cashew, spices, and more—kottu—the main dish of vegetables, eggs, and spices—and more, often served on plantain or lotus leaves.
Whether you are initially pulled to Sri Lanka by its native healing system – Ayurveda – as a place to meditate and explore Buddhism, drawn by the prospect of snorkeling or surfing, or to the people who wait with smiles and local cuisine to share, there are multiple projects you can take on within its many different communities for a powerful impact.
The volunteer opportunities available in the area are as varied as the diversity of Sri Lanka’s native plants and animals. If you are currently studying dentistry, medicine, physical therapy, teaching or beyond, and are looking for an internship or experience in the field that is unlike any other, Sri Lanka is for you! If you want to learn about Buddhism, temple restoration, or wildlife conservation efforts, Sri Lankan lands are the space and place.
If you are eager to offer your time and enthusiasm in communities that are excited to meet you, the following volunteer organizations are looking for people just like you.