International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

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9.4 / 10 after 431 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the trusted volunteer organization, providing safe, quality and extremely affordable volunteering placements in countries all over the world. Each year they place over 5000 volunteers abroad and have a wide range of volunteering opportunities in Argentina, Bali, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia - Bogota and Cartagena, Costa Rica, Ecuador, FijiGhana, Guatemala, India - Delhi & DharamsalaItalyPortugal, Spain, New ZealandKenya , Laos, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Peru - Cusco & Lima, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, ThailandRomaniaUganda, Victoria Falls, Vietnam - Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City and Zambia.

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I went to Guatemala for one week to Volunteer in the child care program. It has been the BEST experience that I have had in my life, I was looking to travel but also to do something special with and meaningful, this trip had that and so much more. I love how everything was very organized and clear from the time I applied online, my arrival to Guatemala and until know after returning home. I had the opportunity to meet people from different countries and cities from the USA, learn from a new culture, and met amazing teachers in the daycare program. I cannot wait to go back and spend more time in Antigua through this program, I will definitely stay longer than a week there is so much to see and learn.
Thank you so much for this wonderful experience.

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Location:
Posted: June 6, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
30

My name is Marina and I am from Alberta, Canada. I traveled to Merida for one week to complete the special needs care project. It was my first time traveling solo and I was very nervous. However, IVHQ had such a streamlined process from start to finish and I felt safe and supported throughout my entire time in Mexico. Anytime I had a question I was always answered immediately. The fees are very affordable so it was perfect for a student like myself. The reason I went on this trip was to have a new travel opportunity but to also add valuable experience to my resume! The volunteer placement was so rewarding and worked out perfectly. It's a great set up because we volunteered in the mornings and had every afternoon and weekend to do excursions. Our program coordinator always had fun suggestions for things to do! This program is perfect for young solo travelers and I would suggest it to everyone!

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Location:
Posted: May 30, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

As a world traveler and Sustainability professional, passionate about protecting our environment, I have been looking for a way to start incorporating volunteer work with my travel. Volunteering with Reef CI at Tom Owens Caye, Belize was the perfect way to start! I researched many programs, but this one was perfect for me as Reef CI allowed me to volunteer for only a week (many volunteer programs require at least a 2-3-week minimum time commitment) and use and expand upon my diving skills. I enlisted through IVHQ, as I found they had the best price. Grace, my IVHQ contact, was extremely helpful before the trip to help me prepare. Her correspondence was always timely and IVHQ's enlisting process was very thorough - IVHQ wants to help you prepare for your best volunteer experience possible. In addition to Grace, I also worked with Anthony, my U.S. Reef CI contact, who also helped answer my many questions and sign me up for the Coral Reef Conservation and Fish Identification PADI Specialty courses I was wanting to take in order to get my SSI Advanced Diver certification while in Belize.

In Placencia, Belize I knew exactly what to expect and where to meet the Reef CI group for the boat ride to Tom Owens Caye. Upon arriving to the island on the first day, all volunteers pitched in to help carry supplies up to the main house. Sleeping assignments were then made. Assuming I would be much older than most in my group, I had requested in advance that I have a bungalow on the island to allow for some quiet time, and they completely accommodated me. Next there was a review for the new people while returning volunteers were diving, and all dive equipment was assigned for the week. Later, the new volunteers did an introductory dive followed by a delicious meal - just one of the many you'll have on the island. You'll eat very fresh food every day, including the lion fish you kill. The cooking staff also worked within my dietary restrictions by providing me gluten free meals!

You're given the daily island schedule prior to arriving in Belize, but the schedule is also posted in the main house, and the highly organized Reef CI staff follow it to a tee! I was so impressed with how they ran the program on the island, especially juggling with new and returning volunteers, volunteers just learning to dive and getting certified, to those who were working on their Advanced Diver certifications and/or taking PADI Specialty courses. This, of course, is on top of providing daily coral reef and Belizean marine life presentations and getting the volunteers in the water to partake in lion fish spearfishing, conch and lobster surveys, and coral reef and fish identifications. There was a lot to juggle and Willie, Luis, and Peter, and rest of the Reef CI staff, handled it very smoothly. And did I say friendly? The entire Reef CI staff were a pleasure to be with and fun to hang out with playing cards or backgammon.

The diving certainly did not disappoint. There was opportunity to see amazing marine biodiversity. If you’re not an experience diver, do not let this dissuade you from trying this trip. Where else can you get certified in such a coral reef setting, not to mention for a very reasonable price?

The island itself is well maintained. The palm trees were cleared out just enough to allow sun and plenty of shade. In down times, you could take a nap in a hammock or play volleyball. Or just keep your course work and dive log up to date. Unfortunately, there was no internet for the entire week. However, it was nice to be off the grid – it made it more relaxing. If you're looking for fancy accommodations, then this is not for you. However, if you're looking for comfortable lodgings, in a very relaxed, minimal setting (yes, you have to get used to minimal water shower usage since you are on an island), and a place to meet great people and make new friends while making a positive, environmental impact, then this IS the place for you. I would definitely recommend taking an eco-volunteer trip to Belize and do it through Reef CI. All in all, I was very impressed. I would go back for sure!

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Location:
Posted: May 20, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: gcorrie
Age:
49

IVHQ offers highly affordable volunteer programs in Costa Rica, in a variety of fields including marine turtle Conservation project, which is the one that I did. It has been a life change experience. I felt accomplish every day feeling I was actually helping the planet to be a better place. I worked with beautiful animals, in stunning beaches, surrounded with super nice and friendly people, I literary could have not asked for anything better. I never felt unsafe because supported by IVHQ in my every needs, never making me feeling uncomfortable of asking for extra help. I highly recommend IVHQ and the whole experience, absolutely the best experience of my life!

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 1, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
21

I got the opportunity to work at a dog shelter in Guatemala that had 90 dogs! It was amazing and i fell in love with so many of the affectionate doggies. I got to help them in a meaningful way by providing them with water I had to carry from a nearby well. The lady who runs the shelter was very appreciative and welcoming. Of course I also took the time to explore Guatemala itself and I got to ride a horse for the first time, up a volcano!! The most beautiful place I went to was the Earth Lodge so peaceful. A tip I'd give to volunteers is to make the most of your evenings/weekends and do as much sightseeing as you can and be very attentive on your orientation day as you have to usually travel to your placement by yourself.

Program:
Location:
Posted: May 1, 2019
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Franc3sca
Age:
26

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