A good read at Gadling.com that outlines the dos and don’ts of voluntourism. That’s the term for folks who travel abroad to help their fellow man (or creatures). In other words, responsible travel.
As the article states, the vast majority of people who volunteer abroad say it’s an overwhelmingly positive experience. Indeed, it’s a chance to give back to the planet and bring good to the world. Lord knows, we need as much of that as possible. And it’s a growing movement; the world over, more people shun a traditional holiday on the beach and swap pina coladas and bikinis for work clothes and a burning desire to make a difference.
Interested? There’s an etiquette to it. Consider the following, courtesy of Gadling.com:
Voluntourism Dos and Don’ts
Overstate your skills and abilities
Make commitments you can’t keep
Expect a free ride just because you are working
Forget your priorities: In voluntourism, ‘tourism’ comes second
Your homework. Look for transparency about how your fees are being used
A deep self-evaluation of your motives and expectations before voluntouring
Plan to stay awhile. The longer you stay, the more effective you can be
Try it at least once in your life, no matter your age or experience level
And some specific places where you can volunteer to make a difference: