The VolunTourist™ is a premium Newsletter for the Travel Trade. For those interested in dis-covering what is happening in the world of VolunTourism and seeking emerging practices, general information, and case studies, this is your Source.
If you plan to travel, you should travel conscientiously and with awareness. GlobeAware makes it possible for you to achieve such a state.
This month, I caught up with Kimberly Haley Coleman who shared the following information on Globe Aware...
A Brief History & Background
Globe Aware, a 501 C 3 nonprofit charity, was founded in 2000 for the purpose of promoting cultural awareness and sustainability through short term international volunteer programs. We run programs in Latin America and Asia, with teams made up of 10 volunteers, a local coordinator and an American coordinator.
Focusing on the principles of cultural awareness and sustainability, Globe Aware develops short-term volunteer programs in international environments that encourage people to immerse themselves in a unique way of giving back. This process naturally instills in them values to become lifelong advocates for a better world. Simultaneously the volunteers help to empower the host communities in creating renewable, sustainable programs. While Globe Aware’s financial assistance benefits the community economically, it is actually the involvement and collaboration between the volunteers and community that is the greatest mutual benefit.
We believe that understanding other cultures helps everyone to create better informed solutions - - not to mention leading to a more enjoyable life! Most of us are so engrossed with our daily responsibilities that it is difficult to develop a real appreciation for cultures unlike our own.
Globe Aware adventures provide volunteers the opportunity to live and work side by side with a host community. The hosts provide a safe and interesting setting in which to learn, help, and have fun.
Our philosophical reasons for developing VolunTourism are the only reason we exist. They are not incorporated into another agenda, rather they are the sole purpose for our existence. Our other objectives include:
- To promote contact between people of different cultural and social backgrounds, breaking down linguistic and cultural barriers and creating and understanding and appreciation of others.
- To provide worldly education through experience. To enable volunteers to learn the positive effects of concrete action and to recognize the interrelationship between theory and practice
- To provide an inter-cultural learning experience and the opportunity to explore a new country and a new culture in a deeper and more respectful way than as tourists.
- To integrate participants into the local community so as to learn from their hosts about the issues which concern them.
- To help develop small scale infrastructure or environment improvement, and or to preserve cultural heritage and traditions.
Tuesdays 10am ET/7am PT
Unique Volunteer Activities
Volunteer activities include a wide spectrum, among the more unique are assembling wheelchairs for landmine victims in Cambodia, and working with deaf orphans in Peru. The communities with whom we work choose the projects they feel are most important to develop. The work is varied and can encompass everything from helping a rural Samba School in Brazil prepare their floats and costumes for Carnival, playing word games with Peruvian children, planting trees in India, to painting a community center in Costa Rica, amongst many other activities.
Unique Tourism Activities
Tourism activities range widely as well, depending on the locale. For example in Costa Rica, we regularly hike to waterfalls, go night shrimping, and watch the bats. In Brazil we offer hiking on the beach, visiting the main attractions of Porto de Sauipe, learning wood carving, and how to make ice cream with Brazil's indigenous fruit. Also can choose to take Capoeira lessons, and indulge in beach time, surfing, dancing, cooking, and getting to know the charming Bahians! In Thailand you will have ample time to discover things such as temple ruins, learn Thai cooking, get a Thai massage, go to floating markets, and other simple pleasures such as reading while perched in a hammock in a breeze.
Sample Itinerary (Peru)
9:30: Pick-up everyone at meeting point.
10:00-12:00: Drive to program site.
12:30: Drop off luggage.
1:00-2:00: Welcome Lunch.
2:00-3:00: Meeting with Mayor about projects & tasting of mate de coca.
3:00-6:30: Free time. Use this to REST (altitude sickness is very
common and needs to be taken serious!), meeting new people, explore the
village and surroundings, write first-impression diary entries, etc.
7:00-7:30: Coordinator goes over confirmed weekly schedule and
7:30: --- Peruvian welcome celebration
8:00-8:30: Wake up.
9:00-10:30: Day at the Queseria (Cheese Factory).
11:00/12:00: Optional Church Service in Spanish and sometimes Quechua.
2:00-7:00: Free time. Community Soccer game
7:00-8:00: Community Dinner and cultural awareness scavenger hunt
6:30: Wake up.
8:30-10:30: Lorena Stove Building.
10:30-11:00: Coffee Break.
11:00-12:45: Continuation of Stove Building.
2:00-4:00: Help out at the Club de Madres (Mother's Club) doing a soup
4:00-7:00: Free Time. Can rest, go hiking, visit the fortress or
ceremonial temples, learn to cook Peruvian-style, etc.
8:00: Free Time. Sleep.
6:30: Wake up.
8:30-12:00: Potato harvest, Classification and build a 'pachamanca' dirt
over to cook lunch.
1:00-2:00: Lunch Pachamanca Style.
2:00-5:00: Help repair the irrigation canals, Cut fodder for animals,
Load burros with cargo, etc.
5:00-6:00: 'Lonche' time (similar to teatime).
6:00-7:30: Free Time
8:30: Special orientation on tomorrow's special hike.
6:30: Wake up.
8:00-2:00: Slow hike up to local ruins (2-3 hours) with local guide &
burros. Spend about 2 hours at top (learn history, lore, learn
different plants, etc).
2:00-3:00: Pick up trash on way down and learn how to prepare medicines
& teas out of gathered herbs.
3:00-4:00: Sert up a First Aid Station.
4:00-7:30: Free Time. Discuss teaching activities.
6:30: Wake up.
8:00-11:00: Help out and teach English at local 'colegio' (school).
11:00-12:00: Visit local museum with mummies from the ruins & other
12:00-1:00: Free Time.
1:00-2:00: Lunch at cafeteria with teachers.
2:00-5:00: Teach basic computer skills and/or repair school.
5:00-7:00: Free Time. Prepare for 'la Cena Internacional' (International
6:30: Wake up.
7:00-8:00: Breakfast at the 'Vaso de Leche' program center. Volunteers
help with making breakfast, service, clean-up for children in 'Glass of
8:00-12:00: Open Project Day (Group Choice).
2:00-7:00: Free Time. Cook and prepare for International Dinner.
Perhaps learn how to cook with locals.
7:00-9:00: Cena Internacional/International Dinner-Farewell.
9:30: Pack. Free Time. Pack.
6:00-6:30: Breakfast. Journal Entry Collection.
7:00: Leave for Lima & Airport.
Call Toll Free in the U.S. 877-588-4562
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