A Day Thinking of Voluntourism

I know there’s been an increase in voluntourism, but I don’t know if it seems to be on the rise in my own circle because I’m paying more attention, or because it really is everywhere now…

Here’s how much thinking I’ve done on voluntourism – just today:

1. I have a client heading to Peru today. Besides trekking to Machu Picchu, spending some time volunteering at a local hospital and visiting school children was integral to her trip. She gathered supplies from all she knew to bring with her.

2. I was exchanging emails with another lady whom I hope to partner with to raise $ for a charity. We’re scheduling meetings around her family’s upcoming trip to¬†Nicaragua. They will be travelling there to build a daycare.

3. My own daughter’s grade 8 class just confirmed their spring trip to Ecuador today. They are going to help build a school.

4. I read an article on “govoluntouring.com” in Canadian Travel Press (dated July 30, 2012) on the “why, not the how” of travel.

5. I was flipping through my notes from a Virtuoso training session with the Ecuador Tourism Board in Vegas, and came across SAVE = scientific academic volunteer education travel alliance.

6. I was reminded that my Adventure Center partners in Canada, with folks like Pat Rochon leading the way, focus on geotourism – the spots we visit should not be made less by our journey, and visits should always be authentic.

So, after a day like today, gotta wonder – is voluntourism the next big wave?

Would you like to take a vacation that involves volunteering?