Holidays That Help

AW Media Inc. of Austin, Texas publishes austinwoman Magazine, Austin Man Magazine, Pink Pages, Guide to Good Health and produces an annual AW Aniversary Event as well as numerous other events throughout the year. In the April 2014 edition of austinwoman Magazine, the focus was on volunteer travel and vacations and on Dallas’ own Globe Aware.

Holidays That Help

Want to take a holiday that benefits the world? Here' s how to do it right.

By Carla Avolio

volunteer-vacations-for-WomenIt was during a trip to Croatia' s gorgeous, glittering coast that Misha Donohoe realized she wasn' t enjoying her holiday.
"I just had this uneasy feeling that I wasn' t contributing," says the science communicator and travel lover. "The culture there is so rich and yet, by doing the typical touristy thing, I was just an outsider. I really wanted a holiday where I could give to a society rather than take away from it." For Donohoe, the solution was to combine travel with volunteering. She signed up with WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and went to work on a goat farm in the Yukon, on Canada' s Western frontier.
"I forged deep connections with the land and people, which made my stay so much richer than your average holiday," she says.
Donohoe is one of millions of travelers who are seeking more from their vacations than the usual sightseeing and relaxation. This growing breed of conscious traveler wants to know that spending their tourist dollars somewhere might also mean that wildlife is better protected, more homes are built in disaster-ravaged communities or fewer trees are cut down.
It' s a concept that has been gaining momentum since the early 1980s when the term "eco-tourism" was first coined. Defined by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people," eco-tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global travel industry, increasing 20 to 30 percent every year, according to TIES.
While eco-tourism generally focuses on natural areas, another increasingly popular form of tourism seeks to help people in need. Volunteer vacations, also known as "voluntourism," see philanthropic travelers combining short-term travel with contributing labor or skills. Unlike simply donating money, volunteering shows you exactly how your efforts are helping to build wheelchairs for landmine victims or more village schools. And it' s no longer just for skilled professionals like doctors and engineers. The volunteering industry now offers a wealth of opportunities for all kinds of passionate and adventurous people. With the huge growth in this sector, there are literally thousands of eco-lodges and charities offering holiday experiences for conscious travelers. So how do you know where to go? To find out, we asked the experts to list their top tips on doing conscious traveling the right way.

ENGINEERING ECO-TRAVEL

volunteer-travel-for-WomenAndy Drumm, a sustainable tourism and eco-tourism expert who has been working with indigenous communities for more than two decades, says while many tour companies offer trips to natural areas, sadly, most are contributing to the pressures rather than helping.
"Surprisingly, it' s usually the cheaper tours that actually pass on benefits to the community and environment, rather than just to the tourists," he says.

  • Drumm suggests asking the following questions to identify responsible operators: R How do they contribute to conservation? For example, do they give money back to conservation projects and national parks in the areas they visit? Legitimate operators should provide clear evidence of this on their websites.
  • Do they engage local communities? Responsible operators will provide social benefits to the indigenous community either by hiring local guides, contributing financially or providing skills training. They also should have safeguards in place to protect the cultural integrity of the community.
  • Where are you staying? Accommodation must have sound waste-management strategies and employ sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind or hydro.

ECO-OPERATORS MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The Cultural Experience: Huaorani Ecolodge, Ecuador

This multi-award-winning operation, conceptualized and developed by Drumm, is the gold standard in eco-tourism. Tucked in to a remote corner of the Amazon jungle, the lodge is owned and operated by the Huaorani, an indigenous tribe that has been in contact with the outside world for less than 60 years. This truly environmentally and socially sustainable operation provides visitors with a rare glimpse in to the culture of one of the most isolated tribes on earth.

  • Do: Huao-guided rainforest hikes, kayaking and experiencing the Huaorani way of life.
  • Sleep: one of five palm-thatched cabins built by the Huaorani from wood handpicked by a forest engineer.
  • Operated by: Tropic Journeys in Nature, an award-winning eco-tourism company specializing in Ecuador. destinationecuador.com

Austin-Woman-2014 Page 4With 10 days of elephant spotting, bush walking and sipping gin and tonics at sunset, this trip has all the trappings of a luxe safari. But don' t be fooled; conservation is the main goal of this eco-tourism experience. Ingwe Leopard Research teamed up with a tour company to create an unbeatable trip that raises awareness and funds for threatened leopards

  • Do: game drives, bush walks, behind-thescenes tour at a wildlife rehabilitation center, setting camera traps to help track leopard movements
  • Sleep: stylish, tented camps with plunge pool overlooking a mountain gorge
  • Operated by: Tribes, a U.K.-based tour operator offering tailor-made eco-holidays. tribes.co.uk

VACATIONS WITH A PURPOSE

Kimberly Haley-Coleman, executive director of volunteering site Globe Aware, says there are countless benefits to voluntourism, from gaining deeper cultural understanding, to increased personal happiness.

