• Thailand


Starting Price
Aug 23, 2016
Aug 23, 2016

About Program

Sustaining Thailand's Treasures
Volunteer with us and see how to help preserve the native elephant habitat in Thailand! On a volunteer vacation, one can be the hope for the endangered elephants, changing their fate by creating ways for the people of the Surin Province to advocate for sustainable elephant eco-tourism.

Work Project

This volunteer program involves work with the locals to preserve the elephant habitat and includes projects such as planting food crops like bamboo and native grasses. The volunteers have built enclosures, sun shelters for the elephants, composts from elephant dung and cut and made elephant food. In this area where not much grows, it is a daily job for the mahouts to find food for the elephants. Volunteers will be able to feed the elephant’s fruit, sugarcane and grass which they would have freshly cut. And have the opportunity to bathe the elephants and go for long along the river.

Program Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 2 reviews
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  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 8.5
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand - Globe Aware

This program was life-changing for me and it's critical for the elephants in Surin that volunteers continue to support it. The work is not overly taxing as there are sufficient breaks due the heat (I was there in March/April - the hottest time of the year). The food is terrific and freshly prepared every day. I'm vegan and there were no issues accommodating my needs. You get to spend a lot of time with the elephants through daily walks where you observe them in the forest and through walks to the river to bathe them. Volunteer support is critical as it show the mahouts and villagers that tourists want to see elephants treated humanely, off chains and able to roam the forest with their elephant friends. Most of the elephants in Surin are chained all day when they are not performing in the circus and are subjected to the bullhook (which is NOT allowed in the project). The Surin Project exists side-by-side with the circus and it can be troubling to see the conditions and treatment many of the elephants endure. But it is imperative that volunteers continue to support Surin Project. It makes a world of difference for the elephants.

What would you improve about this program?
The only improvements I can recommend is great awareness of the program itself.
9 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Regarding The Surin Project, there's the "work" and then there's the "project." The work itself was symbolic, but it was so hot (100°+ every day). Itt was of value to the mahouts and it was an important part of the experience. The project itself is incredibly meaningful. Improving the livelihood of Thailand's mahouts and elephants is complex. It was mind-blowing to learn all the issues involved. There was a lot of personal growth as well. We came back changed people wanting to advocate for the people and animals we bonded with. The food was AMAZING. There were 3 vegans in our group as well as someone with a food allergy and the cooks accommodated these needs without compromise. Each meal was delicious. I didn't gain any weight, but I could have...

10 people found this review helpful.

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