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  • Summer travel planning: 5 volunteering destinations

    Kathmandu, Nepal, photo by lavenderstreak on FlickrSummer is the best time for a holiday in many parts of the world, but it can also be a peak season when prices can be really high. There’s a lazy,laid back atmosphere floating around in summer that makes you want to take off to some remote part of the world and forget about work or school for a while. And while summer holidays have always been popular, a rising trend among vacationers is to go on volunteering holidays.

    People volunteer for a variety of reasons, some because they genuinely want to help, and others as a way of expanding their horizons and traveling far away on a tight budget. Whatever your motivations, here are some ideas for your summer travel planning: 5 volunteering destinations where you can share your skills, do some good and meet fellow travelers and locals.

    Nepal

    If you are a native English speaker or if you have a degree in English, you can apply for a volunteering job as an English teacher in Nepal and several other South Asian countries. Nepal can charm you at a glance with its icy mountains and steamy plains, colorful ancient cities and intricate stupas. But despite its rich culture and stunning natural beauty, Nepal is also one of the poorest countries on the planet, where every little bit of help can make a difference.

    Costa Rica

    Costa Rica, photo by Fred Hsu on Flickr

    If you love beaches and animals, then Costa Rica might be the perfect volunteering destination for you. Some of the most endangered turtle species on the planet come to lay their eggs and hatch their young on the beaches of Costa Rica.

    In addiction to caring for leatherback turtles, there are many other volunteering opportunities in this beautiful country: teaching English, construction work, childcare or sustainable coffee farming in rural areas.

    Thailand

    Thailand might be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more than enough volunteering opportunities too. Although you’ll be far from the crowded party beaches, you will get to see the mundane, non-touristy side of Thailand. Volunteers can help out at the Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary, in orphanages, small organic farms or in wildlife conservation programmes.

    Peru

    Village in Kenya, photo by Matt and Kim Rudge on Flickr

    Peru is a beautiful country with friendly people and a fascinating culture, but more than third of its population lives under the poverty line. There are many volunteering projects based in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, which are close to some of the best sights in Peru.

    You can use your skills and free time to help with childcare, construction, healthcare or teaching English, in exchange for cultural immersion and sightseeing for free.

    Kenya

    Despite being one of the strongest economies in Africa, Kenya is still a developing country where someone with a lot of time on their hands can find much to do. Community development, teaching and medical care are the areas where help is most needed, and while you get the satisfaction of doing some good, you will also have the chance to visit fascinating natural parks, towns and villages.

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