VOLUNTOURISM A new way to travel and give back!

Costa Rica Orosi Valley

orosivalleyVOLUNTOURISM A new way to travel and give back! Costa Rica Orosi Valley About an hour from the city of San Jose, in a gorgeous, hidden valley (Orosi) rests the tiny community of El Yaz known for its clean water, rich soil eternal, spring-like temperatures (about 75 degrees every day) and organic, agricultural way of life. Although the villagers love their natural paradise they have struggled to make ends meet as even low paying jobs are rare. Most Villagers are not in abject poverty, but have no access to hot water, cars, or the quantity or protein sources to which a North American may be accustomed. Volunteer vacationers in this paradise location stay in one of two side by side mountain top houses.

Built In traditional Costa Rican style, furnished with fans and comfortable beds. These include Western-style bathrooms and showers, and hot water. On the 9-acre property are many fruit trees, spectacular views, hiking paths, many tropical birds, a covered Gazebo social area, basketball court and hammocks.

Volunteers are fed plenty of fresh, healthy, abundant, Costa Rican dishes, heavy with fresh fruits, vegetables, rice and beans, with some chicken egg and beef dishes. Electricity is available, though on a more limited basis than you may be used to at home.

While traveling for business in the late 1990′s, Kimberly Haley-Coleman often found herself in foreign countries with free time on her hands, and a desire to see beyond the traditional tourist attractions.

On one trip to Brazil she remembers looking for short volunteer opportunities but could only find multi week options.

“I found that so many people wanted the same thing I did, but once you’ve got kids, a mortgage and a busy lifestyle, you can’t go and take three weeks off,” says the former global strategist and business development officer whose portfolio Includes “Everyone dreams of going Into the Peace Corps. but that’s a two-and-a–half year commitment.”

In 2000, Haley-Coleman founded Globe Aware, a nonprofit specializing in weeklong service-inspired vacations around the world. Since then, the voluntourism movement has taken hold, and many of the nonprofit and for-profit companies are offering shorter trips catering got busy Westerners with limited vacation days. Most of Globe Aware’s programs are built around a predetermined service project that can be finished In seven days. From installing concrete floors in the homes of Guatemala single mothers to building wheelchairs for Cambodian land mine victims, participants spend 30 to 35 hours working in an immersive environment, with the option of visiting the area’s important attractions in their free time. But even the traditional tourist activities are designed to promote cultural awareness.

“Our volunteers come away with a real understanding of both the beauties and the of a culture,” says Haley-Coleman. “I would argue that’s more Important than the physical projects we work on-being able to make that human connection and understand each other’s view of the world.”

Volunteer Vacation Peru: A Student’s Journal, Day 3

Volunteer Vacation Peru
Founded in 1913, The Hockaday School is an independent college preparatory day and boarding school for girls, pre-kindergarten through 12th Grade. Located on an expansive campus, Hockaday is in the residential area of north Dallas, Texas.

For generations, girls from Texas, from across the United States, and from around the world have lived at Hockaday, learning, gaining friendships, pursuing ambitions, and creating warm memories that last a lifetime.

Among the many good work, community-oriented and educational projects the students are participating in in 2014 is a volunteer vacation with Globe Aware to Peru. This is Hockaday School student Ashna Kumar’s daily account of her journey and experience. Enjoy!

Day 3

Hi Family and Friends,

So on our third day in Peru we got up, had breakfast, and immediately went to work on the project,
digging holes. We dug all morning until lunch where we again went to the same lady’s amazing restaurant. After lunch, we had free time where we could write in our journals or do whatever we want. Then, we spent a lot of time exploring the town and experiencing a new way of life in looking at how they lived. Later, we went to the school and played volleyball and ping pong. After an hour and a half of playing with the children, we went to the local museum and saw many skeletons and mummies found at Marcahuasi, a place in the mountains that the townspeople believe was created by aliens or unearthly beings. After analyzing all of the artifacts we went back to the hotel and had fun washing each other’s hair because we hadn’t showered in a really long time. We washed our hair in a sink on the roof. Then we went back to the school and watched the college boys play a soccer game against the locals. After the game, we processed to a dinner in our honor held by the principal and all of the teachers. We got to try this delicious dessert which was basically fried dough covered in honey. After dinner we went back to the hotel, bonded for a little bit, and went to sleep.
The Peru Crew

Voluntourism Has Made Travel Better

Featured in Delta Sky Magazine‘s June 2014 Innovation Issue,  Chis Clayton has compiled an interesting list of 85 Things That Have Made Travel Better. Number 24 is VOLUNTOURISM:

“Global Travelers are increasingly choosing to mix travel and philanthropy, from building soccer fields to helping orphaned lion cubs. Some well-regarded programs include Roadmonkey, Globe Aware, and Habitat for Humanity …”


Voluntourism Has Made Travel Better and Globe Aware is a leading innovator