Why volunteer in Latin America and the Caribbean?
In Latin America and the Caribbean, you’ll discover a wide range of volunteer options to suit all preferences. Whether you’d prefer the vibrant city atmosphere that you’d get as a volunteer in South America doing human rights in Córdoba, Argentina, or you value the peaceful tranquility of life by the ocean, there’s something for you.
Interested in wildlife conservation work? Some of our best volunteer programmes in South America focus on preserving the incredible biodiversity found in the Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands. However, this is also a region where extra support is needed in services such as childcare.
Your skills and hard work can make a real difference to the lives of people living in Latin America and the Caribbean. Your life in turn will be impacted by being immersed in a new and exciting culture, while getting valuable work experience abroad. You’ll be able to learn Spanish while becoming familiar with Latin American culture.
How to become a volunteer in Latin America and the Caribbean
Ready to volunteer in Latin America or the Caribbean but unsure where to start? Well, it’s simple! Just follow these steps to turn your dreams into a reality:
- Think about the volunteer work you’d prefer to do, whether that’s educating young children, protecting Olive Ridley Turtles, or a medical internship. If you have your heart set on a particular Latin American or Caribbean country, then choose your favourite from the projects we offer in that destination.
- Reach out to our Project Experts, who can provide more information and help you make the right choice according to your interests and goals.
- Decide how much time you have to travel to Latin America or the Caribbean, how flexible your dates are, and if you’d rather travel alone or as part of a group. This will determine what kind of trip is right for you, whether that's an independent Flexi Trip, Team Trip, or a High School Special for students aged 15-18.
- Once you know which country you want to visit, what type of work you’d like to be doing, and the length you wish to travel for, there’s nothing left to do but fill in the application form and book your place!
Where are the best places to volunteer in South America?
Looking to volunteer in South America? You can just volunteer, or consider combining learning Spanish with volunteering in South America in the following countries:
However, you don’t have to limit yourself to volunteer work in South America! The Latin American region is far broader than this, so we offer volunteer abroad opportunities from Mexico in North America to Costa Rica in Central America. These are perfect places for studying Spanish abroad. Or consider a trip to Jamaica for an authentic Caribbean adventure.
When looking for the best places to volunteer in South America, remember that this region is surrounded by other incredible countries that welcome in new volunteers.
How old do I have to be to volunteer in Latin America and the Caribbean?
All our volunteer opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean are open to volunteers aged 16 and over. Most of these programmes have minimum requirements, which are clearly stated on the project page. If you meet them, then it’s time to apply! You can always get in touch with our Project Experts for more information and advice.
There’s also volunteer work in Latin America and the Caribbean for high school students aged 15-18. Our High School Specials are designed to give teenagers the support and care they need as young travellers.
Worried you’re too old to join our volunteer programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean? We believe that all age groups should be encouraged to volunteer abroad. In fact, your experience and skills are much needed to support development in these countries. We even offer a volunteer trip to Ecuador specially designed for over 50s.
Is volunteering in Latin America and the Caribbean ethical?
Rest assured you’ll have an ethical experience when volunteering in Latin American and the Caribbean with us. We hold all our volunteers to a high standard, and with a high number of projects involving animals and children, we have an even stricter code of conduct.
As champions of responsible volunteer travel, we follow an eight point checklist for all projects. This guarantees an ethical travel experience for all involved in volunteer programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Do we offer short term volunteer opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean?
Our volunteer work opportunities in the Caribbean and Latin America are flexible, so you can choose the length of time you’re abroad for. While we recommend staying longer to maximise your impact and get the most out of the experience, you can volunteer for a minimum of a week. Week-long trips can be incredibly positive, if that’s the best fit for your budget and schedule.
If you’re unsure about what kind of impact you can really make in a week, read our blog that explains how we approach short-term volunteering.
Can I volunteer in Latin America and the Caribbean for free?
Looking to volunteer abroad for free? This isn’t something we can offer, for the following reasons:
- We prioritise your safety abroad, so we hire all our own staff who can be contacted 24/7.
- We believe in offering the best possible experience, so we take a hassle-free approach. Planning all these logistics requires funding.
- We’re committed to sustainable development, which simply cannot be done without enough income for us to be able to think long-term.
The cost of a volunteer programme in Latin America and the Caribbean depends on where you go, what you do, and how long you volunteer for. But it’s probably not as much as you think. Especially when you consider that our project fees include:
- Three meals a day
- Transportation to and from your placement
Plus, prices do not increase greatly from week to week, so staying longer may be more affordable than you think!
Despite our fees, we want our volunteer abroad programmes to be open to as many people as possible. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans. We only ask for an initial deposit and then you can pay as much as you like in a series of small instalments. We’re completely flexible, but the fee does need to be paid in full before you leave for your project.
We also offer advice and support for volunteer fundraising, so you can get the funds you need to go on the adventure of a lifetime! Our staff and alumni are experts on raising funds and we’ll ensure that you’re able to secure the required amount.
Is it safe to volunteer in Latin America and the Caribbean?
Safety is the top priority for many travellers and their families, and it’s our priority too. That’s why we place you in Latin American and Caribbean countries that are politically stable and safe. Our local staff monitor changing situations and are there to offer advice and support regarding safety matters.
All our Latin America and Caribbean placements are fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean
View projects in a specific destination using the links below: