Volunteers in rice field.jpg

“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)


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
Giant tortoises on the Galapagos Island.

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
Philippines Limb Kind cover Photo: Matilde Simas

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
A voluntourism project with Caribbean kids from the program in the story. Photo: Breana Johnson

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
Coral Reef project in the Maldives. Photo 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
Volungearing photo by Bianca Caruana

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. This concept gives well-meaning individuals an alternative option to the current saturated market that is voluntourism— … Read more   Read more

Asia Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
Entrance to the Citadel in Aleppo, Syria.

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 a Sint Maarten (Saint Martin0 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
Sri Lanka beach

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. The photo pictured a forlorn man squatting alone on a beach looking out to the Indian Ocean with a mournfully sad look on … Read more   Read more

Asia Volunteer Travel
Fishermen on St. Vincent. Photo: Tonya Fitzpatrick

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

By Breana Johnson

As a conscientious traveler, you probably think about where your money goes after you spend it. Who and what does your spending benefit? Lately, travel practices like “voluntourism,” and booking green hotels have become hugely popular. Additionally, many travelers to third-world countries prefer to spend on locally-based companies rather than … Read more   Read more

Caribbean and Atlantic Volunteer Travel
elephants.jpg

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. Impressively, this concentrated effort has been consistent since the late 1980’s when the President at that time, Daniel Arap Moi, proceeded to burn more than twelve tons of ivory to show … Read more   Read more

Africa Volunteer Travel Preservation
Helping hands in Haiti

Volunteer travel opportunities in Haiti

By Breana Johnson

As Haiti once again sizes up the massive post-disaster cleanup ahead of them, many of us who missed Hurricane Matthew are anxious to learn how we can help. The best way to get in there and make a difference is to go to the Caribbean and volunteer. Here are several … Read more   Read more

Caribbean and Atlantic Volunteer Travel Social Responsibility
French Quarter Fest in New Orleans.Live Broadcast

New Orleans’ French Quarter Festival 2012 – Hour 2

World Footprints broadcast center at the Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans.  From left to right:  Mark Romig, Kelly Schulz, Tonya Fitzpatrick, Ian Fitzpatrick, Ed Cole.  (c) World Footprints MediaIn the second hour of our French Quarter Festival 2012 broadcast we will keep the good times rolling, Mark Romig, President … Read more   Read more

New Orleans Volunteer Travel Events & Festivals Literature & Music