Spotlight on: Volunteer Latin America
This week we’re speaking to Stephen Knight from Volunteer Latin America to understand more about the organisation, and how it can benefit your career in conservation.
What is Volunteer Latin America?
Volunteer Latin America connects people from all over the world to affordable and reputable volunteer programs throughout Central and South America.
We are strong proponents of ethical volunteering and operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Best practices include running a solar powered and paperless office.
Where do you work, and what types of projects can people get involved with?
We offer volunteer opportunities and internships throughout Central and South America; including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru.
The projects we offer are as varied and interesting as you might imagine. They range from helping to restore tropical cloud forest to monitoring nesting sea turtles on the Galapagos Islands; from volunteering as a nature guide to caring for rescued Andean Bears at a wildlife refuge.
What do volunteers learn which can benefit them in their careers?
Volunteers will learn or build upon existing skills and gain valuable work experience. Some projects provide extensive training which is highly beneficial to future career prospects.
Volunteering provides the opportunity to hone important skills used in the work place, such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving. Volunteering also offers the chance to explore a career and gain experience in a new field.
The experience will take volunteers on a journey of self discovery and they will learn more about themselves than they ever imagined. It’s possible that personal development will shape the future career moves of a young person more than the project itself.
What type of people are well suited to getting involved?
Anyone that wants to help the economically, socially and politically disadvantaged people of the region or support environmental causes, conservation efforts, and projects with animals. There is no typical type of volunteer and they come from all walks of life and backgrounds, and range in age from 14 to 80.
Passion, positivity, an open mind, and a good work ethic are generally the main requirements, but people who can already speak some Spanish or Portuguese and bring relevant skills to the table are particularly well suited to getting involved.
How much does it cost, and what is included in the cost?
Our mission is to provide a cost effective way of volunteering in Latin America and therefore offer free and low-cost volunteer opportunities and internships. It is possible to find projects that provide free accommodation, food, small salaries, and even flights! We charge a small fee to gain full access to all the projects and language schools listed on our site.
How can people find out more?
To find out more about volunteering abroad or learning Spanish in Central or South America, please visit our website. If you want to keep up to date with the latest news follow Volunteer Latin America on Facebook.