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The ancient temples of Banteay Chhmar are among of the most significant, yet least understood, archeological complexes. The temples date back to the Angkor period, which ended in the late 14th century. Sadly, the Banteay Chhmar complex was severely looted throughout the 1990's because of its remote location and proximity to the Thai border. Now considered one of the most endangered sites in the world, the complex is in desperate need of renovation. 
 
The restoration of Banteay Chhmar temples is crucial as it has the potential to draw more tourists to the region, giving a much-needed boost to the local economy. In addition, the temples serve as symbol of the precious history of the area, which would otherwise be lost if not for the preservation efforts by volunteers and local organizations. 

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Location of the Project:  Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
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Project length:  Min 1 week - Max 12 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Siem Reap International Airport
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Volunteer Work:  Temple renovation, clearing debris, removing overgrown vegetation
Age:  18 - 50 (This project may accept volunteers who are younger than 18 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian)
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 30 international volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared room in a local homestay
Food:  Three meals a day (excluding lunch on the weekends)
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Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup upon arrival
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24hr emergency support

What's not Included

Flights, personal expenses, lunch on the weekends, visa (if required), transport back to airport

Banteay Chhmar is a commune located in the Banteay Meanchey province in Northwest Cambodia. The commune includes 14 villages, four of which surround the large temple of Banteay Chhmar.

Cambodia is arguably best known for its astounding temples, especially that of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest religious monument in the world. Cambodia's impressive temple complexes, fertile rice fields and rich history are what make it an attractive tourist destination today.

As a volunteer, you will work in the temple’s ongoing renovation and preservation sites. Your tasks may include:

  • Cutting back overgrown bushes, trees and grass in the surrounding area. 
  • Cleaning up the temples
  • Picking up trash
  • Removing stones
  • Planting trees in the temple compound
  • Writing and posting informational signs    
A typical day: After breakfast at 8:00 am, you’ll begin your morning project, which may include any of the above activities. Your 2-hour lunch break will be at 11:00 am, after which you will continue volunteering until 5:00 pm. After dinner, you can spend your evenings however you like. Saturday and Sunday are also free to spend as you wish. 

Internet
Internet:  Internet facilities and WiFi are not available.
Laundry
Laundry:  Laundry facilities and services are not available.
Accommodations
Accommodations:  During your placement, you will stay with a home stay in the village in an original wooden Khmer-style house with up to 2 volunteers per room. Each room has a fan and electricity is available 24 hours a day. Please note that toilets are flush ‘bucket style’ and no hot water is available.
Food:  Three meals are provided during the week. Meals typically consist of typical Cambodian fare. Breakfast and dinner are provided on the weekends.

Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age 18
  • Basic English
  • Physically fit
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)

Culture Week (highly recommended)

For an additional fee you can extend your stay for a week with a program designed to introduce you to a great stay in a new country. As part of your orientation week, you will receive basic language classes to help you get around the country without a hassle. You will also have the opportunity to take some traditional cooking classes as well as travel to some of the finest temples in the area, engaging in Q&A sessions with monks to enhance your understanding of Buddhism and its customs. Throughout the week, there will many opportunities to interact with the local residents, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the community.

Volunteer Experiences
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