Overall Rating:/ 10My time spent in Palestine was life changing, and I recommend the experience to any volunteer who wishes to have the most unique and indescribable experience in the world. Here' a bit of an insight to an unconventional volunteer stay.
After volunteering in Ethiopia and Ecuador doing various jobs from teaching to environmental conservation, I have to say that volunteering in Palestine is far more unique than any previous experience I've had. Working in Palestine has opened up my eyes to the nature of conflict and likewise to the nature of the human condition. It’s like taking a step into another world, to see what it’s like to live under occupation. It is not easy to get in, and it can be stressful trying to get out, as you will likely be interrogated both ways, and you will likely be banned from entering or re-entering if you tell the truth about volunteering. Nevertheless, I’d highly recommend this destination for anyone who wishes to be a witness of the controversial atrocities that have been ongoing for decades in this region.
Volunteering in Palestine is not so much about the actual work being done, as much as it is about hearing people’s stories and being a witness of how their basic human rights are neglected on a daily basis. It’s about empathizing with likeminded new friends, and seeing how atrocious institutionalized bigotry can really be. I willfully chose to attend a few “peaceful” demonstrations which happen weekly, and they often go unnoticed by the international community. I encourage any volunteer who wishes to experience something unique to visit Palestine and see for themselves what is going on, or to at least be a secondhand witness to these events by listening to local's stories of injustice. These things are rarely reported in mainstream media outlets accurately, and are truly life changing to witness first hand- or even just to hear about.
Palestine is an incredibly beautiful region, and rich with history, but I believe it is more important to emphasize the undeniably genuine friendliness and hospitality of the Palestinian people who surpass any expectations I had previously held.
The accommodations were absolutely perfect; they allowed me to socialize with several different groups of people just by stepping out of my apartment. Plus having a coffee bistro, library, garden, and underground cave within 30ft of my door within the confines of a safe compound allowed me to process the (sometimes) stressful events of what I had witnessed in a healthy way. Daniel was fantastic with providing me work at various permaculture sites nearby, and he let me be flexible in the volunteer work I wished to do. I only have positive things to say about him as a person as well as his business. His local connections were instrumental in my volunteer stay, allowing me to do everything I wanted in the short time I had.