"It' s such a unique, fulfilling sense of empowerment that there' s simply nothing else like it!" she says.

To gain the experience of a lifetime, Haley-Coleman suggests considering the following:

  • What' s your story? Good organizations will assess your interests, language skills and how much travel you' ve done before suggesting a destination. For example, an English speaker who' s never left the U.S. might be better matched to Puerto Rico than Cambodia. Deciding on a culture is probably more important than the type of volunteer service, be it building homes in Nepal or stoves in Peru
  • Show me the money. Volunteering organizations charge a huge fee, so you should find out how much of this is actually going to the community versus administration costs of placing volunteers. All nonprofits are required to publish their financials, which you can read on the website Guide Star. guidestar.org
  • They know best. Make sure the volunteer project has been determined by the community rather than a foreign charity. It' s far more likely that your work will have real benefits that way
  • Safety first. Your selected organization should come with medical insurance, liability insurance and a crisis plan in the event of a disaster.

The Visionaries:

Zábalo Cofán Community, Ecuador

Eco-tourism is just one of many innovative programs coming from the Cofán indigenous community in Northeastern Ecuador. In addition to tours, the Cofán run programs for training local rangers to protect 1 million acres of land, turtle repopulation, carbon management and making sustainable eco-canoes using traditional methods.

  • Do: trekking, canoeing, fishing, rainforest camping.
  • Sleep: swinging hammocks strung up in thatched roof huts.
  • Operated by: Cofan Survival Fund. cofan.org

TOP TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED

The book: Recently updated in 2012, Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others by Bill McMillon is packed with 150 in-depth profiles of select organizations.
The website: Catering to families and the time-poor, Globe Aware offers weeklong programs in 15 countries. globeaware.org
The international option: In Habitat for Humanity' s international program, Global Village, volunteers build and renovate homes to create sustainable communities throughout the world. habitat.org
The domestic option: The American Hiking Society offers 60 volunteer vacations each year, contributing to the beautification of trails in America' s most iconic natural landscapes. americanhiking.org
On the cheap: While volunteering usually comes with a hefty fee, Peace Corps (peacecorps.gov) pays you a stipend for 27 months service and WWOOF (wwoof.org) provides board and lodging in exchange for a day' s work on the farm.

 

AUSTINWOMANMAGAZINE.COM

You’re Retired? How to Volunteer Overseas

volunteer-vacation-peruAugust 16, 2013 – 2:30 AM
By Susan Ladika

Remember when you were young and idealistic, and wanted to make a difference in the world?

Now that you' re retired, you have your chance.

Baby boomers and members of the Silent Generation are flocking overseas to take part in volunteer vacations.

You' ll be in good company if you head abroad to volunteer. Those age 65 and older are the fastest-growing group of international volunteers, soaring nearly 75 percent, from about 73,000 in 2008 to 127,000 in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau' s Current Population Survey. For those between the ages of 55 and 64, the number of people volunteering internationally jumped from about 102,000 in 2004 to 161,000 in 2012.

Where to look

So how do you find opportunities to volunteer abroad?

There are two good places to start " the Internet and a religious organization. In fact, of all those who volunteered abroad, regardless of age, nearly half were connected to a religious organization, the Census Bureau found.

You' ll find opportunities detailed online with organizations connected to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Islamic faiths, or perhaps with your own church, synagogue or mosque.

Your other option is to plop yourself in front of your computer to search out organizations, and you' ll come up with a wealth of opportunities. These were recommended by SavvySenior.org founder Jim T. Miller on The Huffington Post:

  • Earthwatch Institute. "Expeditions" focus on environmental research and conservation.
  • Globe Aware. This group offers volunteer vacations of a week or more.
  • Global Volunteers. It offers volunteer vacations of one to three weeks.
  • Road Scholar. This group used to be known as Elderhostel.
  • Habitat for Humanity. You can volunteer with this well-known charity overseas.
  • Another site we recommend is Projects Abroad.

