2020 has come to a close. After all the Covid-influenced Christmas festivities, you’re in 2021 with the post-New Year blues thinking, now what? You may be busy with your New Years’ resolutions, but let’s be honest, they never last that long. We want to give you something that will lift your spirits–We’ve summed up our Top 5 alternative Spring Break destinations!
These alternative Spring Break destinations will have you dreaming away in no time. We’re talking, amazing dive spots, white beaches, lush jungles, dramatic mountains, and last but not least, contributing to something meaningful!
Continue reading to find out all about the volunteer opportunities in our Top 5 destinations!
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Costa Rica – Pura Vida
Besides being a tourism hotspot, Costa Rica is also splendid for volunteers. The laid back vibe, it’s agreeable climate and abundant sustainable projects make it the dream volunteer destination. Spring break falls in Costa Rica’s dry season, which is an excellent time to visit.
Costa Rica will enchant you with its lush green forests and stunning beaches. Nature lovers will be in awe of its proactive approach to sustainability. Did you know that Costa Rica was aiming to be the first carbon-neutral country by 2020?
Are you intrigued by its biodiversity and excited to see exotic creatures like sloths, kinkajous (aka the honey bear), and macaws? Costa Rica will show you some of the world’s most exotic species. And if you need a break from the daily grind, Costa Rica’s Pura Vida life philosophy will help you forget your daily troubles, in a heartbeat.
If you’re traveling during Spring Break, which is around March, you may be just in time to catch the Leatherback’s hatching season on the Pacific side. Or the nesting season on the Caribbean side. As a volunteer for sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica, you’ll have the critical task of patrolling the beaches for eggs and bringing them to the hatcheries. This is where they are safe from poachers. You’ll care for the babies and support their transition back to the sea.
If you’re not a beach bum, head into the jungle and volunteer for rainforest conservation. Clear and maintain mountain trails, protect the local wildlife and educate visitors on the importance of forests and their wildlife.
Although Costa Rica’s education system is better than its neighboring countries, there’s still room for improvement. Low-income areas benefit from all the help they can get. So teach the local youth and guide them toward a future with more opportunities.
Are you ready to surrender to the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle and help Costa Rica reach its sustainability goals?
Belize – The Hidden Gem
Scuba divers and water lovers will rejoice once they get to know Belize. This small country in Central America is a happy marriage of lush jungles and pristine underwater life. Boasting the world’s second-largest barrier reef, it’s also home to the largest natural sinkhole in the world. The great blue hole is not only breathtaking from above, just wait until you see it up close–The magnitude of this hotspot is mesmerizing.
Volunteers who don’t speak Spanish can breathe a sigh of relief in Belize. It’s one of the only Central American countries where Spanish isn’t the main language. English is the official language here.
Before you put on your diving suit, check out the fascinating volunteer projects in this underwater paradise.
Join a marine protection program in Belize. Collect data on the coral reefs, or protect Belize’s marine life from invasive species like lionfish. If you prefer marine mammals, volunteer for manatee conservation and learn all about them. Furthermore, divers have many options to help preserve Belize’s particular ecosystem.
If you love the beach views but prefer to keep things on dry land, join a sustainable farming project. Learn the ins and outs of agro farming and help with the daily chores on the cacao farm.
Volunteer in Belize and discover a true tropical paradise. Dive the blue hole, Turneffe Atoll, or the Half Moon Caye while you volunteer and help maintain one of the world’s most precious ecosystems.
Guatemala – Hike the Volcanoes
Guatemala will inspire both nature and culture lovers. You’ll be enchanted by Guatemala’s interesting weave of Spanish colonialism and Mayan heritage as well as amazed by its variety of landscapes. From imposing mountains to muggy rainforests and postcard-worthy beaches. You’ll never tire of the volcano studded landscapes and stunning horizons.
Visit the natural monument Semuc Champey, kayak in Lake Atitlan or hike the Pacaya Volcano. Admire these epic destinations and join one of the many volunteer projects in Guatemala. If you go during Semana Santa or Holy Week — in March, you’ll experience the biggest celebration of the year. It’s when Guatemalans honor their unique blend of Mayan and Christian heritage.
