Ask Lusso–Volunteer Abroad
Q: Why volunteer when you travel abroad? Doesn’t that limit your opportunities for sight seeing?
A: Once upon a time I used to think that travel was about getting to see the world, enjoying myself, and expanding my life experiences. Then I met a local family in El Salvador living in poverty. Their grateful smiles and gratitude for the clothes and gifts I brought inspired me to do more. Volunteers get an inside view that passing-through tourists miss: deeper connections with locals, more authentic experiences, and the opportunity to give back. I’ve since learned about a number of awesome socially-conscious travel agencies that enable tourists to do more than simply visit a country. Look through the list to find volunteer work that fits your skills and interests:
- Are you a teacher? Consider volunteer teaching abroad with Teaching Travel.
- Do you want to do something that will improve the environment, community development, women’s empowerment, public health, or childcare? Check out the cultural exchanges of Greenheart Travel.
- Enjoy pounding nails? Pick up a hammer and build someone a home with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village volunteer program.
- Want to help protect endangered species? Explore the volunteer expeditions with Earthwatch.
Now for a first-hand report of how volunteer work in another country can completely alter a person’s life for good: