GoEco

GoEco

About

GoEco is a leading eco-tourism company with a varied selection of affordable volunteer projects abroad. We act as a gateway to over 150 extraordinary community, wildlife and environmental initiatives all over the world thanks to our great partnerships. Join one of our rewarding projects and become a part of the global volunteer movement!

Reviews

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Diana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I recently traveled with GoEco to Belize on May 16,2021. I stayed for 2 Weeks and was taught how to scuba dive! I was very nervous as the open water isn’t my first Love but quickly over came my fears with the help of the master divers. If that wasn’t exciting enough we also learned about reef conservation and spear fishing invasive species! Since Lionfish have poisonous spines they took their time teaching us proper filet skills as well. I was honestly surprised and grateful at how well the people on the island took care of us. They would encourage us to practice our skills in open water over and over until we got it right. They fed us great food and we had presentations almost every night on familiarizing ourselves with fish identification and marine life we could expect to see. They take great pride in their job, timely with the dive schedule and more importantly made me feel safe out their on a small island with nothing in sight. It was such a beautiful experience and an adventure I will never forget, as I met so many amazing people with common goals and interest as myself which made it easy to get along! Will definitely join in with GoEco again. A big thanks to the teams who put this together ;) - DIANA C.

What was your funniest moment?
We had an arm wrestle match with the whole group. Guys on guys, woman to woman. Even the chef and staff were included. It was very funny to watch the struggle and I must say the locals won! Very strong crew!
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Abigail
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As a young female traveling to Central America by myself, I was apprehensive about making the trip. However, I have now been here for 2 weeks and have loved every minute. The people are wonderful, the food is delicious, and the dives are beautiful. Monday-Friday when we are on the island, everyone is always happy and I feel completely safe. On the weekends in Placencia, I am never alone because the volunteers hangout. This trip has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful to GoEco for suggesting the Belize Private Island Marine Conservation Experience. 11/10! And I would definitely recommend this program to everyone and anyone!

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Stinius
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I think the thing that I found most surprising about coming here, is how incredibly important the social aspect of the experience is. I think most people would have certain expectations and ideas regarding the animal caretaking and the work alone. However for me, the importance of the social atmosphere and how big of an impact that made on the total experience came as a shock. So not only can you expect interesting and rewarding work, but also the opportunity to meet friends for life. So to anyone considering or contemplating, don’t. Just do it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Savor every single moment of your trip, even the mundane-like days. Because your trip is gonna be over in a heartbeat, and I can guarantee you’ll miss it everyday.
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Allyson
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I can not express enough how much I enjoyed this experience. And the people I met. Not everyone pays money to go out of their comfort zone into a foreign country and volunteer, therefore I was placed among a group of people with the same mindset. Wonderful people, I feel so fortunate to meet. And that was just the people. Working close to animals, with feeding and maintanance, I enjoyed the activities we did on the project. Also, every week we'd get a day off to travel (with some of the new buddies we've meet), and another halfday with the whole team to go somewhere they'd recommend. On project, it quickly became apparent this is one good way to travel.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
One day I worked to cover up the area where food is placed in the enclosure for the white faced monkey. I was inside the cage and the beautiful monkey just stood right by me and watched me work.
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Carolina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Participating in a medical program in another country is a unique experience. I've never been a big fan of geriatrics, but after spending two weeks dealing with the elderly, I got to know this specialty better and be enchanted by this branch of medicine.

Each person who crossed my path on this trip brought a new story and expanded my worldview and made me see life in a different and lighter way. In addition to being able to have fun (a lot), I managed to put into practice knowledge that I already had from the medical school. after the program I feel much safer to perform a complete physical examination and take patient histories.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Next participants, come with an open mind and heart to meet people who are extremely needy, who will value every second of attention you give them. Have a laugh and let yourself know the story of each person and each place you can get to know. Go head first because it's worth every second.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

A friend of mine approached me about doing an overseas volunteer trip over the summer. Together, we researched different programs and websites in order to find one that suited us, as well as allowed people under the age of 18. We wanted the program to revolve around animals, given our shared love for the environment. We landed on the Newcastle Wildlife experience, it seemed perfect.

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

On our own, we had to book flights and transportation to Newcastle. Given that we were both underaged, we had a lot of parental help with that.

The program provided nearly everything else, including telling us what to pack. They provided housing, transportation, food, and entertainment. As well as working basically two weeks full-time, I got to experience a lot outside of that through traveling to Sydney and learning about the culture on my own.

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

I would encourage anyone to go, even if it seems out of their comfort zone. It was a wonderful experience and it really brought me out of my shell. I would also recommend that if you can get someone to travel with you, do it. It made it a lot easier for me to adjust to such a different place with a friend by my side.

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

Each day, we drove to the park. The drive was about an hour and a half, but it didn't seem long because all the volunteers conversed the entire ride. When we got to the park, we worked for about two hours before tea time, where we ate snacks. As an American, I wasn't used to tea time and I ate my entire lunch on accident.

After that, we worked until lunch and then worked a little more driving back to the house. On our first day of work, we were given a schedule on who and what we would be working with each day, ranging from mammals to reptiles to food preparation.

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 social anxiety, so I was personally most afraid of being away from people I was comfortable with. It helped to have a friend there, but once we were at work, we weren't really together for the entire day, except for the occasional crossing of our paths or overlap of our work. My views changed pretty quickly once I got comfortable with the other volunteers and all the keepers at Oakvale.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite experience would have to be feeding the dingoes. I got to see the way that they were trained and how they were taken care of. I watched them play with enrichment, and I got to take pictures with them.

It was really awesome because, stereotypically, dingoes are a threat to humans, but seeing some that had been raised in captivity really opened my eyes to how friendly they are.

Staff Interviews

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

Cassandra Federbusz

Job Title
PR Manager
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What is your favorite travel memory?

In October 2013, I spontaneously decided to join my friend in Nepal to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek after a three-month backpacking adventure in Europe. It was the most awe-inspiring journey I have ever taken. When I finally reached Thorong-La Pass (5416 m. high) I was extremely proud of myself (and stuffed from all the Dal Bhat I ate to get there)!

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

I think any destination that isn't filled with tourists is definitely worth exploring.

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

Since working at GoEco, my knowledge of the world has expanded, from discovering new destinations to learning about issues I never knew existed. I've come to truly appreciate international volunteers' contributions around the globe and the role GoEco plays in the industry.

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

We hear some incredible stories from returning volunteers each year, but I think the one that stuck with me the most so far is from Lucas after his participation in the Medical and Health Care project in India. In his blog he wrote:

"The small hospital waiting room was crowded -- full of patients from the surrounding villages seeking medical treatment. The doctor and medical staff hurried to and fro, despite the stifling heat, to treat the overload of patients. This was the scene in Karan Hospital every day. The doctors are heroes there, working endlessly to observe, diagnose and treat the plenitude of patients––a job of at least five doctors in a Western medicine facility. This is what medicine, the pursuit of helping people, is all about."

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

GoEco was recently named "Top Volunteer Abroad Organization" of 2015. It was an extremely proud moment for all of us.