Best Save-the-Earth Trips
Water-resource development, Rajasthan, India
Foundation for Sustainable Development
Where you go: FSD places volunteers with small, community-based organizations in several communities throughout the desert state of Rajasthan, where severe, near-perpetual droughts have decimated landscape, agriculture, and livelihoods.
What you do: Volunteers willing to make a long-term (minimum 4 weeks) commitment can help research water-harvesting and water-conservation solutions and help to implement them—perhaps by building rain-capture or water-storage tanks, digging irrigation ditches, or collaborating on sustainable water-use strategies with local farmers. Those with professional business or communication skills can also contribute in less sweat-intensive ways, by writing grant proposals or documenting projects for possible funding.
Roughing-it rating: Variable. All volunteers are placed in local homes for the duration of their project work, and while some lodgings can be very basic—without running water or electricity—others are stately homes with modern amenities owned by relatives of maharajahs. All volunteers get intensive training before starting their fieldwork, but this needn’t include language study—most Rajasthani locals have a working knowledge of English.
Cost: About $2,800 for 4 weeks.