a winner at the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards. “There are still way too many unethical or poorly managed volunteer organisations operating. We believe volunteering can be a win-win for volunteers and the community they seek to serve — but people must be put in the right places. So there needs to be a lot of information shared by all parties. If you can reserve a place on a volunteer programme simply by providing contact details and your credit card number, and if you don’t know where exactly you’ll be working and what you’ll be doing, ask yourself: should I be volunteering with that organisation?”
The People and Places website has a section entitled ‘you need the answers’, highlighting some of the key questions a potential traveller should ask of their volunteer organisation. Among these are: ‘I’m only going to be there for a few weeks — how can my input be of any real use?’; ‘When, how and where is my money spent?’; and ‘Will you advise me about local culture and how I should behave?’ 1. Community development in Manú National Park, Peru: People and Places Work with communities in this Amazonian biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join GRO W, a sustainable initiative to boost local incomes, improve child and adult health and divert activity away from environmentally damaging sources of income.
Volunteers with building, horticulture, organic and microculture skills are particularly welcome.