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Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand

Support community efforts to reintroduce rescued elephants into their natural habitat

Program Details

Program Type

Volunteering

Location

Asia - Thailand - Chiang Mai

1 weeks from

$1,840.00

Code: THCM0266P
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Program Information

Travel to Thailand's Chiang Mai Province and volunteer with elephants rescued from working in tourist camps. Assist with the elephants' rehabilitation and help mahouts (traditional elephant keepers) with working alternatives. Discover the fascinating culture and lush mountain forests of Northern Thailand in your free time.
Overview
Project Life
Project Details
Free Time
The Team
Dates & Costs

Overview

Volunteer in the lush mountain forests of Northern Thailand and spend each day in the field with elephants rescued from working in tourist camps. Leaving their tragic pasts behind, these gentle giants now live natural lives in the Chiang Mai Province of Northern Thailand, an area famous for its traditional elephant keeping communities.

Volunteers can learn about elephant behavior and contribute directly to the elephants’ lives by providing working alternatives for the owners, mahouts (elephant keepers) and villagers, that allow the elephants to live in the forest. You will observe elephants alongside mahouts who draw on generations of tribal knowledge about elephants.

During your stay in Northern Thailand, you will learn about elephant history, behavior, training, biology, social skills, and more, and then have the incredible opportunity to observe everything you have learned in-person with our elephants. We know that you will be able to see the happiness you can bring to these incredibly sophisticated animals during this opportunity to learn about elephants from Karen communities that have worked with elephants for centuries.

Testimonials

"I have had the opportunity to observe and work closely with these social and complex animals, which would be impossible with elephants in the wild. Staying in a traditional Karen community has been a million miles away from life in England. I have been made to feel really welcome here and I feel privileged to be part of a project that is helping both the elephants and the community in which they live."

- Claire Wigham, (United Kingdom)

GVI Live

These updates cover all programs in this location

GVI Chiang Mai

A Chinese Pond Heron spotted on a biodiversity river survey. #herons #wildlife #biodiversity http://t.co/mwskeTSBJC
November 21, 2014

GVI Chiang Mai

Bad footcare is one of the biggest killers of #captive #elephants !Look out for cracked/long toenails&damaged soles. http://t.co/eL8NNsHIjc
November 19, 2014

Thailand Video

GVI Blogs

1 WEEK AGO
Wildlife Conservation
  By gvi_admin

Students

 

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Parents

 

Why Study Abroad

 

GVI Difference

 

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Course Life

We live in a bit of a camp atmosphere with villagers and English-speaking staff providing guidance throughout your time on the project. Early mornings and long days spent in the field and on community projects are rewarded by both a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day and the noticeable positive impact that we continue to have on the lives of the elephants and the local community where we live.

The members of the village own more than 60 elephants distributed around tourist camps in the area. We work with villagers giving them incentive to return their elephants where they belong, to forage in Huay Pakoot’s forest.

A Typical Day 

You will quickly learn that village life takes its own pace, rising with the sun in the morning and relaxing later in the day. After volunteers and staff convene at base early morning for a shared breakfast and quick morning meeting about the day’s activities, the mahouts lead groups of volunteers and staff out to where the elephants have stayed overnight in the forest.

Occasionally you will have the opportunity to assist with a quick but thorough health inspection of the elephants, providing a few minutes of close contact time to truly appreciate the beauty and size of our elephants. The rest of your hike involves following the elephants as they move through the forest, socialising and foraging as they would naturally. During our time observing the elephants in the forest, interns and long term volunteers collect data on their social interactions with one another and what food sources they are utilising, as well as survey forest biodiversity such as gibbons, deer, snakes, birds, and a variety of insects and spiders.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to occasionally have lunch in the forest. Not only will we bring our packed lunches to share with the group in the forest, but volunteers are encouraged to assist the Mahouts in cooking a few more dishes in the field using all natural materials. After adequate time to observe the elephants and eat lunch, we hike back to the village for the rest of the day’s activities.

