Ask Lusso–Volunteer Abroad

Nov 16, 2011 by

volunteer travel

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:

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