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Volunteer for World Heritage preservation in 2018

Prambanan Temple Complex, Indonesia

“Empowering Commitment to World Heritage”–Volunteers needed for Summer 2018

“Working vacations have gained in popularity in recent years as people (usually of some means) seek more substantive experiences to their vacations than simply lying on a beach or playing golf. These days specialty tours are accompanied by a curriculum of study in such fields as photography, wildlife conservation, environmental protection, and culinary interests, among many others. This writer focuses on experiences suitable for seniors; this article describes efforts led by veterans to allow volunteers to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey hammered Houston, Texas; and this vacation company, which specializes in volunteer vacations, recently partnered with the USO (United Service Organization) in their “Agents Give Back” campaign. And recently, World Heritage projects have gotten in on the act.

Those interested in archaeological expeditions have long had opportunities for volunteer vacations to offset the costs of labor-intensive research excavations. The Archaeological Institute of America annually publishes an Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin. For decades, Earthwatch has allowed volunteers to pay to go on a variety of vacation expeditions around the world. And in 2009, HistoriCorps began creating opportunities for volunteer vacations specializing on historic preservation in the United States.

Recently, UNESCO announced for the 11th year a list of volunteer projects focused on World Heritage Sites. The theme for 2018—Empowering Commitment to World Heritage—is meant to appeal to young people to get engaged in World Heritage conservation by joining 53 “action camp” projects at World Heritage sites in 29 countries. These projects are spread around the globe across Africa, the Arab states, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean with 46 organizations taking part.(The 2011 photo above of the Prambanan Temple Complex World Heritage Site in Indonesia by Arabsalam is shared here under CC BY-SA 4.0).

See the list of World Heritage volunteer projects at

UNESCO World Heritage Volunteers 2018

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