Afternoons in the village vary every day of the week, with opportunities to get involved in the community and build relationships among the villagers, fellow volunteers, and the staff team. Volunteers are highly encouraged to help teach English at the local school, weave baskets with a local community member, play football with the Mahouts, cook with their homestay families, and make the most of such an amazing project in such a remote and beautiful area.

Volunteers typically work Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being either travel days back to Chiang Mai or as days off to relax around the village. Your accommodation is very basic within the traditional community, so you should be prepared to adapt and appreciate living conditions that are sure to be very different than your home country.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Course Details

The population of Asian elephants and their habitat is rapidly declining. With less than 1,000 left in the wild in Thailand, but around 3,000 in captivity, we are one of the few viable alternatives to the reality of their domesticated future within detrimental tourist camps.

Please note, this is an ethical volunteer program and we do not partake in riding elephants, demonstrating unnatural skills, or interacting hands-on with the elephants more than necessary.

Your contribution will help to keep these elephants in protected forests, continue the conservation of these beautiful animals and their habitats, provide funding to keep the project running, and offer alternative livelihoods to the local community. The goal of this project is to have semi-wild herds of elephants living, socializing, and foraging in their natural habitat, supervised by their mahouts around their local village.

How this project makes a difference:

Elephants can be very expensive to care for, and are viewed as private property and a means of generating income for the local communities. The elephants are often forced into camps or street begging to make money through tourism in Thailand. The lack of viable alternatives for income from elephants is detrimental to their health and well being.

As an unregulated industry, elephant tourism can be an ugly business. Elephants require a specific environment that provides them with social, mental, and physical stimulation to thrive. With a huge increase in the demand for tourist camps, elephants are deprived of their imperative self-medicating diet, migratory urges to move, complex social interactions, and brain stimulation, leading to shocking repercussions in the health of the elephant.

Our volunteer project aims to provide an alternative way for the elephants to bring in money for the local village while continuing to lead healthy lives that will ensure their long term conservation and survival.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Life on the Internship

We live in a bit of a camp atmosphere with villagers and English-speaking staff providing guidance throughout your time on the project. Early mornings and long days spent in the field and on community projects are rewarded by both a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day and the noticeable positive impact that we continue to have on the lives of the elephants and the local community where we live.

The members of the village own more than 60 elephants distributed around tourist camps in the area. We work with villagers giving them incentive to return their elephants where they belong, to forage in Huay Pakoot’s forest.

A Typical Day 

You will quickly learn that village life takes its own pace, rising with the sun in the morning and relaxing later in the day. After volunteers and staff convene at base early morning for a shared breakfast and quick morning meeting about the day’s activities, the mahouts lead groups of volunteers and staff out to where the elephants have stayed overnight in the forest.

Occasionally you will have the opportunity to assist with a quick but thorough health inspection of the elephants, providing a few minutes of close contact time to truly appreciate the beauty and size of our elephants. The rest of your hike involves following the elephants as they move through the forest, socialising and foraging as they would naturally. During our time observing the elephants in the forest, interns and long term volunteers collect data on their social interactions with one another and what food sources they are utilising, as well as survey forest biodiversity such as gibbons, deer, snakes, birds, and a variety of insects and spiders.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to occasionally have lunch in the forest. Not only will we bring our packed lunches to share with the group in the forest, but volunteers are encouraged to assist the Mahouts in cooking a few more dishes in the field using all natural materials. After adequate time to observe the elephants and eat lunch, we hike back to the village for the rest of the day’s activities.

Afternoons in the village vary every day of the week, with opportunities to get involved in the community and build relationships among the villagers, fellow volunteers, and the staff team. Volunteers are highly encouraged to help teach English at the local school, weave baskets with a local community member, play football with the Mahouts, cook with their homestay families, and make the most of such an amazing project in such a remote and beautiful area.

Volunteers typically work Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being either travel days back to Chiang Mai or as days off to relax around the village. Your accommodation is very basic within the traditional community, so you should be prepared to adapt and appreciate living conditions that are sure to be very different than your home country.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Program Details

The population of Asian elephants and their habitat is rapidly declining. With less than 1,000 left in the wild in Thailand, but around 3,000 in captivity, we are one of the few viable alternatives to the reality of their domesticated future within detrimental tourist camps.

