What and Why: Part-Time Expat Living (Part 2: Volunteering)


21442096_10214300338966398_1718469393_nVolunteering is very satisfying for many part-time expats.  Combining the giving of your time to a worthy cause with the added factors of interesting culture and customs, gives a lot of people fulfillment.

Sometimes these volunteering opportunities are seasonal in nature.  Perhaps the cause is related to nature or to cyclical chains of events that call for strategic help at certain times of the year.  

For instance, here in Costa Rica, my wife loves to volunteer during the season when the turtles hatch on the beach.  The eggs are gathered and protected while they develop.  Volunteers assist in transplanting the eggs, watching over them, and keeping them safe.  

turtle 1

At the appointed time, when the eggs have hatched and the little baby turtles have been collected within the enclosed area, the volunteers assist in placing them on the beach.  They head them in the correct direction to stimulate their natural GPS systems, and have the joy of watching them make their way into the water for the first time.  My wife loves this work, and you can be sure she wants to be in Costa Rica during turtle hatching season!  (Check out the video below as the little turtles make their way to the sea.)

There are many other opportunities like this in various climates, communities, and fields of service that require volunteers to stay an extended time in a place in order to be of service.

Sarchi churchSometimes folks want to give of their time to a particular religious cause.  They want to regularly stay for an extended period of time in a country, establish and maintain close personal connections with people, and have an impact on the local community through their religious organizations’ service.  The relationships, the mission, and the satisfaction draw them back for long periods of time each year, although they still maintain their lives in the home country.

Of course, there are a myriad of volunteer opportunities once you get to know a community and navigate the language.   And, if you speak English, there is nearly always a need for English tutoring or teaching even in volunteer situations.  Most of the world wants to learn English.  So, there is a natural opportunity.  

Volunteering is another reason why people choose to live part of their lives enjoying the expat lifestyle as part-timers.  Perhaps you have a cause you’d like to donate your time in a favorite country.


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