Volunteering Abroad Shouldn't Cost the Earth

About Volunteer Latin America

Volunteer Latin America is an independent and environmentally-friendly organisation based in the United Kingdom. We connect voluntary organisations and non-profits to a worldwide audience of volunteers and vice-versa.

We decided to set up Volunteer Latin America while participating on several conservation projects in Costa Rica and Ecuador in 2001. We were inspired by the reaction of other volunteers when they discovered the disparity between our financial contributions and the subsequent analysis of what they received for their fee. Hence, it was a direct response to every volunteer placement and gap year company out there charging exorbitant fees. We aim to provide individuals with all the information they need to organise their own volunteer placement in Central or South America, thereby saving them hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds. Volunteers also have the satisfaction of knowing that all the money they pay (if any) goes directly to the host organisation rather than into the pockets of an intermediary agency.

Besides the economic aspects of volunteering abroad, another important factor behind the creation of this website concerned our own views and beliefs regarding the natural world. The experience of volunteering and travelling in Latin America has only served to increase our concern for, and awareness of, the need to preserve the uniqueness that is Ecological Latin America. Make no mistake; the ecosystems of this region are truly magnificent, and there remains so much still to be learned about them. We either try and protect Latin America’s spectacular wildlife and their habitats or watch them forever vanish from the surface of the earth. In the end, we believe our societies will be defined not only by what they create, but by what they refuse to destroy.

Another driving force was our belief that living and working overseas encourages personal development. Volunteering is not just an altruistic act but also a 21st century opportunity for advancement in all areas of your life. No classroom or book can teach you the things you will learn first-hand about life, yourself, and the world you live in. We know that volunteering could change your life for the better and is usually the perfect tonic for the mind, body and spirit.