Does you group want to experience new sights and flavors on an exciting trip? Are you eager to embark on a world-class volunteer adventure abroad? Then check out Helping Abroad’s Alternative Spring Break programs. Each program is a unique learning experience where students engage in direct community service while immersing themselves in a unique culture and interesting customs. Volunteers explore the area’s culture and history, participate in orientation programs, strengthen leadership skills and develop strong bonds with other team members.
Helping Abroad selects projects carefully so your group can make a real difference while enjoying a safe travel experience. You’ll also have plenty of free time to practice your Spanish or Portuguese while sightseeing, enjoying an adventure or simply hanging out with locals.
Contact Helping Abroad to customize your group travel and dates.
Favorite destinations/projects for your alternative spring break trip
Costa Rica—Turtle conservation
Save endangered sea turtles
Millions of sea turtles including endangered Hawksbill, Green and Leatherback species nest on Costa Rica's pristine beaches. Your group will join a team of scientists and conservationists intent on protecting these animals and their habitat from poachers and pollution. Work on Pacific or Caribbean coast projects. You may collect data, patrol nesting sites, feed and care for sick and injured turtles. Help ensure these magnificent animals' future, and you'll talk about this spring break for years to come.
Costa Rica—Work with orphans
Brighten deserving kids' lives
Spread kindness as positive role models to grateful orphaned, abused and abandoned children and those born to addicts. You can make a real difference by volunteering just a few hours a day. Besides teaching basic English, your group will enjoy fun activities like art, games, singing and more with these youngsters. After just one week, leaving Costa Rica and these beautiful children behind may be bittersweet.
Costa Rica—Coffee farm coop
Be part of an organic coffee farm
Learn about sustainable farming with a memorable experience on a Costa Rican coffee farm. A local cooperative helps farmers reduce or eliminate their conventional chemicals usage. Your group will work with local farmers to learn the practices and teach new alternatives as well as picking and tasting some of the best coffee on earth.
Costa Rica—Construction and repair
Build a school/orphanage
Behind picturesque tourist sites, thousands of Costa Rican families and children struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Homes and orphanages are in an unsafe state of disrepair, and others need building. Your group can make a significant difference, even without construction experience. A strong desire to help is all you need.
Peru—Work with orphans
Bring laughter and hope to needy children
Join the caring adults who step in to help orphaned or abandoned children. Helping Abroad's orphan projects in Peru offer the atmosphere of a large family with full-time care and support. Groups volunteering just a few hours a day are a big help. Teach English, play with the kids and provide basic education and life skills. A little time, a love of children and a desire to build a better world are all you need to make your break in Peru a memorable week.
Peru—Work with street kids
Train Peru's street children for a better future
Regularly malnourished children are too common around Cusco. Lacking education, they help their families by selling trinkets on the street. But your group can make a difference. Expand their horizons by teaching computer, English and social skills. Imparting care and attention as you help provide meals can transform a child's life. Your volunteer stint may be short, but positive role models make an impact that continues. Peru and its beautiful children may change your life in return.
Peru—Work with street kids
Build a school or orphanage
Peru's most unfortunate children suffer in underfunded and overcrowded schools and orphanages in disrepair. Even volunteers who have never swung a hammer can help keep a roof over their heads. Your professional foreman will match your skill level to the project's needs. Whether you help install a new window or repaint an existing classroom, you'll see tangible proof that your week in Peru matters.
Brazil—Care for children
Provide childcare support to young parents
In Rio's poorest communities, alarmingly young parents have babies. Since childcare is scarce and expensive, parents must choose between caring for their children and working to support their families. Your group can provide much-needed service, caring for kids while their parents work or go to school. Though saying goodbye to the children and community you help may be difficult, your positive involvement will linger long after you return home.
Teach computer skills
Computer skills are essential to landing a good job in the thriving hospitality and tourism industry, but few of Rio's disadvantaged poor have access to adequate technical training. Share your computer knowledge with students of all ages, and you'll improve their lives greatly in a short amount of time. Teaching skills we take for granted like searching the Internet, using MS Word or Excel and other basics can improve worthy families' outlooks. Are you ready to impact their futures?
Work with young graffiti artists
In Brazil, graffiti art is legal, allowing creative, nonviolent ways for poor young locals to express themselves and be activists. Your group can volunteer with local artists in Complexo do Alemão, a group of northern Rio de Janeiro favelas. Enjoy spring break, learning and sharing this unique art form's distinctive techniques. The young artists' passion will inspire you. Your talents and positive influence will change this Brazilian community for the better.
