Although home to more than 11 million people, Cuban culture has been shrouded in mystery to most North Americans because of prolonged economic and political strain between the United States and Cuba. The Care for Cuba program pulls back the curtains on this Caribbean culture and gives volunteers a clear look at the beauties, struggles, and determination of the Cuban people. Cubanos are proud, educated, and often quite happy to share opinions. Isolated for years due to the “blockade” (as Cubans refer to the embargo the US imposed against the Communist state), their culture has been influenced by m cultures, none perhaps as heavily as Spain, Africa and the United States. Full of music, derelict buildings, joy and sorrow, the country offers few material pleasures but immense humanitarian rewards.
The Philippines is composed of 1,107 beautiful islands endowed with a plethora of beauty and natural resources, mega-cities, volcanoes, beaches and rice fields, but also a land of startling poverty. The culture here is incredibly unique relative to any of its closest geographic neighbors. Our program site is in the province of Nueva Ecija, about 100 miles from Manila. In 1896, Nueva Ecija became one of the first provinces to revolt against Spain, and one of the provinces who declared its independence in 1898. Poverty was the only reason why Nueva Ecija was not given recognition as a separate country from the Philippines by the King of Spain in 1840s.The people of this community are neglected and marginalized in terms of social development. As a result, they live in poverty. Women, children, and the disabled bear the effect of massive poverty, and it is to this particularly needy population that we direct our efforts.
South Africa has celebrated an end to formal apartheid but despite its rich natural resources and can-do attitude, the majority of the black population still face huge challenges.
Job prospects are still in low supply, housing and the standard of living are still far below expectations, e.g. access to running tap water is limited, decent flushing toilets are shared, and millions still live in “slums”. This program provides unique opportunities to understand the challenges faced by the black majority, while also helping to improve their lives. In stunning contrast, volunteers will see “beyond-belief”, gorgeous sights, white sandy beaches, pristine wineries, rugged mountain scapes, gigantic whales and wild penguins etc, and more importantly they will get to understand the real beauties and challenges of the new South Africa.
The country of Guatemala, well-known as a place of beauty and safety, warmly welcomes visitors to discover its charm and diversity amidst amazing wildlife, friendly locals, and its ancient Mayan roots. Yet even amongst the intriguing Tikal allures and the unique flora and fauna, Guatemala still remains a country with great need. Huge population growth and migration have put a strain on resources all over the country. As a result, literacy rates are among some of the lowest in the world, and poverty is prominent. Low standards of living, poor sanitation, and even limited access to clean water are all daily challenges faced by many Guatemalans. Lodging is provided in a small, rustic but very quaint hotel, accommodating two to six guests per room, depending on the size of your travel party. A single supplement can be arranged for an additional $290. All beds are covered with mosquito netting, and include a private bath with a hot shower, flushing toilets, fans, and an outdoor patio area. The hotel is located on Lake Peten Itza. Volunteers will have the wonderful opportunity to visit the world-famous Tikal National Park and Temple. Other optional leisure activities include participating in a class in tortilla making, attending a Mayan Fire Ceremony and meeting with a Mayan Spiritual Guide, taking an herb walk in the jungle, meeting with an herbalist, and taking a tour of the Aktun Kan Caves. Optional excursions, independent of Globe Aware but run by companies whose safety we have vetted, include Canopy/Zipline Tours and/or horseback riding.
If you are looking for a truly "off the beaten path" experience in a community with real need, then you've found it! Your volunteer program will take place in beautiful San Pedro de Casta, a secluded and traditional village located high in the Andes, about 4 hours outside of Lima. The people of San Pedro make their communal living by farming the terraced land of the surrounding mountains, as their ancestors did for thousands of years before them.
Volunteers, depending on number of volunteers per group, will be engaged in a variety of projects, from teaching English pronunciation and colloquialisms, the building of playgrounds and better homes to replace substandard housing, refurbishment of buildings for use as schools, work on kindergarten and primary schools, as well as village markets and other infrastructure to help raise the standards of living throughout rural Vietnam. (Kindergartens are not currently funded by the Vietnamese government). Disadvantaged youths living in rural areas outside of town are allowed to attend the schools we work on at no cost. All volunteers will teach Basic English and play games with the children, and assist with our new Portable Mobile Libraries Projects, called "Books to Live."
