Ecoteer was born out of a passion for conservation and community work, and that’s still what drives us today. Our company ethos is made up of four simple ideas.

1) Volunteering should be free

When our founder, Dan, first visited Borneo and wanted to get involved in conservation work, he found out, to his surprise, that he couldn’t afford to volunteer. Yep. He couldn’t afford to volunteer.

He thought it was ridiculous too – and that’s where Ecoteer comes in.

There are so many small projects that miss out on much-needed help because they can’t afford to advertise with the big agencies, and there are just as many willing and capable would-be volunteers who never get the opportunity to help. Ecoteer’s goal is to connect these two groups.

That’s why we don’t charge expensive and unnecessary programme fees. We choose to feature projects we believe in, and we don’t ask them to pay to appear on our site.

3) Long-term contributions are the best contributions

We get that a lot of people only have a limited amount of time in which to volunteer, or can’t afford to travel, or can’t commit to spending 40 years of their life living in a rainforest.

We want to include as many people as possible in our Ecoteer club, which is why we’ve added an Etsy shop and fundraising page to our site. By buying local handicrafts or helping to raise money, you can support a cause from home and keep in touch long after you’ve returned from your trip.

We also regularly update our blog and social media pages to keep you informed on our projects, and conservation and travel news.

2) Travelling should be about experiencing different cultures

It’s important to us that our volunteers become a part of the community they visit, and that they get to immerse themselves in a completely different culture. Our projects are about sharing skills and building strong, lasting relationships between people from different backgrounds. They’re not about imposing western values or beliefs.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t share your culture, or that you shouldn’t be proud of it. Many of the local staff at our projects love to hear about the countries their volunteers come from. Just think of your culture like cake: people like when you share it, but if you shove it down their throats, they’ll probably just vomit on you. Okay, well, the first part held up.

4) As many people as possible should have the opportunity to travel

Because it’s good for international relations, it’s good for the local economy, and it’s really, really fun.

As well as free and low-cost volunteering projects, we feature eco-friendly holidays and overseas internships on our site, so there’s something for everyone.