Youth volunteer service is prevalent worldwide, though little systematic information exists on its forms and features in the Global South. Anecdotal evidence suggests that programs may embrace principles of positive youth development. The youth may be engaged in substantial, meaningful roles that impact their development while they positively impact others. This descriptive study assessed the forms and institutional features of youth volunteer service in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). A cross-sectional electronic survey was implemented with 374 sponsoring organizations throughout 12 countries in LAC; the organizations sponsored a total of 533 youth volunteer service programs. The programs functionally resemble a positive youth development approach, though the characteristics of the volunteers suggest that they may be more socio-economically advantaged. Implications are drawn for inclusive practices and further research.
Project: Youth Service in Latin America and the Caribbean
McBride, A. M., Johnson, E., Olate, R., & O’Hara, K. (2011). Youth volunteer service as positive youth development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Children & Youth Services Review, 33(1), 34–41. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.08.009