What is Voluntourism and Why is it So Harmful?

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Nomadic News

What Is Voluntourism?

At its core, that’s what voluntourism is — a trip where you get to explore new places while volunteering, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years.

What Is an Example of Voluntourism?

One example of voluntourism could be heading off to Brazil with an international aid group to hand out meals and clothing to orphans on the street. Another could be you researching and helping out with sea turtles in Costa Rica.

Why Does Voluntourism Exist?

Some may say that it’s all about profit margins. Many tour operators, charities, and other organizations profit handsomely from voluntourism. That’s all while doing very little to actually improve the lives of those they claim to be helping.

What Are the Negative Effects of Voluntourism?

One of the biggest concerns is that many voluntourists don’t have the proper training to do the work they’re attempting to do or don’t have the cultural knowledge to understand the dynamics of the work. This can actually do more harm than good, as inexperienced volunteers may unintentionally cause more damage than they realize.

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