Okay, so how does it work?
We’re glad you asked.
First of all, a project applies to be featured on the Ecoteer site. Once it’s been approved by our staff, it will appear in our listings. We divide our projects into three types: Eco holidays, short term volunteering and internships.
Internships tend to require long-term volunteers (usually a minimum of four weeks) with a specific skill set. Things like teaching and medical work often come under this category.
Short-term volunteering could be anything from one week to several months. While some projects will be looking for particular skills, many just need general volunteers with an interest in the cause and a willingness to work hard.
You can search our projects by country, cause, cost or start date. Ecoteer doesn’t charge any fees, so most of our projects are free, but some may ask for a donation to cover your food and accommodation. Once you’ve found one you’d like to join, you’ll need to register as an Ecoteer member to apply. You’ll then be able to arrange your stay directly with the project leader. Please be patient when waiting for a response – many of our projects are based in rural areas with very limited internet access!
Wait a second, did you just say free?
Yep, free. It is volunteering, after all. Ecoteer believes that volunteering abroad should be about connecting great projects with great people – not about expensive agency fees. We keep our admin costs to the bare minimum, so that projects can advertise for free and volunteers don’t need to pay a programme fee. All we ask is that anyone who’s applying to volunteer through our site become an Ecoteer member – which requires a £25 annual fee or a £100 premium lifetime fee – to help us keep our site running. And that’s it. No catch.
Whilst Ecoteer doesn’t charge a programme fee, some of the projects will ask for a small contribution towards your food and accommodation, or ask you to fundraise for them. Some of them will cover all your costs. Any money you do pay to your project you will give to them in cash on arrival; Ecoteer doesn’t handle the money and we never take any commission.
That’s nice, but I’m kind of done with volunteering. I’ve got a mortgage and kids now.
First of all, congratulations. He looks just like you.
And second of all, don’t worry – Ecoteer has something for everyone. If you’re looking for paid jobs in travel, conservation or the charity sector, check out our Jobs board. If you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday with an eco-friendly company, have a look at the Travel page. Perhaps you just want some information on what’s new in the world of conservation – we’ve got that too.
We also want to help our volunteers keep supporting their projects after they’ve returned home, so we’ve set up an Ecoteer shop and a Fundraising page. Here, you can buy locally-made handicrafts, donate or help raise funds for the project of your choice.