Visit the South Pacific islands of Samoa as a volunteer and see an alternate perspective to those staying at nearby lavish tourist resorts. Our group trips in Samoa are open to anyone with an enthusiasm for volunteering together in the developing world; including those at school, in a community group, at university or working together.
Projects Abroad offer a range of projects within Samoa including Care and / or Teaching, as well as Community Projects; each offering their own unique take on these stunning, tropical islands.
General information on Samoa
Located just south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean, Samoa is a group of islands situated about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. European explorers originally named them the Navigator Islands before the 20th century because of the Samoan’s impressive seafaring skills. The island group fell in to two civil wars towards the end of the 19th century which led to the group of islands being partitioned between the British, the Germans and the United States, hence why the island of Tutuila in the east is now known as American Samoa.
The traditional Samoan way, known as ‘fa’a Samoa’ remains a strong force in all aspects of Samoan life. Despite centuries of European influence, Samoa maintains its language, historical customs, social and political systems. As a group living in Samoa you will have the chance to explore the many facets that make up modern Samoan culture and gain a greater understanding of the issues affecting Samoa today. This may involve joining the locals for a game of kirikiti the local version of cricket, or visiting one of the many festivals celebrating everything from fire dancing to traditional Samoan tattoos.
Where we are based
The city of Apia, where Projects Abroad is based, is the largest city of all the Samoan islands. It’s located on the central north coast of Samoa’s second largest island; Upolu. However despite its size, the city still retains the feeling of a small tall and can be easily explored along the bay on foot.
Our projects are all located in and around the city of Apia. Most visitors to Samoa are unaware that it is on the UN’s least developed countries list and it is the poorer areas of cities like Apia which are most in need of volunteer help.
Depending on the size of your group, you will either stay with a host family or in a local hotel or hostel. Smaller groups, who will get to stay with a host family, will provide you with the warm hospitality that Samoan’s are known for while larger groups will stay in a local hotel so that both work and free time can be arranged and organised easily amongst yourselves. If you are staying in a local hotel, don’t feel like you’re going to miss out on the great culture of these islands, the locals and the staff are very friendly and will always be interested in teaching you the ways of their culture as well as learning everything about yours!
Travel and tourism in samoa
In the evenings and on the weekends, groups will get free time to spend as they please. Whether it’s experiencing first-hand the amazing Samoan culture through music and dancing, exploring the wilds of the islands interior or simply kicking back and putting your feet up in a lazy beach-front hammock, one thing is for sure, your group won’t have any trouble finding something to do.
Groups in Samoa are spoilt for choice in terms of travel opportunities, both at the weekends or after finishing your volunteering placement. Idyllic beaches with diving, snorkelling and blue holes to explore are within a five minute walk from Apia. Also close by are more beaches for diving, surfing or fishing, like the stunning Lalomanu beach. For the more adventurous groups, the islands rugged, emerald-green rainforests are great for hiking and finding hidden gems such as waterfalls, pools and natural waterslides.
Although you could easily spend weeks just exploring Upolu Island, there are nine more main islands within the Samoan archipelago. Manono Island and Savaii are both easily accessible by boat and ferry, and smaller boats will take you on to the quieter outlying islands.