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Travel becomes transformative when people share experiences and integrate with the culture and environment of a place. Amy E. Robertsonworld traveler and volunteer expertshares three important reasons to give back with a volunteer vacation.
1. Volunteering helps tourists become travelers.
Volunteer vacations allow visitors to experience a destination and connect with locals in new and meaningful ways. Volunteering is about sharing talents and abilities, mutual learning, and pulling back the curtain that separates the foreigner from the country.
2. Volunteer vacations are fun as well as fulfilling.
Captivated by the extraordinary wildlife of Costa Rica and Ecuador? Longing for the laid-back vibe of Nicaragua and Mexico? From the European-Latin fusion of Argentina to the beaches and colonial cities of less-traveled Colombia, Latin America offers something to entice any traveler.
3. Volunteering is first and foremost about those in need.
Poverty figures in Latin America dwarf those of the United States and Canada. Most Latin American countries don’t have social safety nets like welfare or Medicaid. Children may go to school 100 days a yearor not at all. Wildlife conservation and environmental protection is often left behind in the basic struggle for survival.
Each travel experience has the potential to open windows into unfamiliar and exciting worlds. Whatever travelers choose to do and wherever they choose to go, volunteering can add a new dimension to their trips and create meaningful memories that last a lifetime.