What to expect

Where you go and what you' ll be doing on your volunteer vacation depends on your own interests and skills. You can find opportunities in dozens of countries, from Poland to Peru.

You might be able to tap into the skills you' ve honed in your professional life, or choose something that simply appeals to you. Tutoring, general labor, mentoring youth and providing medical care are some of the most common ways that volunteers spend their time abroad, the Census Bureau survey found.

Once you' ve found something that piques your interest, you' ll need to fill out an application for that position.

In many cases you' ll work alongside locals as you do your tasks, so not only will you be able to share your skills with others, you' ll likely be developing new skills, while having the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture. Many programs also set aside time so you can take part in cultural activities.

What are the costs

It often will cost you a couple of thousand dollars to volunteer for a week or two abroad. Typically that will cover your accommodations, food and local transportation, and you' ll usually need to pay your airfare separately.

If it' s not included in the fee you pay to the organization, make sure to purchase travel insurance in case your travel plans go awry, and health insurance if your coverage doesn' t apply overseas.

While the costs of an international volunteer vacation may seem steep, because you' re volunteering with a nonprofit you' ll be able to deduct your expenses from your taxes.

Retirees, does the idea of volunteering in a foreign country appeal to you? Have you done it? Share your experience on our Facebook page.

MoneyTalks News

Hard at work in Cambodia

by Hilary Whitesides

When over 60 Vivint volunteers traveled to Cambodia recently, they didn' t know exactly what to expect, but they knew they wanted to work hard.

"I was super pleased to see our teams put to work' seriously hard work," said volunteer Neal Rogers.

Vivint volunteers partnered with Globe Aware, a non-profit organization that organizes short-term international service projects that encourage cultural awareness as well as giving back. Volunteers were able to enjoy the environment, associate with people native to the area, and provide incredibly important services to people in need.

On day one of the service trip, volunteers delivered water filters to families in a floating city that were in serious need of water filtration. But that was just the beginning. The volunteers then painted a community center, taught English classes at local schools, and built wheel chairs for landmine survivors. Perhaps most impressive of all, however, were the latrines volunteers dug to ensure clean sanitation and the new buildings they built for a local orphanage.

"I have never been a part of something that brought so many people together to do that much good in a short amount of time," Rogers said. "I think our teams got as much out of the experience as the Cambodians we helped did."

vivint blog

Spring break trips with a difference

cusco casa del corazone thumbGeorgina Cruz, special correspondent with the Orlando Sentinel, looked at volunteer vacations and the upside of a “voluntourism” vacation in a February 13, 2014 article:

Spring into service with a “voluntourism” vacation. You can mix with the locals, living and working in communities on a variety of projects and activities, from teaching English to caring for youngsters in orphanages, taking part in community improvement projects or conservation efforts.

Trips are generally short-term: one-, two- and three-weeks in length, though some companies can arrange for longer service periods. Typically, no prior experience is necessary to participate.

Cruz spotlighted Globe Aware’s program to the Inca city of Cuzco in Peru:

Globe Aware Adventures In Service: This non-profit has been developing short-term volunteer programs internationally for 15 years. Trips are intended to promote cultural awareness and/or sustainability. The organization’s criteria for choosing projects include trips that are safe, culturally interesting, genuinely beneficial to a needy community, and that involve significant interaction between participants and the host community. Optional cultural excursions are available on every program. Among the organization’s service trips this season are programs to the Inca city of Cuzco in Peru, near the legendary Lost City of Machu Picchu. Visit globeaware.org.

 

Orlando Sentinel

Globe Aware in Guatemala

Globe Aware in Guatemala.
The project Ix-is based in El Remate, Peten, Guatemala, a small lakeside community, located midway between the International Airport in Flores and the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal (30 km.)
History
Project began in August 1995 in a small lakeside building loaned by a local resident. In late 1996, Eduardo Cofiño purchased over 2 manzanas of land for ongoing development.
In 1999, the funding for the present clinic building was donated by the Rice Millers Association of Guatemala, and the Grand Opening was held in February, 2000.
In February of 2004, a new building to house the Library & Computer Center was funded by Friends from Calgary, Alberta.
In January of 2005, a group of village women, under the direction of Global Coalition for Peace, began learning techniques of Square Foot Gardening and composting, to improve general nutrition and to prepare to teach gardening in other villages.
In 2007, Friends of Ix-canaan and the Wild Rose Foundation, under the coordination of the Ayudamos Foundation, funded the new Ix-canaan Women' s Center.
In November of 2007, AGAT Labs of Calgary, Alberta funded a laboratory in the middle section of the Clinic Building where many basic tests can now be done to diagnose patients.Offering programs of Health, Education and Opportunity, to enable the people of the jungles to become truly “IX-CANAAN … the Guardians of the Rainforest”
News and Blog Posts

