GivingWay: Connecting travelers to volunteer opportunities around the world

Looking for a place to find the perfect volunteer opportunity abroad? Check out GivingWay, a new online platform that connects travelers with over 250 international organizations around the world. 


Eight years ago, as a stay-at-home mother of two young children a yearning developed that wouldn’t let me go. I had always been fortunate to travel and I quit my career in business to stay home and raise my kids. Yet after a few years, I felt like something was missing. I wanted to give something back and make a difference in the world, outside of my daily life. I turned to the internet and found an organization that for a fee, provided a short-term international volunteer experience working with elderly in a small town in Costa Rica for a week.

It was such an amazing, life-changing experience that I did it again the following year in Morocco with the same organization. The only downfall was the price was exorbitantly high – over $2,000 for a week that included lodging, food and administrative fees and did not include airfare. As a woman traveling alone I thought it was my only option to find a short-term international volunteer position without going through a church or mission group. I viewed the high fees as my donation to helping others, not realizing that the majority of the money did not go to the non-profit in country.

I was so inspired by my experiences volunteering abroad that I dreamed of making a list on my blog of different international organizations that accepted volunteers. However, I never got around to it. You can imagine my delight when I learned about GivingWay, a new online platform that connects travelers with international volunteer experiences around the world for free.

The organization runs three Wildlife Custody Centres where they tend to over 400 rescued animals.

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi in Bolivia runs three Wildlife Custody Centres where they tend to over 400 rescued animals.

To view the above volunteering opportunity with Communidad Into Wara Yassi, click here.

Volunteering abroad – also known as Voluntourism – is one of the fastest growing sectors of international travel, with an expected 20 million travelers participating in volunteer activities on a trip by 2020.


Arrival in La Ceiba

Author’s note: This post is part of my series on my recent trip to Honduras. To read past posts on Honduras, click here.

I arrived at the port of La Ceiba around half past three with a jittery stomach. I was a ball of nerves worrying about my ability to communicate effectively in Spanish and curious about what my host family would be like. It felt odd to just be dropped off all alone at the ferry station and have no idea what to expect. But I reminded myself I’d done it before and it turned out fine.

My first major culture shock had to do with the luggage collection. The hundreds of suitcases and bags were unloaded onto carts and wheeled into a large rectangular holding pin where one by one you had to yell out in Spanish what bag was yours to the three or four baggage handlers. You can imagine the difficulty trying to get my black piece of luggage! I was the last one standing until I finally got my belongings.


TRAVEL BY REGION Volunteering Abroad