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Senior friendly volunteer trips

By peter | Permalink | No Comments | October 17th, 2007 | Trackback

mudslides_uttaradit_flooding_1475029_l.jpgLong-term volunteer travel is typically a young-person’s game. Spending 12 months in India or rural Mexico can be hard on the body and the immune system and the elderly generally steer clear.

But if you’re in good shape and fit in mind, there are many volunteer companies that would love to have your time and experience at their disposal. Below are some of the volunteer organizations that are reportedly “senior friendly” and participate in projects to which volunteers of all ages can contribute.

Landscope Expeditions

This Australia based non-profit combines the resources of the Department of Conservation with the minds of the University of Western Australia in order to protect, study and conserve Australia’s natural resources. The program relies on the participation of vacation volunteers, 75% of whom are older adults.

Global Service Corps

With two week to six month trips to Tanzania and Thailand, Global Service Corps offers a package for any level of time commitment. As a result, the group pulls in a diverse group of volunteers, nearly a third of whom would be considered “over the hill” by western standards. Global Service puts volunteers in cultural immersion and service learning programs for sustainable agriculture, English instruction, healthcare, even Buddhist immersion.

Detours Abroad

The purpose of Detours Abroad is to provide their clients with an experience that grounds them and ties them to a culture or cause. Combining education, exploration and volunteering, Detours Abroad volunteers teach English, help with child care, build structures, and monitor environmental problems in locales such as Ghana, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Peru, Zambia, Ecuador, and Australia.

Orphanage Outreach

A Christian, interdenominational program that sends volunteers to the Dominican Republic to work in orphanages, the program can be tailored to send entire families, each member with a unique role. Other popular options include trips that pair grandparents with grandchildren who can work together. Older adults represent over a third of their volunteers.


The original senior-friendly travel group specializes in educational outings to inform and inspire, but they offer a fair amount of service learning projects that take on a specific project in a location. With a minimum age of 55, there won’t be any whippersnappers around to make you feel old and elder hostel employees keep the heavy lifting to a minimum.

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