Category: Sustainable Travel Page 2 of 6

Dec
17

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Letter from the Editor: This Year, Give the Present of Being Present

Posted by on December 17, 2018 · Leave a Comment  

“This reduction in stressors will free your family up to the lost art of single tasking.”

It’s crunch time! Don’t look at your calendar now, but Christmas Day is starting to come into focus, friends. We’ve officially entered the holiday season mayhem.

You know the routine. During this time of the year, event invitations pile up along with endless dirty dishes, your “trip to the store” transforms into the scene from the latest action film, and your shopping list goes up and up, but somehow your multi-colored lights haven’t found their way onto the front of the house just yet.

December does bring many joys: family, festivities and food, but if we’re honest with ourselves, what we’d really like to do right now is…breathe. There’s only so long we can continue to remember the next five things on our To Do list. 

So while the holiday season encourages you to go-go-go (and ho-ho-ho!), the Discover Corps team lovingly offers your family an opportunity to slow down and take in the moment. Or as we call it, give the present of being present.

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Nov
19

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7 Ways Discover Corps Practices Sustainable Tourism (and What It Means for You)

Posted by on November 19, 2018 · 1 Comment  

These days it’s impossible to pick up a magazine, peruse the newspaper or read a blog without running across buzzwords synonymous with sustainability. Words such as renewable, eco-friendly and green living are appearing with more and more regularity. This is also true for sustainable tourism, as its various forms include green travel, ecotourism and conscious travel.

But other than being a trendy term, what does sustainable tourism actually look like in the real world? And just as important, what does this mean for you?

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Oct
29

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[Infographic] Sea Turtle Nesting and Hatching Seasons in Costa Rica

Posted by on October 29, 2018 · Leave a Comment  

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to fascinating wildlife such as gibbons, sloths, toucans, jaguars, and of course, sea turtles. Unfortunately, the population of Costa Rican sea turtles has declined by 90% since 1980. Sea turtles face myriad threats such as boat traffic, domestic animals, climate change, accidental catch by industrial fisheries, and increased trash in oceans and beaches (which they often mistake for food). As a conservationist, understanding nesting and hatching patterns is crucial to the protection of sea turtles.

On our Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative trip, we’ll spend three days volunteering on a turtle conservation campaign. Given the declining population of turtles, every bit of help is welcome and each turtle is precious. It’s up to you what time of year you’re interested in learning more about – protecting the nesting female sea turtles, or lending a hand with the vulnerable hatchlings. Check out the infographic below to help make your decision!

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Sep
7

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What Does it Mean to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Posted by on September 7, 2018 · Leave a Comment  

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu and volunteer with Discover Corps here.

Travelers, adventurers, and tourists alike have all heard of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They’re usually considered gorgeous “must-visit” places, especially if you are looking to get to know a different country. But what is a UNESCO world heritage site, really? How do they earn that status, and why should they be protected?

Believe it or not, this idea has not been around for long. Declaring structures and land masses world heritage sites began in 1959 when Egypt requested assistance from The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, to protect and rescue endangered monuments and sites. Since then, countries all over the world have added significant sites to the ongoing list of recognized world heritage sites. To date there, are 878 UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the world.

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Jul
16

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Interview from Tanzania: Discover Corps Guide Esther “Mama” Simba

Posted by on July 16, 2018 · Leave a Comment  

Esther Simba, or “Mama Simba” as she is called in her village, is someone full of life who you don’t soon forget. With an infectious personality, she has a passion for connecting different cultures as a way of improving our world. On Discover Corps’ Tanzania: Safari & Service trip, you’re welcomed into the Chagga tribe, just outside the town of Moshi, where as Mama Simba says “you’ll find the most kind loving and caring people.”

The friendships that we create, there are people who will never forget their time here because it arises something in ourselves that is different than in other people.” – Esther “Mama” Simba

Discover Corps’ relationship with Esther began over ten years ago when Discover Corps’ Founder Andrew Motiwalla got to know Esther. Although she declined the idea of hosting travelers at first, a chance meeting in Stone Town on Zanzibar Island just a few weeks later was enough to spark a friendship and one of Discover Corps’ longest partnerships abroad to date.

So what is the trip really like? Watch the video below and get to know Esther, and write any questions in the comments!

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May
22

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Interview from Belize: Discover Corps Guide Reyes

Posted by on May 22, 2018 · Leave a Comment  

According to Reyes, Discover Corp’s guide on the Belize: Wildlife Safari trip, Belize is “Mother Nature’s best kept secret.”

Reyes grew up in Belize in the city of San Ignacio and brings over 10 years experience in guiding travelers across Central America. He thrives on the hands-on interaction that travelers get with wildlife, the locals, and the culture on Discover Corps trips. For him, seeing the smiles on travelers faces as they begin to settle in to the laid-back culture of the country is the best part about being a guide.

