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 106 - 120 of 671 programs
Kaya Responsible Travel
Kaya Volunteer Programs in Belize
Belize
6.5 •2 reviews

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Integrated Learning Experiences- INLEX
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Guatemala
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Guatemala is a developing country that needs as much help as possible...

Volunteers For Peace (VFP)
Volunteer Projects in the USA
United States of America
9.47 •19 reviews

Volunteers For Peace is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982...

Integrated Learning Experiences- INLEX
Volunteer in Costa Rica | Education, Healthcare, & more
Costa Rica
8.88 •26 reviews

Costa Rica is well known for its natural beauty, wildlife, and relaxed...

Fundación Aldeas de Paz
Medicine & Healthcare - Work with medical staff at local hospital
Dominican Republic
10 •13 reviews

Gain invaluable hands-on experience, working side by side with medical...

Animal Experience International
Wildlife Rehabilitation in Guatemala
Guatemala
10 •8 reviews

The wildlife of Guatemala is under threat from habitat loss...

Planet One World
Wildlife & Sustainability Voluntourism in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.82 •22 reviews

Planet One World is an agroecological farm in the tropical rainforest...

Globalteer
Great Value Conservation & Animal Care Projects from US$114/week
Asia
10 •13 reviews

Do you want to volunteer to help an amazing variety of rescued animals...

World Endeavors
World Endeavors: Volunteer in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
8 •1 review

Volunteers in Costa Rica can choose from a variety of unique and...

Fundación Aldeas de Paz
NGO Management & Administration in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
10 •9 reviews

This versatile experience and observation program gives insight into...

Surf For Life
Build Community Development Projects in Central America
Multiple Countries
9.87 •15 reviews

As a Surf For Life volunteer, you will work alongside local community...

International Service Learning
Sustainable Health and Medical Service Learning Programs in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
10 •6 reviews

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

International Service Learning
International Service Learning in Belize
Belize
10 •6 reviews

Join a Global Health, Nursing, or Community Enrichment program with...

uVolunteer
Realize Your Dream to Volunteer in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.25 •24 reviews

Costa Rica is a tropical paradise and 25 percent of the land is...

Animal Experience International
Baby Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.86 •7 reviews

100% of the eggs laid by these creatures along the beach would be...

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Looking for something new? Check out these new volunteer programs being offered in North America
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    Hillside Health Care International is a non-profit collaborative...

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

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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...

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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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