Welcome to the GoEco volunteer blog!
Our job here at GoEco is to set up volunteers with eco-friendly and humanitarian projects all over the world. Inside this blog you’ll find a wealth of experiences from our alumni about their involvement volunteering abroad.
If you are an adventurous and ecologically concerned traveler who wants to be immersed in a local culture to become familiar with the local people, customs, and environment by giving back to the community and to the Earth, we here at GoEco have a program to suit your needs. So check out some of the experiences of our volunteers and head over to our website for more information on how you can get in on the fun!
Check out our latest posts below or skip to a category on the right:
I left a little piece of my heart in Camaronal beach. When I first arrived at the Sea Turtle Conservation program, it was in the back of a pick-up truck. Camaronal was located in the middle of nowhere it seemed. The air was hot, humid, and there was a slight breeze blowing. All of the facilities, the main area, the kitchen, even the volunteer house were rustic. If anyone wanted to escape the real world with all its technology, this would be the place to do it.
Gansbaai, South Africa
Volunteering with GoEco has been an unforgettable experience. I knew I wanted to do the Great White Shark Conservation project as soon as I read the description online a year ago. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical seeing as how I found it online and had never previously heard of GoEco. However, it turned out to be even better than the description had depicted.
Today is my last day volunteering in Cambodia, time to say goodbye to everyone I met… and this beautiful country. I spent five weeks here and totally fell in love with the country, the experience, and in particular the kids at school. Since I first arrived in Cambodia I felt it was even more different than what I had expected, especially in Samraong, the town where we stayed and did most of the volunteering work.
Arava Desert, Israel
I spent a month volunteering in Israel at the Desert Eco Building program. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I did the program with four of my friends, which worked out nicely because not only was it our first trip together, but also being there together helped us get used to the place very easily.
My mother and I just came back from volunteering in China at the Giant Panda Center. There were not enough hours in the day to feel like we got enough time with the amazing creatures. We went to bed thinking how we just can’t wait until we wake up the next day.
Sing Buri, Thailand
I decided to take part in volunteer tourism because I really wanted to experience another culture but at the same time I also wanted to help out those that needed it. GoEco was absolutely amazing in helping me find some volunteer work in Thailand and so I set forth on my Sing Buri Orphanage adventure.
I arrived to the Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries project already a bit homesick as I had already been in India for five months, doing a semester abroad. I saw the opportunity with GoEco in Nepal about midway through my stay in Hyderabad. I’m so glad I saw it when I did because I signed up on the spot, whereas had I seen it at the end of my stay, perhaps I wouldn’t have jumped on it so quickly and then could have missed out on one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
I was a participant in the GoEco Ecotourism in Central Jerusalem program, fall of 2012. I chose the program because I had attended a study trip and decided to extend it, so I needed something rewarding to do with my time in Israel. Although the placement is in a fairly new hostel, it is very well run and has 24 hour staff, common rooms, and a tour to just about every attraction in Israel. As a volunteer, you can go on all of them free! (A fantastic perk, as I ended up attending all of them.)
I had the most phenomenal summer volunteering in Spain at the Eco-friendly Hospitality Internship in Barcelona! The staff were amazing, the program was fabulous, and the city is unbeatable! I can’t recommend it enough… Definitely check it out!
This previous summer (Summer 2012) I traveled with GoEco to Valencia, to take part in a series of conservation projects around the Valencia Region. I can summarize my experience in exactly one word, AMAZING! From the beginning, GO-ECO helped me find a suitable program and made the entire process so much easier.
San Carlos, Costa Rica
Dear Volunteer… You have made an exciting decision to give your time and effort to an organization that can desperately use your help, congratulations! The world needs more people like you. Now you are likely looking for a project that is a good fit for you. Maybe my experience will help guide your decision…
I’m a 26 year old guy from Lithuania, currently living and studying in Aberdeen, Scotland. This Summer I experienced the most wonderful travel adventure, I can safely say it was the best time of my life. Fed up with Scottish weather and the workload from my university, I decided to take a gap year…
Gansabaai, South Africa
Volunteering with GoEco on the Great White shark Conservation Program has been a most rewarding experience! Being able to go out on the ocean almost every day, seeing Great Whites 20cms from your face, and helping manage a commercial shark cage diving vessel is possibly the most exciting thing I have ever done!
