work exchange
Africa,  Europe,  North America,  South America,  Work and Travel

Work Exchange Opportunities – Summer 2021

Summer 2021 is upon us. While travelling continues to be challenging in many parts of the world due to the pandemic, there are still many opportunities for work exchange programs and volunteering abroad. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most interesting opportunities currently available on Worldpackers which is one of the best travel websites for backpackers.

While anyone can view the opportunities, you need to register with them to apply for positions. You can use our Worldpackers discount code “MYFUNKYTRAVELWP” to get $10 off the registration fee.

In most cases, you will receive free accommodation in exchange for work, and in some cases meals and other benefits too. Be sure to read the full description and reviews for each placement before applying for anything. All of the opportunities featured in this post are well reviewed and many are listed as having a “higher chance of approval” which should make it easier for anyone new to Worldpackers to get accepted.

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10 Unique Summer 2021 Work Exchange Opportunities


1. Experience nomad life in the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Many people visit the Sahara Desert on short trips from Marrakech or other parts of Morocco when travelling around the country but you will only truly get a feel for what life is really like for those living in the Sahara by spending more time there. With just 15 hours work per week required, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the area around the small Saharan town of Tagounite where this placement is based.

As well as a free bed in a traditional nomad house, you can take advantage of free hiking tours. The work involves “handyman” tasks such as helping with building repairs, gardening and trying to grow plants in the harsh environment that is the Sahara.

2. Make cider in Asturias, Spain

Asturias cider

Cider may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Spain, but it is deeply ingrained in local culture in the beautiful northern region of Asturias. This farm-based position involves planting crops, sowing seeds and spending time outdoors in one of the greenest and most interesting parts of Spain.

With 13 five-star reviews you can travel with confidence and in the knowledge that the placement matches the description, and that your experience will hopefully be a positive one.

3. Surf Camp in La Guajira, Colombia

Located on Colombian’s stunning Caribbean coastline, you will struggle to find a better setting or more beautiful sunsets than this. Based at the Cabo kite center, the role involves taking and editing photos and videos so would suit anyone with skills in that department.

As well as enjoying the beach life, in your time off (the role is 20 hours per week), you’ll be able to enjoy free parties and entrance to the best events in town.

4. Yoga Retreat in the Algarve, Portugal

This role involves slightly more work (30 hours/week) on general household and garden tasks. The good news is that as well as a free bed in a shared dorm, you’ll also get breakfast, lunch and dinner free each day, something that most placements do not offer. This should cut your costs down to almost nothing.

While you don’t specifically need yoga knowledge to do the roles, you can take part in any of the yoga classes and holistic activities for free during your time off. Located in a tranquil valley in the sunny Algarve region, the retreat also boasts a very nice outdoor pool.

5. Teach the Ashaninka tribe in Satipo, Peru

You will live in the indigenous Ashaninka community near the city of Satipo, Peru. Working 20 hours per week, you’ll be a teacher’s assistant and will teach languages in the community and help with other local projects.

Reviews suggest the family is very welcoming and most travellers had a great experience. You can also take language lessons on the site but there is an extra fee with this role of 650 Soles per week (approx $170) which covers electricity, laundry, food and gas. Most Worldpackers positions do not require any extra payments and operate on a simple work exchange for housing basis.

6. Volunteer work with street kids in Kampala, Uganda

For those looking to make a real difference and help those most in need, this challenging role in Uganda may be the one for you. It involves working on local community projects to aid street children in Kampala – the capital and largest city in the East African country.

You’ll experience life in an African family and will get a feel for the challenges that many young people in this continent face. Work is 28 hours per week spread over 5 days and you will get a completion certificate at the end of your time in Uganda.

7. Sustainable education in Sanawari village, Tanzania

work exchange Africa
Tanzania scnery via Mussi Katz

This project has 42 reviews and feedback is very positive. You’ll be part of a project which is trying to build sustainable education for children in Sanawari village, located in the north of the beautiful East African country of Tanzania.

The role involves teaching sports and languages, whilst working five hours per day. You’ll get a bed and three meals per day but will need to pay $10 per day extra to cover the cost of this, a very reasonable sum compared to many volunteering projects in African which can be really expensive for volunteers.

8. Counselling Program with local girls in Kigamboni, Tanzania

Staying in Tanzania, this is another program which will offer you the chance to make a real difference and play a positive social role for some of those most in need. The work can involve both counselling and more general classes such as teaching everything from arts and crafts to sports.

The additional daily fee is $15 but you get plenty for that including three meals per day, language lessons and use of bicycles to explore during your days off.

9. Bee conservation in Aloasi, Ecuador

Support bee conservation in Aloasi, a small municipality just to the south of Quito, Ecuador. The role involves anything from painting to gardening and help with general tasks around the building.

While it is more demanding than some roles with 30 hours work per week required, there are many perks. These include free dance classes, holistic therapies, excursions and parties. The location close to Quito, one of South America’s liveliest cities for entertainment and nightlife is also a plus for those looking to enjoy their time off.

10. Work Exchange USA – Hike the Appalachian Trail and become a potter & ceramist in Greeneville, Tennessee

You will be based on a Farm Pottery and Ceramics Studio in the town of Greeneville, located in the state of Tennessee, close to the border with North Carolina. They are looking for people with some pottery skills but have other roles available on the farm.

Perks include the chance to hike the famous Appalachian Trail while there are also some excellent sites to try white water rafting in the area.


Which countries have the most opportunities on Worldpackers?

The above was just a small sample of some of the work exchange programs and opportunities out there this summer. There are thousands more opportunities to be found around the world on Worldpackers. Here are the countries with the most at the time of writing (June 2021):

Country Worldpackers Opportunities
Brazil 940
India 263
Spain 246
USA 216
Ecuador 213
Peru 190
Argentina 170
Tanzania 151
Mexico 143
Portugal 127

Based in São Paulo, it’s perhaps no surprise that Brazil is the country with the most Worldpackers opportunities. However you can find options in all four corners of the world, with India, Spain, USA and Ecuador those with the next highest number of options.

While the situation has improved in many countries, the covid-19 pandemic is not over so you will need to research the travel restrictions and requirements in place for any country before planning any placements or trips.


This look at some of the most interesting work exchange programs and opportunities on Worldpackers was published in June 2021.


Featured image of volunteers via Proyecto Asis, CC BY-SA 2.0

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