Posted by: ecodestination | February 10, 2009

Travel Eco with a Purpose with GVI

GVI volunteers carrying out the weekly plankton sampling at L’ilot for Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS). Photo by Jon Bilbrough

Have you heard of Global Vision International? GVI’s been around since 1998 and works to develop sustainable development through research, conservation, and education. It provides services to charities, NGOs, and governmental agencies around the globe through promotion, donations, and volunteering.

GVI is neither a political nor a religious organization. It sends 2,000 volunteers out per year to aid-reliant projects in over 30 countries.

If you’re not looking to go tan on yet another beach and take more of the same pictures, check out the conservation and humanitarian projects at GVI. You can browse through GVI’s volunteer options, destinations, and more to find something that suits you.

I know that even when I am exhausted and think “I need a vacation!!” more than two days doing nothing will jar me. If I can go somewhere beautiful, enjoy a radical change of scenery, meet new people, and do something that will help others, I feel more rewarded than if I had just spent a week getting sunburned on some beach.

Don’t get me wrong-I love the beach. But after a few hours kayaking and swimming and reading, don’t you get bored? It’d be cool to go somewhere on vacation and know that whenever you got bored or tired of it, you could go on to volunteer somewhere in the area.

GVI even offers responsible holidays of one week or more. For example, the Mexican Marine Expedition in the Caribbean Sea, where they teach you diving to contribute toward coral reef research in the area. (Remember that green sunscreen!) Or you can teach English to Buddhist monks in Laos! There are some awesome options in there, stuff I wouldn’t have thought of.

With GVI, you get training and career development opportunities through the trips and volunteering, so you could even view your time with them as an investment, depending on your future goals.

I think within the next several years, I will go volunteer somewhere for several weeks. Build homes for the homeless, teach English to people in secluded areas, help research for nature conservation. It’s scary–what will happen to your job when you get back, right? True. But when there’s a will, there’s a way.



  1. […] next time you’re in the sun, to leave the coral reefs alone when you’re scuba diving, even to volunteer for your next vacation, to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and on and on and […]

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