GIVE Volunteers


GIVE is an established leader in organized volunteer and responsible adventure travel, offering meaningful trips in the USA (Hawai'i and Washington), Nicaragua, Tanzania, Thailand, and Laos. Our 1-7 week trips allow you to safely explore the world while learning about new passions. Additionally, our 360-degree support begins long before your trip and continues after you return home. Whether it's our dedicated flight agents helping you book for the first time, our 24/7 on-call support staff, or a past volunteer from one of our 50+ established student groups nationwide, we're here for you.

GIVE's programs adopt the Asset-based community development (ABCD) model, which is a set of proven best practices in sustainable development that mobilizes a community's own assets and resources as the basis for development. Join us in exploring incredible and remote corners of the globe while uplifting host communities and changing your life.


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Yes, I recommend this program

GIVE Volunteers - PNW WILD Experience

This is my third trip with GIVE Volunteers, and even though GIVE is known for volunteering, this trip had a different element that I was excited to participate in. The WILD course did everything it said it would and more. I had the opportunity to learn about outdoor leadership and become certified in wilderness first aid and risk management. In addition, we went over real-life situations that put us to the test and gave a better understanding of how to use everything we learn in a hands-on environment. In addition to doing all this with a team. This experience perfectly depicts what the GIVE guides abroad need to know to guide a safe and engaging volunteer experience. If you want to develop your leadership skills, be out in the wilderness, and push yourself out of your comfort zone, this trip is for you. Hiking the cascade mountains and visiting downtown Seattle was a plus—10/10 overall experience.

  • Great food, people, and scenery
  • Inactive learning experience
  • Great balance of down time, learning, and fun
  • Remote, little to no cell service
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Yes, I recommend this program

GIVE Southeast Asia Trip (Thailand and Laos) 2022-2023

I went to both Thailand and Laos with GIVE through their Southeast Asia Package, and my time in both countries was unlike anything I could ever describe. Since being home, I have found it challenging to answer the question “how was the trip”, because how do you sum up almost four weeks of beautiful memories in such beautiful places? If I could go on these two trips over and over again, I would. I learned so much about other cultures, sustainability, agriculture, and myself. I was in both countries to give as much as I could, but I received so much more. I have had the opportunity to make a difference in the world for the better, but on top of that I also had so much fun, made life-long friends with other volunteers, and even created loving relationships with people despite having a language barrier. If you are unsure if you want to go on a trip with GIVE, please take the leap. It changed my life for the better in so many ways and I cannot thank GIVE enough for having me!

  • Amazing guides and well organized
  • Working with local people
  • Learning about new culture and seeing beautiful places
  • Leaving
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Yes, I recommend this program

Laos Trip 2023

This experience is incredible. I was nervous for this trip as it was my first time traveling by myself however GIVE was super helpful throughout the whole process of preparing for the trip and when we arrived at the airport the guides were there to welcome us. The guides on this trip are all knowledgeable and are happy to answer any questions you have about the culture.

This experience taught me how to travel responsibly and respect the culture of the place you are visiting. I meet like-minded people and now have friends halfway across the world. I learned to appreciate what I have and saw that the villagers who have the least seem to be some of the kindest happiest people I have ever met. On this trip we had in depth discussions about what topics that truly mattered, taught the locals and worked on the permaculture plot. The balance between the volunteer work and activities is great you volunteer during the day and in the afternoon you experience the Lao culture.

If you want to find yourself, meet people from all round the world and do something meaningful while also learning about why the work you are doing is important then this trip is for you. Lao is such a beautiful underrated country that is definitely work traveling to.

  • Adventure
  • Friendly
  • Life changing
  • Leaving
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Yes, I recommend this program

Laos Trip

GIVE is an amazing organization that cares so much about their volunteers. We got to teach English, work on the permaculture plot, volunteer at a bear sanctuary and so much more. We immersed ourselves in Lao culture while still making time for waterfall hikes and other fun activities.You’ll also get to learn about the history of Laos and visit authentic Buddhist temples. Take a chance on GIVE- you’ll meet so many people and experience the culture in a way that you probably wouldn’t by traveling with another organization :)

  • Gorgeous landscapes
  • Delicious food
  • Home stay with the locals
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Amazing and Amazing!

Going on a G.I.V.E trip is rewarding. You learn more about hidden places you have never visited. You learn more about individuals and are immersed in their culture. They teach you about their heritage, ceremonies, and how to respect their customs. Also you get the added benefit of having free time to explore areas you visit. You also get to know your guides and get a little bit of an adventure on this trip. Overall if you are looking for a trip that will have an impact on your learning and your view G.I.V.E is for you!!!

