One year ago today, Nora Dunn explored voluntourism and found, “with some research, due diligence, and attention to a community’s actual needs, you can put your humanitarian efforts to many good uses around the world.”
As with everything however, there’s two sides to the coin:
… the more I researched volunteer service organizations and tour companies, the more I found myself sliding down the rabbit hole of a newly coined form of tourism in and of itself: voluntourism.
Although my spell checker still doesn’t recognize it, “voluntourism” is indeed a legitimate term and vehicle for those who wish to volunteer for a worthy cause whilst on vacation. It sounds wonderful in concept, but as with so many things that become popularized and “touristy”, it now has a more gritty edge, some negative cultural and personal side-effects, and there are people who now can’t even say the word without lots of lip curling and eye rolling.