Volunteer in South America
With many of the recent disasters that have occurred in South America, you there are a lot of things you can do to help. There are volunteers needed throughout the continent and your help, hard work and dedication can make a difference. For those who are considering volunteering in South America, you will need to know the following:
Know Where You Want to Volunteer
There are so many countries that need your help as a volunteer. In South America, you will quickly learn there are many different avenues available, as well. You are not simply locked into helping clear up the damage after a natural disaster, such as the earthquake in Chile.
You may want to volunteer in Peru, or perhaps work with an organization that promotes the preservation of the Amazon Rainforest, or volunteer in Brazil with an organization that helps to increase awareness of the sex slave trade in Brazil. Some individuals help save the turtles when they volunteer in Costa Rica, others volunteer in hospitals or in nursing homes and orphanages. If you have a pretty good idea of the type of work you would like to do, it will be a lot easier for you when you begin your search.
If you just cannot make a decision, then consider what skills you possess. Are you good with children? Do you have basic carpentry skills? Are you the type of person that people listen to? Have you always wanted to volunteer in Guatemala or another country in particular?
These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself if you are keen on volunteering in South America. Search through some of the volunteer sites on the internet. See what type of experience they are looking for and if they match your qualifications.
Are Your Finances Set?
You will be required to furnish your own transportation in most cases, as well as your lodging and meals. Volunteering is often not all that inexpensive, so make sure your finances can handle it. If you have a full time job, you will want to make sure you are free to get the time off work.
Also, make sure you allow for a couple of extra days at the end of your trip, just in case the transportation home does not go as planned.
Don’t Forget the Paperwork and Communication Skills
You will need a visa or passport, depending on which country you plan to visit, as well as any immunizations that might be available. Your passport may take up to six months to receive, so make sure you allow plenty of time for it to arrive. In the meantime, you need to try to gain a rudimentary knowledge of the language.
When you volunteer in Mexico and anywhere else in South America, you will need to know at least some basics of the Spanish language. This excludes Brazil, where the official language is Portuguese. While you don’t have to be fluent, it will be in your best interest to learn enough to understand what is said around you or how to ask for help.
A Final Thought or Two
When you volunteer in South American, you are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. This experience can truly change your life, depending on how much effort you put into it. Above all, learn from others while they learn from you.