Please note, this is an ethical volunteer program and we do not partake in riding elephants, demonstrating unnatural skills, or interacting hands-on with the elephants more than necessary.

Your contribution will help to keep these elephants in protected forests, continue the conservation of these beautiful animals and their habitats, provide funding to keep the project running, and offer alternative livelihoods to the local community. The goal of this project is to have semi-wild herds of elephants living, socializing, and foraging in their natural habitat, supervised by their mahouts around their local village.

How this project makes a difference:

Elephants can be very expensive to care for, and are viewed as private property and a means of generating income for the local communities. The elephants are often forced into camps or street begging to make money through tourism in Thailand. The lack of viable alternatives for income from elephants is detrimental to their health and well being.

As an unregulated industry, elephant tourism can be an ugly business. Elephants require a specific environment that provides them with social, mental, and physical stimulation to thrive. With a huge increase in the demand for tourist camps, elephants are deprived of their imperative self-medicating diet, migratory urges to move, complex social interactions, and brain stimulation, leading to shocking repercussions in the health of the elephant.

Our volunteer project aims to provide an alternative way for the elephants to bring in money for the local village while continuing to lead healthy lives that will ensure their long term conservation and survival.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Project Life

We live in a bit of a camp atmosphere with villagers and English-speaking staff providing guidance throughout your time on the project. Early mornings and long days spent in the field and on community projects are rewarded by both a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day and the noticeable positive impact that we continue to have on the lives of the elephants and the local community where we live.

The members of the village own more than 60 elephants distributed around tourist camps in the area. We work with villagers giving them incentive to return their elephants where they belong, to forage in Huay Pakoot’s forest.

A Typical Day 

You will quickly learn that village life takes its own pace, rising with the sun in the morning and relaxing later in the day. After volunteers and staff convene at base early morning for a shared breakfast and quick morning meeting about the day’s activities, the mahouts lead groups of volunteers and staff out to where the elephants have stayed overnight in the forest.

Occasionally you will have the opportunity to assist with a quick but thorough health inspection of the elephants, providing a few minutes of close contact time to truly appreciate the beauty and size of our elephants. The rest of your hike involves following the elephants as they move through the forest, socialising and foraging as they would naturally. During our time observing the elephants in the forest, interns and long term volunteers collect data on their social interactions with one another and what food sources they are utilising, as well as survey forest biodiversity such as gibbons, deer, snakes, birds, and a variety of insects and spiders.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to occasionally have lunch in the forest. Not only will we bring our packed lunches to share with the group in the forest, but volunteers are encouraged to assist the Mahouts in cooking a few more dishes in the field using all natural materials. After adequate time to observe the elephants and eat lunch, we hike back to the village for the rest of the day’s activities.

Afternoons in the village vary every day of the week, with opportunities to get involved in the community and build relationships among the villagers, fellow volunteers, and the staff team. Volunteers are highly encouraged to help teach English at the local school, weave baskets with a local community member, play football with the Mahouts, cook with their homestay families, and make the most of such an amazing project in such a remote and beautiful area.

Volunteers typically work Monday through Friday, with Saturday and Sunday being either travel days back to Chiang Mai or as days off to relax around the village. Your accommodation is very basic within the traditional community, so you should be prepared to adapt and appreciate living conditions that are sure to be very different than your home country.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Project Details

The population of Asian elephants and their habitat is rapidly declining. With less than 1,000 left in the wild in Thailand, but around 3,000 in captivity, we are one of the few viable alternatives to the reality of their domesticated future within detrimental tourist camps.

Please note, this is an ethical volunteer program and we do not partake in riding elephants, demonstrating unnatural skills, or interacting hands-on with the elephants more than necessary.

Your contribution will help to keep these elephants in protected forests, continue the conservation of these beautiful animals and their habitats, provide funding to keep the project running, and offer alternative livelihoods to the local community. The goal of this project is to have semi-wild herds of elephants living, socializing, and foraging in their natural habitat, supervised by their mahouts around their local village.