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Self

Family Volunteer Vacation in Cambodia

our family and meangs familyA Dallas family' s week-long volunteer vacation in Cambodia harvested a new global perspective for their four children, ages 10-17. Feeling that their kids were at an age where they were ready for a different type of travel experience, parents Stan and Lezlie decided a family service trip with Globe Aware was the perfect fit for them. Their goals were two-fold: to have their children understand that satisfaction and happiness are not tied to material wealth, and to have them understand that humans are the same around the world and that we all have more in common than differences. Prior to departing, Lezlie and Stan discussed expectations with their children to help prepare them for the poverty and difficult scenes they might encounter during their trip. While the children may have been ready for the work they would do and the people they would meet, nothing could have prepared them for the overall eye-opening experience that would ultimately change their lives.

For their volunteer project, the family spent time building a well for the community, assembling and distributing wheel chairs to landmine victims, and teaching English at Friends of the Orphan Children Organization (FOCO), a local non-governmental organization that provides schooling for disadvantaged children in Siem Reap. It was during their time at the school that the family became intimately acquainted with the richness and reality of the Cambodian culture.

Claudia, the family' s 15 year old, was taken aback by the positivity of the Cambodians amidst their living conditions. Over 30 children both attended school and lived together in a small facility that Claudia quickly realized was not even half the size of her entire house. Yet despite their living conditions and lack of material luxuries, the children were full of joy, respectful, and welcoming to friends and strangers. Caiden, the family' s youngest, also noticed the unquenchable joy of the Cambodians: "The kids in Cambodia are different from the kids here in the U.S. because they are just happy, and kids here always want more. They were always smiling, even when they had to go help work."

our-famiy-and-meang-at-wellDuring English lessons, the family members each had a chance to spend time with students, learn about their lives, and get to know more about who they are. One particular young girl stood out to the family. Full of smiles and giggles, her tiny frame exuded to all those around her a contagious joy that would have deceived anyone of her traumatic past. Although she looked no older than four years old, the family discovered from one of the FOCO staff that she was actually nine, and further learned that she came from an abusive past and a tragically broken family.

Filled with sorrow for the girl' s heartrending story and a desire for justice, the family was moved to consider how they might further enrich these children' s lives. The school had recently commenced a new project to expand the facilities but was restricted to complete the work within a certain time period, even though the necessary funds were not available. Stan and Lezlie consulted their family for how they would like to help, and they unanimously agreed they would love to contribute to the funding of the school' s new building.

well-family-and-chanda-and-usMotivating the family' s decision to help the children was the relentless reminder of the differences between their own lifestyle and that of the Cambodians. As Claudia describes, "We saw the difference " I have two computers, a cell phone, an air mattress, an iPhone, an iPad " and, these kids, all they have a long bench of wood for a bed with a picnic covering, two shelves in a room, and some books. Fifteen kids slept in a room just the size of my room."

Both Claudia and her 17-year-old sister, Maggie, recognize that because of their age, their 10- and 13-year-old brothers, Caiden and Liam, may not have fully grasped the impact of poverty on the Cambodian people. But everyone agrees that having young volunteers on the trip made the experience all the richer. As the same age as most of the students, Caiden and Liam were able to relate with them in a special way, offering a unique connection. Liam explains his perspective on the experience: "It was really hard to understand how the Cambodians lived compared to how I live. The biggest difference was the way they acted " everyone was so happy and nice, as happy as the richest people over here. It was really different from what I was used to and eye opening to how privileged I am."

