A great way to explore a country while providing a service is to volunteer your time. Bulgaria offers a wide range of volunteer options like supporting the numerous local NGOs, doing work in orphanages, teaching English, or participating in health care or environmental projects.
The wetlands of Bourgas region are recognized as “wetlands of international importance” especially for birds. However, previous powers poured thousands of tons of chemicals to control mouse and vole populations. This also led to the killing of more than one million birds and placed the biodiversity of the area in danger. Conservation groups with the help of volunteers have been working for over a decade to reverse the damage. Volunteers help to build artificial islands for bird nesting, and help to construct underground nesting boxes for shelducks.
Other volunteer options include the placement in local schools aiming to improve educational facilities in not so well to do rural village schools. Activities centre around conservation, arts and crafts, maintenance and other school based duties. The volunteers will also have opportunities to teach English and play sports with the children.
For a different kind of a holiday, there are also many home-stay and farm-stay volunteer options. Many small farmers ask for volunteers to help out on their farms by taking care of the farm animals or growing organic produce. In return volunteers get board and lodging. Such volunteering opportunities are usually advertised online and are open all year round. Volunteers can stay for as long or short a time as they desire.