If you want to do something different this coming winter, great news: several accredited volunteer organizations are now offering two-to-four week winter break volunteer projects.

This is perfect for students who only have a few weeks off between semesters, as well as working adults with limited vacation time. If you are a retiree, lucky you! You can spend more of the winter season giving back. The mission doesn’t have to be purely humanitarian, either: students (with approval from an academic advisor) can receive either academic or community service credit for their participation.

Volunteering with Childcare Programs

Volunteering in education and childcare is one of the most common project types out there. Although you will likely make a bigger impact by staying for more than a couple of weeks, you could still participate in a short-term winter volunteer program and assist with English lessons for Mayan children in Guatemala or planning craft activities for students in India.

Volunteering for Environmental Conservation

Environmental conservation projects are more abundant and feasible on a winter break. From volunteering with the human-elephant conflict in India to tracking wildlife in Kenya, there volunteer projects for environmental conservation are almost as diverse as nature itself.

While winter may seem like the wrong season to volunteer to plant organic gardens or track howler monkeys in the rainforest students should remember that December is the perfect time to journey to sub-tropical climates. Who wouldn't want to escape the cold?

Volunteering for Healthcare Programs

Professionals already in the medical field and university students who plan on pursuing a career in medicine can have no better preparation than volunteering in regions where medical professionals can be few and far between.

Volunteering for healthcare may include anything from outreach work in local communities to hands-on work at medical clinics. Medical training is not always required for these projects, although some may give preferences to those with training and background knowledge.

Construction Projects

The need for housing and secure infrastructure is strong in developing nations, particularly in rural communities. Winter break can be an opportune time for university students to take a break from their own educational endeavors and, perhaps, construct a school building that can support the educational needs for children in Africa or Central America. Modern housing, in regions where shelters may be constructed from materials such as cardboard and plastic, is also a key necessity in developing communities.

Thailand

It’s safe to say that many people classify Thailand -- a country home to idyllic beaches, lush islands, and ancient rainforests -- as an ideal place to spend the winter. It’s also a developing nation with a growing number of volunteer opportunities, ranging from community empowerment to environmental conservation programs.

For short-term winter break projects, interested students and professionals can find one-to-two week projects in areas such as animal care and conservation (have you ever wanted to work with rescued elephants and monkeys?), community infrastructure development, and children’s programs, where volunteers can contribute to nutritional and education projects for disadvantaged minors.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the place to visit for a literal breath of fresh air. The country ranks among the greenest on the planet and is known to be friendly to travelers.

Projects in areas like organic farming and wildlife conservation are open to short-term volunteers.

Winter Volunteer Abroad Programs

Displaying 31 - 45 of 524 programs
International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Best Rated Volunteer Programs in Thailand from $320 with IVHQ
Thailand
23 reviews1 interview

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Madagascar from $580
Madagascar
28 reviews1 interview

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Laos from $260
Laos
14 reviews4 interviews

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Top Rated Volunteer Programs in Portugal from $455 with IVHQ
Portugal
32 reviews1 interview

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Morocco from $245
Morocco
25 reviews2 interviews

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Italy from $715
Italy
28 reviews1 interview

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Nepal
Nepal
33 reviews5 interviews

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Peru
Peru
32 reviews3 interviews

With an extensive coastline, a vast area of Amazon rainforest and the...

Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Nepal
Nepal
36 reviews1 interview

Nepal is a beautiful country with many fantastic opportunities to...

Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Fiji
Fiji
29 reviews5 interviews

Projects Abroad has been providing volunteer placements abroad since...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Belize
Belize
12 reviews1 interview

You can now join IVHQ volunteering in Belize! The IVHQ Belize program...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in New Zealand from $915
New Zealand
16 reviews2 interviews

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
27 reviews4 interviews

Projects Abroad has been providing volunteer placements in the...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable & Trusted Volunteer Programs in Brazil
Brazil
20 reviews5 interviews

Trusted by 110,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the most popular volunteer...

International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ
Most Affordable Volunteer Programs in Jamaica from $395
Jamaica
7 reviews1 interview

You can now join IVHQ as a volunteer in Jamaica! The IVHQ Jamaica...

What People Are Saying

Camp’s beach during the sunset

If you are looking for a volunteering experience overseas and are interested in engaging in conservation efforts that help restore our sacred marine ecosystems, Madagascar is the perfect place for you...

Malawi's Children

I am a volunteer, I always believed in how interesting it would be to serve with goodwill, with my hands, my ideas, my strengths and even more with my weaknesses. It sounds weird, but to think about...

Project team with completed hand-washing station - Muungano - April 2018

For me personally, signing up as a Volunteer Project Manager was one of the best things I’ve done. After taking early retirement, I was looking for a new purpose in life and my Raleigh experience...

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