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Find your inner peace through yoga and volunteer work in India! This unique Himalayan retreat project is filled with fun activities as well as meaningful volunteer work. Activity highlights include a trek to Billing, visits to temples, Buddhist monasteries and tea plantations, meditation classes and, of course, yoga practice! These activities will be done during your free time from volunteering at a daycare center, where you'll assist with either childcare duties or light renovation tasks. This volunteering retreat offers peace of mind; nourishing your soul though assisting at a childcare center that is in need, while experiencing mental and physical relaxation from your experiences with nature, meditation and yoga. 
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Location of the Project:  India, multiple locations
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Project length:  2 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
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Volunteer Work:  Painting, light renovation
Age:  18-60
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 25 international volunteers
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Important Note:  A domestic flight from New Delhi to Dharamsala must be purchased for Day 2 of the schedule.

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Shared rooms in volunteer house
Food:  Most meals are included
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Airport Transfers:  Airport transfers are provided on both arrival and departure days
Orientation:  Project orientation and itinerary overview is included
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Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights (including an additional domestic flight from New Delhi to Dharamsala), visas (if required), travel health insurance, meals on Day 1, lunch on Day 9 (Sunday), personal expenses.
India is said to be the Heart of the East, sharing borders with five other Eastern countries. A culturally diverse country, India is a must-see destination for travelers. With Hinduism at its core, the region is founded on a deep-rooted respect for nature, for people and for altruism as well as the daily practice of yoga for ultimate wellbeing.

This volunteering retreat is located in Palampur, India. Palampur is a small town surrounded by rice fields and tea plantations, located just beneath the majestic Himalayan Mountains and a mere 35 kilometers southeast of the spiritual center of Dharamsala. The town gets its name from the Indian word “palum” which means stream, as several rush throughout the town. 
Volunteer work for this project takes place at a daycare center. The specific volunteer tasks are dependant upon the number of volunteers and the center needs at the time. Responsibilities for time periods with less than three volunteers will center on childcare activities. The children at this center are between two and four years of age. For groups of three or more, the volunteer work will consist of light renovation and painting of the daycare centers.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Light renovation work
  • Painting of daycare center
  • Assisting teachers with childcare activities

Sample Schedule: Volunteers will arrive on Saturday and be transported to a volunteer house where they can relax and get to know their fellow volunteers for the rest of the day. On Sunday volunteers will fly from New Delhi to Dharamsala. Volunteer work will begin on Monday and continue through to Friday, with work mostly taking place in the mornings and yoga and meditation classes and day trips in the afternoons/evenings. The trek to Billing will take place over the first weekend. The next week will follow a similar schedule, with a mix of volunteer work and guided tours/trips. Volunteers will return to New Delhi that Friday evening and depart for home on Saturday.
Internet
Internet:  Wifi is available at the volunteer house
Laundry
Laundry:  Washing machine is available for use at the volunteer house
Accommodations
Accommodations:  Shared, single-gender rooms in a volunteer house. Bathrooms include modern toilets. Mixed-gender, tent accommodations are provided on the evening of Day 8 during the trek. Sleeping bags or mattresses will be provided.
Food:  During the project, three meals per day are provided at the accommodations, and are freshly prepared by the chef. Vegetarians can be accommodated. Breakfast usually consists of breads and spreads. Lunches and dinners are generally rice dishes with vegetables, chicken, lentils and curry. Two liters of clean drinking water will be provided daily.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Good level of fitness (can trek for 4-5 hours)
  • Police clearance
This program itinerary contains several travel highlights. Top destinations include the following:

Lord Shiva Temples 
These temples are dedicated to one of the Hindu deities, Shiva who is said to be the destroyer of ignorance.

Tashi Jong Monastery
The Tashi Jogn is one of the several Buddhist monasteries that will be visited during this retreat.

Tea Plantations
Palampur is most well-known for the tea plantations that surround it. Volunteers will visit tea plantations to learn more about the process of growing and producing teas.

Trek from Bir to Billing
Participants will trek for two days from Bir to Billing, where volunteers can participate in fun activities such as paragliding.
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