expeditions overview
CHOICE Humanitarian expeditions work two ways. You connect with villagers. Villagers connect with you. In the process a dynamic emerges that helps push poverty out of our lives.

CHOICE expedition volunteers work hand-in-hand with motivated villagers on a variety of important projects. CHOICE Humanitarian invites you to experience an unforgettable inter-cultural exchange. Please join us for a life-stimulating adventure in exotic locales, stunning landscapes and gracious communities.

where we work

CHOICE Humanitarian currently works in five countries. Projects in each country are managed by highly experienced In-Country Directors and their staffs:
Bolivia    Ecuador    Guatemala    Kenya    Mexico    Nepal    Peru   

projects you can work on

Expedition volunteers help villagers implement planned improvements. Each village plans specific projects according to their unique needs and priorities. Depending on the needs at the time of the expedition, volunteers could be working on any of a wide range of projects such as classroom construction, community water systems, bio-gas digesters, health clinics, personal hygiene workshops, pit latrines, micro-enterprise training, and other fundamental village needs. Medical and dental services can be added as components to expeditions on request.

schedule: expeditions start and end on a Saturday

day 1 saturday
International arrival. Orientation meeting and welcome dinner with local directors and fellow participants. Overnight in hotel.
day 2 sunday
General introduction to native culture. Land transportation to rural villages. Greetings at the village. Overnight in tents, homes, schoolhouses, or in other shelters.
day 3-6 monday thru thursday
Village projects and humanitarian service. Direct interaction with villagers through project work, scheduled trainings, meals, games, and even music! Participants might also “shadow” village families and assist in simple household routines.
day 7 friday
Village celebration and farewell. Land transportation back to arrival point. Overnight in hotel.
day 8 saturday
International departure.

cost breakdown costs

CHOICE expedition fees range from $1995 to $2195 per person (family discounts available).

Airfare is not included in CHOICE expedition fees.

Fees include two nights’ hotel accommodations, land transportation, village lodging, village meals, certified leaders, project costs and materials.

who can go

CHOICE expeditions are open to the general public. Participants from all backgrounds and ages are welcome. Children as young as 10 and even seniors in their 70’s have participated in CHOICE expeditions. There is no expectation for volunteers to push beyond the limits of their physical capability while helping with projects that require manual labor. Participants will face unique circumstances that will challenge, educate, and enlighten. You will venture along rugged dirt roads – or endure scenic hikes - before arriving at each village. While working and living among these developing communities, you are treated as a welcomed guest, participating in various activities and chores that often reflect the simple things of village life. For your health and safety, seniors over 60 are required to submit a recent EKG. Parents are encouraged to evaluate the maturity level of their children in dealing with new surroundings and a rigorous schedule in the village. Participants should expect the unexpected, maintain a sense of humor, and be prepared to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

cost breakdown expedition leaders - in-country staff

All choice expeditions are led by Certified Expedition Leaders who have prior expedition experience and have completed required training. Their purpose is to insure your safety, to inform you about your specific expedition and to make sure you get the most out of your village experience. When you arrive at your destination, you’ll be greeted by an In-Country Director or a staff member who will fill in all the details of your week in the village and will stay with your group in the village. CHOICE In-Country Directors are not only great hosts, but knowledgeable mentors in just about anything having to do with their respective countries and villages. We encourage you to ask questions and learn from their wealth of experience.

tour the country

At the conclusion or sometimes prior to village expeditions, participants often book extra sight-seeing trips to other attractions or destinations in the vicinity of CHOICE project countries, such African safaris, visits to Machu Pichu in Peru, excursions to ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico and Guatemala, etc. Please note, CHOICE Humanitarian does not book travel or side trips outside CHOICE Humanitarian-approved expeditions. Consult your local travel agent for information about possible side trips surrounding your CHOICE expedition schedule.

join an expedition ...OR start one of your own!

You can join an expedition listed on the calendar or form your own expedition with 15 to 20 family members, friends, and co-workers! Get started by filling out a CHOICE Application. Signed, completed documents can be sent to CHOICE via email to:jmenzel@choicehumanitarian.org
Feel free to also download the CHOICE Expeditions Brochure to share with others or direct them to this website! Please contact CHOICE for further details and policies.

call / email

Jordan Menzel, Expeditions Director
email: jmenzel@choicehumanitarian.org
fill out application
expeditions brochure

Singular Humanitarian Experience (SHe) Application

Volunteer connects with young villagers in Bolivia.

“Simply superlative – this is Bolivia! It’s the hemisphere’s highest, most isolated and most rugged nation. It’s among the earth’s coldest, warmest, windiest and steamiest spots. It boasts among the driest, saltiest and swampiest natural landscapes in the world. Although the poorest country in South America, it’s also one of the richest in natural resources. It’s also South America’s most indigenous country, with over 60% of the population claiming indigenous heritage, including Aymará, Quechua, Guaraní and over 30 other ethnic groups.” - Lonelyplanet.com

A landlocked nation in the center of South America, Bolivia radiates a charming culture that sweeps across eastern lowlands, western highlands, and endless salt flats. The famed Altiplano rests amidst Andean peaks at 13,000 feet above sea level, while Lake Titicaca extends into Perú as the region's geographical trademark.

Bolivia is a place of great contrasts and extremes. Unfortunately, one of the extremes, as the description points out, is poverty. CHOICE Humanitarian has been working in the Altiplano region of Bolivia for over 25 years to help build a self-sustaining infrastructure in dozens of impoverished Aymará villages. Along with many other projects outlined for Bolivian expeditions, participants often assist in the construction of community water systems. CHOICE Humanitarian helps with classroom construction, greenhouse building, solar energy projects and others.

Latest news from Bolivia
Learn more about Bolivia

Savings and micro-enterprise programs in Kenya are giving a voice of empowerment to women.

