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Frequently Asked Questions

About GoEco
GoEco is a company that believes in responsible tourism and leaving the places we travel to in a better condition than when we arrived. In order to achieve this goal, GoEco partners with organizations around the world which are dedicated to providing humanitarian aid in local communities and wildlife rehabilitation and ecological conservation within local parks and reserves. GoEco sends like-minded and philanthropic volunteers to contribute to the aims of these projects and gain meaningful experiences that enrich their lives much more than typical commercial travel.

To read more about how GoEco began and expanded to what we are today, take a glance through our About Us section.
Yes, GoEco is a well-known volunteer tourism company. We send over 2000 volunteers to placements world-wide each year. If you have any doubts, please see our Recommended By page to read articles about GoEco which have been published on top news websites including Us News & World Report, Goodnet, The Guardian and more. Don’t miss our great video clip from the Today Show!  

Also, check out what past volunteers had to say about their GoEco volunteer trips via our Volunteer Blog or through volunteer reviews at GoOverseas.com and GoAbroad.com. Feel free to join our Facebook Fan page and post to hear about the experiences of past volunteers.
GoEco prices are highly competitive and are usually cheaper than trying to do it yourself.  

We offer excellent customer service from start to finish. We answer our phone calls and always return emails within 1 – 2 days or sooner. GoEco also has a 24-hour emergency phone number for volunteers to use if they need support while traveling.  

GoEco has been operating since 2006 and has placed more than 15,000 volunteers at projects.

The GoEco Placement Coordinators are knowledgeable about all of our projects and will of course help you choose the best project(s) if you are
undecided.  

GoEco continually updates the website in an effort to ensure that all information is easily accessible and accurate. We regularly add new projects that our volunteers will find interesting.  

Once you register, GoEco will make sure you have all the information you need before your trip and will check in with you during your trip. That means should a problem arise, GoEco is there for you and will help find a resolution.

GoEco representatives have been to each of the projects we represent in order to vet the projects. We only work with projects that value our volunteers and offer an excellent volunteering experience. 
Payments
GoEco partners with numerous admirable organizations around the world which are dedicated to supporting the needs of their local community whether it is through humanitarian aid, wildlife rehabilitation or ecological conservation efforts. Taking on volunteers to help with such efforts incurs a variety of expenses which the projects and communities themselves cannot support. Therefore, a participation fee is required from volunteers to fund these initiatives. 
 
The costs are to provide food and housing for volunteers, training, supervision and safety precautions as well as certain costs included in running the projects successfully. Know that without your physical and financial help, these organizations would not have the power necessary to continue the fabulous and worthwhile work they commit themselves to. The participation fee varies depending on the location and needs of each specific program.
 
Please note that all prices listed on the website are in USD.
The deposit is simply to hold your placement spot at the volunteer project for the dates that you want and to continue the application process. If, for any reason, you are not accepted at a project, GoEco will refund 100% of your deposit or apply your deposit to another program of your choice, provided there is availability. Please note that the deposit amount is deducted from the total cost of your project.  
 
You may cancel your registration up to 7 days after making your deposit for a full refund. You must cancel in writing as stated by our Terms and Conditions.
The program fee for a GoEco trip covers various things depending on the project itself. In general, most projects include the following in their cost: 

- Accommodations for the duration of your stay
- Food
- Airport pickup upon arrival to the country 
- In-country orientation and training to familiarize volunteers with their surroundings and the work they will be doing

To find out exactly what is included for the project in which you are interested, read through the “What’s Included” section on the project’s site page. 
Many of our past volunteers have had success with crowd fundraising websites such as FundMyTravel.This type of fundraising is a great way to not only raise the money for your trip, but also to spread awareness about your cause to your friends, family, and community. 

Additionally, if you are a student, many universities offer grants and scholarships for trips such as ours which have both educational and philanthropic components. Check with your university to see if you are eligible. 

Take a read through our Volunteer Fundraising page for tips on how to successfully raise money for your trip!
The remaining balance will be due in full, (minus the deposit fee) 60 days prior to your start date.
GoEco often offers volunteers special promotions for holidays or to highlight special projects. In the event that a project is eligible for more than one discount, only the largest discount will be applied. We cannot apply more than one discount to the same booking.
Registration and Flights
If you are interested in volunteering at one of our projects you just need to follow a few simple steps.

1. Once you have decided on your preferred project, choose one of the available dates from the drop down start date menu, along with the number of weeks you would like to volunteer. The project costs will automatically update. Next, click on the green "Apply Now" button and fill out the form. Once completed, press the "Submit Application" button. 

2. At this stage your request will be sent automatically to a placement coordinator who will contact you and answer any questions you may have about GoEco and the project. If you do not have any questions for a placement coordinator, you may follow the on screen prompt and proceed to make your deposit online. This will automatically send your request to the operations team, who will then proceed to secure your placement.

3. Usually, your placement can be confirmed in less than 10 days, following these steps:
•    Within 48 hours you will be sent a link to your online application- submit this right away.
•    If your project starts within 60 days of your registration, we must receive your balance payment in full before moving forward with your trip planning.
•    Upon receipt of your completed application, we will communicate with the local field team to confirm your placement. 
•    Once confirmed, the operations team will send you a confirmation email with all of the details about your project and the next steps required to plan for your trip.
 
We know that you are excited to start your volunteer project but please do not book your flights until you have received your confirmation email. Once you have that, you may go ahead and book your tickets. For more information on getting the best flights, please read our Flights page.  
In the event of a cancellation within 7 days of your deposit, GoEco will refund the deposit. 
 