The most exciting part about my journey was learning about the different cultures and religions. You can read about such things or watch them on TV but it is nothing like experiencing them first hand. I think it’s very important to learn that there are people in this world who were raised differently from you, have different religions, eat different kinds of food but yet you can still relate to them in so many ways.
Volunteering with GoEco
This post goes out to anyone who is on the fence about volunteering internationally with GoEco. Before you make your final decision you should consider all aspects and possible effects of the trip. I say this because I learned it the hard way and did not prepare myself for how completely life changing it was, so my advice is… be ready.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Recently, I spent my block leave in Port Elizabeth volunteering at the Penguin Conservation Program. Before i started my assignment, I learnt that there was a recent admission of about 20 wildlife penguins adults and chicks that were found stranded at a nearby beach- all covered in oil, sad casualties of the oil spills which have becoming alarmingly common in the region.
San Jose, Costa Rica
When my plane landed in San José, I was as nervous as I was excited. It was my first time traveling on my own, and I had no idea what to expect. However, after five minutes of talking to the driver from the Teaching and Social Work program in San José, an incredibly friendly man full of stories about his city and himself, I forgot to be nervous. more »
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
As the plane touched down in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, I could not have been more excited to start my time volunteering in zimbabwe with the Lion Rehabilitation and Conservation project. I was welcomed with open arms (and paws) and quickly settled into life at the project. more »
Costa Rica, South America
It was the wonderful people. This is what I’d say if you asked me my favorite thing about volunteering in Costa Rica. I didn’t fully realize their warmth until I landed in Dallas, Texas on my way home. Once back in the states, people were noticeably colder, and I’d only been gone for 16 days!
Ya’an City, CHINA
My experience with GoEco was quite amazing. It had been my dream to hold a panda bear. I explored my options for such an opportunity and came across volunteering in China. GoEco made the whole process extremely easy and worked with me on finding a volunteer placement for a week at the reserve, as well as organizing the logistics of fulfilling my dream of being able to hold a panda during my stay there. Continue reading Carolyn's post...
Arava Desert, Israel
It was a rather spontaneous idea to volunteer in Israel. I applied with GoEco, just 6 weeks before, to do the Long Term Wildlife Program. Regardless, GoEco made sure that the application process went quickly and smoothly. So on the 15th of January I found myself in Jerusalem at Abraham Hostel, already talking to other travelers. It was so easy to get to know other people, as a lot of them had also come by themselves. Continue reading Henrik;s post...
Cape Town, South Africa
My trip to Cape Town, South Africa was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my life. From the moment my wonderful project coordinator greeted me with a warm welcome as I got out of the van, I knew I was in the right place.
Volunteering in South Africa at the Tiger and Lion Park was the most rewarding experience of my life. It was amazing to interact with the beautiful animals on a day to day basis and get to know their individual personalities and observe their behavior with one another. I knew when I signed up that the animals alone were reason enough for going, but what I did not expect was the time spent with the other volunteers to impact me so greatly. more »
When I first arrived at the Mountain Eco-Lodge my first thought was that I had found the beauty of Switzerland in the heart of the Middle East!
When you think about being a volunteer in Israel, immediately you see in your imagination a picture of holy places, sea, and of course, camels in the desert. In reality, Israel actually has a wide variety of different places to offer. One of these special places is Nimrod. Continue reading Yan's post...
San José, Costa Rica
The Costa Rica volunteer experience was nothing like I expected, and I had an amazing time. I met friends and worked with people from all over the world who were all doing amazing volunteer work across Latin America, and just had the right ideas about life. Continue reading Kelsey's post...
Masai Mara, Kenya
Last October 2011, I spent two weeks volunteering in Kenya in the Masai Mara Big Cat, Wildlife Research & Conservation Project. What can I say about the project? … It was amazing!! Continue reading Marion's post...
Gansbaai, South Africa
My adventure volunteering in South Africa at the Great White Shark Conservation project was a fantastic experience. Being able to see these beautiful creatures “up close” was very exciting!
