10 volunteering ideas to escape the winter

1. Cambodia Community Project

If you want the complete opposite to winter, Cambodia is the place to be! You can spend your weekdays working with local communities to provide better education, access to clean drinking water, food and farming support, or help empower marginalized women. And then enjoy your nights and weekends swimming, having a few cold drinks next to the pool, taking sunset boat trips and having relaxing massages. Check out the Cambodia Community project.

2. Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary

Working with elephants in Cambodia is a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your life. What’s more it’s the ideal way of getting some much needed vitamin D and warmth into your bones at the same time! You will be spending your days outside working with the elephants, and the weekends exploring the local forests, villages and countryside with. Find out how you could be volunteering with elephants in Cambodia this winter.

3. Thailand Elephant Sanctuary

Like neighboring Cambodia, the northern winter is a great time to visit Thailand for the best weather. And what better way of spending your time here than volunteering with the majestic elephants at this lovely rural project? Then in your time off you can get to know this beautiful country more by visiting beaches, national parks, swimming holes and waterfalls with other volunteers. Read more about the Thailand Elephant Project here.

4. Thailand Wildlife Sanctuary

Next door to the Thailand Elephant Sanctuary – and therefore enjoying the same dreamy climate – is the Thailand Wildlife Sanctuary. If your love of wildlife extends beyond elephants then this could be the project for you. Or of you can’t decide between the two you can split your time between both. The two projects share may facilities so doing both projects couldn’t be easier – and if you and a friend or partner want to volunteer at different projects, come to Thailand and you can share experiences when you meet up in the evenings. Check out the Thailand Wildlife Project here.

5. Colombia Kids Project

Colombia is sultry in so many ways but there’s a good reason why they call Medellin the city of eternal spring. With almost perfect weather year-round November to March is possibly the best time to go, even if only to escape the cold. Working with the amazing staff and children at our partner projects in this lovely city will warm your hearts too. Find out how you could be on your way to the Colombia Kids Project.

6. Colombia Sloth Sanctuary

The sloth sanctuary is about an hour outside of Medellin so naturally shares the enviable “eternal spring” climate of the Colombia Kids project. At the Sloth project you can learn a lesson from your languid charges and take it real slow – in between working to make these wonderful animals’ lives as good as they can be and prepare them for release back into the wild. Find out more about the Colombia Sloth Sanctuary here.

7. Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation

Costa Rica is always hot but does have two distinct seasons – wet and dry! On the Pacific coast where the project is located, the dry season is from December to April which is great of you want to escape the European or North American winter. You should bear in mind that turtle nesting season is usually June to December so if you are looking for the perfect balance of great weather and a chance to work with nesting turtles then December is probably your best bet. But worry not, even in the dry season there is plenty of work to do at the sanctuary – the choice is yours! Read more about the Costa Rica Turtle Sanctuary here.

8. Argentina Monkey Sanctuary

What better time to enjoy the simple pleasures of this rustic project location – and of course caring for the wonderful howler monkey of Argentina – than during their long, hot summer. Head to this project for the perfect combination of rural living, warmth, sunshine and the rewards of working at a truly inspirational rescue project. Find out how you can be part of the Argentina Monkey Sanctuary here.

9. Laos Wildlife Sanctuary

Wrapped around Cambodia like a welcoming arm, with Vietnam to the east and Thailand to the west Laos is one of the most unspoilt destinations in Southeast Asia, and one of the most lovely. From December to March you will enjoy cool, and mornings which quickly warm up into hot, sunny days. If you want to help endangered wildlife, love unspoilt locations and like to feel the sun on your skin then the Laos Wildlife Sanctuary could be just what you are looking for. Book your winter break at the Laos Wildlife Sanctuary here.

10. Cambodia Bear Sanctuary

What can we say about Cambodia’s blissful winter climate that we haven’t already said? It’s such a great time to volunteer at the bear sanctuary anyway, but this project has the added appeal of offering a traditional style house as the volunteer accommodation complete with a lovely pool and chillout deck when you need to relax after hard day's work with the bears. It’s also close to the nation’s capital Phnom Penh with its monuments, palaces and temples which is perfect for sightseeing at the weekend. Take your first steps on your journey to the Cambodia Bear Sanctuary here.

Of course there is plenty of work to be done at all of our projects all year round and all our project locations are spectacular - in their own special way - at any time of the year. You can look through all our projects here.