On our Belize: Wildlife Safari trip, truly live amongst the nature that Belize is known for (listen to howler monkeys in the distance in the jungle right from your room!). In addition to exploring caves and enjoying the pool, learn about conservation as you visit an iguana sanctuary and butterfly farm, spot manatees and howler monkeys in their natural habitat, and snorkel the world’s largest barrier reef as you search for sea turtles, colorful fish, stingrays, and even nurse sharks in Abergris Caye.

So what is the trip really like? Watch the video below and get to know Reyes, and write any questions in the comments!

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May
2

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Interview from “The Sea Turtle Initiative”: Discover Corps Guide Tara

Posted by on May 2, 2018 · 2 Comments  

A surf trip to Costa Rica changed Tara’s life, ultimately leading her to move to their white-sand beaches and devote her life to sea turtle conservation. Today, Tara shares her passion with travelers from around the world to create unforgettable memories for those who are looking for something more unique and a little bit more impactful for their vacation.

On our Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative trip, travelers get the rare opportunity to help endangered sea turtles and learn from biologists and conservationists more about about the threats they face and the efforts taking place in Costa Rica to bring back the population. You’ll see primarily olive ridley turtles and will either travel during nesting season to see the mother turtles coming to shore, or during hatching season, where you’ll see hatchlings make their way to the ocean (and sometimes, lend struggling hatchlings a hand!). In addition to night patrol drives, experience zip-lining, river tubing on the Rio Vegro, an animal rescue center for big cats, and more.

So what is the trip really like? Watch the video above and get to know Tara. Write your questions in the comments below!

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Apr
5

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Interview from the Ground in Kenya: Discover Corps Guide Zarek

Posted by on April 5, 2018 · 1 Comment  

For Zarek, growing up in Kenya meant growing up with a keen understanding of conservation, both for the nature and wildlife in his country. Today, Zarek shares his passion with travelers from around the world, and digs deep into education and creating impact with Discover Corps travelers who want something more on their vacation.

On our Kenya: Safari & Conservation trip, you go behind-the-scenes at wildlife reserves, track lions, collect data on cheetahs in the savannah, and marvel at the last northern white rhinos in the world. In addition to safari drives and hands-on interaction with conservation projects, meet with the indigenous Masai communities that inhabit the reservers and experience their traditional ways of life.

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Feb
2

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Why Eco-Lodges Are the Way to Go When Traveling (Plus: Photos!)

Posted by on February 2, 2018 · Leave a Comment  

It’s hard to plan your travel these days without hearing the term “ecotourism” – fortunately, a trend in the right direction. Choosing green hotels or eco-lodges as your travel destinations have risen in popularity in recent years, so exactly constitutes as an eco-lodge, and is there any difference between an eco-lodge and a green hotel?

In short, both terms are often taken for granted and used interchangeably. While both of these institutions rely on using materials made from naturally renewable sources and are greener, or taking initiatives to preserve the nature of our planet, in practice there are some important things that differentiate an eco-lodge from the green hotel:

  • Green Hotels. No matter how green they tend to be, hotels are demanding large infrastructure and a great amount of cash to build and maintain. It is not out of the question that a large conglomerate or multinational company is behind the entire concept of the hotel. This is not a bad thing, and in fact it’s great to see larger businesses focusing on the planet, it just means you will likely have a more traditional experience. Oftentimes green hotels are positioned inside the large urban areas and cities, which is the main differentiator between green hotels and eco-lodges.
  • Eco-Lodges. One can say that eco-lodges are a little bit less mainstream and a little bit greener than green hotels. They are often made of natural materials from the country you’re visiting, which often means you’ll see the architecture of the country and feel immersed in nature and the wildlife that surrounds you. Almost always situated in a remote area set amongst impressive terrains, eco-lodges take into consideration all that their presence touches and what it means for those native to the land.

So where do you find the coolest eco-lodges today? Below are just a few of our favorites:

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Jul
20

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A Belize Vacation in Photos

Posted by on July 20, 2017 · Leave a Comment  

Have you considered a Belize vacation? Why? What comes to mind when you envision the country, culture, wildlife, and food of the Central American country? Does your imagination run away with you to a tropical paradise full of fascinating animals, sparkling azure beaches, and luxury accommodations?

Follow your imagination – it’s a step ahead of you! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve added a second Belize vacation to our list of trips! And since a picture is worth 1,000 words, we thought it’d be fun to share a few thousand with you.

Sit back, relax, listen for the breeze and the birds, breathe in the saltwater air, and soak up some sun – we’re going to Belize!

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