What are your plans for this year’s summer vacation? Are you heading to some exotic location or modern city abroad? Are you looking for sunshine, pools,
tanning and beaches? Great! You and some other few million people will probably choose the same, which will increase your travel expenses and make your
vacation packed with people who are just looking for fun. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you may want to be different, you may want to change
something about a typical summer and you may want to do something better for humanity. And yes, volunteering can be that fulfilling experience where you
can make a difference, for once in your life. We have piled up a list of suitable places where your simple presence would make someone happier, healthier
or just normal.
Let’s start with Bagamoyo in Tanzania. They speak Swahili & English and pay with “Shilling”. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Bagamoyo means “Lie down
your heart” in English, and somehow the name is not random, it is a special place where you can assist infants and children, improve their education or
support sick people with HIV/AIDS. The city is located across the island of Zanzibar at the Indian Ocean and it offers numerous options for spending your
free time, from going to the beach to taking dance lessons and taking the boat to Zanzibar for few days to explore the island.
Next on the list is Cartago in Costa Rica, where people speak Spanish and eat Gallo Pinto, a dish made with rice and beans, traditional for both Costa Rica
and Nicaragua. Most of us know Costa Rica for its biodiversity, myriad ecosystems and friendly people. Moreover, the country offers free education and
universal healthcare which determined citizens from other central American countries to come to Costa Rica. Therefore, the immigration rate has increased a
lot over the last years.
As a volunteer in Cartago, you can assist with the care of infants and children, improve the quality of care for people with disabilities or improve health and the sense of dignity among the elderly. Although
Cartago is a wealthy city, in its suburbs there is a completely different environment, people are very poor and quality of life is very low.
Don’t miss however touring Cartago, visiting the famous Basilica which is the largest in the whole country and also the old ruins, as well as taking a tour
of a coffee plantation where you can learn about the organic process. You may also want to take advantage of learning some Spanish, cooking some rice and
beans, ziplining at Manuel Antonio National Park and horse riding at the foothills of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. Costa Rica is also home to several
active volcanoes, so you may also want to explore Arenal Volcano, one of the country’s most active volcano.
Rabat, Morrocco – salam to a wonderful experience!
Fairly close to Europe, at about a 4-hour drive from Gibraltar, Rabat is Morocco’s capital city where people eat couscous, speak Arabic and pay with
Dirham. Everything is eye-opening here, and you just need an open mind and a good attitude. People in Rabat are eager to learn about other cultures, so you
may easily get in touch with a lot of locals, become one of them for a while and absorb as much information as you can while you’re there.
Being an Islamic country, Morocco has strict rules for its inhabitants and since children born in unmarried couples don’t follow the rule, they usually
become homeless, abandoned or living on the streets. Your volunteering experience may lead you to helping these children, by assisting them and improving
their education. And in your free time, you can explore Chellah, take cooking classes, visit the low-key coastal town of Essaouira or visit Marrakech –
known also as the Pink City.
So, what is you summer destination this year? Think about whose life you’re going to change soon.