As fast-growing as green weeds since its founding in England in 1971, Sue Coppard’s Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (that’s "WWOOF" to you) provides fascinating opportunities to volunteer, live and work in 43 countries all over the world — from China to Hawaii and still counting.

WWOOF is a matchmaker which introduces those with an itch to travel with eco-honoring farmers working the land.

What will you do?  Teach, learn and help with "…sowing, composting, gardening, planting, wood cutting, weeding, mud-brick making, harvesting, fencing, building, typing, packing, milking, feeding…" in the bosom of an appreciative hard-working family farm.

Recently featured in the "Good Lives" Column of The Guardian newspaper. http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1725125,00.html

Please check their well-thought-out international program on: www.wwoof.org

Give (and Get)

Consider joining a grassroots project team in one of the host communities now located all over the world.  This is a really rich vacation! However hard you may work, the rewards are incalculable and the good you will do ripples out.  And new friends could last forever.

Help: Boost community spirit
Help: Encourage self-reliance
Help: Provide essential services

Remove: yourself from mainstream tourism
Plunge: deep into the heart of a community
Learn: about farming, child care, teaching, archaeology, and on…

Play: a vital role in cultural appreciation
Play: a role in world peace
Pay: token fees

1. Greenforce offers 10-week intensive wildlife programs aimed at protecting biodiversity.  Base camps.  Monkeys in trees.  Animal mapping and often in pristine environments.  Ecuador, Nepal, Tanzania, Bahamas, Borneo and Fiji.  Call 800-710-6065 or www.greenforce.org

2. Global Citizens sends teams to partner with local grassroots organizations in a world-wide network of one-to-three-week immersions at U.S. and foreign sites.  Work on libraries, help with business skills, build a clinic, plant trees… No special skills required, just a desire to help others. Call 800-644-9292 or www.globalcitizens.org

3. Volunteer for Peace is a huge program of international service for two and three-week programs in over 100 countries.  Founded 1920, VFP aims to provide essential community services all over the planet — actively and personally. Vietnam and post-Katrina New Orleans are currently highlighted. Call 802-259-2759 or click on www.vfp.org.