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

(715) 425-1774


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

(530) 752-0692

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

(802) 259-2759

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

(800) 776-0188

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

(540) 953-1376

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.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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