Walking away from the trip, the children of the family all realized that there is something rich and fulfilling in the lives of the Cambodians that the American culture may not have tapped into yet. Reflecting on this mystery, Claudia profoundly noted "I think they are so happy because they don' t have to worry about the social media and the money and the business and famous people and the media. It makes life so much more simple and so much more meaningful than getting a like on a Facebook picture." Even more notably, Maggie and Claudia were both impacted by the appreciation for education they saw from the Cambodian children. The girls were inspired that rather than complaining or begrudgingly go to school, as their peers often do, the kids were eager to learn and excited to soak up all the knowledge they could.

wheelchair-recipients-group-shotIn addition to funding the school project, the family' s help with FOCO in Cambodia has not halted since their return. Unable to shake the now-familiar realities of young children who live off a dollar a day and possess only one outfit to wear for the week, the four children have been inspired to continue their support of the students at FOCO. As Maggie recaps, "The work the school does is of such a benefit to the lives of these children and their communities, and the teachers and staff are really fun and caring people. I am so happy and grateful that I was able to be involved in this school, and I hope to continue to help even while in Dallas." And help she has, as she is currently in the planning stages of launching a literacy and pen pal project to connect peers at her school with students at FOCO.

Assuredly, any parent would be proud to hear their child respond to a volunteer experience with the openness, positivity, and initiative that this family' s children have demonstrated. But the development of characteristics like cultural awareness and generosity can only be attributed to the children' s first-hand observation of authentic parents who demonstrate compassion for humankind and a desire to contribute to other cultures. It is thanks to commendable parents such as these that global citizens rise up and take action to change the world.
 

 

Self

Traveling With Purpose

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Summer 2013 Reserve Magazine by Clare Curley "Traveling with Purpose: Volunteer Vacations"

Three years ago Kimberly Haley-Coleman and her two young daughters, then 4 and 6, took an unlikely trip. They traveled from Dallas, Texas, to southeast Ghana and immersed themselves in the local culture while building educational facilities for the children there.

Haley-Coleman ' Executive Director of Globe Aware, a nonprofit organization that plans volunteer vacations in Asia, Latin America, Ghana and Romania ' says trips like this have instilled in her daughters a unique cultural awareness. "They don' t take for granted that their way of doing things is necessarily the right way," she adds.

The volunteer travel market, also known as "voluntourism," offers an increasing diversity of niches for such philanthropic-minded travelers. "Volunteer vacations are definitely on more people' s radar," says International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) Executive Director Genevieve Brown. Every year thousands of travelers roll up their sleeves and lend a hand on projects ranging from wildlife conservation in Kenya to assembling wheelchairs for landmine victims in Cambodia.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about volunteer vacations.

Q: How can I be sure the trip is in my comfort zone?

A: Even if you’re open to stepping out of your comfort zone, it' s important to consider the kind of environment that' s suitable for you. Accommodations vary greatly between programs, from homestays and modest hotels to luxurious, high-end cottages. Decide if you’d be comfortable in rural settings or staying in facilities without running water. "Even if you extensively travel abroad, you' re going to experience culture shock," Brown says.

Organizations should be able to provide ample

information on their trips and might even put you in contact with past participants. Asking these three questions will also help assess the quality of the program:

  1. How are the projects chosen?
  2. How long have you worked in the community?
  3. Why did you choose this particular community?

A well-researched volunteer trip can be as personally fulfilling as it is culturally enlightening. The right combination can be a real adventure.

U.S. Bank is not responsible for and does not guarantee the products, services or performance of its affiliates or third party providers.

Please see important information below.
– See more at: http://reservemagazine.usbank.com/lifestyle/volunteer-vacations?page=3#sthash.jfN6TxJo.dpuf

Self

Volunteer trips that actually help

peru-volunteer-vacationsGreat CNN.com story from 2010 on volunteer vacations and finding the one that fits right and provides the greatest benefits to the destination community:

The idea of volunteering away from home seems like a win-win to many travelers: a way to experience and help another community at the same time. But without a solid, well-designed program and reasonable expectations, volunteer travel can do more harm than good.

Showing up in parts unknown, hoping to make a big difference in a small amount of time, is likely to leave travelers and hosts disappointed.

“You’re not going to change the world in a week or two. You’re not going to eradicate poverty in a village. You’re not going to teach a kid how to read,” said Doug Cutchins, a former Peace Corps volunteer and co-author of “Volunteer Vacations: Short-term Adventures That Will Benefit You and Others."

The key to having a positive impact in a short amount of time is realizing that your efforts are part of a process, Cutchins said. Results are subtle and come about slowly through a long line of volunteers.

“Development is a tricky process, and as Americans we are very, very product-oriented,” he said.

