About Voluntourism – Traveling & Giving Back

What is voluntourism?

“Voluntourism” is travel which includes volunteering in order to serve local communities.

A voluntourism trip provides an an opportunity to provide more resources to projects and to encourage a volunteer ethic in people. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, more than 55 million Americans have participated in a volunteer vacation.

Voluntourism provides a different way of seeing the world than traditional types of tourism. As well as helping fulfil needs in developing countries and contribute to real social change, you will have a chance to interact with community members and learn about the culture and lives of indigenous people outside of the typical tourist settings of resorts, hotels, and restaurants.

While volunteering, you will learn skills that you can apply in your own community and workplace. It is a great bonding experience for families or groups of friends, and you will learn a lot about yourself as well as about other cultures and the world as a whole. You get to immerse yourself in another world while helping out those in need.

Doing voluntary work overseas is very different from the typical idea of a “relaxing” or “sightseeing” vacation which is very artificial and does not allow you to really engage with the people in the country you are visiting and to form relationships with them as other human beings. In a sense, that sort of trip is more like taking a long trip to a human zoo to look at people and things rather than to live and be with them as one people.

Volunteer travel is a lot more sustainable as well because it deviates from the typical indulgent vacation. In voluntourism, you get to be responsible for the growth and change of others which is an experience unlike any other. This makes your trip to another country worth so much more than just “having fun” the whole time.

Volunteering abroad is a rewarding, worthwhile activity. Your hard work and dedication in making a change in the world will touch lives – not least, your own.

How does Serve The World Today facilitate volunteering?

Serve The World Today is a for-profit company that partners with Hug It Forward, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to work alongside a community building a bottle school. As a Serve The World Today volunteer you will experience parts of Guatemala that few Americans ever visit. You will see the “real Guatemala” and gain an insight into indigenous Mayan culture. Trip participants are accompanied by an experienced English speaking guide at all times and all your travel and other arrangements will be taken care of.

Click here to read more about Bottle School Voluntourism upcoming trips