Zululand, South Africa
Volunteering in Africa at the Big Cat, Elephant, and Rhino Conservation project was a thrilling opportunity. In March 2012, I spent two weeks working on the project. Each volunteer is able to select which project they want to be involved with. Continue reading Jeff's post...
Barcelona, Spain and Tel Aviv, Israel
We’re excited to present you with two new internship projects this month that are located in two of the hottest cities on the Mediterranean Sea! Both ranking in the Top 10 Beach Cities of the World by National Geographic, Barcelona and Tel Aviv have everything you could want from a summer abroad: great food, lively culture, endless sunshine, and over 4 miles of beaches between them Whether your catching the sunrise in Barcelona or the sunset in Tel Aviv you are sure to have an unforgettable experience on these programs, and all for only 350 USD! Continue reading this post to find out more...
Chiang Rai, Thailand
It was an experience in it of itself – living in a bamboo hut in the forest, working with the Akha people – it was awe-inspiring. The Akha village I volunteered at in Thailand is a unique place where people live by their own two hands, all the while full of love and joy. Continue reading Tamar's post...
Going to africa was a lifelong dream of mine. The experience was worth all the long flights and excruciatingly painful layovers in the world. Upon arrival at my destination, I was greeted by 2 lion cubs at the orphanage. There was a 5 month old male & a 20 month old female. It was such a magical encounter. Continue reading Winnie's post
When I first signed up with GoEco to volunteer at Israel’s Coral Reef in Eilat, I didn’t know what to expect. And, to tell you the truth I was kind of nervous. I asked myself questions like: What will I be doing? Continue reading Ezra's post...
Cape Town, South Africa
Upper Galilee, Israel
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, from the hippos in Limpopo to the penguins on the Cape, is a world in and of itself. It befits its position at the southern tip of the planet’s most epic continent, with more types of awesome terrain than photographers can shake their zoom lens at. Continue reading this post...
Upper Galilee, Israel
The experience was unforgettable and unfathomably precious. The feel of a whole new country, of various religions, of various backgrounds, of whole new climates and landscapes– the variety of it all and the feeling of it all is so distinct and alive in my mind and heart and I hope it will always be so. Continue reading Anca's post...
Umm el Fahem, Israel
I am coming to the end of my sojourn in Umm el Fahem. I just returned from a week’s travel around the country, during the Moslem holiday for which the gallery is closed.The entire experience here has been wonderful for me. Continue reading Joanna's post...
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Arriving in Santa Cruz was quite overwhelming, I had just flown thousands of miles away from home to another continent completely solo. That didn’t last long as I was warmly welcomed into the home of my host family, who were absolutely awesome! Continue reading Kaitlin's post...
Umm el Fahem, Israel
I am writing from Umm el Fahem, Israel, near the border with the West Bank. I am here spending six weeks volunteering at the Umm el Fahem Gallery of Art. So far, it has been an enlightening and delightful experience.
There was not even one tiny instant that I regretted my spontaneous decision to take part in this project at the Coral Reef Reserve. From the very first day I liked the stuff, the work, the accommodation, the possibilities to spend my leisure time and in the end I just loved it.
Limpopo, South Africa
“Hugging a Baboon”
Don’t be mistaken, he is hugging you, not “you are hugging him.” And indeed it’s a HE or a SHE, who hugs you… Well, the truth is, that it is mutual. When one of them hugs you, you know and you feel that it’s because he wants your touch, your warmth, your closeness. They need you, and they are sincere. Continue reading Nurit's post...
I arrived three weeks ago now to follow the TEFL paid teaching program. But regarding the current situation I have also been involved in giving a hand to the local communities suffering from the floods in Singburi area. During the introduction week our help has been requested to supply people with foods and water.
Masai Mara, Kenya
As I got off the plane, I knew I wasn’t in “Kansas” anymore…My weary eyes focused on the hoards of people clamoring to get to the front of the group. Each was holding a sign indicating a passenger’s name. I didn’t see my name. Panic began to fill my empty stomach.
Negev Desert, Israel
Exotic Life in the Middle of the Desert
Who hasn’t wanted to take some time off from life’s routine and escape to a new and different place, free of stress and filled with new experiences; to find a break from the monotony of everyday life. Continue reading Yan's post...