South America Living

Help Deciding How, Where and When You Should Volunteer Abroad

Underground Guide to International Volunteering eBook. Click on Image for More Information and to Order.

This started out as a review of the eBook “The Underground Guide to International Volunteering” by Kirsty Henderson (aka The Nerdy Nomad) and quickly morphored into an endorsement.

If you are thinking of or planning a trip abroad to volunteer this book will be invaluable to you and is a must-have for any ‘world traveler volunteer-wannabe’.

Want to know how to choose an organization to work with and find an opportunity that is right for you (either skilled or non-skilled)? Read the book. Confused about how much to pay, or if to pay any money at all and if you do where the money goes to? It’s in the book.

In a nutshell, you can spend weeks researching online and most likely will not learn:

1. What volunteering is actually like in reality.
2. First-hand accounts of volunteering by folks who have been doing it for years.
3. What is needed – emotionally & physically – to successfully complete a volunteer stint abroad.
4. Shady aspects of the volunteering community i.e. folks who create organizations simply to make money off of homestays.
5. How to make sure you will be a help – not a hindrance – to an organization.
6. How to get an Internet connection even if in a remote area of a Third World country.

Lastly, there is a list of “24 Free and Cheap Volunteering Opportunities” that have been hand-picked and researched by Kirsty with a brief description of the organization and projects they offer plus a link to the site online.

The Author Kirsty Henderson Helping Out Hands On Disaster Response

The organizations featured are in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America, Oceania and of course, South America. The two featured South American organizations are Pisco Sin Fronteras and Otra Cosa, both located in Peru. For more opportunities to volunteer in South America read: Hundreds of Volunteer Opportunities in South America.

The 63 page eBook costs only $14 USD with all profits going to the organization Hands On Disaster Response (HODR) – a disaster relief organization that Kirsty says she has “grown addicted to” and has been following around the world since January, 2008.

As a bonus, the book is beautifully designed with many photos plus easy-to-read text and formatting (many highlighted bulleted lists).

Some quotes from the book:

“Often volunteering will be done in parts of the world that are very poor with people living each day with less money than you might spend on a coffee in your home country. Living in a way that is so different from your day-to-day life at home could help you to reassess your priorities and become more socially conscious.”

“While many people’s motivations for volunteering are different, one thing they all have in common is that they’re helping people in need and that brings with it a great sense of satisfaction.”

“Before you commit to volunteering internationally, take a look at your own motivations and what you expect to get out of the experience. Be honest with yourself. Knowing what is motivating you will help you find a volunteering experience that is a good fit.”

“The most important trait for being a good volunteer is having a positive attitude. The work you will be doing won’t always be interesting or inspiring.”

Purchase the eBook online here: You can connect with Kirsty via her website or follow on Twitter: @travoholic.

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