Discover Corps’ Travel Operations Assistant, Adrienne, has the important role of preparing travelers for both the pre-departure process AND in-country adventures upon their arrival. So needless to say, she really knows our trips inside and out. To stay on top of her game though, Adrienne puts in the work! This includes going on-location to walk in the footsteps of Discover Corps’ travelers. Most recently, she visited our Peru: Children of the Andes vacation, and sat down to discuss the unique experience in the video below:
Category: Family Travel
Tips, ideas and resources for families planning a volunteer vacation abroad.
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:
Tanzania is a game changer, or more aptly put, a perspective changer. Cosette and Brian DeCesare and their three daughters Genevieve, Theresa, and Maria are evidence of this phenomenon after their recent Tanzania Safari & Service family vacation with Discover Corps. Cosette put it best, “I was in awe of the happiness and disposition of the people. Especially the children. This was not so much a surprise but an observation. These people know struggle. But they have a level of apparent joy and contentment that would make a lot of Americans blush with envy.”
To elaborate on their family’s time in Africa, Cosette and 16-year-old Theresa kindly agreed to share a few thoughts below on what they called an experience of a lifetime. Their words are complemented by a video recap (after the Q&A) of the trip, creatively made by Theresa.
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:
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!
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:
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
The Havana Biennial is back! For the first time since 2015, the world renown, month-long art exhibition will be held this April in Cuba. If the countdown clock on biennialhavana.org is any indication, the world is eagerly awaiting its return.
Considering this event is nearly four years in the making and will help celebrate the 500th anniversary of the city of Havana, there is truly no better time to explore Cuba. Here’s everything you need to know about the highly-anticipated biennial festival, including a local’s perspective (quotations throughout) from Dayron Gonzalez, Discover Corps’ Cuban partner and Havana resident for 40 years:
Three Cuba Trips in and this Discover Corps Traveler Still Wants More
After three Discover Corps Cuba trips, some might consider Elaine an aspiring Cuban expert. The way she describes her experiences there, it’s clear she has seen a side of the country that many have not. Yet, as she shares, there is still so much she wants to see and learn.
Elaine kindly opened up about her adventures – which includes some valuable information for future Cuba travelers – and to no one’s surprise, she is ready to go back again. This time with the whole family.
‘’[The trip] gave me an emotional rush that lasted for two weeks after we got home. It was just so exciting. We’re so used to what we encounter in our everyday lives at home. We tend to think the rest of the world is like that. And it isn’t.’’
When planning a vacation many travelers are also expert researchers. How many minutes is the second layover? Does the hotel have 4 or 5 stars? and especially, Is breakfast included? This information is valuable, but knowing when to travel is just as important. So to help the cause, we studied the best time to visit each of the must-see destinations below. Now, you can focus on that complimentary omelet with orange juice. Enjoy!