Desert Aid Volunteer Program

Interested in applying? Check the schedule for your application deadline, then follow the application steps.


No More Deaths has structured its desert aid volunteer program to enable volunteers to come at any time of the year, not just the summer and spring months. We are motivated by the recognition that running a humanitarian-aid camp year-round requires the ongoing support of new volunteers.

Times of year August–February, April–May; sessions begin on the first Sunday of the month
length of stay One month or longer

The Desert Aid volunteer program is limited to four volunteers at any time and requires a volunteer commitment of at least one month. Our capacity for training, hosting, and supporting volunteers is limited; we are not able to accommodate large groups, nor individuals who cannot stay for at least one month. Please consider the spring or summer volunteer program instead.


Please note the application deadline for your desired start date. We add dates to the application as soon as we are ready to begin taking applications for those sessions. Please wait to apply until dates are added.

Session start date Session end date Application deadline
Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

[March 2020: 3 Week-long sessions]

1-Sat, March 7th

2-Sat, March 14th

3-Sat, March 21st

April 2020 [TBD]

Friday, February 28th, 2020

[March 2020: 3 Week-long sessions]

1- Friday, March 13th

2-Friday, March 20th

3-Friday, March 27th

April 2020 [TBD]

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

[March 2020: 3 Week-long sessions]

1-Fri, January 24th

2-Fri, January 24th

3-Fri, January 24th


Please note that you will need to commit to stay for the entire session or sessions that you are accepted for.

Trainings are held on the first Sunday of every month. New volunteers must arrive in Tucson by this date for training, after which they begin volunteering.

We ask that volunteers in the month-long program be flexible and available to plug in as needed. Work will vary based on a variety of factors, including the capacity of our long-term volunteers and conditions on the ground in Arizona. The work may involve trips to the desert camp in Arivaca, desert-aid trips in Ajo and other areas, supporting projects based in Tucson, and/or excursions into northern Mexico. Volunteers can take breaks at our apartment in Tucson.

Steps for applying

  1. Please read all the information above. Also review the FAQ.
  2. Find someone from a grassroots organization you have worked with or been involved with (activist collective, nonprofit, advocacy group, volunteer/community-service organization, etc.) to write you a letter of reference. Ask them to fill out a reference form for you before the application deadline. Recommendation forms for March week-long programming can be found here.
  3. By the application deadline, submit an application. March week-long applications can be found here.
  4. Wait to hear back from the volunteer coordinator. We get a high volume of applications and can only accept eight volunteers per session. Expect to hear back from us within a week and a half after the application deadline.