Spring volunteer program

The information below applies to the 2020 program. We will not be hosting  a spring break program in 2021.

Interested in applying? Read the information below, including the program expectations, then follow the application steps.

**The application deadline for the 2020 Spring volunteer program has been extended to January 24**


For several years, No More Deaths has conducted a spring volunteer program during the month of March. Spring volunteers spend a week with our Desert Aid project providing direct humanitarian aid. The program emphasizes experiential learning.

Our hope is to engage many different groups in the spring program, such as:

  • Student groups on spring break
  • Community, social-justice, and faith-based groups involved in border resistance and migrant justice
  • Latinx and immigrant communities and other communities of color
  • Individuals interested in humanitarian aid and border justice
Time of year March; one-week sessions
Length of stay One week
Location Training in Tucson, Arizona
Field work in Ajo or Arivaca, Arizona
Group size Eight people maximum, including faculty and group leaders

Individuals who are not a part of a group are absolutely encouraged to apply. We encourage volunteers with the ability to stay a month or longer to consider the month-long volunteer program.


Please note the application deadline for your desired start date. We add spring dates to the application around November. Please wait to apply until dates are added.

Session start date Session end date Application deadline
Saturday, March 7, 2020 Friday, March 13, 2020 January 24, 2020
Saturday, March 14, 2020 Friday, March 20, 2020 January 24, 2020
Saturday, March 21, 2020 Friday, March 27, 2020 January 24, 2020

All volunteers must attend a training before starting their volunteer work with us. Please plan to stay for the entire duration of your session.

A sample weekly schedule is available.


  • The maximum group size is six. This includes faculty and group leaders. Unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions.
  • All groups of two or more people must establish a group contact person (on the application). Any program participant may contact the volunteer coordinator with questions or concerns, but the group contact person will be the main person in communication with the volunteer coordinator about major group logistics.
  • All group members must submit their own application as an individual and indicate which group they are with.
  • All participants must be present for the start of training. Please plan your travel accordingly!
  • All volunteers will be camping and are expected to bring their own tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads if possible, we also have the Gila Gear Lending Library if you don’t own something! A more detailed packing list will be provided upon acceptance to the program.
  • As stated in the FAQ, groups of five or more are asked to provide (rent, borrow, etc.) their own vehicle for transportation to and from the airport as well as to and from our volunteer sites throughout the week. We will provide transportation for groups of four and fewer.
  • There are no volunteer fees, however once accepted, we will ask for a refundable $50 deposit. In the past we have had a high number of last minute cancellations that have hindered our ability to do humanitarian aid during March, this deposit will be refunded when you arrive. 
  • For important further details and requirements, see the FAQ that applies to all the volunteer programs, including the spring program.

Steps for applying

  1. Please read all the information above. Review the FAQ and the sample weekly schedule.
  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. Fill out and submit your application. All applications must be submitted by January 24, 2020.

What next?

If you are invited to participate in one of the volunteer sessions, you will be notified by the volunteer coordinator January 31st.  At this time you will receive more detailed information about how to prepare for your trip and to pay your refundable $50 deposit.