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The VolunTourist™ is a premium Newsletter for the Travel Trade. For those interested in discovering what is happening in the world of VolunTourism and seeking emerging practices, general information, and case studies, this is your Source.

Volume 3 Issue 4 Highlights



Tuesdays 10am ET/7am PT



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VolunTourism On Two Wheels

What do Cambodia and the United States have in common? They both have some exuberant young people that recognize the power of pumping those pedals, visiting small and remote locations, and delivering service in conjunction with nonprofit & grassroots organizations that have some very important missions: low-income housing and education for children.

Get your helmet and cycle prepped - it's time for VolunTourism On Two Wheels!

Wheel One: Bike & Build

Brief Background

Bike & Build is modeled after Habitat Bicycle Challenge, a program based out of Yale University that funded New Haven Habitat for Humanity. Marc Bush, Bike & Build’s founder, participated in HBC, and wanted to expand on the programs, so he started Bike & Build. 2003 was our inaugural summer with two trips, and since then we’ve added an additional trip each summer.


Bike & Build strives to raise money and awareness for affordable housing issues through sending young adults on cross-country cycling trips. Our program not only allows participants to see the housing landscape in every type of community across the United States, but also gets young, adventurous adults involved in a cause they may have known little about.

One of the greatest things about Bike & Build is the varied reasons people sign up to do the trip—some are avid cyclists who have wanted to do a cross-country trip; some are activists who want to spend their summers advocating for social change; some are affordable housing enthusiasts who want to dedicate their summers to the cause; and some just want to do something “crazy” for a summer before they enter the “real world”. Seeing all of these people come together and learn from each other is amazing, and each person comes out of the trip gaining something from their peers they may not have thought they would before the trip began.

Unique Voluntary Service Projects

We currently produce seven cross-country cycling trips. During each of these trips, participants stop along the way between 8 to 10 times to build with the local affordable housing groups in the area. Certain trips focus on specific areas (for example, the majority of our Southern trip’s build day are along the Gulf Coast), while other trips spread their volunteering time across the country. Participants get to witness how different affordable housing organizations approach addressing the housing crisis, and also typically will get to see houses in different stages of production.

Unique Travel Experiences

Bike & Build offers participants the chance to bike across the United States. Many people do cross-country road trips, but the majority of that travel time is spent going from point A to point B, driving on Interstates or other highways, and not really getting the chance to explore the things along the way.

Biking from coast to coast offers just that opportunity, and not only do our participants have the chance to see parts of the country they may have never been to, but they get to witness what makes America so great—the little towns along the way, the people they meet, the random beauty that can really only be seen as you intimately travel from coast to coast.

A "Day In-The-Life" (Day Itinerary for Bike & Build)

6 AM – Wakeup--pack your bags, load the van, eat breakfast.

7:30 AM – Morning meeting – the point leader goes over the days route and distributes directions; everyone participates in a group stretch and then individually checks and tunes their bikes.

Ride at your own pace – break up into groups of people you’re comfortable riding with- generally no more than 3-4 people; throughout the day stop to check out points of interest along the route.

11:30 – Lunch- support van will have set up a pre-arranged lunch stop. Everyone catches up with the group and takes a break to replenish and refuel!

3-4 - Arrive- hosts will greet you at the pre-arranged nightly accommodation location and welcome you after a long day on the bike.

  • Shower- at locations pre-arranged
  • Complete chore group responsibilities– riders are responsible for helping with day-to-day operations of trip. These responsibilities rotate on a weekly basis and range from cleaning the van to grocery shopping for the next day's lunch take ownership of the trip. This allows riders to take ownership of the trip and contribute to its success.

6 pm – Potluck dinner- eat, meet, and interact with local community members.

7 pm – Presentation- each trip has a PowerPoint presentation which it gives to community members at host locations. Riders share anecdotes from the trip, explain what life is like on the road, and what Bike & Build's mission is. These are a lot of fun and present an opportunity to spread awareness about the affordable housing crisis and learn about regional issues.

FREE TIME! You will have PLENTY of opportunities throughout the day and after you arrive at your night's destination to get off your bike, explore, talk to locals and relax!

Contact Information

Amelia Hanley, Executive Director

Bike & Build, Inc.

20 Jay St., Ste M08

Brooklyn , NY 11201



Wheel Two: The Pepy Ride

Brief Background

The PEPY Ride was born when Daniela Papi and Greta Arnquist co-led a cycling trip across Cambodia to raise funds for educational projects. A group of six people from five countries spent five weeks visiting schools and orphanages by bicycle and teaching the first PEPY environmental lessons. The team raised enough money to fund the construction of The PEPY Ride School in rural Chanleas Dai, Cambodia. In celebration of the school’s opening ceremony on December 31st, 2005, thirty-five people joined PEPY for a one-week trip to explore beautiful Cambodia and to volunteer to help with the school’s opening.


PEPY aims to teach responsibility at all levels. We want tour participants to be responsible for their actions when traveling. Planning environmentally, economically, and culturally beneficial trips is of utmost importance to PEPY. We also want to teach environmental responsibility to Cambodian youth so that, when they become Cambodia’s leaders, they will make choices to protect Cambodia’s resources. We believe that voluntourism, education, responsibility, and really fun adventures can be fused to benefit both travelers to and residents of Cambodia.

We don’t want PEPY’s impact to be short-lived. All of PEPY’s programs are funded by volunteer fundraising, and our programs are ongoing. Often, we support other Cambodian NGOs in their work, either as volunteers or as funders, to improve Cambodia’s educational system. We believe that it’s important for work to be sustained over long periods of time to achieve maximum results, and giving trip participants to work on a small part of a larger project is more rewarding than a small, episodic spectacle designed to generate a feeling of accomplishment but with no measurable results.

Unique Voluntary Service Projects

Participants undertake projects that impact educational initiatives and NGOs that support education in Cambodia. We believe that voluntourism is not successful unless it is connected to larger systemic change within Cambodian society. Therefore each short-term volunteer project that participants experience on PEPY tours is a small piece of long-term programs. Whether we’re painting a school, teaching environmental lessons to students, guiding 4th grade students on their first tour of the grounds of the magical Angkor Wat, or teaching about conservation, tour participants know that their actions are part of a broader sustainable program.

Unique Travel Experiences

Our tours should be viewed as adventures first and volunteer opportunities second.  We are not trying to offer "Peace Corps" type experiences.  We want you to be able to see the attractions that make Cambodia one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations and experience a true adventure (cycling, volunteering, and making new friends), but also have a chance to give back to the magnificent people and areas we visit. 

PEPY tours sample some of the best of what Cambodia has to offer, from the famous temples at Angkor Wat to historical sites in Phnom Penh. But PEPY tours also offer unique insights into what Cambodia is for ordinary Cambodians. Our tours typically visit the schools supported by PEPY in rural villages so that they can live for a few days as most Cambodians do while helping to improve standards of education and health in the countryside.

PEPY Ride Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive In Siem Reap

Day 2 - Visit Temples of Angkor with PEPY Ride School Children

Day 3 - Free Day to Visit Siem Reap

Day 4 - Cycle through the Temples of Angkor

Day 5 - Bike to Chanleas Dai & Visit PEPY Ride School

Day 6 - Experience a Day of Cambodian School Life

Day 7 - 65K Ride To Sisaphon

Day 8 - 70K Ride To Battambang & City Visit

Day 9 - 100K Ride - Battambang - Pursat

Day 10 - Morning Visit with Sustainable Cambodia and a 30K Ride from Pursat to Krakor w/ site-seeing

Day 11 - 80K Ride Krakor - Kampong Chnnang

Day 12 - 70K Ride Kampong Chnnang - Oudong Mountain

Day 13 - 50K Ride Oudong - Phnom Penh

Day 14 & 15 - Phnom Penh - Site Visits & Volunteering

Day 16 - 90K Ride Phnom Penh - Chkuk w/Site Visits

Day 17 - 80K Ride Chhuk-Kep - A Ride to the Ocean & visit to Rabbit Island

Day 18 - 30K Ride Kep-Kampot - Visit to Bokor Mt.

Day 19 - Relaxing Day in Kampot

Day 20 - 120K Ride Kampot-Sihanoukville

Day 21 - Sihanoukville - Site Visits & Volunteering

Day 22 - Sihanoukville - Phnom Penh by bus

Contact Information

The PEPY Ride
PO Box 1235
Phnom Penh



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