Vienna, VA, Aug. 21, 2012– Greenloons, which guides travelers to sustainable vacations, suggests adventures from Cambodia to Tanzania offering voluntourism opportunities for families and friends traveling over the upcoming winter holidays.
"We can't imagine a more meaningful way to give back during the holiday season and wish the world "Happy New Year," Irene Lane, Greenloons founder, said.
Lane is always on the lookout for exceptional ecotourism operators who can meet the demand for green travel estimated to be growing 5% annually worldwide. The following operators went through an extensive process of certified third-party vetting before Lane added them to the Greenloons' collection. In addition these operators give travelers a chance to interface with local communities and their projects. Following are details on the volunteer portion of suggested trips that also offer ample opportunities for side trips to explore the surrounding region.
Peruvian Rainforest Voluntourism Program (dates flexible during the Holiday season). Social and environmental initiatives include constructing water filters for the native community of Infierno and/or helping to repair the elementary school and playground. The five-day, per-person rate is $2,307.
Explore Cambodia & Laos (Dec 30, 2012 – Jan 13, 2013). New Hope Cambodia is a grass roots, hands on, non-government organization whose mission is to restore hope, dignity and promise to the local community of Mondul 3. Volunteer work varies from helping to build a new school or library, participating with teaching in classrooms or visiting local families who require assistance. The 15-day, per person rate is $1,799. Lane calls this trip "ideal" for children 12 years and up.
Project Tanzania & Safari (Dec 9 – Dec 21, 2012). Guests in Zanzibar volunteer in the village of Jambiani, helping teachers in local schools and organizing sports activities for community youth. The local government school in Jambiani has about 1300 students and on average only 20 percent pass their government exams. Although English is widely spoken in areas frequented by tourists, a large percentage of Zanzibar's population has limited English language skills. Schools are very appreciative of assistance from English-speakers in helping children master the language. Due to a lack of teachers with science and computer training, volunteer contribution in these areas is also needed. The 13-day, per person rate is $2,999.
Zambia Community & Safari (Dec 29, 2012 - Jan 11, 2013). This adventurous trip across three countries combines an authentic safari odyssey through national parks in search of the 'Big 5' with time spent working on volunteer projects that benefit the people and animals of the region. Guests walk with rhinos and gain personal insight into the culture of the Shangaan people one day and participate in the Livingstone community volunteer program the next. The 14-day per person rate is $1,599.
Project Kenya & Safari (Nov 26 – Dec 10, 2012). Guests scour the Maasai Mara for lions, cheetahs, elephants and rhinos while camping under the big sky for a uniquely African experience. Volunteers are involved at the Limuru children center, Mukeu special unit school and In His Image baby rescue center. The 15-day per person rate is $2,999.
Greenloons (http://www.greenloons.com/) makes it easy to connect adults and families to meaningful and unique nature-based travel experiences all over the world. Because Greenloons only works with third-party eco-certified tour operators and sustainable tourism accommodation providers, the company provides a level of assurance to eco-conscious travelers that these small group vacations not only offer distinction and quality in pristine natural surroundings, but they have also been independently verified as emphasizing conservation education, respecting local cultural traditions and supporting local communities.