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It's becoming increasingly popular to make volunteering a part of a trip abroad, but it's also becoming increasingly known that not all volunteer programs are created equal. It's sometimes hard to be sure if you're helping or hindering, and difficult to be sure you're helping to create lasting change. 

In Episode 145 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast I chat with three travellers who've taken part in various volunteer programs in recent years. We talk about how to find a good volunteer program and their own examples are really worth hearing about.

First up, I talk to Ella who is currently volunteering in Malaysia at an organisation protecting endangered sea turtles. She has an ecology degree and describes the great work that is happening there, along with some thoughts on how to find a good way to volunteer abroad.

Next I chat with Meagan who lives in southern California. In the last few years she's become involved with regular volunteer work just a couple of hours' drive away in Mexico.

Finally, Eva explains the trip she took to the Philippines last year and how the money collected from travellers in the group was used to help a local community. 

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