ImpacTrip is a travel promoter that fights social inequality through volunteer tourism in Portugal. Rita Marques, member of ImpacTrip, has answered a few question about the phenomenon of voluntourism and the impact it has on lives of these social travelers and the communities they visit.
You are part of voluntoursim- a new way of volunteering. How can travelers make a difference?
The volunteer work is always adjusted to the profile of the travelers (their skills and passions) in order to maximize the positive effect on social organizations and to find a better fit for the traveler.
Our volunteer trips have a real social and environmental positive impact on local people.
The volunteer activities can be as diverse as cooking meals to homeless, teach kids from poor neighborhoods to play guitar, clean the underwater trash from the Ocean, rescue animals from the streets or even build a house for a family in need. These are only some examples of the activities we offer.
How would you describe the positive social impact of voluntourism?
We work with a wide and diverse network of social organization which we know very well. We know what their most urgent needs are so we can send our volunteers to the right places, to do the right task and help the most urgent needs of our partners.
In this way we do not make up work for the “tourists” but we respond to actual and meaningful local social needs.
Volunteerism is an alternative way of travel experiences by being responsible. How does a meaningful travel changes the whole travel experience?
I think voluntourism is a new way of traveling that combines two very interesting (and at the same time odd) concepts: Tourism and Volunteering in one unique experience.
And it’s not just mix it together. We run away from mass tourism and promote local culture.
This kind of experiences allow travelers to discover Portugal in a more authentic and meaningful way and contribute to fighting social inequality and nature depletion by volunteering in local humanitarian and environmental projects. This experience will transform simple package holidays in special experiences which give travelers a deeper and more real cultural immersion.
We won’t change the world in one day or one week but if we can change one person’s life in one day or one week it is worth trying.
How are volunteers integrated in the local traditions and culture during their volunteer abroad stay?
We are very passionate at sharing our culture with others and involving them in the local traditions and activities. We usually say that we do not “see the culture” we live it.
At ImpacTrip we have activities from cooking with old grandmas in the countryside, participating the harvesting of local fruits, learning the art of painting “azulejos”, visiting local honey and fruits productions in the south of the country, etc. The best way to get integrated is to have an open mind and participate.
Your tip: Why would you recommend to combine travel and volunteering?
I would definitely recommend Voluntourism to people who want to experience the local culture while having a meaningful positive impact on the communities they visit. It’s very very different from any package holidays you can buy and definitely more memorable. Try it!
ImpacTrip is a travel promoter that fights social inequality through volunteer tourism in Portugal. Our mission is to promote different trips that make a difference. This is a small social enterprise aiming at changing the way people travel. With the increasing number of people looking for alternative travel experiences to explore Europe, impacTrip want to be a fresh and positive option for these sustainable travellers. We really want to offer the most unique travel experiences in Portugal. Vision: A world in which travellers can make a real difference.
The volunteer trips have a real social and environmental positive impact on local people. The volunteer activities can be as diverse as cooking meals to homeless, teach kids from poor neighbourhoods to play guitar, clean the underwater trash from the Ocean, rescue animals from the streets or even build a house for a family in need. These are only some examples of the activities you can do under a volunteer tourism program.
You are interested and you want to apply for an ImpacTrip volunteer program? Click here for their construction volunteer program and here to fight against food waste, in Lisbon. Apply now! ImpacTrip is waiting for your application!