Volunteer vacations enable parents to model their most deeply held values while demonstrating compassion for others who share our place on the planet. Develop new talents, brush off rusty skills and make a difference as a family.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Choose from volunteer experiences in India, Costa Rica, Thailand and other destinations where sustainable, locally run community, environmental and educational projects will expand your family’s view of the world. Trained travel advisors share information about each country and specific projects to insure a suitable match. Find a trip working with kids, the environment or wildlife that will blend well with the ages, interests and levels of experience within your family group. Contact: 800-985-4852; www.i-to-i.com.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Cortez, CO.
Channel the Indiana Jones vibe and assist professional archeologists on excavation sites and in the lab as the quest to uncover mysteries surrounding the ancient Anasazi and Pueblo cultures continues. Ask about Family Archeology Weeks during which kids learn to make fire and sharpen skills needed for fieldwork. Pair your volunteer experience with one of a handful of educational adventure trips offered in the region by the same outfit. Contact: 800-422-8975; www.crowcanyon.org
Learn about community-based tourism through this cross-cultural exchange that includes home-stays, family-style meals, exploration, adventure and time with locals in indigenous communities. Your trip will be fully-supported by a North American guide but you and your family members will have plenty of time to engage in service activities that range from building schools to assisting with the need of the moment in Peru, Guatamala, Kenya, India and beyond. Create a custom trip or join a scheduled outing. Contact: 206-383-9828 www.crookedtrails.com.
You might also enjoy this teen's tale about her family's volunteer vacation.