- Series: Moon Handbooks
- Paperback: 236 pages
- Publisher: Moon Travel; 1 edition (October 22, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612386415
- ISBN-13: 978-1612386416
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Moon Volunteer Vacations in Latin America (Moon Handbooks) Paperback – October 22, 2013
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About the Author
Amy has a background in international development and nonprofit management, and has worked in both private and nonprofit sectors. She applied that expertise, as well as the advice and experiences of her extensive network of passionate voluntourist” friends and colleagues, to her evaluation of volunteer programs for this book.
Amy is a Seattle native who has long been obsessed with travel. She studied in Boston and Madrid for her bachelor's degree and London for her master's degree in development studies (where she also met her husband, who hails from Italy). In 2012, after eight years living in Latin America, Amy moved with her husband and two children to Beirut, Lebanon. She spends three months a year divided between her family's hometowns: Seattle, Rome, and Messina, Sicily. She is the author of Moon Honduras & the Bay Islands, and her writing has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Christian Science Monitor, and Travel + Leisure, among others.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
1. Volunteering helps tourists become travelers.
Volunteer vacations allow visitors to experience a destination and connect with locals in new and meaningful ways. Volunteering is about sharing talents and abilities, mutual learning, and pulling back the curtain that separates the foreigner from the country.
2. Volunteer vacations are fun as well as fulfilling.
Captivated by the extraordinary wildlife of Costa Rica and Ecuador? Longing for the laid-back vibe of Nicaragua and Mexico? From the European-Latin fusion of Argentina to the beaches and colonial cities of less-traveled Colombia, Latin America offers something to entice any traveler.
3. Volunteering is first and foremost about those in need.
Poverty figures in Latin America dwarf those of the United States and Canada. Most Latin American countries don’t have social safety nets like welfare or Medicaid. Children may go to school 100 days a yearor not at all. Wildlife conservation and environmental protection is often left behind in the basic struggle for survival.
Each travel experience has the potential to open windows into unfamiliar and exciting worlds. Whatever travelers choose to do and wherever they choose to go, volunteering can add a new dimension to their trips and create meaningful memories that last a lifetime.
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The author, Amy E. Robertson, has experience volunteering in Ecuador, Bolivia and Honduras, and the book is sprinkled with first person accounts from others. Like other volumes from Moon, it is organized for easy reference. In this case, listings are country by country, with a brief overview of each, including facts on climate, culture and a brief history, followed by listings of organizations offering volunteer possibilities.
In this book, you'll find out who sponsors each organization, what type of expertise is needed, how long the program lasts, what sort of housing you can expect. Volunteering in a Spanish speaking country can be a good way to learn or improve your Spanish, but in some volunteer assignments, you'd be mainly with speakers of English and in others, you mighty hear an indigenous language. Do you want to work with local children, the elderly or individuals of all ages? Perhaps your interest is ecology and you'd prefer a job with plants or animals? Many choices await you!
You can also choose to volunteer alongside college students or senior or in groups consisting of different ages. Some volunteers stay in homes of local people, while some organizations offer dormitories.
Included, too, are many interesting tidbits. Did you know that Mexico City is just south of the Tropic of Cancer, and Brazil has over 4600 miles of sandy beaches?
Because of my own interest in Brazil, I was struck by the fact that it offer fewer volunteer openings for people from other countries than many of its smaller neighbors. While some organizations there require a rudimentary knowledge of Portuguese, at least one provides intensive language training before putting you to work.