Located at the Northeast Asia, this land of blue sky is a sure destination that allows one to experience a nomadic way of living and a unique culture. Mongolia is the second largest landlocked country in the world and is known for its continental climate with long cold winters and short cool-to-hot summers. The landscape in Mongolia is breathtakingly composed of upland steppes, semi-deserts, deserts, and pasturelands.
What to do in Mongolia?
VoLUNTEER IN A COMMUNITY
There are many opportunities to volunteer and help in the community such as through cleaning, painting and minor construction repairs.
Teams can volunteer at a local public school outside of the city and help run English camps for the neighborhood students. Students love being able to practice their English and improve their learning with volunteers.
WORK AT THE ORPHANAGE
YMCA has adopted an orphanage where children ages 8-16 live and are cared for by a local pastor and his family. Volunteers can do green projects around the orphanage's property, help with repairs and upkeep of the orphanage building and work with the children with craft projects, games and other learning activities. Teams can also stay at the orphanage's guesthouse, which helps support the work of the orphanage.
Ger building and Naadam festival
Teams can learn about the traditional felt tents that Mongolians have lived in for centuries by helping to build their own Ger. They can also participate in their own Naadam festival, an annual cultural event that celebrates the three traditional sports of Mongolia- wrestling, archery and horseback riding.
Teams can travel to the countryside to stay with Mongolian families in the gers (yurts/traditional felt tents) and learn about rural life through cultural exchange.
Teams can hike various mountain routes around the Ulaanbaatar area and help with cleaning up garbage on the trails and learn about recycling and other environmental issues impacting Mongolia and its natural environment.
HORSEBACK RIDING AND CAMPING
Teams can travel to Terelj National Park and stay at one of the camps located in the park (varies from gers to more hotel-style rooms). Day-long horseback rides are offered through the park, with Mongolian guides leading the way.
Teams can kayak down the Tuul River and see the natural beauty of Mongolia from this unique vantage point.
PUBLIC SCHOOL CONNECTION
Teams can be connected with local public schools to learn about the state of public education in Mongolia and support the school and its students as it best determined by the school leaders and the YMCA. In the past this has looked like bringing school supplies to distribute to students and helping to build and care for the school dormitories.
GOBI DESERT EXPEDITION
Teams can arrange to travel to the Gobi Desert to see the beautiful desert landscapes and experience the adventures of sand dunes and camels.
Khusvgul Lake expedition
Teams can arrange to travel to the largest lake in Mongolia and take in the beauty of water in a landlocked country. This is one of the most popular natural attractions in Mongolia.
An annual cultural event that celebrates the three traditional sports of Mongolia- wrestling, archery and horseback riding.