  • Paid Food
  • Paid Accomodation
  • Safe Guides


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it is more than just travel. It combines the meaningful ability to volunteer with the wondrous adventures awaiting in these countries to provide an incredible adventure that excites the soul and the mind. I wanted to volunteer and learn about different cultures. I wanted to do something I've never done before in a new place. I got all of that with GIVE.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I didn't have to do anything completely on my own. They helped me with fundraising ideas, connected me to a flight booking center, sent me all the information for travel documents I would need, sent a packing list, and contacted me with reminders to keep me on track to be able to go. The only thing I had to do was go see my doctor for any shots or medications.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Don't plan everything. Traveling is supposed to be an adventure, complete with highs and lows. If something goes wrong, don't put but; accept the situation as an experience to learn. With that said, nothing really goes wrong. When things are incredible, take the time to appreciate it in person rather than having your phone out the entire time. Go with the flow and when packing, take out a third before leaving.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Wake up and have breakfast. Go volunteer. Eat lunch. Volunteer. Free time to fill with various activities depending on location. Dinner and discussion on various topics. Free time before bed. Volunteer days follow this pattern. Adventure days are either scattered throughout the week or at the end and vary depending on location and adventure.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I have traveled enough, especially with GIVE, that I have no fears. I know that anything unexpected that may occur will be dealt with by my guides and I enjoy the thrill of not knowing 100% what is coming next. I am always eager to learn about the culture I am in, and what I've learned has definitely changed my perspective on various international issues. The hardest part is the reverse culture shock; that is the shock of coming back to the US and dealing with our culture.

How accommodating is GIVE to different personal preferences? (i.e. food, allergies, medications, etc.)

GIVE will ask you if you have any dietary restrictions or medications when you sign up for a trip, and offer a space to add any other concerns you have about personal preferences. I am a vegetarian and always had something to eat. My friends with allergies always felt safe since the guides have medical kits at all times.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Amber Parucha

Job Title
Lead Guide - Nepal
Amber Parucha is a Lead Guide and Volunteer Fulfillment Specialist for Growth International Volunteer Excursions (GIVE). She has led groups in both Thailand and Nepal. She studied Biology/Psychology with a minor in Leadership and Civic Engagemnt at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Amber Parucha

What is your favorite travel memory?

There was a time in my life when I wanted to see the world and thought I only had a short amount of time to see it all. I was more concerned about how many stamps I collected in my passport rather than the quality of the time I spent in each place. It was not until I had my first experience in SE Asia with GIVE that I realized I had been doing it all wrong.

We spent 2 weeks living and working within the region, Muang Khong. This experience lifted the superficial veil of travel and allowed me to become part of a community rather than a tourist passing through. We shared meals with the locals, learned from them, and became completely encompassed by the culture. By the end of this experience, we felt like we were part of the family.

I'll never forget trekking through the jungle following in the footsteps of a mahout named Eddy. We spent 2 hours tracking semi-wild elephants. As we passed through lush vegetation, Eddy was telling me about his family, his experiences growing up in the jungle and the special connection he shares with his elephant. Reminiscing on standing face to face with my favorite animal and I still remember my conversation with Eddy above it all. Memories are deeply encoded when you share an emotional connection with that place or the people within it. That is what GIVE provides when you travel, a connection to yourself, others, and this planet, unlike anything you have ever felt before.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Before joining GIVE, I had never truly made the connection that my actions could have an impact. I cared about social issues but lacked guidance and direction. GIVE mobilized that deeper desire within me to be a part of something that was bigger than myself.

I've learned that small choices lead to larger lifestyle changes and one of the best ways to make others more cognizant of their actions is to lead by example. I'm thankful to work for a company that builds up its employees and genuinely cares about the legacy they are leaving behind.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Many of our volunteers return home with an ignited sense of passion and eagerness to spread their knowledge to others. I am always so proud to see folks use social media as a platform for advocacy and environmental stewardship after going on a GIVE trip. The best stories always stem from eco-experience. Those that plant a seed of compassion in the country and nurture it through education and expanding perspective once they return home.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Of course I would recommend our Thailand and Laos program for anyone who is looking to experience the magic of SE Asia. Not only are these places beautiful to visit but GIVE also shines a light on the colorful cultures and people that call these places home. The programs are jam-packed full of adventure activities for those looking to push their comfort zones. I'm a thrill seeker myself so bungee jumping, zip-lining through the jungle, and chartering a bamboo raft down the mighty Mae Tang river are right up my alley.

If a month in SE Asia is not enough, which of course it's not... We also now offer a separate elephant immersion program that includes 8 days of observing, caring for, and most importantly serving as advocates for a rapidly declining keystone species. Talk about a fricken epic travel memory...

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

GIVE practices a specific form of development that is centered around evaluating the strengths and assets within a community rather than focusing on what they are lacking or in "need" of. We do not compromise our values and treat these communities with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Our projects are built upon the ideas of great leaders within these communities and GIVE is the catalyst to make these dreams become reality. I am proud to be part of a team that views sustainable development as a way to invest in people. By practicing responsible tourism, we are not only voting with our dollar to support local initiatives but also gaining perspective and preserving the sacred entity of culture within.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe the biggest factor for success in our company is to constantly analyze our impact and "walk the walk". How can we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs? It's all about finding a better way to do things and that is the ripple we hope to spread throughout the world.