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Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

My husband and I spent a month volunteering with IFRE in Guatemala, 2 weeks in Antigua and 2 weeks in Xela. We signed up to do orphanage work in Antigua and a street children program in Xela. Neither materialized, which we didn't learn until AFTER we got to Guatemala.
In Antigua, apparently there was a change in administration at the orphanage, such that many new rules and regulations were to be put in place. After taking a death-defying chicken bus ride of 45 minutes to the place, we learned the nuns were not at all anxious to take us on nor were they prepared. We were told we'd need to know Spanish, that we could not be with children without a nun present, that we would need a teachers certificate, etc etc. And IFRE didn't know this in advance? Instead, we were set up with an after school program at a different location. That went well enough though the program was very unstructured. Housing was barely acceptable but tolerable.
In Xela, we were told by the country coordinator that the street children program dissolved. Instead, they would set us up with a daycare program for children of poorer residents. This was a fun program, though it was much like babysitting and we didn't feel all that relevant because the staff was adequate. But our presence gave them a break from things. More disappointing however, was the inadequate housing IFRE provided. We did not expect much, but it was not private, it was quite crowded with only one bathroom, and the family had a list of 'don'ts" they wanted implemented. We stayed only 2 nights and then elsewhere on our own for the remaining two weeks, no refund of course. We don't blame the family, but IFRE for not finding something more acceptable with a family who could provide a little more without so many unreasonable rules.
For the above reasons, we cannot in good conscience recommend these programs. They need to fine tune their mission of providing the "highest quality volunteer experiences".

Program:
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Apr 12, 2020
Overall:
3
Support:
4
Value:
3

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Where to begin! I volunteered for 2 weeks at a Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka. This was my first time traveling abroad and I couldn't have picked a more perfect place. This country has SO much to offer! Beautiful nature, city, food, animals, history, culture, and so much more. The whole experience was wonderful, but it was the people and culture that made the experience special. The Green Lion staff were some of the greatest people I've ever met! So kind, supportive, and full of humor! I cannot wait to go back one day!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Apr 2, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I really enjoyed my volunteer experience in Croatia. I worked in the Creative Technologies position, and I got to work with the only no-kill animal shelter in the area. I was able to combine both my passion for marketing and video making with my passion for animal care! On top of my wonderful placement, the town of Split was wonderful. The weather, the people, the food-- everything was perfect! If you get the chance, definitely do this program.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Croatia
Posted: Mar 31, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

What an amazing way to take help the environment and take a holiday at the same time! All while meeting lifelong friends from around the world. I spent three weeks with IVHQ in Bali - 1 week orientation in Ubud and two weeks at the Turtle Conservation on Nusa Penida. I would definitely recommend the orientation week as you get to meet everyone and do tours around Ubud. The turtle conservation work was great either working with turtles or cleaning beaches, with time to rest and relax in between. I would recommend IVHQ as an organisation for anyone thinking of volunteering abroad. They are so organised, provide so much information before you go and also check-in when you return home. I loved my time in Bali, you will too!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Indonesia
Posted: Feb 22, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Involvement Volunteers International

Fiji was such an amazing experience working in the villages with such humble, happy and beautiful people who truly valued our input an experience I’ll never forget. I would just like to also say a big thank you to Danielle, her approach to the project with such a positive and can do attitude was definitely notable, she went above and beyond to make sure we were all happy at all times. She did a great job of looking after us and her training/knowledge was highly commendable. Also Masi and Mere are absolutely fantastic hosts so very kind, nothing was ever a problem they are such beautiful people – safe to say Mere is a FANTASTIC cook too haha.
Vanuatu was also amazing! I had so much fun there and learnt a lot about marine conservation, even got a few surfs in ? Pele really was a little treasure such an incredibly beautiful place. Lynne and Willie both looked after me so well while I was there nothing was ever to much to ask. Being on my own I spent a lot of time with Lynne and the other people in the village outside of work it really became like a second home for me. Lynne looked after me so well always making sure I was taken care of and happy, very lovely lady.
So thank you again for the experience and all your help with getting me there!! Memories I’ll cherish for many years to come ?

Program:
Location:
Posted: Feb 18, 2020
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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