Posts Tagged ‘volunteer travel’

Volunteers Rebuild Nepal, Brick by Brick

nepal travel

One year has passed since the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in April last year. While Nepal is doing everything it can to recover and rebuild, the country is still in need of significant aid and resources.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, Projects Abroad initiated a Disaster Relief Project to assist with the recovery process. Since the project began in June 2015, hundreds of Projects Abroad volunteers have made incredible progress in helping with the organization’s goal of restoring a safe learning environment for children in the Kathmandu Valley. Currently volunteers’ efforts are focused on reconstructing Yashaswi Gurukul English Secondary School, the sixth Disaster Relief site to date. Their help has been invaluable.

volunteer nepal

When the work at Yashaswi Gurukul is completed, the new building will also serve another purpose. As aftershocks continue even nine months later, and the fear of another large-scale quake remains, the school building will be able to serve as a safe gathering space for the local community, in case of further disaster. Projects Abroad staff estimate that work at this site will conclude in the next month or so, and then volunteers will move on to the next site where they are desperately needed.

Projects Abroad has made a commitment, not only through Disaster Relief but also through Teaching and Care Projects, to restore stability to the education of young students. In working with dedicated local experts and volunteers, the organization is striving to get Nepalese communities back on their feet, brick by brick!

For more information on how to get involved yourself with Disaster Relief work in Nepal, have a look here:

www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/building/disaster-relief/volunteer-nepal

 

Go on an Eco-Expedition!

Welcome back from 2012, kiddies. We’ve been in hibernation mode, but we’re back in action now. We hope you got over what felt like a funky 2012, to welcome what is sure to be a better 2013. We can feel it. How do we know? Because we WANT it, guys. To that end, this just in…

Earthwatch volunteers use a dugout canoe to access parts of remote Kirindy Mitea National Park, on Madagascar. The volunteers are helping Dr. Luke Dollar (Pfeiffer University), a 2007 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, research the ecology of endangered carnivores on the island

Earthwatch volunteers use a dugout canoe to access parts of remote Kirindy Mitea National Park, on Madagascar. The volunteers are helping Dr. Luke Dollar (Pfeiffer University), a 2007 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, research the ecology of endangered carnivores on the island

Earthwatch Institute, the international environmental nonprofit and pioneer of “citizen science,” is launching six new expeditions in 2013. Whether you’d like to track chimps through the Ugandan forest (who wouldn’t?), climb aboard a boat to photograph dolphins of Costa Rica, or help unearth the ancient artifacts of Colorado’s earliest inhabitants, Earthwatch offers new ways to get involved in critical scientific research around the world. Earthwatch also offers hundreds of expeditions to about 60 research projects across nearly 40 countries. Since 1971, they’ve enabled people from all walks of life to join leading scientists in making a real contribution to the long-term research that is necessary for a healthy planet.

Earthwatch Expedition: Animals of Malawi in the Majete Wildlife Reserve

Animals of Malawi in the Majete Wildlife Reserve

Earthwatch inspires connections between people and the environment and provide a source of funding and people-power to those scientists carrying out crucial environmental research. For more than 40 years, they’ve pioneered the involvement of people from all walks of life in peer-reviewed scientific research worldwide, and inspired changes in mindset and organizational culture based on hands-on field research experiences.

Among the new expeditions is Animals of Malawi in the Majete Wildlife Reserve. On this 12 day experience, you’ll walk among elephant and eland – and perhaps even rhino or lion – in this spectacular ecosystem of savannah, woodland and rivers. You’ll track and count animals and assess predator-prey relationships to understand the effects of animal reintroduction and Reserve management.

Cynthia Evans, who joined Earthwatch expedition Trinidad’s Leatherback Sea Turtles in 2012 said, “This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I cannot wait to get my passport renewed and start planning my next expedition!”

Hanging with the sea turtles in Trinidad (c) All rights reserved by ubcgrs

Hanging with the sea turtles in Trinidad (c) All rights reserved by ubcgrs

Tom Wyatt said of Canopies, Climate, and Critters of the Ecuadorian Rainforest, “Like all valuable experiences, the best are the unexpected and unpredictable, from stumbling across a brace of toucans, to playing multi-lingual football in the clouds.”

A full list of new projects include:

  • Animals of Malawi in the Majete Wildlife Reserve
  • Tracking Chimps Through the Trees of Uganda
  • Safeguarding Whales and Dolphins in Costa Rica
  •  Investigating Whales and Dolphins of the Norwegian Arctic
  • Uncovering the Mysteries of Colorado’s Ancient Basketmakers New
  • Wildlife of Australia’s Cloud Forest

http://www.earthwatch.org/requestguideform

Some teen teams are available in addition to the standard teams, but for those looking for something truly unique… this is your jam.

Sweet: Lesbian Travel with a Twist

What if going to a beautiful resort, giving back to a community in need, and partying your butt off were all possible in the same week – and what if the whole trip was carbon neutral? This is exactly the kind of trip customers of Sweet embark upon – an adventure filled with do-goodery… and debauchery.

Sweet is the latest in lesbian travel… with a twist. Merging the best of lesbian travel with social and environmental awareness, Sweet aims to make the world a better place while having a blast in it. All of Sweet’s vacations are carbon neutral, meaning they offset the pollution created by their air, land and sea travel. They traveling to amazing places (Belize, Mexico, Italy) with the very best lesbian entertainers and extravagant parties, while also supporting their guests’ personal enrichment, raising money for worthwhile causes and doing meaningful projects all over the world. How sweet is that?

Sweet's Founder, Shannon Wentworth

This niche travel company has set out to change the world – one bite-sized chunk at a time. The founder of Sweet, Shannon Wentworth, believes that if we break down this huge social issues (poverty, pollution, human rights, education in developing nations) that we can make a difference. We agree, Shannon, and we commend you!

Sweet has given back in many ways – from filling over 200 giant bags of garbage from Uvero Beach in Mexico and painting bright cartoon characters on the walls of a children’s hospital ward to donating two new computers to a children’s e-learning center in Honduras – Sweet is dedicated to enriching the lives of not only their guests but also enriching the communities that they visit. PBS also just did a feature on Sweet’s  ‘In the Life’ program, calling Sweet customers ‘voluntouristas’. Pretty fun so check it out here:  Sweet Lesbian Eco-Travel or, better yet, discover sweet for yourself!

www.discoversweet.com

Eat, Pray, India

India's Nubra Valley Camels

There are few things in life worth living for and those things just may ride on the back of the Nubra Valley camel. While the wind whispers Buddhist chants, India – and the rich culture she has to offer – is beckoning you to rise to your highest self  – seek beauty and truth from the inside out.

This is why we’re sharing the latest and greatest among customized India tours and buddhist retreats. Geringer Global Travel, is offering a great summer special to India: “Beauty and Buddhism,” 13-day customized journey through northern India combining cultural immersions in local villages, visits to ancient Buddhist monasteries and palaces, rafting and optional camel riding excursions.

This 13-day trip, starting at $1,939 per person (valid through September 30, 2011), visits the thrilling cities of Delhi, Leh, Alchi, Nubra, and Agra and includes everything except international flights, some meals, and personal expenses.

Highlights include:

  • Hosted dinner with local family in Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, surrounded by the towering Himalayas
  • Invigorating rafting trip down the Indus River from Phey village to Nimu
  • Nubra Valleyknown for its unparalleled trekking and houses several Buddhist monasteries
  • Meeting with the supernatural Oracle of Sabu in the village of Ayu
  • Imperial ‘ghost city’ of Fatehpur Sikri built of sandstone by Emperor Akbar

This is a great deal for people looking to travel to India this summer so check out the website below and, if you’re seriously considering your own Eat, Pray, Love buddhist trip to India, reach out to us and perhaps you can write about it for Eco-Adventurer.com!

www.geringerglobaltravel.com

Voluntourism Cambodia

Project Abroad's Cambodia Beach Clean-Up

Conservation and Environment Volunteering in Cambodia

This week we wanted to highlight one of our favorite Voluntourism companies, Projects Abroad.  Pioneering conservation and research activities are at the forefront of protecting and researching diverse marine environments and Project Abroad doesn’t just stop at the well known diving locales, but also at the smaller lesser known beaches… like those in Cambodia.

Located on the tropical Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia has pristine uninhabited islands and over 200 miles of coastline. Their project is the first of its kind in Cambodia and supplies the Cambodian Fisheries administration with much needed data to help in their marine conservation efforts. The Conservation Project base is situated on the stunning island of Koh Rong Samleom, a two hour boat ride from the lively coastal town of Sihanoukville. The island, home to a small fishing village, stunning beaches and a lush jungle, is just one among several Project Abroad options that provide a feel good bonding experience that actually leaves something valuable behind… a cleaner coastline… and data.

A walk on Cambodia's (cleaner) beach...

Diving & Marine Project

Volunteers are also involved in a wide range of current projects including:

  • Diving-related conservation work that focuses on both marine surveys and salvage diving. The investigative survey projects include seahorse surveys including video and photographic behavioral and ID studies, coral & fish biodiversity surveys, and habitat & mapping surveys.
  • Community Projects that operate in full cooperation with the local village on the island. Volunteers get involved in important community work which includes environmental awareness activities with local children such as beach clean-ups and education classes.
  • Beach Clean-ups, which are regularly carried out, often with the help of the local community.
  • Fisheries Projects, where volunteers are involved with fishing surveys and catch-monitoring with the local M’Pai Bei fishing community.

Prices for the Diving & Marine Conservation: 2 weeks – $2,895; 1 month – $3,495; 2 months – $4,495; 3 months – $5,545; Extra month – $1,445

Email: info@projects-abroad.org

Are you a Smart Voyager?

Costa Rica: Lapa Rios Tropical Adventure

We think if you’re on our site reading this, chances are, you’re not only one sexy babe, but you’re also a smart traveler. To that end, we wanted to share this fall travel deal.  Check it:

Wildland Adventures opens two of its global classrooms with, in these tough times, value added packages. We likey (and, apparently, so do those cute kiddies).

Explore the Galapagos living laboratory until the end of November aboard the popular Smart Voyager certified yachts the Eric, Flamingo or Letty, and save up to $500.00 per person. The voluntary Smart Voyager program minimizes impact on the fragile Galapagos eco-system and contributes to habitat conservation. Travelers learn from naturalist guides how exotic and bizarre wildlife evolved over time, then explore by sea kayak, hike cinder cones, experience lava flows, and snorkel the crystal-clear Ecuadorian waters.  Take us with you! The Galapagos 11-day package starts at US$3,795.00 for adults and $3,195.00 for kids before the added $500 savings. Families can also book a private Galapagos charter, December 24 to January 3, starting at $3,750.00 per person.

Costa Rica’s rainforests have also long been a favorite classroom for flora, fauna and wildlife lovers.  So, from now until December 14, 2010, travellers can save up to $225.00 per person on a premiere Costa Rican  Lapa Rios Tropical Adventure; offering a nine-day immersion into the rainforest, with accommodation at one of the most beautiful eco-lodges in the world. Travelers also get the opportunity to witness several species of wildcats, and learn how to keep them protected. Between November 28 to December 14, you can participate in the Wildcat Research and Conservation to work with local researchers fighting to protect theses amazing animals.  We sure love dem kittehs. Package rates start at $2,975.00 per person, before the added savings.

Rarhhh.

www.wildland.com

Mi Casa es Su Casa

We’re hotel hounds like most living breathing people this side of the globe, but if you’re a writer or a photographer (like many of us), unless we’re on assignment to write about a property, we simply don’t have the dough in these tight times to fork over for fancy retreats; which is why we’re fans of more rustic or off-the-beaten path adventures.

It’s not just Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet who escape their complicated lives by swapping houses and indulging in a new lifestyle. Americans everywhere are taking advantage of difficult times – unemployment, breakups, and graduation – to be part of a new community and experience unknown parts of the world.  The new trend is to exchange your home for a short period of time and do activities that you wouldn’t normally do. For those considering the idea, here are some tips:

What can I do?

Two popular activities are teaching English to children overseas and participating in short-term programs to learn another language. Ideas like applying for an internship, volunteering, traveling through wineries and enrolling in cultural classes such as dance, art or cooking, come to mind and a few great websites to start your search (aside from our own, of course) include:

www.goabroad.comwww.crossculturalsolutions.or and www.iiepassport.org

As we’re often looking into ways to swap our place without worrying about creeps running off with our stove, tables, chairs, pots and pans, here’s how.

How to swap my place?

Apart from the temporary home exchange section of Craig’s List (we’re weary), websites such as:

www.houseswap.com

www.homelink.org.uk

www.guardianhomeexchange.co.uk

www.homexchange.com

All offer reliable alternatives to finding the perfect “tenant.”  As always, watch for scams and questionable Web sites before accepting any offer.

What do I do with my belongings?

The best answer to this question is to find a mobile storage unit. In the US, Moishe’s Mobile offers an affordable and convenient moving and storage solution. For as little as $79, Moishe’s can have a mobile storage unit delivered outside your place. You pack the container at their own pace (there are no extra charges if you take longer than needed) and when ready one of Moishe’s professionals will come pick it up and take it to a secure storage facility. There are a variety of sizes of containers, and monthly storage rates start at $60.

Why should I do this?

The experience can lead to amazing surprises, and the knowledge gained during your adventure can benefit your job search.  Not convinced yet? I hear Jude Law and Cameron Diaz are doing it.

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