Eco-traveling for somebody becomes the first adventure in life, but it can also be a new experience for guru-travelers who used to be rather watchers. Cardinal change of lifestyle, new contacts, and unforgettable impressions are just few edges of our world, which are opened by eco-tourism. How else can you save sparks in Fiji, learn how much time is spent on growing grapes and caring for horses, and see how active and strong people abandon their office work and build their own eco-village without harm to the environment and with absolute harmony in a soul.
We identified three main kinds of volunteer programs:
1. Preservation of natural territories
To be a part of world history is enough to become the volunteer in a national park or any other natural territory. Keeping beauty of the nature is one of the most important tasks for humanity. Children will be happy to hear that their mother or father helped to save pandas in China or protected the African savannas in Kenya.
Other type of preservation of natural territories is participation in construction of special tourist tracks, which allow seeing all beauty of many unusual corners of the nature.
In the United States there is Appalachian Trail which is passed by over three million tourists in a year.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy takes volunteers to keep a mountain chain, create the correct conditions for tourism and increase popularity of this place.
Volunteers are divided into teams depending on activities. For example, Caroline Kittle participated in construction of stairs on the Appalachian Trail together with Konnarock Trail Crew:
Volunteers can build trail around famous Lake Baikal in Russia. Creation of such ecological road allows to be acquainted with one of the most magical places in the world.
A volunteer has opportunity to come not only in summer where it is possible to help to improve several Baikal reserves and national parks, but also in winter. In cold season projects are devoted to educational activity. Great Baikal Trail is the project for attraction to lake’s problems and increasing flows of tourists at all seasons.Therefore, in winter volunteers collect information and give classes in ecology at schools.
2. Help in farming
Inveterate citizens can be interested in farmer tourism. Today it is possible to find a large number of programs, which gather groups for the help in rural everyday life. For those who have grown up in villages it becomes interesting to participate in the organization of life of farms in other countries. For the choice of a location, there is a website wwoofinternational.org.
Dreams to grow up grapes for the future vine, help with care of herd of sheep, eat natural products and enjoy clean fresh air come true here. Farmers are glad and grateful for any help. They admit volunteers to the family and show them rural life.
For example, Jessica Serko went to the Hawaiian paradise not for a sake of bronze tan and coconut cocktail, but for the help in Mohala Farms’ life:
Mari Bareksten received skills of sheep farmer in New Zealand:
3. Construction of eco-villages
For keeping the nature, there is a construction of eco-villages. People specially go to the remote places, refusing the benefits of city culture and become pioneers of new ecological settlement. They want to enjoy silence and tranquility without hostility and a harmful way of life.
Main principles of such ecovillages:
- Preservation of natural and cultural heritage;
- Development of skills of ecological building;
- Support of a healthy lifestyle;
- Creation of conditions for peaceful existence and spiritual development;
- Full self-sufficiency by ecological products and resources.
In different corners of the world there are small eco-villages, also the project #SUNSURFERS has not lagged behind this trend. This association of free and independent travelers, who have excluded alcohol and cigarettes from life, play sports and make personal growth in all directions. Sansurfers are people of different nationalities, religious and countries who try to find the internal freedom together. The sansurfer’s lifestyle shows how many positive things can happen to everyone when you open heart to the world.
Aspiration to minimalism is the main doctrine of sansurfer. They organize meetings and marathons and now have decided to create eco-villages from 50 to 150 inhabitants who will help each other and to live in consent and harmony.
The most important principles of sansurfer’s eco-villages:
- Not to kill;
- Not to steal;
- To tell the truth;
- Not to take alcohol, tobacco, drugs;
- To refuse chaotic sexual communications;
- To refuse the competition among themselves.
The first sansurfers’ eco-village will appear in Kakheti – the historical region of Georgia. Here locals are glad to accept any traveler, feed with the best churchkhela (georgian dessert) and to treat with selected grapes. In Kakheti castles, fortresses and monasteries are located near high mountains. It is the place of force, inspiration and harmony.
The sansurfers’ eco-village is a small place in 9 hectares where construction will begin in spring of 2018. Everyone can help sansurfers with constructing their home.
«The search of a big ground for the eco-village it isn’t as simple as it seems. Sometimes you spend the whole day in the car. You go hundreds of kilometers for the sake of a successful selection of land, but in this place you understand that it is successful only in words. Weather often changes. Rain, dampness, dirt. The car was stuck because of the washed-out road. Quickly darkens and you don’t know where you will spend the night. But it goes down on the second plan when near you brave people with the burning eyes and warm hearts. They are ready to take the responsibility, believe in the general idea and are ready to sacrifice personal interests for the sake of realization of the one purpose. Protect such people. Be such people. They are more expensive than all wealth of the Universe!»
Volunteering is a way to announce that you are ready to difficulties, compassion, overcoming yourself. You inhale a fresh drink of air and open yourself in a new way. Becoming the ecological volunteer is an excellent opportunity to visit any corner of the planet. How the “Traveller”’s hero said: “To change the world, it is necessary to see it”.