This year was an exciting one – our volunteer programs made amazing progress and had truly positive impacts on wildlife and local communities.
Here is a list of our top 10 programs for 2019, based on volunteer feedback:
1. Zimbabwe- African Wildlife Orphanage
This program in Zimbabwe has quite the list of accomplishments from 2018 – all that wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers such as yourself! This wildlife orphanage, as the name suggests, takes in orphaned (and rescued) African wildlife, rehabilitates them and releases when possible into the Protect Area of Mantobo National Park. This program is excellent for volunteers who want to get experience out in the field and be directly involved in wildlife husbandry, rehabilitation and rescue missions. Volunteers on this program chip animals before their release so they can monitor the animals’ progress once released.
2. Costa Rica- Animal Rescue and Conservation
This program is most well-known by our volunteers as the “one with the sloths.” This programs works with three different wildlife sanctuaries in Costa Rica that provide refuge to injured and orphaned sloths, monkeys, jaguars and other indigenous wildlife. This program begins with a one-week cultural immersion experience, including Spanish language classes, cultural activities and a homestay with a welcoming local family. This program is perfect for volunteers seeking to contribute to the conservation of Costa Rican wildlife but who are also looking for a cultural experience.
3. China – Giant Panda Center
Join us at the largest giant panda sanctuary in all of China! Thanks to rigorous conservation efforts, the giant panda is no longer on the World Wildlife Fun’s Endangered Species List, but the species is still vulnerable. Volunteers work closely with panda keepers to contribute to the conservation of these animals, prepare food and even feed them! This program is ideal for those who want to contribute to wildlife conservation but only have one week to do so.
4. Thailand – Learn, Volunteer and Travel
Our volunteers love this program in Thailand! Again volunteers have the option to choose their exact placement. This program offers a construction placement, as well as teaching in one of several rural schools that provide education to the children of poorer families. The experience begins with a tour to beautiful temples and other travel highlights before the work begins. No matter the placement, volunteers on this program have a lasting, positive impact on the community of Sing Buri.
5. Israel – Desert Wildlife Program
This is your chance to work with wildlife found in the desert of Israel! From tiny tortoises to ostriches, leopards and oryxes, volunteers on this program are exposed to quite the variety of wildlife species. Volunteers get to see first-hand how these animals all thrive in a desert climate, as well as assist in the National Park to feed the animals each day.
6. South Africa – African Wildlife Ranch
See African big cats, and crocodiles, up-close! The wildlife ranch in South Africa is home to several Ambassador Animals, those that have been rescued, mostly from the illegal pet trade. These animals would not survive if returned to the wild due to their captive upbringing so they have a haven at the ranch. Volunteers prepare food and enrichment activities for the animals, as well as educate the ranch visitors about the different species and the importance of wildlife conservation efforts. This program even has an internship option for volunteers who prefer the one-on-one attention of a curator!
7. Cambodia - Sustainable Community Development
For volunteers looking to work with and teach children, or contribute to community construction, this has been a most-loved dynamic program of 2018! This program works to improve the local community of Samraong through teaching children and helping in constructing community buildings. This province is in need of further development and is still recovering from a civil war. Volunteers can choose which placement they want to assist in - teaching or community construction.
8. Sri Lanka - Teaching English to Buddhist Monks
Gain experience teaching English at this unique program in Galle, Sri Lanka! This program is more than just a teaching program, however; it is a cultural immersion experience that is not to be missed. Engage in positive cultural exchange with Buddhist monk students and use your free afternoons to explore the surrounds. Enjoy weekly rooftop yoga sessions, night fishing trips, weekly movie nights, monthly bike tours and monthly barbecues.
9. Indonesia- Bali Sea Turtle Rescue
Ah, a volunteer vacation on an island just off Bali! Volunteers on this program live on a tropical Indonesian island and work hands-on with sea turtles that have been rescued from being pets or who are injured and in rehabilitation at the center. Volunteers will work with eggs during nesting season and hatchlings during hatching season. No matter the season, there are always sea turtles that are in need of your care! In place of the first week of volunteer work, volunteers can partake in a Culture Week to discover the best travel highlights of Bali.
10. South Africa – Wildlife Sanctuary
One of our most-loved programs! The Wildlife Sanctuary program provides volunteers with an amazing experience – working up-close with spectacular wildlife species that have been rescued. Every animal has its own unique story as to how it was rescued, but now that they are in their haven, your help is needed to improve the quality of their lives! Volunteers work closely with the animals to prepare their food, feed them and create enrichment toys.
Whether you are looking to help out on a tropical island, in a romantic desert or in rural villages or urban cities, GoEco has top-rated programs there! Join any of our programs to make a lasing impact on a local community, whether that community will be released into the sea, go on to high school or be a community center that will remain standing.
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