The Do-Good Journeys

  • Jul
  • 1

In GRID Issue 13, Nina Unlay takes a trip down the bumpy road of voluntourism. Photography by Sonny Thakur.

Do some good while on vacation: That’s the premise of voluntourism. But how do you know whether you’re leaving behind something good, or if you’re just stoking your own ego? With this trend on the rise, Nina starts asking the tough questions that are already on a lot of people’s minds: Why are you here? What do you want? And, how can you help?

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Another principle of volunteerism, perhaps more easily forgotten, is that at the end of any placement, or any trip, it’s the volunteer’s journey that matters. The volunteer always brings home a narrative, and most of the time that narrative can be just as powerful as any 900 kilos of crops or carabao, if they reach the right people and convey the right message.
The Do-Good Journeys, GRID Issue 13

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If you are thinking about finding a responsible travel experience, MAD Travel is a social tourism platform that specializes in alternative travel experiences that bring together people from different walks of life. 30% of their profits go to Gawad Kalinga. Visit madtravel.org for more.

MAD Travel also manages the trek to Yangil village in Zambales, where they aim to plant trees and explore tourism as a potential livelihood option for the Aeta community.

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Clockwise from top left: The children and grandchildren of Iking and Anesita Enriquez; portrait of Anesita; some of their sons and sons-in- law; Gary, another son, is also one of the local tour guides for the tour to Yangil.

There is a little bit of everything: mountain, sea, land. The same can be said about the people. Being both a bustling surf destination and the province most populated by indigenous groups, Zambales is full of people who find themselves fusing hybrids— finding a way to make things work, and to make things fit.
The Do-Good Journeys, GRID Issue 13

Read the full story in GRID Issue 13, out now!

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