SO YOU MAY KNOW
What Is VolunTourism, Really?
There was a time when I was thoroughly convinced that I knew the answer to this question. However, the last decade has seen a proliferation of definitions and insights into the subject by pundits, proselyters, and naysayers alike. Coupled with breakthroughs in our understanding of the physical, mental, and metaphysical realms, revisiting this query at the beginning of Decade 2.0 seems more than appropriate. So, to kick-off Year Six of The VolunTourist Newsletter, I thought I would attempt to answer the question by putting it into a greater context - human evolution - and engage the support of my two unwitting accomplices: Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris and William Jefferson Clinton.
FEATURE ARTICLE 1
Destination Recovery & VolunTourism: What Did We Learn In Decade 1.0 That Can Be Applied In Haiti, And Now, Chile?
On 26 December 2004, a tsunami struck Southeast Asia. Eight months later, it was a hurricane versus the U.S. Gulf Coast. In 2008, a cyclone blasted Myanmar and an earthquake struck China. In the aftermath of each of these natural disasters, voluntourism, to varying degrees, has become one form of response. What have we learned about its applicability in these post-disaster environments? I connected with researchers and tourism industry professionals from around the world to gather their collective wisdom on the subject.
FEATURE ARTICLE 2
What, If Any, Impact Will 'EYV 2011' Have On VolunTourism?
It was nearly a decade ago (2001), when the United Nations declared its 'International Year of the Volunteer' (IYV). In 2011, the European Commission will be celebrating the ten-year anniversary of IYV with a year of its own - the European Year of Volunteering (EYV). With 27 countries participating and 8 million euros available for such things as promotion and educational materials to increase awareness of volunteering locally and globally, what, if any impact will 'EYV 2011' have on VolunTourism?
Your Letters To VolunTourism.org
Thank you for your letters, questions, and comments to VolunTourism.org. Though we are not able to answer every one of them in a timely manner, we do get around to them. This issue is no exception. Read More>>>
Wisdom & Insight
Suggestions For Interacting With Community Women Through VolunTourism
Women. Clearly, they are the dominant force in VolunTourism. It matters not what community or part of the world I may find myself in; what I will doubtless see is a group of women exercising their muscles of keen interest in the well-being of those in their charge and beyond. If there was only a way to 'bottle' this and serve it as an elixir of compassion, igniting us all to greater heights of cooperative engagement. Alas, until that day comes, we will rely on the wisdom & insight of those who work most closely with some of these women. For this issue, I caught up with Caitlin Sislin of Women's Earth Alliance. Read More>>>
The Quest For A Better Understanding Of VolunTourism Continues...
If the first run of articles in Decade 2.0 is any indication, the world is taking voluntourism seriously enough to begin seeking both philosophical and practical answers to numerous questions. The queries include: "So, You Want To Be A Voluntourist?" or "Volunteerism vs. Voluntourism: Are They Synonymous?" or "Voluntourism: Just A Fad Or Here To Stay?" are popping up globally. And, Sandy Stonesifer went so far as to utter these words as part of her byline - "How to be of service when you travel - - and not get swindled in the process." Read More>>>
VolunTourism Turns '2' At The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
April 2008 saw the launch of 'Give Back Getaways,' a voluntourism program for leisure guests staying at Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts worldwide. Since that time, numerous blog posts and articles across the globe have discussed this initiative; but what do we really know about it? I have asked Sue Stephenson, Vice President Community Footprints, to respond to my 3Qs for this issue. Read More>>>
Bodhi Garrett lost his home, his job, and most everything he had in the tsunami that struck Thailand in December 2004. In spite of this personal setback, Bodhi used the tragedy as inspiration to get busy; and get busy he did. He formed North Andaman Tsunami Relief in early 2005 and has morphed this into Andaman Discoveries - a responsible tour operation. In Bodhi's words: "We started by doing relief projects FOR community members, then we progressed to development projects WITH community members, now we are assisting with projects led BY community members." Read More>>>
Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee
VolunTourism & Human Emancipation - Research Propositions
For this issue of the Research Forum section of The VolunTourist Newsletter, I would like to present a fairly theoretical piece that I have been working on for some time. As is often the case with emerging areas of research, a theoretical foundation has been difficult to establish in voluntourism. The inherent contradictions in the discourse of voluntourism, particularly concerning the interplay of oppression and human emancipation, beg to be deconstructed with a critical theory lens. I will present a more in-depth version of this paper at the upcoming meeting of the Sustainable Tourism Conference held on the island of Crete, April 21-23, 2010. Read More>>>
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