There is no denying, traveling as a family is a bonding experience. Slow travel is another way to experience the world, allowing each family member to immerse themselves into a new culture. But volunteering as a family together adds a whole other dimension to that experience, with countless rewards and growth opportunities.
On our travels, Miro and I have volunteered with numerous organizations and the experiences have enriched our travels ten-fold. Some of the volunteer experiences we’ve had together include: volunteering at an animal shelter in Belize, a dog and cat hospital in Nicaragua, contributed to a sustainable community in Guatemala and volunteered at a organization for family nutrition, a performance arts school for street children in Nicaragua, and at a children’s library in Ecuador.
All in all our experiences have shaped our travels by providing purpose.
If you are considering volunteering as a family, there are so many resources and opportunities for volunteering abroad on the web and countless communities that will welcome you with open arms. However, in this post, I wanted to share with you some of the benefits you can expect to experience as a result of your volunteering experience.
Benefits of Family Volunteer Travel:
- Volunteering as a family creates a hands-on way to teach and experience compassion, tolerance, flexibility, cross-cultural understanding and global responsibility to every family member.
- Volunteering provides an opportunity to step outside of the pressures produced by mass media messages promoting self-absorption and materialism.
- Volunteering as a family allows each member of the family to experience a world outside their own, and learn about a different culture through the people they are serving.
- Volunteering as a family empowers children to believe they can make a difference in the world by ‘giving’ and ‘doing’.
- Volunteering provides all family members insights into what they are capable of achieving and increases self-esteem.
- Volunteering as a family expands children’s understanding of social issues in the surrounding world.
- Volunteering as a family teaches new life skills.
- Volunteering as a family provides families with meaningful time together to express common values.
- Volunteering as a family creates family bonds through sharing the challenges associated with their volunteering post.
- Volunteering as a family produces shared memories that last a lifetime.