This morning I received the following email which I’ll post in its entirely below. Any suggestions for Kevin? I can only recommend checking out Planeta’s Volunteer Wiki.
hi, im an English student hoping to volunteer in peru (or other country in south america) this summer – ie june/july/august. I wish to volunteer 1-2 months between my college years in the months of june/july/august possibly beginning of september. I have studied: photography, environmental science, anthropology and world development.
I hope to do some volunteering/or work in either helping local indigenous communities or with conservation or both. please could you give me an idea of what your company does, what prices you charge for volunteering (ie food and accomodation) and whether you’d have anything available for the months i desire. I need the information AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE as there is only a few months until june and i will need to book my flights and organise it quickly. Please let me know what projects you have and what is involved in these projects. I would prefer something that is relatively inexpensive, ie I just pay my food and accommodation etc. I speak quite good spanish already and i have lots of travel experience in south america.
I got a lot of spontaneous emails requesting specific advice and the top recommendation I have for volunteers, academics, and consultants is the following:
1) Create a blog. Announce your interests and if you have questions, ask.
2) Interact with readers.
3) Do your volunteer work, research, consulting and document the process on your blog.
Far too much of the conversation about volunteering is guarded in silos. We would all benefit if the dialogue were more transparent. Personally, I am a big fan of South America and would love to know more about Peru in particular. What sort of resources can you recommend?