SO YOU MAY KNOW
'Volunteer Vacations' At "40": Should We Expect A 'Mid-Life Crisis' Or Continued Evolution?
'Volunteer Vacations,' which date back to 1971 and the founding of Earthwatch Institute, will turn '40' in 2011. Yet it was not until the mid-80's that we began to take note of this emerging trend through books like Volunteer Vacations by Bill McMillon. A decade later, tourism entered the picture and we saw the emergence of 'voluntourism' and 'voluntours' in the late-90's and early 00's. Virtually ever since that time, the majority of the remaining volunteer vacation practitioners have gone to great lengths to maintain their separation from tourism; that is, until recently. As touristic activities begin to find their way into the volunteer vacation, what can we expect: a 'mid-life crisis' or continuted evolution?
FEATURE ARTICLE 1
Inside The Thriving Industry Of AIDS Orphan Tourism
The global perception that sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a burgeoning ‘AIDS orphan crisis’, coupled with growing trends in volunteer tourism as reported in Time of 26 July  (Vacationing like Brangelina), has produced a potentially high-risk situation for already vulnerable young children in the region, asserts LINDA RICHTER.
FEATURE ARTICLE 2
Save The Planet And See The World
We are very fortunate to have a growing number of contributors from across the globe who are introducing us to unique places on our planet - places that offer potential voluntourists the best of both worlds - volunteering and touristic engagement. Enhanced by incredible learning opportunities, these 'destinations' expand our awareness of subjects like sustainability and living in harmony with nature, while simultaneously encouraging us to broaden our personal capacities. Auroville is one of the places to be added to any voluntourists 'must-go-there-list' and freelance journalist Dharmalingam Vinasithamby gives us a close up that you are likely not soon to forget!
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
Mother Teresa And VolunTourism: A Correspondence With Benjamin Arnoldy Of The Christian Science Monitor
Some of you may have heard about, or read, the article posted by The Christian Science Monitor in late August 2010. Benjamin Arnoldy, the publication's South Asia Bureau Chief, wrote a piece entitled "How Mother Teresa's Work Spurred Growth Of 'Voluntourism.'" Prior to the article being published, Mr. Arnoldy sent me an email with some opening remarks and a series of questions that I think many of you will find of interest. I have also included my responses to his questions to further detail the nature of our correspondence and offer you an opportunity to see what was, and was not, incorporated into his final piece. Read More>>>
The Development Community Takes Aim At VolunTourism
"One of the biggest problems with voluntourism is that it reinforces the stereotype of the pathetic person who needs to be 'helped' or 'saved'. We are going there to fix things. We have the solutions. We are the heroes." So wrote Jane Reitsma on the Stratosphere International Community Education Blog this past quarter. Ms. Reitsma is part of a growing contingency of individuals with aid & development backgrounds who are expressing their thoughts and opinions, particularly skeptical and critical views, on VolunTourism. In order to fully appreciate these comments and to put them into proper context, some of us will benefit from Nietzsche's sentiments as we peruse this issue's VT-Lines - "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." Read More>>>
Maintaining Optimal Health For Your VolunTour
If a VolunTourist is truly interested in being of service to the community and/or environment in a given destination, then that individual's health must be a top priority throughout the Life Cycle of the VolunTourism Experience. What can be done in preparation for your trip? What can you do during your trip? How can you best communicate with your physician after your trip regarding any health challenges you had during your experience? I have asked Dr. Donald S. Herip, of Palomar Pomerado Health, to answer this issue's 3Q's. Read More>>>
Citizen Science has picked up in recent years. Travellers are venturing forth on unique itineraries that provide them with opportunities to support scientific research on topics from habitats and population densities of endangered species to impacts of global climate change on coral reefs - all while 'sightseeing' in unique land-based or underwater environments. For those voluntourists with scuba diving credentials, and who have a real affinity for the briny depths, you have at least one outfit from the United Kingdom you can turn to - Blue Ventures. Read More>>>
Study & Research with Dr. Nancy McGehee
Voluntourism As A Catalyst For Wisdom: Evidence From The Pay It Forward Tour
For this issue of the research forum section of The VolunTourist Newsletter, we are very excited to welcome Dr. Andrew Bailey from Calvin College. Andrew has been leading, designing, and investigating service and adventure trips for fifteen years. His early interests revolved around poverty-stricken areas in Appalachia, in part because of his being born and raised in that area of the US. As a professor and avid traveler, his current research focuses on the educative opportunities inherent in cross-cultural service activities. Andrew examined the growth in Wisdom, Openness and Civic Attitudes of college students attending a 9-day volunteer travel experience, one that is near and dear to our hearts: The Pay It Forward Tour. Read More>>>
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