Volunteer in Cambodia

Nestled between Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand, is Cambodia, home to over 15 million people and the famous Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. The Asian country boasts beautiful beaches, a sea filled with unique, hill-like islands, and many ancient, ornate temples. Cambodia is a country that is currently undergoing the aftermath of a very difficult period of genocide and travesty. Ever since the Khmer Rouge, an organization that incited country-wide genocide for 31 years, came to an end in 1999, the country has been in rehabilitation. This leaves room for a vast amount of volunteer abroad opportunities in a variety of sectors. Those who opt to volunteer abroad in Cambodia are choosing to educate and bring skills to a people who are in the process of lifting themselves out of a downtrodden socio-economic environment. There is also a lot of wisdom to be learned by a people who have overcome some of the most treacherous challenges in life. During the Khmer Rouge takeover, creativity, self-expression and education were condemned as acts against the government and Cambodians are still in a transition from communist rule to a liberal society. Volunteers have a lot to contribute to this type of society because they bring with them a different cultural perspective. Many volunteers choose to work in business development, teach, or perform advocacy work because of the current, struggling socio-economic situation of the country. Teaching English is becoming extremely popular as the country becomes more tourist-friendly and business leaders seek to hire bilingual employees. Teaching English, either in the city or in a more rural area, is a great way to create a lasting impact on the Cambodian society while most likely pick up some of the native language, Khmer. Keep in mind that the people of Cambodia are trying to gain their own voice and exercise their right to self-expression so it is important to always be honest, caring and respectful when interacting with the locals. Aside from the abundance of volunteer opportunities, Cambodia is overflowing with cultural sights and culinary delights. From the many ancient temples, most notably Angkor Wat, to the awe-inducing Chinese-style architecture and Old French Quarter, there is much to see and do. And on your way from sight to sight it is imperative to indulge in the local cuisine! Always fresh and full of spices, some of the favorites are spicy noodles, sticky rice, and Amok. All in all, if you choose to volunteer in Cambodia, there is a never ending list of things to do in your free time, and a never ending ways to fill your belly.

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