Desert Aid Volunteer Program

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

COVID-19 UPDATE: We are re-launching our Desert Aid Volunteer Program. Please review our FAQs prior to applying.


No More Deaths maintains a year-round humanitarian presence in the borderlands of southwest Arizona. We work in remote corridors where Prevention Through Deterrence has pushed migration routes, hiking the trails and leaving water, food, socks, blankets, and other supplies. Under the direction of our medical team, volunteers provide emergency first-aid treatment to individuals in distress.

As a month-long or Desert Aid volunteer, you will work alongside trained long-term NMD volunteers, as well as a cohort of new local volunteers. You will be based in the southwest desert, doing humanitarian aid drops in remote areas as well as helping to maintain a consistent presence at our 24/7 humanitarian aid camp.

The Desert Aid volunteer program is limited to three volunteers at any time and requires a volunteer commitment of at least one month. Our capacity for training, hosting, and supporting volunteers is limited. Please note that program dates are firm, and we are unable to accommodate volunteers outside of our structured programming listed below. If you’re interested in being a desert aid volunteer, please see more information below about the application process.


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. You will be notified about your application status within a week and a half of the application deadline.

Month Program Start & End Date Application
August 2021 Desert Aid Month-long Sunday, 08/08 – Friday, 9/03 Deadline: Closed.
September 2021 Desert Aid Month-long Sunday, 09/05 – Friday, 10/01 Deadline: Closed.
October 2021 Desert Aid Month-long Sunday, 10/10 – Friday, 11/05 Deadline: Closed.
November 2021 Desert Aid Month-long Sunday, 11/07 – Friday, 12/03 Deadline: Closed.
December 2021 Desert Aid Month-long Sunday, 12/05 – Friday, 12/31 Deadline: October 1st, 2021
Application link here.
December 2021 Desert Aid Month-long Sunday, 1/02 – Friday, 1/28 Deadline: November 1st, 2021
Application link here.

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 the day before the training.

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 volunteer house 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.
  3. Submit an application by the deadline.
  4. Wait to hear back from the volunteer coordinator. We get a high volume of applications and can only accept three volunteers per session. Expect to hear back from us within a week and a half after the application deadline.