Encourage kids to pursue sports and athletics
Futbol (soccer) and other sporting events are a national obsession in Brazil. But in the favelas of Rio, access to coaches and children's organized teams is scarce. By bringing your love of sports to Rio, you can make a difference in these children's lives. You'll get to teach and coach activities like futbol, volleyball, skateboarding, circus training, martial arts and more. Be a team player. Have fun. Return home with a huge smile, happy heart and wonderful spring break memories.
Brazil—Music and dance project
Learn to samba and share your love of dance
Do you samba? Would you like to learn? All Brazilian communities, rich and poor alike, celebrate and mourn with music. Now your group can embrace this vibrant tradition and help it live on by volunteering in northern Rio de Janeiro's favelas. You'll learn samba, bossa nova and other styles and teach them to children in local community centers and schools. If you can't resist Latin American rhythms, you'll fall in love with the Brazilian children who share your passion. They'll touch your heart. So get moving to the samba beat.
Guatemala—Work with orphans
Bring a smile to poor children
Without loving parents to provide for Guatemalan orphans, these children live in dire conditions. Resources and manpower for orphanages are scarce. Your group can make a real difference even in just a few days. Teach English and direct games while laughing, encouraging and playing. Are you ready to change orphans' lives and your own? Then this is the project for you.
Join women empowering women
Guatemalan women trapped by lack of money, education or job skills may stay in abusive marriages to support themselves and care for their children. But your group can provide crucial education and support. Accompany women to court trials, assist with women's health workshops and more. You may also help teach handicrafts, enabling these women to gain financial independence. With intermediate-level Spanish and a desire to assist your sisters abroad, you can encourage them achieve a better life for themselves and their children.
Mexico—Work with orphans
Make a difference at a children's home
At a home in the busy Pacific port of Manzanillo, orphaned and abused children find a safe haven. Your group can provide support and relief for the devoted local staff. Help the children with homework, share your love of sports or music and train them to succeed in the future. A little time and care go a long way with these deserving kids. Leaving them behind may be tough, but you will make a difference.
Save endangered sea turtles
Fishermen and volunteers save around 4000 Olive Ridley turtle nests each year. However, people slaughter turtles for meat and eggs while others die in illegal trawl nets. Join the conservation effort at the beachside camp in Campamento Majahaus. You'll collect and relocate nests to a protected incubation corral, counting hatchlings as they come to the sand's surface. Education and data collection are important to the project and the preservation of these beautiful animals.
How will you spend your week? A sample itinerary
During an alternative spring break program, your days are an exciting blend of volunteering, cultural immersion, interesting discussions, free time for travel, exploration and fun overflowing with love. While each project varies somewhat based on location and climate, here's what you can expect from a typical intensive one-week project.
Day 0 (Sunday). Your group arrives at the volunteer destination and transfers to your host family, home base or hostel, depending on the program.
Day 1 (Monday). Following breakfast, Rustic Travel's in-country staff leads a brief orientation. You'll learn about local culture, your volunteer project and roles, important do's and don'ts as well as safety and related issues. Ask questions. Then your group will transfer to the project site to begin your volunteer duties.
Day 2-5 (Tuesday-Friday). Work as a volunteer for 5-6 hours a day. Actual hours will vary depending on your service project. For example, you begin work at 9 AM, enjoy a one-hour lunch break at noon and work 1-2 PM. Your free time begins at 3 PM when you can go sightseeing.
After 2 PM, Leisure time. Your group may explore the local area, hang out with other volunteers, study, rest or plan the next day. Do whatever you want during your free time. If you choose to go out, please be careful and ask our in-country coordinator and local staff for advice and help. They'll recommend a variety of interesting sites to see and fun things to do.
Days 5-7.Travel and exploration (optional). With a sense of accomplishment and deeper understanding of your host area, your group is welcome to explore the country for 2 or 3 days before going home. Extra travel isn't included in your alternative spring break program, but Helping Abroad is glad to suggest and help organize trips for your group on request.
If you’ve searched for other alternative spring break programs, you must have already known by now, that Helping Abroad’s low price beats any US-based company. As a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization, we’re committed to providing safe, affordable volunteer opportunities to individuals and groups alike. Your one-week program price will be under $1000 and varies depending on the destination you choose.
Find project details complete with what it does and doesn’t include at http://www.helpingabroad.org/program-fee-date.php
Helping Abroad will customize your volunteer experience to coincide with your break dates. Click here to begin the planning process.