North America is a beautiful continent that is home to the USA, Canada, Mexico and 21 other countries in the Caribbean Sea. From the fast paced, technologically advanced countries of the USA and Canada to the beautiful, tropical environments of Cuba, North America offers versatile environments in living styles, weather and governments.

North America’s countries face challenges just like any other continent. There are many programs available to help improve the lives of both humans and animals.

Conservation

With the increase of human population and its needs, many natural ecosystems have suffered. From loss of space and introduction of non native species, the United States has seen a dramatic decrease in the population of native species. Volunteers are needed for surveying land, tagging animals, park upkeep and educational promotions.To help out with conservation efforts there are many programs available. For example, Mexico's sea turtle conservation efforts include helping to run hatcheries, beach clean up and helping newborn sea turtles to the ocean after hatching.

Community Development

In the southern parts of North America several countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, are in need of community development volunteers. Members of indigenous tribes and poorer villages are striving to become sustainable communities. Volunteers can help grass-root communities by educating them on agricultural methods, construction and fostering education for the younger generations. The Peace Corps website is a great resource tool to learn about the different areas you can help community development. For volunteers looking for shorter term opportunities, there are several organizations that can help coordinate a volunteer opportunity with local grassroots projects.

Teaching

Throughout the southern part of North America, there is a growing need for English teachers. By volunteering to teach English at a public school, orphanage or through an exchange program, individuals can help empower young students and adults. The chances for career success and stability are enhanced when citizens become bilingual. This allows them to communicate with people from other countries, attend universities in other countries and build global relationships between other businesses and foundations.

Many volunteer opportunities do not require a TEFL certificate. There are programs available with fees that include the cost of housing and daily needs during the duration. Otherwise, perhaps you will find an opportunity during your travels.

United States

The USA's wide landscape offers volunteers the ability to choose from volunteering with land or sea mammals. While your volunteer efforts might take place in the great wilderness, you could also find yourself in a city to help present data to a foundation. The USA is home to a diverse ethnic population in large cities. The southern states have been influenced by the Spanish and French cultures and you can enjoy hearing the Creole language in New Orleans.

Mexico

Mexico is the most populated Spanish speaking country in the world. It is known for its traditional songs and dances, such as the Jarabe Tapatio. With Mexico’s beautiful beaches you can enjoy the ocean and the beauty of Mexico that helped to establish many of its resorts. Mexican food is popular and can be found in several other countries at established restaurants. Holy Week takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday and schools and government offices close. The most famous Passion play during this week takes place in Iztapalapa in the east of Mexico City. Arriving before this major religious event will take preparation as many hotels quickly fill up.

Cuba

With the new travel bans recently lifted, Cuba has become a huge country of interest. With it's rich culture and delicious food, it's clear why people are excited to visit. Also, because it's borders have been shut for so long, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities that people can become involved in, including teaching English and community development.

Helpful Tips

The cost to volunteer in North America varies greatly between countries. The United States and Canada are expensive countries to live in comparison to Costa Rica or Guatemala. Costs for living in the USA or Canada can be kept to a minimum by adequately packing proper clothing, finding shared housing and learning to shop for items on sale.

Other countries might offer hostels, cheap hotels and careful preparation may include finding an apartment share. If you truly want to embrace a cheaper lifestyle and the culture, live life a local. The differences in costs of living between your home country and your volunteer destination should be researched before making a final decision.

Vaccinations and travel alerts will be different between the USA/Canada and other parts of North America. You can generally find recommended vaccinations and alerts on government websites.

Contributed by Heidi Cruz

Volunteer Programs in North America

Displaying 166 - 180 of 671 programs
Amizade
Amizade: Volunteer in Navajo Nation, Arizona
United States of America
9.5 •4 reviews

The Navajo Nation (in Arizona) is like no place on earth with its...

NPH USA
NPH Volunteer Program in Guatemala
Guatemala
10 •2 reviews

Do you love children? Are you interested in serving in Latin America...

Global Crossroad
Volunteer in Antiqua, Guatemala - Lowest Fees & Trusted Since 2003
Guatemala
10 •1 review

Are you searching for an affordable and safe way to explore the...

