Vietnam is a vibrant, alluring country with a history stretching back over 4000 years. In the last 30 years, the country has had to recover from the ravages of war and the challenges of a planned economy. The economy is growing, but not for everyone. Vietnam has captured the imagination of travelers wanting to see misty rice paddies, dramatic karsts, and the sensory overload of the cities. Ornate Buddhist temples, sparkling silk shops, and a cuisine flavored with exotic spices constantly remind visitors of the country's rich civilization and heritage. The streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are rivers of motorbikes carrying everything imaginable from families of five to kegs of beer and kitchen sinks. Outside the cities, visitors can explore Vietnam's natural wonders including Ha Long Bay, beautiful beaches, dense rainforests where new species are being discovered every year, and remote forest covered mountains. The people of Vietnam are proud survivors of colonization and years of war. They are gracious hosts ready to welcome those who come in peace.
ELI partners with NGOs, community development organizations, and schools in both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, creating volunteer opportunities that both benefit the community and provide a unique learning opportunity. Whether you work in a center for children affected by Agent Orange, teach in a primary school, or assist in a clinic for migrant workers, a special cultural opportunity is waiting for you.