Take your volunteer experience to the next level by living in spiritual places or within religious communities. By adding in the extra element of spirituality, you can elevate your volunteering as you learn about and participate in rituals and lifestyles that are often very different to your own or perhaps are in line with your beliefs:
- Discover how followers of Abrahamic religions are maintaining their traditions in the modern world
- Learn about the dharmic teachings and how the West and the East continue to influence one another
- Experience living in tribal communities and see how conservation of ancient sites allows for indigenous people to maintain their culture.
Let’s begin your spiritual volunteer journey:
Delve into dharmic teachings to answer the ‘who am I’ conundrum
1. Volunteer in India
Spirituality and India are virtually synonymous words that elicit images of meditating monks, bathing worshipers and contorted yogis. Rich in ritual and customs within everyday life and wise men who can enlighten without saying so much as a word, India has something for everyone. The Yoga and Volunteer Himalayan Retreat is a great introduction to India’s spiritual side, it’s natural wonders, as well as its people, and is sure to inspire you on your spiritual journey.
2. Volunteer in Sri Lanka and Nepal
The life of a monk is filled with daily communion with the divine. Being in the presence of people whose sole aim in life is to serve humanity is a unique experience, which is sure to help anyone who is looking for some guidance in their life. The ‘Teaching Buddhist Monks English’ programs in Sri Lanka and Nepal are of great significance as they not only help give the monks better opportunities for when they leave the monastery, but also offer vital skills in communication for those that choose to stay and work towards spreading the message of Buddha.
Visit remote villages and live amongst indigenous communities
Spirituality is defined and performed in as many ways as there are humans. If you want to see a way that is free from scripture and filled with ancient rituals such as spirit and ancestor worship instead, then the Akha Hill Tribe Experience is going to be your ticket to a whole new world. This project will allow you to live with the tribespeople, dress like them and experience their daily traditional life, while living in a modern world.
4. Volunteer in Cambodia
When we think of temples we either imagine large rooms filled with gold or sacred sites you need binoculars to view properly. Rarely do you get to experience actually being part of the creation of such places of worship, which is exactly what you get to do at the Temple Preservation project in Cambodia. Hidden in the remote location of Banteay Chhmar, this project will literally allow you to touch ancient history and help to restore it for future generations to enjoy and utilize once more.
5. Volunteer in Peru
There are different ways to access our spiritual nature and sometimes just being in a place that used to house spiritual activity is enough to open up our hearts to the divine. Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is famous for its majestic display of an ancient religious citadel in the heart of the Andes Mountains. Being near the ruins allows you to go back in time and experience what it would have been like to live like an Incan, surrounded by both temples and nature. Round off your trip by doing volunteer conservation work in the Amazon Rainforest to gain an even deeper connection with the environment.
6. Volunteer in Belize
If eating chocolate feels like a spiritual experience, then I have news for you: it is! The ancient Mayans used chocolate in religious rituals and official ceremonies, as well as for medicinal purposes. Thought to have a direct connection to God, the modern day Mayans are still harvesting the sacred beans and transforming them into one of today’s greatest pleasures. To validate your chocolate addiction and turn it into a call from God, join the Mayan community in Belize by volunteering at the Sustainable Cacao Farming and Mayan Community Aid program.