The following information explains our cancellation policy for the remaining balance of the participation fee, based on the number of days before your program arrival date:

61+ days - volunteer forfeits deposit sum.
60-31 days - volunteer forfeits 50% of the value of the deal or the deposit sum (the higher of these two values will be applied).
0-30 - days or no-show - volunteer forfeits 100% of the value of the deal.

The reason for the reducing scale of refunds is to allow GoEco to refer committed volunteers to its partner organizations and thus maintain a good working relationship. In the event that you do cancel, GoEco will try to find a suitable replacement volunteer to carry out your placement, and the less time before the placement is due to start, the more expense and difficulty we will have in recruiting this person. Please note that in cases where you have already changed the start date of your placement, cancellation fees will be determined based on the original start date of your placement.
Requirements
A GoEco volunteer must be at least 18 years of age*, enthusiastic about making the world a better place, independent and determined to work hard, and open-minded about new cultures and experiences.

*In some cases, a minor may be allowed to participate with either supervision by the minor’s parent/guardian on the project or written consent from a parent/guardian. If you have questions regarding minors participating in one of our projects, our representatives would be happy to address your individual situation and discuss the options with you. 
You do not need to know any language other than English in order to participate in our projects except for the projects taking place in Central and South America. An important aspect of many of our volunteer projects is introducing remote communities to English-speakers and giving them a chance to learn and practice the language themselves. Therefore, your English skills are utilized and appreciated as an benefit of the project itself, regardless of the type of volunteer work you will be doing. 

Our projects in Central and South America, however, all require at least beginner’s level Spanish. For these projects, there is often a Spanish course incorporated into the orientation to brush up on your conversation skills, as well as the option to continue taking Spanish lessons throughout the duration of your volunteer work. 
It is the sole responsibility of the participant to ensure that he/she has a valid passport and appropriate visa for travel.  For more information, click here.
We recommend that you apply at least 4 months prior to the date you wish to travel. However, the earlier you apply, the earlier you will be able to reserve your spot on the trip and the project is less likely to fill up before you register. If you are looking to travel in fewer than 4 months, send in your application anyways and we can often accommodate in a much shorter period of time, as long as there is still availability on the project. 
Health and Safety
We understand the concerns that participants may have regarding international travel in a foreign country. We are here to assure you that your safety while on one of our programs is our top priority. We have 24-hour emergency support in every country to which we send our volunteers. Additionally, each of our projects have staff coordinators located either on-site or nearby the project whom volunteers may contact if they need any assistance or have questions while on the project. 
Here at GoEco, our top priority is to provide our volunteers with a fun and safe experience abroad. To ensure the safety of our participants while on their project, we require each volunteer to be covered with travel health insurance for the duration of their stay. 

Recommendations for reputable insurance providers can be found here.

For programs in Israel, GoEco has teamed up with Harel Insurance Company and Mango Insurance Agency to incorporate a comprehensive health insurance policy for volunteer travel in Israel. Please click here to read the full policy. Following your final confirmation you will be emailed an Insurance Declaration Form. Once you have sent the signed form and paid your participation fee in full, you will receive an insurance confirmation no earlier than one week before the insurance start date (the insurance will be valid only after you receive the Mango confirmation). 
 
  • The travel health insurance policy must be issued at latest seven days prior to departure. 
  • The travel health insurance policy is valid for applicants aged from 3 months – 65 years.  Applicants over this age need to purchase a different insurance plan for an extra cost. 
  • Please note that travel health insurance is only included for our programs in Israel. The cost, which is included in the prorgam fee, is non-refundable under any circumstance.  
  • In the case that you require health insurance coverage for longer than the duration of your chosen project(s), the Harel Health policy is still available to any of our participants for an extra fee. 
  • No insurance liability exists for illnesses and complaints known to the insured person at the time of conclusion of contract, or of conclusion of a follow-up contract, and their foreseeable consequences, or for the foreseeable consequences of illnesses and accidents of the insured person treated within a period of six months prior to the conclusion of contract.
Each country suggests or requires different immunizations for travel. It is best to consult your physician prior to departing for suggestions regarding immunizations for your specific country of travel to ensure that you will be best protected while on your project. 
Of course! Most of our volunteer projects give ample free time for just this! We understand that you want to explore your surroundings, as well as the diversity of the country you have traveled to, and our projects are flexible to accommodate for this. Additionally, the on-site coordinators are often happy to help you plan out any activities or small trips you want to take while on your placement. 
Special Requests
Yes, we will gladly accommodate for groups or families in many of our programs. Contact one of our representatives to go through your options. Discounts can be given to groups and families of 2 or more people.
Yes! We would be happy to arrange a specialized volunteering itinerary encompassing multiple volunteer projects for a well-rounded and thrilling adventure! This arrangement is great for students looking to take a gap year or anyone wanting to take some time off from the routine of daily life and experience new cultures and work environments.
The accommodations vary from program to program. Some are very rustic with basic conditions but others are more comfortable. Accommodations can range from a room in a furnished volunteer house near the volunteer site to shared rooms at a local youth hostel, and from tents or cabins on a reserve to homestays with local families. Regardless, all of our volunteer accommodations are sure to provide the necessities for our participants. The specific details regarding the accommodations at each project can be found on the project page under "Full Details." 

Private rooms can often be arranged for a single participant or a couple if notified ahead of time and for an additional fee. These arrangements can be made following registration. 
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