ETHICAL/ In Vogue: Volunteer Vacations

Volunteer vacations are growing in popularity all around the world. Explore the unique projects organized for voluntourists in Ecuador and Peru, learn how to choose your tour operator, and what to expect from your trip.


Voluntourism and Positive Social Impact

Joe McClain

Over the last decade, many of the cataclysmic events that have shaped our global awareness of the economic contribution of the travel industry to destinations have come as a result of its starkly-contrasted absence in the aftermath of devastation. Think of New York following September 11th. Think of Southeast Asia following the tsunami. Think of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. And think of China, Haiti, and Chile following the earthquakes. Doubtless, in each of these destinations, th...

Ecuador's Volunteer Vacations for Grown Ups

Tomas Haupt

It is not hard to identify volunteer needs in developing countries such as Ecuador. However, there is always a challenge in finding reliable in-country organizations with a track record of efficiently matching the willing volunteer with creative, reliable service projects. Better yet is to discover organizations that make all living and working arrangements, and shepherd volunteers through their chosen experience (including any crisis!) from arrival to departure. I was fortunate to discover Q...

Ten Tips for Taking a Volunteer Vacation

Bill Alen

These days, many travelers are forgoing traditional vacations in order to take part in a volunteer vacation. Volunteer vacations gives average travelers the chance to volunteer abroad by taking part in a worthwhile project such as helping to preserve endangered wild animals or ecosystems through wildlife conservation programs, often in remote parts of the world, and much more. Dr. Matthias Hammer, Executive Director of non-profit wildlife conservation volunteer organization Biosphere Expedition...

Travel and Volunteer in Peru’s Orphanage and School

Bill Alen

Volunteer tourism begins on the individual level, with a desire to both explore and positively contribute to the communities visited during a journey abroad. For highly visited countries such as Peru, the financial benefits of traditional tourism are obvious but organizations such as Traveller Not Tourist take the concept a step further by integrating the social, cultural, and economic advantages of travel. Founders Jay and Luis Chavez aimed to create a non-profit organization that connected ...