A construction project is a great option for volunteers who don’t mind phsyical labor. Poor communities rely on construction programs to build homes for their families. So volunteer for a construction project and give Guatemalan locals a new life.
Community development programs are always looking for extra hands to lighten the load. Teach the youth, help with food distribution, or support healthcare initiatives. Your effort will be appreciated.
Volunteers who love animals will find many wildlife rescue projects in Guatemala. This your chance to save injured or abandoned animals like monkeys, jaguars, and macaws. You’ll also be helping out with daily chores to help care for these creatures. On the other hand, ff you prefer being in nature and seeing animals in their natural habitat, volunteer for a conservation project to maintain Guatemala’s precious rainforests.
Teaching & Healthcare
If you have experience as a teacher, there are several volunteer programs where you can teach local youth. At the same time, healthcare professionals are also in high demand. Support loca medical staff and provide those in poor areas with the healthcare they need.
Guatemala is great for volunteers who are in for an adventure and want to brush up on their Spanish. It also offers tropical temperatures and super friendly people. Volunteer in Guatemala, and you won’t be disappointed.
Chile – Nature’s Finest
With some of the most contrasting landscapes in the world, Chile will leave you in awe of its jaw-dropping nature. It’s home to the driest desert on earth, the Atacama Desert, and Torres del Paine. Your volunteer efforts will be rewarded with stunning pictures. Geography lovers in particular will never get enough of Chile. In addition to deserts, mountains, and endless coastline, Chile also offers volcanoes, forests, glaciers and fjords!
With its stunning terrain and impressive wildlife, Chile is a top travel destination for an alternative Spring Break. Explore and volunteer in Chile– take part in one of the volunteer programs.
Socially engaged volunteers can make a big difference by joining one of the community service projects. There are several options to choose from. Perhaps you like working with children, prefer the wisdom of the elderly, or want to give the homeless a boost in their morale.
Volunteers who love animals can volunteer for a stray animal project and keep innocent cats and dogs off the streets of Santiago.
Horse lovers are in for a surprise because Chile has a volunteer program focused on equine therapy. Horses have a therapeutic effect on those struggling with autism, Down syndrome, and developmental issues. If you’re interested in learning more about this and caring for horses, this is for you.
Volunteering in Chile wouldn’t be complete without taking into account the environment. Nature lovers can retreat to remote green sanctuaries. Help preserve Chile’s natural treasure by countering deforestation, soil degeneration, and waste issues.
Volunteer in Chile and experience the world’s most extreme landscapes while you give back to the community.
Ghana – African Spring Break
Most of our alternative spring break destinations are located in the Americas. This is because of the favorable climate conditions in March. Missing out on Africa would be a shame, however. This is why Ghana is on the list!
Ghana isn’t only one of the friendliest countries on the African continent. It’s also one of the most stable and developed African countries. This is due to a stable democracy, fast-paced development, and impressive attractions. Ghana is also known as ‘Africa for beginners’ and a great choice for volunteers who want to dip their toe into Africa.
Ghana’s welcoming beaches, lush forests, vibrant cities, and wildlife won’t give you the chance to get bored. If you think safaris can only be found in southern Africa, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Ghana has over 16 national parks with safaris where you can spot African wildlife. Maybe not zebras and giraffes, but you will see elephants, antelopes, buffalo, warthogs, and baboons!
With over 100 volunteer projects, Ghana has something for all volunteers.
Ghana is perfect for those seeking an internship abroad. Students can combine volunteering with practical experience. This is an excellent opportunity for future teachers, veterinarians, healthcare professionals, and even dentists to work in a developing country.
Volunteers who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves, volunteer for construction. Volunteer and build the locals a better future. There are plenty of other community service programs where you can connect with the local community and guide them toward a better future.
Animals lovers will find opportunities to care for rescued wildlife in sanctuaries. However, if you prefer to observe animals in their natural habitat, volunteer for an animal conservation project and help maintain their natural habitat and increase their chances of survival.
With its fun-loving people and variety of things to do, Ghana is heartwarming and thrilling. Volunteer and find out for yourself!
If it’s winter in your part of the world or you simply need to lift your spirits, check out our page. You’ll find lots of inspiration. Each program is an opportunity to explore a new destination and contribute to something meaningful. Are you looking forward to your alternative spring break yet?