Globe Aware's volunteer vacation program in Thailand is geared toward the nature- loving volunteer explorer as the majority of the program’s projects involve work with locals of the Surin province to preserve the native elephant habitat. Projects will include preparing and planting food crops, construction of shade shelters, and bathing the elephants. For leisure activities, volunteers will be welcomed in a traditional Thai welcoming ceremony and will be able to participate in cooking classes and shopping in local markets. Accommodations include newly built wooden houses with Western-style toilets, bucket style showers, and limited electricity. Come to Thailand to help save the Asian elephants from extinction and give captive elephants a life worth living!
Experience the European spirit of past, present, and future through Globe Aware’s Romania program. Volunteers will work in a village on the outskirts of the beautiful city of Brasov, targeting children and at-risk families to fight against poverty and injustice. Work projects include building a Social and Educational Center (a future home for ten homeless families), improving the living conditions of the often marginalized Roma community, and implementing environmentally friendly attitudes towards the local community and its surroundings. In their free time, volunteers will have the opportunity to explore Brasov’s historic town center and surrounding areas, including the Townhall Square, the Romanian Art Museum, and Bran Castle (more commonly known as Dracula’s Castle), Visitors can also take a cable car ride to view the city of Brasov from atop a small plateau. Depending on number of volunteers, accommodations are provided in either a quaint Bed and Breakfast in a nearby town or in a charming, 2-storey villa near the old center of Brasov. Cable TV, internet connection, and washing machine facilities are available at both locations. Come visit this quaint country with its picturesque landscapes and help discover and redeem the treasures of Romania’s rich heritage.
Come to Cuzco with Globe Aware and take part in providing educational opportunities for impoverished children from rural households. Service projects include improvements and maintenance to facilities through activities like painting classrooms, creating gardens, or constructing desks and beds. There is ample time to work directly with the children after they finish their school day, and you may also visit a local family to help construct a Lorena stove for household heating. Volunteer vacationers can make a scheduled excursion to Machu Picchu (at the volunteer’s expense), and to other surrounding ancient sites which are in very close proximity. Accommodations include dormitory style rooms with running water, flushing toilets, and electricity. Be ready to be dazzled by this vibrant city, the most popular destination in Peru, and to experience what was once the heart of the powerful Incan empire!
Participate in Globe Aware's India program and combat poverty by working with slum dwelling and other disadvantaged children in the community of Jaipur. In this “Pink City,” volunteers will work with rescued child laborers, assist at day care centers, and provide support for local teachers, in addition to completing beautification activities for public facilities. Volunteers will be accommodated in one of several modest hotels which all have running hot-water, Western-style toilets, and electricity. During leisure time, volunteers can have dinner with a local family, visit a traditional carpet factory, take an elephant ride, or walk through the colorful streets. Come and fight poverty in India and enhance the lives of poverty-stricken children in ways that you can only begin to imagine.
In Globe Aware’s program in Laos, volunteers will help the gentle citizens of Laos to recover from the heavy trauma the country experienced after bombing in the Vietnam War. Volunteers will work alongside Buddhist monks at both a government orphanage and village schools to complete a variety of community projects. Projects can include general repairs and improvements on facilities, as well as teaching basic English and assembling and distributing wheel chairs for those injured by land mines. Accommodations include a modest hotel in the center of town with hot water, flushing toilets, and electricity. During leisure time, volunteers can boat on the Mekong River, visit famous temples and caves, and get to know the people of Laos. Lend a helping hand in Laos and be part of bringing restoration and recovery to a peaceful society that has endured years of devastation.
Visit China with Globe Aware and help provide a quality education for children who have lost their educational opportunities due to urban migration. Volunteers will work in the only true non-profit school for migrant children by completing projects to improve the school’s infrastructure and teaching English pronunciation and language skills to the students. During free time, volunteers will have the opportunity to sightsee around Beijing and visit iconic sights such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden Temple, and Tiananmen Square. Volunteers will stay in a modest hotel located near the school with private bathrooms and modern amenities. Come experience the wonders of this ancient society and bring hope and opportunity to the forgotten children of China.
Globe Aware’s Costa Rica program takes place about an hour from the city of San Jose in the gorgeous, hidden valley of Orosi. There in Orosi, villagers of the small community of El Yaz enjoy their natural paradise, but struggle to make ends meet as their access to sustainable jobs, hot water, transportation, and proper nutrition are limited. Through this program, volunteers have the opportunity to engage in agricultural work and organic farming and gardening in order to benefit these struggling villagers. Projects often focus on permaculture, reforestation, and environmental issues. Volunteers will stay in a rented house in the midst of beautiful, lush vegetation with running hot water, flushing toilets, and electricity. Leisure activities include nature hikes, horse-back riding, and bathing in natural hot springs. Come enjoy the beauty of the Orosi Valley and help protect and preserve the paradise of the rainforest!