Israel - Ecotourism Development in Nazareth
This is an exceptional opportunity to live and work with the local community in Nazareth. Volunteers stay at an historical inn, situated in close proximity to some of the most important historical sites in Nazareth. Experience life in a multi-ethnic environment that is home to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
|Location of Project||Nazareth, approximately 102 km north of Tel Aviv.|
|Project Length||Min 6 weeks - Max 9 weeks|
|Arrival Airport||Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv|
|Volunteer Work||Hosting tourists, teaching and community work|
|Number of Participants||1 - 4 international volunteers|
|Age||18 - 40|
|Long Term||6 month volunteer management positions available|
|Accommodation||Dormitory room suitable for 5 people|
|Food||Only breakfast (lunch and dinner are self catering)|
|Support||Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support|
|Orientation||GoEco volunteer and travel orientation in Jerusalem|
|Pre-Departure Kit||Full project details will be sent following registration|
What's Not Included
Nazareth is the largest city in the mountainous Galilee region of northern Israel, approximately 102 km north of Tel Aviv and 40 km east of Haifa. The population is made up predominantly of Christians and Muslims with a Jewish community in Upper Nazareth. In the New Testament, the city is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many captivating attractions and religious sites. Between the many Christian sites and churches hides a vibrant multi-cultural city that offers exceptional insight into modern life in the Middle East.
About the Project
The Fauzi Azar Inn is a beautiful 200 year old Arab mansion that was converted into an inn in 2005. The Fauzi Azar Inn promotes ecotourism in Nazareth and works with the community to contribute to its development in various areas. The inn uses local resources to create new work places, to raise the self- image of the local community, and to encourage economic growth while preserving the universal values of natural and cultural preservation. The aim is to introduce in Nazareth, which is the largest Arab city in Israel, a new model of tourism and thus "bridge the gap" between Arabs and Jews. At the same time the Inn is creating a model for increased tourism along the Israel National Trail (Shvil Israel) and the recently completed Jesus Trail in order to promote both trails and the corresponding economic potential.
GoEco volunteers will have the opportunity to contribute to the Fauzi Azar Inn and Jesus Trail and gain a unique cultural experience. This volunteer program is also recommended in Rough Guide Clean Breaks addition.
Fauzi Azar Inn - winner of 2011 Best Accommodation for Local Communities - Fauzi Azar Inn, Israel!!!
Orientation in Jerusalem
The volunteer adventure will start off with a GoEco orientation at the Abraham Hostel in the center of Jerusalem. The orientation is a great base to meet fellow volunteers and travelers and includes the following:
- Volunteer preparation and travel directions to your program
- Expert travel advice in Israel for during and after your volunteer placement
- Walking tour of Jerusalem, including the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market
- Discount card to experience Jerusalem's vibrant night-life
- 1 night dorm accommodation and breakfast (private rooms available for extra price)
The GoEco orientation will begin at 10:00 AM on arrival day. The next morning, volunteers will travel to the project with public transportation. Full travel details to Jerusalem and project will be provided upon registration.
Volunteer Training in Nazareth
Activities for the first day in Nazareth include a brief meeting at the Inn, with the rest of the day for volunteers to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings. The second day will begin with a welcome breakfast with all current staff and volunteers, followed by a tour of the Old City for an insider's view of the area. In the afternoon, volunteers will begin their training regarding the operational aspects of the Fauzi Azar. The next two days volunteers will train with the seasoned staff, and by the third day they will be ready to work on their own.
Volunteer Work and Contribution
Volunteers will be involved in hosting the guests and reception work, which includes check-ins and check-outs, answering local area questions, serving tea, coffee, and cakes. They will also be encouraged to volunteer with other projects associated with the Inn such as the Jesus Trail (a new hiking trail from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee). Volunteers will help clean and maintain the Jesus Trail and other natural areas in and around national parks and nature reserves (seasonal). In addition to keeping the outdoors beautiful, this will also hopefully increase environmental awareness in the local community. We also want volunteers who can help teach our staff a new language or other skills that can be extended to the local community. The volunteer commitment is 6 hours per day, with 1 or 2 days off per week. Most of the volunteer hours will be in the afternoon and evening.
No matter what the skills and talents are, there is also a lot of room for initiative that can benefit the Fauzi Azar Inn. Past projects include:
- Website translation
- Eco-tourism development
- Brochure writing
- Event planning
- Guiding tours
Note: This project can not accept couples
Long-term volunteer management positions are available for a 6 months period. During this time participants will manage the short term volunteer program. A monthly stipend of $200 will be given. Prospective applicants will be chosen based on their CV / Resume and phone interview.