How this project makes a difference:

Elephants can be very expensive to care for, and are viewed as private property and a means of generating income for the local communities. The elephants are often forced into camps or street begging to make money through tourism in Thailand. The lack of viable alternatives for income from elephants is detrimental to their health and well being.

As an unregulated industry, elephant tourism can be an ugly business. Elephants require a specific environment that provides them with social, mental, and physical stimulation to thrive. With a huge increase in the demand for tourist camps, elephants are deprived of their imperative self-medicating diet, migratory urges to move, complex social interactions, and brain stimulation, leading to shocking repercussions in the health of the elephant.

Our volunteer project aims to provide an alternative way for the elephants to bring in money for the local village while continuing to lead healthy lives that will ensure their long term conservation and survival.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Free Time

Volunteering with GVI not only allows you to participate on programs assisting disadvantaged communities or endangered ecosystems but it also offers wonderful opportunities to travel in the local area in your down time or further afield either before or after your program. Many decide to travel after volunteering, solidifying the lifetime friendships established on program.

Our long term field staff are a great source of advice and are here to help you make the most of your time abroad. Remember to ask about discounts on local activities and side trips through your association with GVI. Our Chiang Mai field teams have helped us put together the following information on trips and travel options in Thailand!

Huay Pakoot is quiet rural Thai village, giving you a unique chance to learn about traditional Karen culture. Learn to cook Thai and Karen dishes with community members, and learn about everyday life in this traditional setting.

Included Side Trips

The location of this project is remote. Leaving Chiang Mai city you embark on a 5 hour journey into the mountains. On the way, we pass through Doi Inthanon national park (Thailand’s highest peak) and usually stop for a walk to one of the spectacular waterfalls.

Due to the remoteness, our program is based in and around the village. The program is field based which gives you the opportunity to explore the surrounding forests on the daily hikes with the elephants. Travel and side-trip opportunities from the village need special arrangements, but the prospects for immersing yourself in the local area and village culture are huge.

Optional Side Trips

While on the program, there is ample time for you to plan side trips and organise transportation. These are not part of the program and are best taken as a weekend trip or as an activity before or after joining the program. We are always ready to assist, provide recommendations and up-to-date information. Locally, trips can be arranged to neighbouring villages and town like Mae Chaem and Mae Hong Son. These are great places to wind down, get a traditional Thai massage or explore temples.

Though we are well off the main tourist route, opportunities exist, before or after the program, for you to go bamboo river rafting, rock climbing, visit Doi Inthanon National Park, relax at a local resort/spa, and take advantage of everything that the Chiang Mai Province has to offer!

Further Traveling Opportunities

Thailand is a country with a massive range of fantastic places that you could visit. If you have the time and budget, you could consider going to see the following; the waterfalls of the picturesque Khao Yai National Park, the local tribes of Nam Province, the beaches of Ko Tao and Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park, the golden kingdom of Ayuthaya, the temples and nightlife of Bangkok, just to name a few! Chiang Mai city abounds with tour operators offering a huge array of amazing side trips in the local province, throughout Thailand and beyond into neighbouring countries such as Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

 

The Team

Alex Tarr
Country Expert

Meet Alex, our Salsa-dancing, French-speaking dive-addict with one of the world’s most well traveled teddy bears. Alex started her GVI adventure when she was only 18 and instantly became hooked; she’s done the Mexico Marine Expedition, the Thailand Elephant Conservation program and was a GVI ambassador whilst at University.

She’s lived in England, Scotland, Gibraltar, France and South Africa, and traveled the Americas, Canada, Thailand, Mexico and Kenya. With all that travel experience, we asked her what one travel must-have is that she’d recommend for everyone. Her answer? “A home comfort. Everyone knows mine is still my teddy bear!”

What’s Alex’s favorite thing about working at GVI? “Hearing the excitement of new volunteers on the phone. It reminds me of myself before going on my first GVI adventure!”

