Spring Volunteer Program

For several years, No More Deaths has conducted a spring volunteer program during the month of March. Spring volunteers spend a week in the desert 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
  • Latin@ and immigrant communities and other communities of color
  • Individuals interested in humanitarian aid and border justice


Dates Session 1: March 11-17
Session 2: March 18-24
Session 3: March 25-31
Length of stay One week
Cost $300–450 per person; see volunteer fees
Group size Six people maximum, including faculty and group leaders

We encourage volunteers with the ability to stay a month or longer to consider the regular desert-aid volunteer program.

Important things to know before applying to participate in the 2017 spring program:

  • Individuals who are not a part of a group are absolutely encouraged to apply!
  • 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. This person is responsible for submitting the volunteer-group form on time and making sure that each group member submits their application on time. If the group is invited to come and participate in the program, the group contact person will also be responsible for making sure that all group members pay the volunteer fee in full.
  • 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 groups and individuals accepted to the program must pay their volunteer fees on time.
  • All participants must be present for the start of training. Please plan your travel accordingly! See below for a detailed timeline of the week.
  • All meals during the week will be provided.
  • All volunteers will be camping and are expected to bring their own tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads. A more detailed packing list will be provided upon acceptance to the program.
  • As stated in the FAQ (see “Logistics“), groups of five or more are required 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. This vehicle must be a four-wheel-drive vehicle, as you will be required to drive on some dirt roads. We will provide transportation for groups of four and fewer.
  • During the week, all volunteers will eat and sleep at camp and spend the days out in the field doing food and water drops as well as exploratory hiking for mapping purposes.
  • Some groups and individuals will spend the week at our permanent humanitarian-aid camp near Arivaca, Arizona. Other groups and individuals will spend the week as part of a “mobile camp” near Ajo, Arizona. Having a mobile camp involves packing all camping supplies, food, and humanitarian-aid supplies for the week into our vehicles and setting up a temporary camp in the desert to work out of, either for a few nights or setting up a new camp each night and breaking it down in the morning.
  • For important further details and requirements, see the FAQ that applies to all the volunteer programs, including the spring program.

Steps for applying to the program

  1. Please read all the information above.
  2. Review our volunteer fees.
  3. If you are part of a group, establish a contact person to fill out the volunteer-group form.
  4. Fill out and submit your application. All applications must be submitted by January 20, 2017.
  5. If you are invited to participate in one of the volunteer sessions, you will be notified by the volunteer coordinator by January 27. At this time you will receive more detailed information about how to prepare for your trip. In order to reserve your spot, you must pay the first installment of your volunteer fee by February 3. The remainder is due by March 1.

What will a week volunteering with No More Deaths be like?

Schedule subject to slight changes

1:00 p.m. Volunteers arrive at training site and eat lunch
2:00 p.m. No More Deaths training starts
7:00 p.m. Volunteers eat dinner together at training site
All volunteers spend the night at the training site
6:30 a.m. Volunteers wake up
7:00 a.m. Breakfast is provided
7:30 a.m. NMD facilitators arrive at training site to meet volunteers and pack up trucks
9:00 a.m. Facilitators and volunteers depart for the humanitarian-aid camp or the mobile camp
Volunteers spend the day doing desert-specific trainings
Volunteers spend the week doing water drops and exploratory hikes
8:00 a.m. Volunteers leave the field to travel back to Tucson
11:00 a.m. Volunteers eat lunch together in Tucson
12:45 p.m. Volunteers attend a Streamline session at federal courthouse
4:30 p.m. Volunteers attend a debriefing session
7:00 p.m. Volunteers eat dinner together at the training site
Volunteers spend the night at the training site
8:30 a.m. All volunteers must depart