It is possible to do good while having a good time if you choose the right tour. Tourism is an important source of income in many countries. When visitors remember that they are visiting someone else’s home and they respect local people, it can be a positive experience for all involved. It is also beneficial if individual travellers and group tours go to hotels, restaurants, and attractions that are owned and operated by local business people.
At TourMagination, we are pleased to offer meaningful group tours that enable you to have a positive impact on the countries we visit. Below are three tours with a special emphasis on peace building, engaging with locals, and protecting the natural environment.
Build Peace by Visiting Cuba
Our Peace-Building Tour to Cuba, January 16-26, 2020 (From USD $3,838; CAD $4,989), fits the United States government’s religious travel category to Cuba, which is still allowed under new restrictions for American travellers. READ the Treasury Department’s FAQs about the new travel restrictions. This tour is an excellent opportunity for #Christians and people of faith to live out their values as they travel to Cuba to listen, to learn, to pray, and to show care.
Along with a core group of North American travellers already registered, on this 11-day Cuba tour you will engage with Cuban citizens during visits to NGOs and a worship service at a local church. These rare opportunities are facilitated by Canadian tour leaders Jack & Irene Suderman who have been connecting with Cubans and Cuban churches for more than 30 years. Another special experience will be visiting the farm of an Afro-Cuban woman working to keep the history and stories of her people alive. The tour is rounded out with trips to museums, markets, a sustainable farm, and Varadero beach.
There will also be an opportunity to collect and bring supplies, requested by our contacts in Cuba, to alleviate some of their growing shortages. VIEW the full itinerary.
Help Indigenous People in Ecuador Protect Their Land
During the 9-day Amazon Adventure Tour, February 15-23, 2020 (FROM USD $2,372; CAD $2,965 ) travellers will stay 3 nights in an eco-lodge that the indigenous Cofán built for visitors to their ancestral lands. This is the world’s first community-based ecotourism project—started back in the 1970s (updated since then). Learn about their way of life and how they are carefully stewarding 100,000 acres of precious rainforest by not allowing mining, oil drilling, logging our other environmentally destructive activities. Interact with Cofán leaders. Taste traditional foods. Marvel at the incredible variety of flora and fauna in one of the most biodiverse places on earth!
This tour will be led by Goshen College professor Jerrell Ross Richer. Jerrell teaches Global Economics on campus in Goshen, Indiana during the fall. Each winter and spring term he teaches Sustainability in Goshen’s Collaborative MBA program online—from his second home in Ecuador! For six months of the year, Jerrell and his wife Jane and their four children live and work among the indigenous Cofán people in Zábalo village.
Accommodations on Belize Tour Create Positive Social Impact
On the Belize: Beauty, Birds & Culture Tour, January 10-19, 2020 (From USD $2,569; CAD $3,212) you’ll stay for five days at an eco-lodge called Jaguar Creek (pictured above), in the heart of the Maya Mountain Rain Forest.
As a social enterprise, Jaguar Creek is focused on providing guests with a unique and comfortable jungle lodge experience while positively impacting their local community. Each of their eight private cabanas has room for up to four guests. The cabanas have an en suite bathroom and are well-ventilated (and fully screened). On the Jaguar Creek property there will be opportunities to see a wide variety of colourful birds and interesting animals.
As you enjoy these lovely accommodations, you can feel good knowing that Jaguar Creek creates opportunities for local entrepreneurs by cultivating an ecosystem of companies to meet the needs of the lodge. They also ensure the children of their staff have educational opportunities and they donate the majority of their profits to an NGO that works with Belizean leaders to help change the lives of children, teachers, and local communities. In addition, the Jaguar Creek staff team works hard to steward God’s creation through all of their activities. READ MORE about Jaguar Creek. You can also browse the glowing reviews about this wonderful eco-lodge on Trip Advisor.
If the thought of doing good while having a good time appeals to you, REGISTER for one of these three incredible tours!
CUBA PHOTO: Ken Ratzlaff
AMAZON PHOTO: Jerrell Ross Richer
JAGUAR CREEK PHOTO: Monica Gallardo