5 Things You Will Love About Volunteering in Sri Lanka
For many, Sri Lanka is a fairly mysterious country that isn’t often covered in media or other outlets. When you glance at a map, it is barely visible to the casual once-over. But look a bit closer and just below India there is a small tear-dropped shaped, cultural and natural beauty that will light your little world-loving bottom on fire.
There are many spectacular reasons to go to Sri Lanka: vacation, education, appreciation, just to name a few. Volunteer work is my favorite reason, and I am about to tell you why. Many people view volunteering as self-less, hard work- and at times it can be. However, Humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka are on a whole other level of their own.
It’s one place where you will gain as much as you are giving. Where your heart and mind will grow more than you ever expected. Spending time in the culture of Sri Lanka will brighten your world in an unparalleled way. They say travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Well, Sri Lanka is the place that you will try to improve, but will leave you improved.
Hang on tight because volunteering in Sri Lanka is about to be your next grand adventure.
1. The Choice of Projects
Sri Lanka is a country of many opportunities. One of the reasons that this is an amazing country to choose as your volunteer destination is the sheer number of different volunteer options you have to choose from. They offer wildlife conservation, childcare, elderly care, teaching English, temple renovation, special needs, rural community development, just to name a few! If you are unsure of exactly what you want to work on, choose a couple! I participated in renovating a home for elderly, teaching English to monks and orphanage work all in one trip!
2. The People
The people of Sri Lanka are the country’s biggest treasure. The kindness and welcoming spirit that you receive from these people will make you feel at home in a truly foreign place. When I arrived, I was nervous and wary of such an unfamiliar place. After one day of touring the city and experiencing so many smiles and guidance by the people, I was a confident visitor. Not only are the people friendly, but they are proud of their culture and who they are. At the end of the day, we want to be welcomed, but we also want to grow from the experience. Sri Lankan people are open and they want to share the beauty of their home with you.
3. The Food
Yum. Yum. Yum. One of my most favorite days during my time in Sri Lanka was a trip we took to a local village where a woman welcomed us into her home and taught us how to make one of her traditional dishes. Holy flavor bomb, it was amazing. The spices, the colors, the heat, the sweet, the love and the care that goes into that unique and delicious cuisine will quickly become one of your favorite parts of Sri Lankan culture.
4. The Beauty
I guarantee you that this will be one of the most interesting and beautiful environmental landscapes you have ever seen. Imagine an old and culturally rich city in the middle of the rainforest. That is how interesting and magical this place is. Yes, depending on what time of year you go you will get some heat or rain or humidity. But hey, differences in environment is what these trips are all about. Plus, a little humidity never killed anyone- hello beautiful skin! Trust me, Sri Lanka’s ambiance is one for the ‘must’ list.
5. The Sights/Activities
The cool thing about volunteer trips is that you have tons of free time when you’re not working for you to go explore. Sri Lanka is full of amazing sights and fun activities that you and your fellow volunteers will want to experience. There are interesting ruins to check out, thrill-seekers can bungee or climb, you can visit responsible elephant sanctuaries, beautiful beaches with white sands and so much more. A bit of research or simply asking your volunteer director will lead you to tons of once-in-a-lifetime adventures unique to this beautiful country.
I could literally go on and on about why Sri Lanka should be your next volunteer destination. I hope that these five reasons are enough to inspire others to go check out this extraordinary culture. If you’re in the process of planning or even playing with the idea of volunteering abroad, do yourself a favor and take a chance on Sri Lanka. Who knows, I might even see you there.
By Anastasia Free
Anastasia participated on a trip with the International Volunteer HQ, contact them today to arrange a similar experience.