Volunteer vacation opportunities
In general, fees and other costs for volunteer work with nonprofit groups are tax-deductible. Tourist side trips are not. Check with your tax professional to be sure. Most agencies want volunteers no younger than late teens.
Council on International Educational Exchange
633 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017
Turtle conservation in Mexico, restoration of monasteries in Italy and France, working with children in the United Kingdom, and assisting with arts and crafts festivals in Morocco.
Cost: $335 plus transportation.
Foundation for International Education
121 Cascade Court
River Falls, WI 54022-2805
Seeks elementary and secondary teachers or social-service workers to go to England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, India, Australia, Kenya, and Costa Rica.
Cost: About $600 plus travel and accommodations.
Perk: Graduate credits may be earned by volunteers for their work.
University Research Expeditions Program
University of California
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
Worldwide projects led by University of California scientists.
Cost: $600-$1,600 plus transportation to and from point of departure.
Volunteers for Peace Inc. - International Work Camps
1034 Tiffany Rd
Belmont, VT 05730
Community-service projects in 70 countries and in the US, including construction, social work, teaching English, and working with children.
Cost: $20 membership fee (deductible from future registration fees), plus $300 per camp and travel expenses.
3 Clocktower Place, Suite 100
PO Box 75
Maynard, MA 01453
Research expedition projects worldwide and throughout the US. Art, archaeology, public health, marine mammology, ornithology, wildlife management, and ecology.
Cost: $900-$2,700 plus transportation.
US Forest Service
Volunteers in the National Forests
PO Box 96090, Room 1010 RPE
Washington, DC 20090
Archaeological excavation, campground hosting, office work, trail work, planting trees, backcountry ranger work, and taking photographs.
Cost: Transportation and living expenses.
Peacework Development Fund
305 Washington St. SW
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Specializes in working with groups of people who want to volunteer together at established sites. Work includes community-service projects at orphanages, schools, and clinics in Latin America, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia..
Cost: $1,000 to $2,200, all-inclusive.
A good source of additional information is Bill McMillon's book, "Volunteer Vacations," published by Chicago Review Press. The book describes more than 200 programs based all over the world. Information includes locations, dates, costs, how to apply, types of work done by volunteers, and sample projects.
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