Pairing a desire to see the world with a desire to help save the planet, voluntourism has only grown in popularity in recent years. While a majority of trips made are to developing countries, there are plenty of opportunities in Canada as well. While work is definitely involved, you have a chance to live in the Rockies all summer, come face-to-face with a polar bear, and so much more. Below, we’ll discuss these voluntourism opportunities in greater detail.
1) Volunteer as a guide in the Canadian Rockies
Visiting the epic peaks of the Canadian Rockies is a dream of many travelers, but what if you could live amidst their grandeur for an entire summer? Guess what? There is a volunteer guiding opportunities in Alberta that will allow you to do just that.
An eco-tourism outfit known as Rocky Mountain Escape operates a remote cabin camping operation near Willmore Wilderness Park. Getting in is half the fun, as the cabins are located at the end of a three kilometre trail after driving for 26 kilometres from the main highway on a gravel road.
Your primary responsibility will be to lead interpretative hikes along the trails close to camp: training on relevant information concerning local plants, animals, and geology will be provided by the owners. When you aren’t carrying out these duties, you’ll have the opportunity to go on whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding excursions, making it a fun place to enjoy a summer in the Canadian Rockies.
2) Monitor the effects of climate change in the Canadian Arctic
Climate change is the defining issue of our time: how we respond to it will determine how challenging life will be for future generations. For the affordable sum of $2,000 CAD, you’ll get to spend at least two weeks along the shores of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba documenting the changes climate change is causing to the Arctic.
Staying at the Earthwatch Institute’s well-provisioned Northern Studies Centre, you’ll get to collect water samples, work alongside scientists in the lab, and in winter, analyze layers of fallen snow in the snowpits. When you aren’t working, you’ll have the chance to spot polar bears and view the spellbinding Northern Lights in action. If you’re going to save the world, you may as well have a good time in the process!
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3) Assist in the operation of a family farm
While farming is not as big of a profession as it was a couple generations ago, Canada still has plenty of family operations. In fact, things have been getting busier with a rise in demand for locally grown, organic food. This has increased the need for willing workers on organic farms to help these businesses run the labour intensive aspects of their operations.
In return, you will gain a wealth of experience in how to start your own farm based on permaculture. You’ll also gain an insight on what it is like to live and work in the rural parts of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and other provinces.