These trips are based on aiding local development and protecting local environments. They generally cover 1 or 2 regions and allow travellers to immerse themselves in local cultures. Combined with several popular tourist attractions, these projects allow students to live unique experiences while having a positive impact on local social and natural environments.
- To have a positive impact on the social environment of the community
- To encourage students to learn about the needs of individual communities and to realize that they can contribute to a community’s well being. To raise student awareness that despite the inequalities that are present in certain communities, its individuals are happy and enjoy their lives.
- To help and contribute to local communities through a variety of projects including those related to education, health and hygiene, the environment, etc.
- To provide opportunities for students to discover and value the culture of local communities through a variety of participative workshops, organized in collaboration with local artisans and members of the community: arts & crafts (weaving, jewelry making, ceramics, pottery, etc.), traditional food production methods (chocolate, honey, etc.), cultural dances, traditional cuisine etc.
- To allow students to open up to cultural differences and to enrich themselves by exchanges with host families.
- To allow students to develop direct links with the community they are visiting while creating cultural bridges that raise awareness amongst participants and create a feeling of belonging.
- To aid students in discovering their creative, organization and communication capacities.
- To create a positive impact on a community’s economic environment.
- To encourage local economies and equitable commerce by buying products that are authentic, locally made and produced under proper working conditions.
- To work with local stakeholders and non-governmental organizations with good practice, thus assuring that funds stay in the community and that they will be reinvested in a sustainable manner.
- To raise awareness of sustainable development, the importance of its socio-economic elements and the important role of responsible tourism and ecotourism amongst students.
- To allow students to participate in projects for which they are able to help out both materially and physically and which require hiring and collaborating with skilled experts and engineers (ex: constructing parks, reforestation, school courses, community gardens, etc.)
- To develop a critical spirit in students regarding socio-economic stakes and issues such as wealth distribution, geo-political situations, government services and the quality of local education, work conditions and opportunities, women’s issues etc.
- To have a positive impact on the environment.
- To improve ecologic life cycles affected by travel by measuring and compensating for the environmental impact of our activities (such as CO2 emissions).
- To choose transportation methods, activities and lodging with the least possible environmental impact (or ideally a positive impact on local environments).
- To raise the participants’ awareness of the importance of conservation of flora, fauna and ecosystems.
- To develop a critical spirit amongst students regarding environmental stakes and issues related to environmental degradation caused by industrial activities and its impact on community health, local politics and laws, certifications etc.