Africa is where the first heartbeat of the human race began. And that’s where the true wonder of Africa still lies – in its people. In Swahili, ‘Jambo Rafiki’ means ‘Hello Friend!’ You hear the greeting just about everywhere in Kenya. Customs like warm greetings are important to the people of Kenya. Even the motto of Kenya, ‘Harambee’, means ‘Pull Together’.

Kenya’s beauty covers a diverse landscape of central plateaus, arid deserts, and coastal plains that stretch along the Indian Ocean on Africa’s eastern coast. A major safari destination, travelers come to witness the abundance of wildlife roaming the open parks and reserves. CHOICE Humanitarian expeditions begin and end with a village celebration of brilliant song and dance. Participants will likely be involved in a combination of construction projects such as classrooms and desks, pit latrines, and water catchment systems. Quality of life in the village is dramatically improved with adequate schools, improved sanitation and clean water.

Kenya is one of the first CHOICE Humanitarian countries to implement Self-Developing Districts. This ‘next level’ CHOICE model combines clusters of villages with common goals and objectives. With a collective voice, districts have more clout in requesting assistance and recognition from governmental entities, NGO’s and other sources. Using the district model, CHOICE can impact 100 to 200 thousand villagers in a more efficient effort. Entire regions can benefit economically. Village infrastructure systems such as water and electricity can be accessed and completed in far less time than if one village is working alone.

Latest news from Kenya
Learn more about Kenya

Expedition members lend a hand in constructing playground equipment in Mexico.

You would never guess it in today’s world of famous Mexican hospitality, but the welcome wasn’t so warm in 1517. That’s when conquistador Hernández de Córdoba became the first European to land on Mexico’s Yucatan shores. Back then, before Mexico was called Mexico, the Mayans ruled the territory and didn’t like outside visitors. Twenty of Cordoba’s men were killed by a contingent of the Mayan army. Córdoba was mortally wounded in the deadly skirmish. The cultural footprints of the Maya and the many early settlers are evident throughout Mexico. Art, food, music, and customs often blend together in the Mexican experience.

Today, Mexico welcomes visitors worldwide with open arms – not only in the popular tourist destinations, but amidst impoverished rural communities. In central Mexico where CHOICE works, hopeful villagers greet CHOICE Humanitarian expeditions with joyful smiles and friendship. They generously share their few belongings with a sense of profound pride. With rugged determination, the indigenous villagers of Mexico represent some of the most successful ‘graduated’ villages in CHOICE development history.

Water is one of the highest priorities in most of these mountain villages where the rainy season lasts only 3 months each year. Often the simple construction of water cisterns can provide clean drinking water for a family throughout the year. Expedition volunteers might also assist in building Lorena stoves (adobe ovens), teach basic hygiene and health, or offer helpful business advice on new micro-enterprises such as the Tamaula cheese-making factory.

With recent immigration issues and other political challenges, Mexico has suffered a decline in tourism and in some cases, the assistance of outside NGO’s. Now, more than ever, CHOICE encourages expeditions to Mexico. Poverty knows no political boundaries. Your volunteerism through a CHOICE Humanitarian expedition can give hope and brighter futures to villagers in our many project areas of southern central Mexico.

Latest news from Mexico
Learn more about Mexico

Though picturesque, the terraced fields around Okehlepani, Nepal provide only meager crops

"Once in their lifetime, every person should journey to a place where legends live, where everything is bigger than life. For me, Everest has always represented nature at its most powerful, most awe-inspiring, most unconquerable.” These words from a climber who reached the summit of Mt. Everest could easily be applied to the entire culture and country of Nepal. The Nepal experience is unparalleled.

With eight of the world's ten highest mountain peaks, including the highest of all, Mt. Everest at 29,000 ft., Nepal has been a glorious destination for climbers, trekkers and tourists for hundreds of years. But some visitors remember Nepal for other reasons. Avid mountain climber Gary Wong said, "The Nepalese people are truly wonderful. The mountains are spectacular but the people are even more memorable. They are kind, caring, hard-working, helpful.”

CHOICE Humanitarian’s efforts in Nepal are about the people. Expedition participants often work with villagers to build bio-gas digesters. Families can generate energy from bio-waste. This simple technology reduces time spent gathering wood, minimizes deforestation, prevents upper-respiratory disease from smoke inhalation, protects valuable water sources from waste contamination and provides fertilizer to strengthen crops.

Expedition participants have a hands-on experience working on designated village projects. They can learn how to o combat poverty with new strategies, such as important hydro-electric installations now in the planning stages. With CHOICE Humanitarian input, these and other far-sighted income-generating projects will result in better economic conditions for tens of thousands of villagers.

Latest news from Nepal
Learn more about Nepal

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limited spaces available - please call limited spaces available - please call
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Jan 1 2 private group - closed to publicMexico26-02
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Mar 28 29 1 2 3 4 5 private group - closed to publicNepal04-10
2016 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 private group - closed to publicGuat04-12
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20 21 22 23 24 25 26 several spaces availableNepal26-02
Apr 27 28 29 30 31 1 2 several spaces availableBolivia02-09
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24 25 26 27 28 29 30 private group - closed to publicNepal25-01
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2016 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 private group - closed to publicNepal10-18
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2016 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 private group - closed to publicEcuador02-11
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 private group - closed to publicPeru09-16
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24 25 26 27 28 29 30 several spaces availableKenya23-30
Aug 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 several spaces availableBolivia06-13
2016 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 several spaces availableEcuador06-13
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Nov 30 31 1 2 3 4 5 several spaces availableNepal05-12
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20 21 22 23 24 25 26 several spaces availableGuat19-26
Dec 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 several spaces availableMexico19-26
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bolivia    kenya    guatemala    mexico    nepal