Category: Boomer Travel

Tips, ideas and resources for baby boomers planning a volunteer vacation abroad.

Feb
19

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Ethical Elephant Tourism: An Interview with Thai Mahouts

Posted by on February 19, 2020 · Leave a Comment  

When it comes to the ethical treatment of animals, there are many different layers to consider and therefore many different beliefs that exist. Discover Corps went into the field to learn about the complex question of elephant tourism from those who have been working with the elephants for generations – the mahouts in Thailand. 

In short, we do not support elephant riding in any way, shape, or form. However, we believe that the problem is not so black and white, and in fact, focusing only on elephant riding is doing a disservice to the animals, the travelers seeking to understand them, and the conservationists working to protect them. 

“Now, the biggest problem we face is that in the past, there was plenty of space for the elephants to graze and feed. Now there is a lot less space, and local laws do not allow them to graze on public land [..] so it can be difficult to find them enough food.” – Boon, Head Mahout at the Elephant Nursery 

We believe that travelers need to vote with their dollars by going to truly ethical camps, the mahout tradition needs to be celebrated, governments, companies, and citizens need to prioritize proper care to establish standards, and we must work to restore lost habitat. 

Watch the video below and get to know the mahouts from our Thailand: The Baby Elephant Experience, and write any questions in the comments!

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May
29

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Ask the Alumni: Peru through the Eyes of a Discover Corps’ Traveler

Posted by on May 29, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

Sometimes in travel, as in life, it is better to know what you don’t want from your experience than what you do desire. This was certainly the case for Kai, on her recent Peru: Children of the Andes trip. A seasoned traveler, Kai had chosen to travel by herself in the past but learned it was not for her.

“Previously, I have had the experience of being a solo traveler… planning the trip alone, traveling by myself the entire trip. I learned that I don’t like that! I need someone else to arrange details, introduce me to the culture and local people and customs and places, and other travelers to share experiences with.”

This awareness made her Peru volunteer vacation with Discover Crops a perfect match, as Kai details below:

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May
17

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Interview from Peru: Discover Corps’ Guide Miguel

Posted by on May 17, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

The name of our Peru trip, Children of the Andes, gives a great indication of what you can expect on your vacation with purpose to this special part of South America. You will spend quality time teaching, learning from, and connecting with children that each have a unique story to share. This time is precious and much needed for all involved, but it’s hardly the only aspect of this dynamic experience. Discover Corps’ guide for Peru, Miguel, agrees:

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May
2

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The Havana Jazz Festival – An Incomparable Celebration

Posted by on May 2, 2019 · 3 Comments  

Jazz and Cuba are as interwoven as any genre of music and country can possibly be. The centuries-old form of creative expression is forever linked to the soul of this nation. For jazz fans and aficionados, no better time exists to experience this intoxicating art form than the Havana Jazz Festival, happening January of 2020. This month will mark a weighty milestone in the history of the festival as it celebrates its 35th year.

If prior occasions are any indication, the festivities are sure to be filled with the same energy and excitement that jazz regularly releases on Cuban airwaves. Allow us to take you inside the happenings of this incomparable celebration to discover what makes the event such a sublime experience and why you simply must be there:

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Apr
18

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Interview from Cuba: Discover Corps’ Guide Orelvis

Posted by on April 18, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

The passion of Discover Corps’ guide, Orelvis, is clear from the moment you first meet him. His enthusiasm for his country and showing you his country is infectious. As you explore Havana and the surrounding region “Elvis” provides colorful commentary that only deepens your experience. It’s no wonder, that many travelers can’t help but form a strong bond with their insightful guide.

“I remember one time, some [travelers] came back again [to Cuba] through Discover Corps with us, and I remember waiting in the airport. When they saw me and I saw them it was like seeing family. That was a unique emotion and feeling.” – Orelvis

So what better person, to share in his own words, what a trip with Discover Corps like Cuba: Preserving Nature’s Wonders is really like. Take it away Elvis!

Apr
11

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Ask the Alumni: Cuba through the Words of a Discover Corps’ Traveler

Posted by on April 11, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

This Traveler Plans to Return

For Discover Corps traveler, Barbara, her Cuba travel experience was so powerful she is already planning a return trip one year from now. During her adventure, she explored the country, felt the warmth of the Cuban people, and witnessed a moving reunion, years in the making. Barbara provides all the details below of her Cuba: Celebration of Arts & Culture vacation:

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Mar
18

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Interview from Thailand: Discover Corps’ Guide Tam

Posted by on March 18, 2019 · Leave a Comment  

After being a tour guide for so many years, you might think Discover Corps Guide Siwarkorn Hkt, or “Tam”, has probably done and seen it all. There’s something, however, that keeps him smiling and talking about how much he loves his job: the people. Of course, the wildlife and beautiful scenery on the Thailand: Elephants & Islands Expedition are incredible, but it’s the people that really stand out for him. From the conversations and shared experiences between travelers, to the time spent with locals, these relationships built while on your volunteer vacation stay with you for a lifetime.

“On the second day of elephant camp when we return in the morning time, the elephant makes noise to say hi or hello…the elephant remembers you, it smells you, it remembers your face and also your voice!” – Tam

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