Accommodations: volunteers will live in basic accommodations which are similar to those living in the neighborhood. The volunteer quarter is a small apartment around the corner (20 meters) from the Inn. The bedrooms, bath, and common areas are shared. Up to five volunteers will share a bedroom. Utilities and linens are provided. Volunteers are also welcome to use the Fauzi Azar facilities such as the kitchen for cooking meals. Please note that drinking alcohol at the volunteer house is prohibited. Smoking is allowed outside only.
Food: not included except for breakfast at the Inn
Internet: wireless is available and one computer for emails
Laundry: one washing machine is available, however, volunteers will have to line dry their clothes.
The inn itself is situated in the heart of the Souq (Market) Quarter of the Old City. Just one minute by foot from the vegetable market, and only a few minutes from a host of restaurants and coffee shops, you are never far from anywhere. All of Nazareth's major sites, including the Basilica of the Annunciation, the White Mosque and St. Gabriel's Church are only minutes by foot. Wandering through the narrow streets of the Old City is a delight in itself and both the Fauzi and other vantage points nearby afford wonderful panoramic views of Nazareth. On days off, volunteers can travel to other beautiful locations in Northern Israel such as the Sea of Galilee and the historic port of Akko (Acre) on the Mediterranean coast. Volunteers also hike parts of the Jesus trail that starts from Nazareth.
- Min age 18
- Cultural tolerance and open-mindedness
- A minimum 6 week commitment
- High level of independence and flexibility
- Good level of English
- Motivation to work with tourists and local community
- CV / Resume and phone interview
- Full travel & medical insurance
GoEco volunteer Vilmantas' experience:
Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org
It was great to see people showing us their hospitality. The work was educational, not only in the sense of getting to know the way a hostel works, but in the way it showed me a lot about Israel; that I would not have found out on my own. In the end I could answer questions such as "what would you recommend” or “where should we travel next?” We had a lot of time, (and thanks to Marwa we were always able to switch our shifts around), to travel ourselves, and we never left on a trip without good advice from the locals working at the hostel. – Marianne von Blomberg, Germany, 2012
I really enjoyed the stay in Nazareth. The people at the Fauzi Azar Inn - the other volunteers, staff, Maoz, Suraida, the guests - were lovely. I felt like home just a few days after arriving. Also, Nazareth is a beautiful city with very nice and open-minded people – Karen, Germany, 2010
It was a great time for me to work in Fauzi Azar Inn.I have opportunity and time to visit interesting places in Israeland also I could experience Israel from the "backdoor". – Janek, Poland, 2010
My trip can be summed up in 3 dimensions that met on the same experience: visiting of the county of Israel, getting to know the culture differences and meeting people.
My volunteering was a good opportunity to visit deeply the Galilee Region as it is really easy to go somewhere with the bus in Israel and of course have a deep insight in the city of Nazareth. Moreover, I have been able to take days off to go to different places in Israel (Dead Sea, Jerusalem,...) and see how diverse the country was. This experience has enabled me to travel in a really easy and convenient way. If I should give a piece of advice, volunteers should keep some days at the end of their stay to travel around as it takes a lot of time to see all the spots of high interest. This proves how rich, interesting and beautiful the region is.
My experience was also about getting to know the cultural differences better. Indeed, Israel is full of people from different religions and different cultural backgrounds. This volunteering has enabled me to understand the cultural diversity of Israel. I have been able to talk to different people thanks to my stay in the Fauzi and try to understand what Israel is made of. Even if I came back with many uncertainties about the country, I know more and better about the people composing this puzzling region. Moreover, Nazareth is an Arabic city. You can then experience a different side of Israel that is off the beaten track. Indeed, the media often induce us to believe that Israel is only Jewish and the occupied territories are only Arabic. Nazareth proves the media wrong and makes you experience how much Israel is more complex than just 2 territories fighting.
Finally, my experience was also about meeting people. First, I met local people. Secondly, I met other international volunteers and tourists. I can say now that some have become friends. I met new people every day which is also a highlight of my trip. I tend to think that the people you meet on a trip are what make it unforgettable
To put it in a nutshell, I would say that this month and a half in Israel has been really fulfilling. It has also been a great opportunity to change my prejudice about the country and discover a land I want to go back to. – Thomas, France, 2009