He’s concerned with what he calls “development by monument,” where volunteers want a completed building or another physical representation of their volunteer efforts to answer the inevitable “what did you accomplish?” question from friends and family at home.

“That’s one of the first questions you’re going to get asked, and it’s hard sometimes for people to say, ‘well, I was kind of part of a process, and we engaged in cultural exchange.’ But that’s really the very best way to do it,” Cutchins said.

Daniela Papi agrees. She is one of the founders of PEPY, a non-governmental organization dedicated to educational development in rural Cambodia. PEPY Tours hosts learning trips that help fund the group’s projects.

The organization has gone from referring to those trips as “voluntourism” to calling them “edu-tourism” or “educational adventures."

“The number one thing that’s going to happen is that you are going to have a new perspective on your country, on your life, on your choices and how they affect the world, on what it means to live in whatever country that is,” Papi said.

The 10 days or so spent traveling and learning would ideally inform participants’ choices and outlook at home, where they will have the largest impact, Papi said.

Finding volunteer trips that actually help – CNN.com http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/05/31/voluntourism.tips/index.html 1 of 3 5/7/2013 1:47 PM Teaching English and construction projects are the most common types of voluntourism projects Papi sees in her region. Travelers involved in a construction voluntourism project should ask the operator and organizations involved about the plans for the structure when the volunteers go home, she cautions. Who is going to take care of it, who will work in it, how will they be trained, and who will fund the training? A poorly constructed school without trained teachers isn’t likely to have the benefits volunteers envision. And in the case of teaching English, who will teach the children when there are no volunteers, and what effect does a revolving-door model of teaching have on kids? Successful projects start with the needs of the community, voluntourism organizers say.

“We don’t go in and say, ‘this is what your problem is, and this is how we’re going to fix it,’ ” said Catherine McMillan, a spokeswoman for Globe Aware, a nonprofit that develops short-term volunteer programs.

Members of the community should be involved in identifying and addressing areas where partner organizations can help.

The organization you’re working with should have a strong and ongoing relationship with the community, local non-governmental organizations and project leaders on the ground.

“It’s a complicated kind of tourism, because you don’t want to send folks and do something and then not have, not measure the consequences of that action in the long term,” said Erica Harms, director of the Tourism Sustainability Council, an initiative involving the United Nations and travel partners.

Travelers should ask about the program’s history and its involvement with NGOs or other organizations. Find out where the funding is coming from and where it is being allocated. Ask about how the project is supported over time and how the community was involved in its development, Harms said.

And keep in mind that organizing volunteers to help support these efforts is not free. There are costs associated with housing and feeding volunteers, with transporting them locally, with training them and establishing a system of working that allows visitors to contribute for a short period.

Most of Globe Aware’s programs require a contribution fee of approximately $1,200 per week, which does not include airfare. PEPY Tours cost $500 to $700 a week, plus a fundraising or donation minimum of $500 for individuals.

PEPY Tours participants are giving back mostly through their financial support — which is what will keep the education projects running, Papi said. But visitors can see where their money is going and may have an opportunity to get physically involved.

Cutchins says reputable organizations will be up-front about costs, what is included and where your money will be spent.

Globe Aware’s McMillan recommends looking up nonprofits on Guidestar.org, which compiles tax forms from nonprofits, to see how operators are spending. It’s also a good idea to contact past volunteers or people who are familiar with the organization’s work on site.

Travelers should be realistic about what would make for a positive experience and select opportunities that fit their skills and interests.

“I think there are very few people who would make really bad volunteers. … It’s really about matching the Finding volunteer trips that actually help the right person with the right opportunity,” Cutchins said.

Reflections from Journeys of the Heart

globeaware journeysoftheheart“Journeys of the Heart” is an inspirational television series that documents the challenges, successes and failures of adventuresome volunteers, who travel to Cusco, Peru to care for deaf orphans. – Concrete Pictures

Click on each name to read reflections from our volunteers during this documentary.

Self

Globe Aware in Cosmo

Globe Aware’s volunteer vacations were featured in a article in the March edition of Cosmopolitan:

lndulge the do-gooder within by taking a 10- or 14 day service expedition in the Caribbean through Discover Corps. You’ll work with other volunteers to improve local communities and get a chance to explore the D.R.’s diversity, from the natural (waterfalls and forests) to the historical (colonial Santo Domingo). Another resource for volunteer vacations is Globe Aware (globeaware.org), which has destinations across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

 

Cosmopolitan