Volunteering in Latin America

By: Moe Tamani

?Latin America offersa lot of opportunities for volunteer work and especially in teaching English. ThisSouth American region offers beautiful landscape and travel opportunities toplaces that are more heard of than seen. Volunteering in Latin America hasincreased in the recent past due to a failing economy, poverty, and lack ofeducation and political and civil wars and strife. But the fact is that LatinAmerican nations have a wealth of natural resources, but are still consideredas developing countries by those in North America and Europe.

Soif you are interested in overseas volunteer work then Latin America is a placeto be. Some of the relatively developed countries in Latin America likeArgentina and Costa Rica have significant number of people below the povertyline. Apart from this most of Latin American countries are not well versed withEnglish, which is slowly becoming a global language. Volunteering in LatinAmerica can vary from country to country and it can include from communitydevelopment, health education, environmental work and even sports. As anindividual, you can always choose the kind of overseas volunteer work you wantto participate in and the duration that you want to work for.

Volunteeringin Latin America includes the following types of work:

Conservation:This is of prime importance especially because a large part of the Amazon rainforest has disappeared and with it has disappeared many habitats. You canchoose volunteering work from different types of conservation projects thatinclude preservation of endangered species of turtles in Costa Rica andTrinidad & Tobago; Wildlife rehabilitation centers in Brazil, Argentina andEcuador and save forests and environmental projects in Brazil (mostly Amazon),Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala etc. You don’t need to have any kind ofdegree in animal behavior, all you need is love for nature, animals and a willto make a difference and save the planet and its depleting natural resources.

Health:Volunteering in Latin America revolves a lot around health and related servicesbecause most of the countries there don’t have the necessary infrastructure orskilled people that include, doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners.Lack of education also means that health problems are at a rise in the backwardareas and smaller towns. You can get a lot of exposure through volunteer workin hospitals in Ecuador and Honduras. ?

Sports:Sports may seem to be the unlikely area for volunteer work. South America has alot of sporting talent especially in soccer but there is no infrastructure,coaches or training schools that can hone the skills of the youngsters orteenagers who want to enter the professional sports arena. Soccer is like areligion in some countries like Brazil and Argentina, who have also made theirmark on the World stage. El futbol is considered to be a way of life, so if youhave ever coached any teams or played in any league games in Europe or otherparts of the world then you can volunteer as a football/soccer coach.

CommunityDevelopment: Although South America presents a pretty picture that advertisesthe smiles, the sun, the sand, the giant palm trees, the beautiful and exoticwildlife, there is much work to be done in terms of community development.Latin America suffers from a disparity of wealth and there are many people whodream of a better life, more money so that they can provide the basicnecessities to their children or parents. Volunteering in Latin America inCommunity development will involve many aspects like teaching English,developing projects that will benefit the society as a whole, helping old agedpeople and orphansFree Web Content, providing education to street kids and many more. It is allhard work but the end result is gratifying because you will be one of the fewpeople to have made a difference.

Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles