Where to start your philanthropic travel search? With so many countries to pick from, how does one even start to narrow the search? The following are the top destinations for philanthropic travel that we’ve been discussing lately:
Before you start thinking about global travel, take a moment to first consider domestic travel. From your local community to neighborhoods around the United States there are many communities of need right here. A few benefits of staying domestic: no customs, immigrations, or vastly different cultural norms to navigate (though there are likely to be micro cultural norms to be mindful of in any community). Also, domestic travel provides the possibility for extended voluntourism experiences, either longer or regular travel, which presents a more realistic understanding of a community’s needs.
Peru is a magical country with a history that still lives on today with its many remaining mystical locations. Despite the Incan’s propensity to build cities in the jungle, Peru is struggling to catch up with the growth of cities and visitors in places that were previously inaccessible. Sanitation and health needs are continually evolving and many locals still hold legacy beliefs that don’t hold up to modern science. Volunteer opportunities often include hygiene lessons, or alternatively work in budding local economies helping locals learn financial basics such as budgeting.
Nepal is a beautiful and richly cultural country that also struggles with poverty. This includes a large number of families too impoverished to take care of their children. Many unfortunately have few other options but to send their children to private orphanages that can more consistently provide for these children. Many travel volunteer opportunities in Nepal are in private orphanages. From teaching English to simply creating bonds with children who may not have seen their family in an extended amount of time, the need in Nepal is great. One organization that works directly with the Nepalese government and is sanctioned by the UN is Next Generation Nepal.
- Costa Rica
Costa Rica is easy to get to by direct flight from most major cities in America without big time changes or tiresome travel. Everyone reliably speaks English and the country is overall considered safe. With some of the most amazing wildlife, Costa Rica is a great location to experience a wide variety of flora and fauna and learn about how the ecosystem is critical to the delicate balance of day-to-day life. Many service opportunities offer volunteers an opportunity to learn about animal trafficking, injured or sick animals, and indigenous cultures.
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