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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Haley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Special Experience!

I've done 3 volunteer programs with GoEco and every experience was incredible! The staff is helpful with getting you to and from the program, and are always friendly. I felt that I could contact them at any time and everything went smoothly.
My most recent experience with the Maasai Mara program was particularly special. I got involved in some real conservation data collection and stayed in the wild for three weeks. The data collection goes straight to research programs in the area and the conservancy works makes sure that the area remains clean and balanced. I saw nearly every animal present at the conservancy and enjoyed watching the interactions. This is the real wild, so be prepared to see nature in its purest form and to stay in basic accommodation. The conservancy does a great job of being respectful towards the animals. The drivers are knowledgeable and efficient. Also, the food is amazing!
Would highly recommend for a rewarding experience that helps you get ahead in your career. Plus you make life long friends from around the world!

What was your funniest moment?
We watched a hyena having the time of its life playing in a pond and trying to drag in its friend too! It was like watching two puppies play. A really cool, funny, and unique encounter!
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Taylor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Two Amazing Weeks in Pacuare

I was placed in the project on the Caribbean side and it was such an amazing experience. I loved the fact that there was no service as it allowed me to fully immerse myself in the nature, people and work around me. I met so many incredible people from all around the world and learned all about their lives and past travels by talking to them on patrol and hatchery shifts. I was able to assist in a few hatchling releases but I unfortunately did not see any nesting turtles on patrol. However, it was still so fun and rewarding to participate in the shifts. I had to leave early and abruptly because of a medical situation, and since I knew I would not have service I gave my mom Zoe’s, Lorenzo’s and Cristina’s contact information before I left. They were extremely helpful and quickly made accommodations for me to leave and I was so thankful for that. I cannot recommend this project enough, it was truly one of my favorite adventures.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
This was my first time traveling on my own, and of course arriving at the site on the first day was exciting and nerve-racking. I had made a two-week commitment and was nervous if I would enjoy the work or make friends with the other participants, but I worried for no reason. You are surrounded by like-minded and kind people who are also passionate about helping the environment and working with animals, and of course seeing a baby turtle in any capacity is worth so much.
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Brandon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Moholoholo rehhab

This was a life changing impact working with all of the animals. I learned so much and know that l made a difference by being here. We helped so many hurt animals and in my time there we were even able to release two of them. I would highly recommend anyone to go to moholoholo wildlife rehab center to volunteer. Everything there is amazing and the mountain view is breathtaking. Families can go, groups can go, or you can even go by yourself like l did. If you're thinking about going, do it. You won't regret it.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing was seeing the white lions that exist naturally only in south africa.
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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage

I had such an amazing experience working at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe. The Go Eco & Chipangali staff were both friendly and professional. I learned a ton and got to work with and care for some amazing animals such as lions hyenas and monkeys. I got to meet friends from all over the world as well. Other highlights of the trip included going on a few safaris and traveling to see the beautiful Victoria Falls (one of the original seven natural wonders of the world!) Definitely recommend and would like to return!!

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Diana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Belize & Scuba

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!

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.