Volunteering in Israel – My GoEco Experience

Posted by: Daniela S.

This summer, my sister and I decided to venture into something new. We wanted to travel together and what better way to do this than by joining a volunteer program. Our love for nature and animals lead us to search the internet for wildlife volunteering in Israel, and that’s when we stumbled upon GoEco. There we found the Desert Wildlife Program. It was different from anything we had ever done before, and Israel has long been on our places-to-see list; it wasn’t hard to choose.

We arrived in Israel two days before our program started, and as we had been told, it was like nothing we had seen before. Volunteering in Israel was amazing. When the day came to meet the other volunteers, we were both nervous and excited to see what was coming. Yan, from GoEco, greeted us and gave us a warm welcome to Israel with a tour around Jerusalem. We got to see most of the city and quickly became friends with the rest of the volunteers. Then Yan took us to our program and guided us along the way. He was great with us and was always making sure we were doing OK. Finally, we arrived at the reserve in the desert.

The weather was really hot, just like we had been warned. We met the rangers on the first day and were a little intimidated by these big, Hebrew-speaking, strong guys who looked like they had been taken out of a Harley Davidson commercial. Later, as we got to know them, we were surprised to find out that they were not only the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but also funny, patient, and extremely friendly. It was them who guided us along the project. They made sure that everyone got a chance to work with all the animals and work on different tasks.

Our tasks varied from feeding the animals and cleaning their cages, to building new homes for them, or improving their current ones. In three weeks we got to have close involvement with over 40 species of animals including reptiles, birds, foxes, bats, rodents, cats, and even leopards! Everyone from GoEco was helpful, supportive, and friendly all throughout the experience, and the project definitely lived up to our expectations. It is an experience I´ll always remember, and I would definitely recommend it.