We believe volunteering abroad is one of the top experiences anyone can have in their lifetime. Here are just a few reasons why we think everyone should take a volunteer vacation:
Learn the real culture!
When you take a volunteer vacation you have a unique opportunity to not only meet the locals, but to work alongside them and even stay where they live. It is a rich culturally immersive experience that is difficult to have when you visit a place as an average tourist. On our Costa Rica program, volunteers are invited into the homes of the local families for dinner, giving them a chance to connect with the people they are helping to serve. The nature of this engaging experience allows volunteers to develop an appreciation for a new country, people, and culture.
Any of our volunteers will tell you the invaluable experience of giving your time to help others. It truly is rewarding to lend a hand to someone in need, and even the smallest acts can make an impact. Research as shown volunteering can improve your health, extend your life, and even lower the risk of depression. To put it simply- it feels good to help others. By teaching English, you are opening doors of opportunity to children. By installing cement floors, you are aiding in the health and well-being of a family. We believe this a win-win situation.
Stress-Free AND Tax- Deductible
Planning a vacation is time consuming! Save your time, effort, and worry by letting us take care of the all details - meals, accommodations, insurance, transportation. You only need to book your flights. Best of all, we hire knowledgeable and committed local coordinators as your in-country guides. And while being tax-deductible is not one of the more glamorous benefits, the opportunity to potentially save money by giving to a charity certainly doesn't hurt!
Emerald rice fields, smoldering volcanoes, and beautiful beaches for days (years really!) make up the physical natural beauty found in the Philippines. What further defines this country this the hospitality of some of the most smiling and gracious people you might find. It is no wonder; our volunteers are enchanted by the warm and welcoming community in the province of Nueva Ecija (approx. 100 miles from Manila). When you take a volunteer vacation to the Philippines you will be working with the community on projects that address sustainable holistic education programs, community development, and sustainable environmental campaigns.
Volunteers will have the opportunity tour important historical sites, make traditional Filipino dishes, meet various tribes in the surrounding areas, and explore the Minalungao National Park for hiking and swimming.
Take a minute to catch a quick glimpse into a week in the Philippines, have your heart warmed… then join us for a magical week of giving back.
Americans won’t be the only ones celebrating Independence Day this month.
On July 28 Peru celebrates their independence from Spain in 1821. “Fiestas Patrias” is a two-day national holiday that is one of the biggest events of the year. Throughout July, the red and white national flag becomes a ubiquitous sight, while immediately before the holiday public parks and plazas across the country become stages for performances of criolla folkloric musical performances. In Cusco, there will be no shortage of fireworks celebrations and plenty of pisco!
"This program was a really good mix of volunteer work, cultural excursions, and "downtime". What I particularly liked about this program was the opportunity for meaningful interaction with individuals - we spent a whole day with the family for whom we installed a cement floor (and most of the neighbourhood dropped by to check it out at some point), which provided a unique opportunity for relaxed interaction. Anne's library program is amazing and the volunteers got the sense that we were really needed/appreciated in this role of practicing English with kids and adults. Spending time with local change-makers like Danny at the Harmony Reforestation Project and Dona Maria, the 74 year old midwife/herbalist was an honour and a great learning experience for us.
We appreciated the free time to relax given that much of the volunteer work was physical - building a cement floor, gardening etc. Gringo Perdido is a bit isolated and food is only available at set mealtimes; so my only suggestion would be to offer some snacks, even just a bowl of fruit, in between meals. Having said that, staff were very helpful in packing breakfast if we had to leave early (like 5 am for Tikal).
I've travelled a fair bit in Central America so there were not a lot of big surprises. Although I was a bit surprised at the large expat community in Flores/El Ramate - I was not expecting that. We met a fair number of retired Americans, Canadians and Europeans who were making their retirement savings go farther in a less developed country, but also volunteering and making a big difference in their community, which was inspiring. Also people still seem to have a perception of Guatemala as being dangerous: even well travelled friends were concerned we were going there. Which is not the case at all, of course. We felt quite safe walking the streets and did a bit of exploring on our own, walking into El Ramate or taking the local chicken bus into Flores.
The material was helpful in terms of a sample schedule and knowing what to expect in general. Some things in there were not correct (ie you can't use hairdryers at the hotel). I REALLY wish we had been given accurate information about what items would be most needed in the community. We were told small rod dehumidifiers (not needed, no one had heard of them - luckily we did not take any) and eyeglasses (which we brought, but did not seem to be the most needed item). What was needed were medicines (Anne's shipment last year was held up at the border and has still not arrived), children's books in English and Spanish, soccer shoes & soccer balls. If we had known this, we could have brought things that were most appropriate & needed in the community. It would be very helpful for volunteers to be able to contact the co-ordinator directly prior to the program. With respect, it seems to me that the resistance to this is a proprietary issue for Globe Aware which is being allowed to interfere with opportunities to assist the host community effectively."- Martha Heder, February 2015
Peruvian Ceviche (adapted from Food 52)
Ceviche is the signature Peruvian salad of raw fish cooked in lime juice and spices. Impress your friends with a delicious, yet simple Peruvian Ceviche- perfect for hot summer nights.
1 pound skinless, boneless sustainable fish, cut into a 1/4-inch dice
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ½ red onion, chopped
1 jalapeño chile, stem and seeds removed, diced 1 aji amarillo chile (jarred), stem and seeds removed, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons aji amarillo paste
1/2-inch pieces ginger, peeled and minced or grated
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Sliced avocado, for serving
In a large bowl, combine fish and enough lime juice to cover. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Drain fish, reserving 1/4 cup of lime juice. Combine fish with remaining ingredients and reserved lime juice to taste and stir gently to combine. Chill thoroughly. Serve in a chilled martini glass, garnished with plantain chips or tortilla chips, and slices of avocado.
Facebook recently converted our old Globe Aware Volunteers page. The new format doesn’t allow an easy way to post and share photos. To keep up to date with our projects and fun, be sure to like us at https://www.facebook.com/globeaware To share photos, friend and then post to “Shanti Shahani GlobeAware”.
Globe Aware in the News
TimeOutDubai explains how a family volunteer vacation can address entitlementCLICK HERE
Pick up the March 2017 edition of Money magazine to read the feature article on Cultural Awareness, Globe Aware and our volunteer vacation program in Thailand.
In the News-Globe Aware has been featured as a Top Eco-Traveling Enthusiast of 2017 for Sustainable Voluntourism! CLICK HERE
Check out our recent feature in this United Airlines article - 5 volunteer vacations to take with your family CLICK HERE