Visiting Spain's beautiful Costa Blanca needn't cost much at all for those willing to do a bit of volunteering through the excellent online community known as Workaway. Travelling has always been my great passion and when I first looked into volunteer work through various agents, charities and organisations, I was shocked to realise that in many cases I would end up paying more to do volunteer work in exchange for a bed and food than I would by just paying for a holiday myself. Sad but true, the privilege of working, often extremely unsociable hours to care for nesting turtles or clean wild animal cages in a wildlife rehabilitation centre costs the volunteer, or usually their rich parents a substantial amount of money.
How Workaway Works
The concept is very simple, and from their humble beginnings with a handful of hosts and volunteers, Workaway has grown into a huge global community of like minded travellers looking to see the world while do a bit of work in exchange for board and lodging, and an equally as large community of hosts offering all sorts of work placements. Such is the popularity of Workaway, their website now receives over 10 million page views per month.
With such a large work placement and hosting list, there are substantial costs in running the website, so Workaway do need to charge a membership fee but it is very affordable, currently around 30USD per year which allows members to contact as many hosts in as many countries as they like. After registering with Workaway you are able to browse and contact thousands of hosts in over 135 countries so the more detail you add to your online profile is important and you should include photos or even a video clip or two. There are currently just under 3,000 hosts offering work placements in Spain alone.
Work Areas & Types
The variety of work offered and placement areas is vast so there really is something for everyone, whether you wish to work with children or adults teaching a language, help renovate an old farmhouse, exercise and care for horses or other animals, take care of children or the elderly, pick fruit or tackle a gardening project, all of these and many other work placements can be found on the website. The work is usually only a few hours a day with one or two days off a week to explore your new environment and in exchange you will be given accommodation and meals. However, contacting work hosts, securing the position, obtaining visas, and travel arrangements are all down to the volunteer.