Travel guide publisher Moon Handbooks is giving away free ebook copies of its newest niche guidebook, Volunteer Vacations in Latin America by Amy E. Robertson. (Download the entire book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.) It’s all in celebration of In honor of April, National Volunteer Month.
As anyone who has ever volunteered abroad before knows, it is crucial to do your own research before you sign up. Robertson’s new book is a resource which makes that process easier – and more fun, since it is always fun to read guidebooks before you travel.
My travels in Latin America began in 1998 as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, working with the Ministry of Education in Nicaragua for two years, and continued as a trip leader for American Jewish World Service, guiding groups of young volunteers throughout Central America. SoÂ I was excited to see that Robertson had devoted an entire book to volunteer opportunities in the region. She covers Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
I asked Robertson a few questions about writing this book and about where my readers and I should go on our next volunteer vacation.
JOSHUA BERMAN: What is unique about volunteering in Latin America? Why did you choose to focus this book on this particular region/collection of countries?
AMY E. ROBERTSON: I love Latin Americaâ€™s rich culture and heritage (Mayans! Incas! Aztecs!), the beauty of its natural environment (Beaches! Volcanoes! Galapagos Islands! Patagonia!), and the warmth of its people. Having lived in Latin America for eight years, it is a region that is very close to my heart. It is also close enough to North America – where Moon Handbooks and many of their readers are based – to easily embark on short-term volunteer adventures, which are the focus of the guide.Â No jet-lag, and you can reach many of the destinations covered in the guide with just a few hours flight.
JB: What was the most interesting thing you learned while researching this book?
AR: While many of us are aware of the large US-based organizations that offer service trips, I was amazed to see how many small local initiatives are equipped and eager for international volunteers. In addition to the usual volunteer suspects of teaching English or protecting sea turtles, there is a wealth of truly unique volunteer opportunities out there: planting cardons to help provide food for the endangered chinchilla population in Chile; installing solar panels to provide electricity to rural communities in Nicaragua; monitoring the coral reef by scuba diving in Honduras; offering swimming and surf lessons along with environmental education to youth in Peru.
Continue reading Guide to Volunteering in Latin America Free in April for National Volunteer Month