I'd love to volunteer in the Amazon in Peru when I go in a few months and am scouring the internet for places that really need help. I have found a lot of companies that offer voluntourism or volunteer opportunities, but the prices are incredibly high - from $1500 a week!
I have emailed a couple of places where the costs are minimal - $25 to $30/day, but they are not emailing me back after multiple attempts to contact them.
The higher priced volunteer programs get back to me within minutes (literally) of emailing them.
If I am going to work 6 to 8 hours a day (which I am happy to do!) why would I pay 2 to 3 times more than I would if I was just going as a tourist that was going to rest on my laurels for the entire time?
Is volunteering necessary or is it a way to get tourists to pay more and feel better about themselves? Some of the higher priced programs aren't even volunteering - you basically get eco-tours to learn more about the environment with a few days work and the rest is really just being a tourist. I want to volunteer, I am ready to work hard, but I need to feel like I would be making a difference.Edited: 11:35 am, January 21, 2011