I graduated from college last year and am looking for a meaningful experience working or volunteering abroad. I want to go somewhere hot (at least during summer/fall time), cheap, and with unique scenery. Vaguely I thought about Central America, Africa or Southeast Asia. Does anyone have any ideas or information?
If you are a U.S. citizen you can try the Peace Corps.
And If you're not US? Peace Corps sounds really cool, is there an equivalent for non-US people?
Is that not just a British thing? Is there such a thing as an EU - type thing for countries outside Europe?
I don't recommend large multinationals as they tend to cost a heap as funds get diluted through the organisation, as well as going through lengthy bureaucratic procedures. Look for an organisation that is based in the local country.
I recently did a placement in Nepal which is an amazing country - it's reasonably hot for most of the year (unless you're in the peaks) and you've got the Himalayas for unique scenery (and believe me, it is unique!). The country itself is cheap but as for the price of the program that heavily depends on the organisation - the cheapest way is probably to just go to the country and find an organisation in person. Often where most work is needed are places where they lack the skills or resources to maintain a website etc. This probably goes for any country.
I did my work with www.infonepal.org which is mainly focused on teaching English, children's resource centres and orphanages. It does have a price tag attached, but not as high as most of the large organisations - had a great experience though.
I also met a guy called Declan in a pub in Kathmandu who's been living there for 4 years- it happens he ran a very small, but local organisation that is free and focuses on getting Nepali street kids off the streets and back with families/education systems. website was www.just-one.org - it seems very interesting.
You may not be interested in Nepal, but I think they are some good examples of what ya might look for.
For Asia, countries popular for volunteers would include Vietnam, India, Cambodia...maybe Laos/Thailand (not sure). I think it may be best to look at countries of interest first, then try get in contact with people who have been and/or worked there.
Check for volunteer program is Salta (argentina) at http://www.voluntarios.tripod.com
Vso is international based. They have recruitment offices in Canada, UK, Holland, Philippines, KEnya and India. Be warned though, its not easy
How do you mean it's not easy?
What kind of stuff do they do?