Alex Mead
Biodiversity Officer

Meet Alex, our Biodiversity Officer in Chiang Mai. He initially joined GVI as a volunteer in Mexico in 2007, before becoming a field staff member in Jalova, Costa Rica, and finally moved to Chiang Mai.

Prior to working for GVI, this Muay Thai practicing scientist worked in England as a conservation ranger and on a research project in Paraguay. Alex’s favorite part of his job? “Getting up close and personal with 3 ton elephants (wow) and getting to know their behavior in their natural habitat.”

How do volunteers help Alex on the project? “Volunteers play a crucial role in data collection, without the strength in numbers they provide, the work simply wouldn’t get done. We all muck in as a team and make it happen.”

Gemma Annan
Base Manager

Meet Gemma, our Base Manager in Chiang Mai. A seasoned volunteer with a degree in wildlife conservation and zoology, she initially joined GVI as a wildlife research intern on one of our South African projects, then volunteered in Thailand before staying on as part of the team.

Gemma’s favorite aspect of her job? “Having the opportunity to observe elephants in the forest every day and knowing that if GVI weren’t in the village, these elephants may still be in camps. Being able to be a part of their reintroduction is amazing!”

Her highlights off being on the project so far? “Witnessing the community welcoming us all in to their homes and lives has been very special. They want us here and welcome us to join them in special ceremonies which is lovely. Also witnessing the new herd of elephants join the forest, especially Lulu (a baby female) who had never experienced the forest before.”

Jill Walker
Assistant Director of Programs

Meet Jill, our Assistant Director of Programs and line manager for Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal, Australia and Kenya programs. ‘Manow’ (lime), as she’s locally known in Thailand where she’s based, taught English, environmental education and art in the USA and Thailand before joining us to set up a TEFL and Community Development Expedition. “I haven’t looked back since!”

When Jill isn’t working, she likes reading or doing just about anything energetic. “I devour books, love cooking and enjoy finding some time to get some exercise – yoga, dancing and aerobics are some of my faves.”

What does Jill like most about her job? “It’s great to see volunteers rising above the cultural and language barriers between themselves and the communities. That, and every day is completely different, which is the way I like it- it keeps me from getting bored.” Being ‘allergic’ to being bored has led to Manow doing some pretty amazing things. “I once ended up spending a week living in a cave with some Buddhist monks while I helped them build a small adobe monk hut.”

Dee Drinya Totrakool
Country Director

Meet Dee, our Country Director for Thailand. When she’s not busy dealing with stakeholders or site visits, Dee likes to be active, either out in the woods or in a gym. “I aim to live healthy happy lifestyle so working out or outdoor activities keep me sane and happy!”

She loves what she does because GVI and its volunteers are contributing directly to local communities. “It’s a proven capacity building program and it’s a self-sustaining way to run a project and give back to local communities.”

Although Dee only joined us in May 2013, she’s already had a major impact on the ground. She describes her proudest accomplishment so far as managing to secure two additional elephants to join GVI’s herd. “It took me almost a month of living in the village in order to talk to the people, following their lead, and making it happen.

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Charitable Trust Climate Offset Contribution

Donate money to GVI’s Chartiable Trust Carbon Offsetting initiative and help reduce the impact of climate change and help communities who are most affected.
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GVI Internship Training Fee - Thailand Chiang Mai

Only available for volunteers who are staying for a minimum of 4 weeks. By doing so, volunteers will receive additional training specifically designed to develop leadership skills and prepare volunteers for a career in the field.
$0.00

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support and discounted services
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • All meals (unless otherwise stated in field manuals)
  • Welcome meeting
  • Location orientation
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter
  • Comprehensive training program that encompasses theory lectures, group study and field practice
  • Required transportation for the duration of your stay
  • Your own room within homestay

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Extra local excursions
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Personal Equipment

Our Impact

Location

Chiang Mai

Surrounded by breathtaking mountainous scenery in northern Thailand, volunteers will quickly ease into a very peaceful way of life that still exists here. Project work itself takes place in Mae Chaem District, a 5-hour journey into the mountains, where the famous Karen elephant-keeping communities reside and who have shared a unique and sacred relationship with elephants for hundreds of years.

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