Volunteers in field

“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.”

– Moorish proverb

Ecology, sustainability, social and economic development are the underpinnings of volunteer travel.  Many travelers, particularly socially-responsible ones, use travel opportunities as a way to give back to communities in need.  Although voluntourism isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, these types of experiences can bring travelers new perspectives on people, places and cultures and change the lives of everyone involved whether on the giving or receiving end of a good deed. Traveling for a noble cause gives a whole new meaning to traveling as the volunteers travel to bring about a change in the prevalent systems and/or conditions and help the vulnerable and needy ones.   (photo credit:  Piers Brown)


Volungearing: A New Way to Do Good

By Bianca Caruana

A new kind of volunteer tourism has entered the travel industry with an innovative approach; Volungearing, conceived by TribesForGOOD, taps an individual’s skills to pair him or her successfully in the social impact sector.   Read more

Asia Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
key west during hurrican

Meaningful Travel: When Your Trip Isn’t Just a Vacation

By Cara Siera

Our trip could be labeled volunteering since the primary purpose of the trip was to serve. “Voluntourism” – tourist travel with a volunteering component – has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to make travel more meaningful and give back to the places visited.    Read more

The World Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
sri lanka

Volunteering in Sri Lanka After a Tsunami

By Julie Hatfield

The photograph that appeared on the front page of newspapers throughout the world following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was heartbreaking: it sent me to Sri Lanka.   Read more

Asia Volunteer Travel

Want to Volunteer in Africa? You Should Consider Tanzania

By Derek Cullen

Tanzania is not just a friendly and affordable country in which to volunteer but also the kind of place that lets the imagination run wild. For instance, it is here in Tanzania that you can climb the tallest mountain in Africa or perhaps take a wildlife safari in the most … Read more   Read more

Africa Volunteer Travel

The future of elephant conservation in Kenya

By Derek Cullen

Kenya is a no-nonsense nation when it comes to conservation in recent times and in particular, with elephant conservation. I   Read more

Africa Volunteer Travel Preservation
Coral Reefs courtesy of Beybe

The Coral Rehabilitation Project Reviving the Maldives Reefs

By Bianca Caruana

The Maldives islands are home to more than a thousand coral reefs, vibrant ecosystems that provide a home for marine life.   Read more

Asia Volunteer Travel Preservation
Philippines Limb Kind cover

Bringing Mobility and Hope to the Philippines

By Jessica Barrett

Creating 19 prosthetic limbs for 13 children in under a week might seem like a daunting task, but Robert Schulman has never shied away from a challenge. The certified prosthetist and founder of US-based nonprofit Limb Kind Foundation arrived in Davao City, Philippines in September with a team of 11 … Read more   Read more

Asia Accessible Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
Feeding baby elephants

How to Social Impact Travel (Without the Price Tag)

By Natasha Tucker

For many people, including myself, while travelling the world is a passion, it is important to simultaneously make a positive change in communities and the environment in which we are exploring. This is known as social impact travel.   Read more

The World Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
tortoise galapagos islands

Voluntourism and Galapagos Islands Conservation Practices: The Need for Caution

Join us for thought-provoking conversations that examine voluntourism and the impact that conservation practices and tourism have on the Galapagos Islands. First, voluntourism aka volunteer travel projects are helpful to communities in need.  But, intercultural educator Lena Papadopoulos says that some projects cause more harm to the communities they are … Read more   Read more

Central and South America Volunteer Travel Conservation Social Responsibility
Street dog in Mexico

Mexico’s street dog problem — and how travelers are part of the solution

By Jessica Barrett

“Watch us come back with a dog,” I joked to my partner as we packed our things for four months on Mexico’s Pacific coast. As it turned out, it was less of a joke than I thought.   Read more

Mexico Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
School children in Caribbean

Voluntourism: When Helping can Hurt

By Breana Johnson

Voluntourism can be a benefit to communities, but if done improperly, it can actually be more harmful than helpful.   Read more

Caribbean and Atlantic Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Desroches Island Is One of Several Homes For Giant “Dinosaur-Looking” Tortoises

If you ever saw an Aldabra Giant Tortoise, you’d think it was a dinosaur, as they look as if they came from another time period. And, it’s possible that’s true. After all, they can live to be more than 100 years old and weigh up to 300 pounds. Of course, … Read more   Read more

Africa Volunteer Travel Preservation
Aleppo Syria Citadel Entrance

Responsible Tourism: Why It’s Not Okay To Visit Syria

By Scarlett Mansfield

Picture this: You are in Aleppo, standing in front of what is left of your house. You are reeling with the loss of your mother, your father, your brother, or if the world is particularly cruel, more than one family member. An edgily dressed 19-year-old British boy on his gap … Read more   Read more

Middle East Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
coconut on Sint Maarten beach

Sint Maarten: A Youth Program Reaches Out After Hurricane Irma

By Breana Johnson

September 2, 2017, was a calm and sunny Saturday on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. In a small cluster of brightly painted shipping containers, a group of children gathered to play games, read books, and toss around a baseball. It was just another normal weekend at the Player … Read more   Read more

Caribbean and Atlantic Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility

The Caribbean: This Season’s Top Destination for the Conscientious Traveler

By Breana Johnson

The Caribbean was recently hit hard by hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria. Organizations and individuals from the around the world have been pouring resources into rescue and rebuilding efforts. But it’s going to take more than disaster relief to get Caribbean communities back on their feet. It’s going to take … Read more   Read more

Caribbean and Atlantic Volunteer Travel