PEACE Mexico
Volunteer with PEACE in Mexico
Mexico
9.67 •6 reviews

PEACE provides children and adults with programs and opportunities to...

Fronteering
Vancouver Wildlife Rehab
Canada
10 •2 reviews

Do you want to volunteer with wildlife in Canada? Looking to do...

Fronteering
Husky Ranch and Dog Sled Volunteer
Canada
10 •2 reviews

Have the awesome opportunity to volunteer and care for Huskies and go...

Fronteering
Wildlife Rehab Ontario: Rescue Orphaned and Injured Animals!
Canada
10 •2 reviews

This amazing volunteer project is located in beautiful and lake-filled...

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation
Help Plant Fruit Trees in El Salvador
El Salvador
10 •4 reviews

Join FTPF every July in El Salvador, a country where deforestation &...

Unearth the World
Permaculture Farm Promoting Food Security in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
10 •2 reviews

Unearth the World (UTW) has partnered with an educational organic farm...

International Service Learning
Global Health Volunteer Opportunities in The Dominican Republic and Haiti
Haiti
9 •2 reviews

Assist in providing community and medical services to those in need...

Outward Bound Costa Rica
Custom Adventure in Costa Rica or Panama
Multiple Countries
9.67 •3 reviews

We design custom courses for groups of 5 participants minimum. Groups...

Asociación Pop Wuj
Asociacion Pop Wuj - Volunteer Program in Guatemala
Guatemala
8.82 •11 reviews

Pop Wuj - Spanish School Guatemala is seeking volunteers to fill...

Surf Strong
Help Local Youth in El Salvador While Learning to Surf
El Salvador
9.86 •7 reviews

Surf Strong is a surf school and youth center which works with local...

Education for the Children
Volunteer Positions in Guatemala with Education for the Children Foundation
Guatemala
9.86 •7 reviews

Education for the Children (EFTC), founded in 2003, is a registered...

Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic
Volunteer in the Dominican Republic with Partners for Rural Health
Dominican Republic
9.86 •7 reviews

Volunteering for Partners for Rural Health in the Dominican Republic...

New Programs in North America

Looking for something new? Check out these new volunteer programs being offered in North America
  • Global Works
    Puerto Rico Gap Program: Service & Adventure
    Puerto Rico
    New Program

    Join us on this short term gap program to Puerto Rico for 18-22 year...

  • Love Volunteers
    Make a REAL difference in the USA with Love Volunteers!
    United States of America

    Volunteer in the U S of A with Love Volunteers! Support marginalised...

  • Apoyo Guate
    Support Guatemalan Communities from afar!
    Guatemala

    Find out about local initiatives in Guatemala that are looking for...

  • Global Volunteers
    Volunteer on Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota
    United States of America
    10 •2 reviews

    Experience life in an American Indian community on the plains of South...

  • Global Volunteers
    Help Children Learn in Española, New Mexico
    United States of America

    Volunteer with this new program, started in 2020, to help elementary...

  • Change Volunter
    Turtle Beach Conservation, Costa Rica
    Costa Rica
    10 •1 review

    Volunteers help patrol the beach to deter poachers, prepare a world...

  • Hillside Health Care International
    Hillside Health Care International-Rehabilitation Director
    Belize

    Hillside Health Care International is a non-profit collaborative...

  • Global Work & Travel
    Sloth & Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary | The Ultimate Volunteer & Travel in Costa Rica
    Costa Rica
    10 •1 review

    Try and think of an animal cuter than a sloth… Can’t do it? We couldn...

  • The Camphill School
    Live-in Volunteer in Neurodiverse Boarding School Community
    United States of America

    The Camphill School, outside of Philadelphia, PA, offers volunteers an...

What People Are Saying

My daughter wanted a Spanish immersion program and the environmental sustainability focus of the Amigos PZ program caught her eye. As a parent, the 5 month training leading up to departure was key to...

Costa Rica Beach

It's been 5 months since I got back from Jalova, and don't I miss it! It was just nice being able to live with bare fundamentals...stuff like cold showers, vegetarian meals, unflush-able toilets...

Me putting my name on the wall in Jalova

I had the privilege to serve as a Project Supervisor alongside the rest of the summer staff team and I would describe this opportunity as a once in a lifetime experience. I built the most amazing...

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