Voluntourism and More Meaningful Vacations – Volunteer your Vacation Time to Preserve Natural Heritage

by Dylan Staley

Sometimes, you just need a vacation. Sometimes our families get so caught up in what we’re doing everyday to take a break, relax, and enjoy the world around us. Often times, families take a vacation to a serene spot to get away from the world for a while.

And others get closer to it.

Everyday, all around the nation, families are taking vacations not to relax, but to help and volunteer their services to help preserve nature. Through partnerships with many organizations such as The Ocean Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, The National Park Service, The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and The Surfrider Foundation, families can donate their vacation time to serve a better purpose: to help take care of the world we live in.

Voluntourism (volunteer vacations) is the idea that while we are enjoying the world we live in, we can also be ensuring that others in the future have that same chance. If we do not preserve the natural heritage of our planet, it will be lost. Someone has to take the initiative to do what needs to be done to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy nature just as we have.

From the Februrary 2009 issue of “FamilyFun”:

My family discovered the singular satisfaction of blending vacations and volunteering one summer afternoon on a remote Mexican beach.

For two hours, [my family] and I searched for endangered sea turtle nests […].

Just as we were about to call it a day, we spotted the unmistakeable V-shape of sea turtle tracks leading from the water to the dunes. A circle of disturbed sand at the end of the trail left no doubt the mother turtle had laid her clutch.

[…] We learned the next day that the nest contained 87 eggs, which were moved to a protected area until the hatchlings’ release. The kids felt that they had personally saved those 87 baby turtles, and maybe they did.

As you can see, volunteering can have benefits both for the Earth and the volunteers.

To learn more about volunteering to help preserve nature, visit the following pages:
Volunteer with the National Park Service
Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup
TogetherGreen Volunteer Events
Volunteer with the Nature Conservancy
FamilyFun: “Volunteer Outings” by Melissa Gaskill

To learn more about volunteer vacations, visit Peter Greenberg’s page on voluntourism.

Also, listen to the Voices of the Past Radio show featuring Jamie Dunahoe and learn how you can plan to share her Adventures in Preservation.


English: Marion Jarisch, a volunteer with The ...

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