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Voluntourism Spotlight: Uncover American History in Virginia

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fairfieldIf you’re considering visiting Williamsburg, Virginia, there are many different ways you can immerse yourself in American  history. You can visit Colonial Williamsburg, or you can go the extra step and volunteer with the Fairfield Foundation, an organization that believes in actively discovering (and immersing you) in the past. Check out the voluntourism program below, and remember to tune in to Peter Greenberg Worldwide this weekend for more information. Plus, don’t forget to check out our archive for all kinds of voluntourism opportunities.

The people who run the Fairfield Foundation believe that the past is best understood by “doing” history—by becoming an active participant in discovering the lives of everyday people. Archaeology is the cornerstone of the Fairfield Foundation’s research and outreach activities. Its goal is to learn about the past through the physical examination of the landscape and the recovery of artifacts from every period of human occupation.

The Fairfield Foundation is considered an  essential component in the educational process of  Williamsburg’s history, dating back 400 years. Over the last decade alone, the Fairfield Foundation has uncovered and studied large clay borrow pits, slave quarters, and extensive enclosed gardens, in addition to the foundations of the manor house, which represents an important landmark of 17th century architectural design.

When you volunteer, the foundation puts you to work in a number of interactive ways. There’s a Tuesday evening “Lab Night,” where volunteers can aid in the process of washing, sorting, sifting, and labeling the actual artifacts. Additionally, you can  assist in preservation and restoration activities.

 No prior experience is necessary. The Fairfield Foundation even offers regular and ongoing archaeological dig opportunities for small or large groups.

Want to help uncover some history yourself? Check out the current volunteer events on the Events page of the website. You can also email them at, or call them at (804) 815-4467.

For more information about other voluntourism opportunities, visit:

By Brittany Malooly for