Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ecotourism Blog!
Welcome to the Greenloons Blog, your go-to ecotourism / sustainable / responsible (or whatever term you feel comfortable with) travel resource. Here, you will find eco travel destination profiles, environmentally friendly travel tips, ecotourism certification information, eco trip reviews and much more! Read, share and let us know your thoughts about ecotourism!
Blog posts tagged in Voluntourism
Looking for a unique way to 'pay it forward' and add to your resume with your sustainable travels? Spearheading an innovative program that applies responsible tourism practices with practical scientific research, the Bidoup Field School, will be holding a special 2 week program in January for budding researchers who want to combine their sustainable travels with the opportunity to contribute and advance tropical forest research.
Located within the Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam, a newly named UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, researchers will first spend 9 days touring Vietnam with Dr. Nhu Hoa Le, bi-lingual guide and leading expert on sustainable tourism in Vietnam followed by a week of environmental research.
Does this sound familiar? You are a person with sought-after technical, teaching, and/or artistic skills that would love to combine your passion for travel with your pay-it-forward attitude. You have the drive, but are unsure about whether that volunteer program that looks good to you (and your family) will actually help the community. How do you know that it will be a rewarding experience socially and environmentally?
Eco-certification goes a long way toward providing that necessary transparency and accountability, but until recently, there weren't any volunteer programs that were certified. Enter Volunteer Africa 32 South.
A few weeks ago, my husband and nine-year-old son took a long weekend getaway to Nicaragua. The purpose of the trip was to assist with a service project for Soccer Without Borders, which is a nonprofit organization that helps use soccer as a vehicle for positive change in the lives of young girls in Granada, Nicaragua (as well as other locations within the United States and Africa). The girls are provided after school tutoring, the opportunity to learn how to play soccer and chances to earn scholarships to pay for secondary schooling.
We thought it would be a good experience for our son to learn about the social, economic and educational challenges these girls face every day, practice his Spanish language skills, and, perhaps, make some personal connections via soccer play.
The vast and diverse landscape of India is embedded with a rich biosphere that is home to myriad species of flora and fauna.
I believe that with the evolution of technology and infrastructural development in India, today, there is a perpetual conflict between the Indian wildlife and humans.
Gaur bull at Nagarhole National Park, India. Photo by Dinesh Kannambadi (Wikipedia Commons)
In an increasingly urbanized world, wildlife tourism is gaining more and more popularity, and many travellers choose to spend their holidays getting to know – even volunteering with, wild animals.
Unfortunately, in the vast majority of activities with animals, what we see are creatures torn away from their natural habitat and placed into an artificial one where they suffer and are forced to perform in ways which are unnatural for them.
Every year, travellers, volunteers and animal lovers unwittingly contribute to the cruel exploitation of those very same animals they so badly wanted to see and help.
As our bus driver expertly weaved around the bends and curves of the Tuscan countryside in Italy, I found myself totally transfixed by the rolling hills that surrounded us. Looking out, I felt that the scenery was almost too beautiful, that if I blinked I would suddenly wake up back in my bed in New Jersey. But there I was, in the heart of Tuscany, backpack at the ready and best friend at my side. Our decade dream of backpacking through Europe during our college years was coming true, and we were finally at the Italian portion of our journey.
A few days ago, a recent college graduate, Jessica McGarry, submitted her story on the Community section of this website detailing her educational credentials, passion for the environment and professional experience within tourism and hospitality industries.
By describing her career since graduation, she also offered (perhaps inadvertently) some job counseling advice to readers and other new college graduates. At the end of the article Jess then asked the question that may be on many readers’ minds and which has prompted this Blog post, “I'm wondering if you could suggest how to connect with Ecotourism operators that are looking for my type of profile?”
According to the Planeterra Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and support of small communities around the globe, a voluntour is a type of travel opportunity that offers a tourist "a way to learn about the people and place you are visiting at a deeper level. Participating in voluntourism activities enables a person to establish long-lasting connections (with the host destination) and discover more about cultures around the world (while simultaneously learning more about oneself). It is most definitely a way to give back to the community you are visiting, to lend a helping hand to someone in need, to work towards a cause you believe in, or simply to find a way to make a positive impact through your travels."