Spring Break and Volunteerism – Where to Go and What to Do
It may only be February, but now is the time when college students begin planning for the annual migration off campus to exotic places – otherwise known as spring break. While margaritas, parties, blue seas and the chance for innocent flirting have not disappeared, another aspect of the tradition has emerged and is growing – volunteerism – or the “alternative spring break.”
It’s been more than three years since Katrina, but spring break volunteering is growing exponentially, according to Andrea Hutchinson, of Adventures in Travel Expo.
“We’re further away from Katrina, but President Obama was just elected,” said Steven Roy Goodman, educational consultant. “There has been a real resurgence of a spirit of service.”
Whatever one’s political affiliation, spring break service trips are an excellent way to travel and make a difference.
So where should the adventurous spring break volunteer go and what should they do during their time off from studying? What should they know before they embark? Here are some helpful links to answer all those questions and more:
Jaunted – A hip travel guide with an entire section dedicated to volunteerism and travel. The site includes destination descriptions with highlighted volunteerism trips such as saving the rain forest in Ecuador, conducting scientific research in Nicaragua, working with women and children in Morocco and tons of other options for the spring break do-gooder.
Volunteer Match – Which will match your interests and location/destination with ongoing area projects that need your help.
Trazzler – This online user-based travel guide has several volunteer travel destination and program descriptions which include ventures such as bathing elephants at a rescue center in Bangkok, Thailand; protecting sea turtles in San Miguel, Costa Rica; building a kindergarten to save coral reefs in Vanua Levu, Fiji and much more!
One World Volunteer – A service offering assistance for volunteer placement, internships and service work projects.
Idealist.Org – This site has a wide collection of links directing the travel-volunteer to organizations and resources worth checking out before venturing off campus.
However one plans to spend spring break this year, volunteering can be a great way to see the world, meet new people and make a difference in the lives of others – and if you’re lucky, your own life as well.