Tag Archives: tailor-made volunteering

Volunteering with the Mapuche in Argentina

Arnie, our local guide, picked us up in the morning to take us to a Mapuche community reservation called Chiquilihuin; stopping for photo opportunities of the towering, snow capped mountain en route. On our way there, we spent time with Carmen, based in Junin de los Andes, who is an advocate for this community, who accompanied us to Chiquilihuin.

Carmen has led projects with various NGO’s including energy provision, handicrafts, and a recycling programme. Her building was funded by the owner of the local beer ‘Quilmes’ and Cruzada Patagonia helped as well. Carmen is also a member of Ashoka.

When we arrived, we were introduced to  Pedro and his wife Maria, Mapuche folk, who immediately displayed their famed hospitality by inviting us to lunch – chivito, which is bbq’d goat, cooked in traditional style which is on a skewer type device over an open fire; it was delicious and incredibly tender, although at that point I thought we would be back at the lodge in time for a late lunch so did not gorge myself.

Pedro is a respected man in the community, so we discussed with him whether the community would like to have volunteers come on a voluntourism trip, and as this was assented to, we spoke about the sort of projects that our guests could get involved with.  Painting houses or schools was suggested, as was computer training – the school has three computers. Additionally, people with marketing/sales/branding skills could advise the artisans on how best to promote their crafts to appeal to foreigners.

So it is all looking quite promising! Now we press on to develop the sightseeing portion of our new itinerary, or potentially itineraries, as I am thinking the volunteering here lends itself to a trip blended with Chile…we shall see…visit www.handsupholidays.com for updates!


Exploding myths of voluntourism Pt 2

Today’s myth is: “I am too old to volunteer”

We at Hands Up Holidays firmly believe that volunteering is not just for teenagers and GAP year students. In fact, we focus on trips that cater for you if you have even a few years work experience, through to if you have retired.

If you have specific skills, we can match them to projects that would benefit from them – this includes teachers and medical professionals but goes beyond this to marketing specialists, management consultants and even bankers!

Even without specific skills, with a lot of enthusiasm you can make a valuable contribution on a voluntourism vacation: get your hands dirty helping build a house in Namibia, be a one-on-one reading partner in India, or help conserve sea turtles with Aboriginal rangers in Australia, to name but a few.

And if you like your creature comforts, our trips are designed so that you can continue to enjoy these whilst volunteering…the accommodation on most of our trips is in 4-5* hotels. Luxury volunteering has arrived!

Also, all our trips are rated from 1-5 in terms of Activity, so if you prefer a more sedate trip, select a 1 or 2 level trip.

The volunteering on our trips lasts 4-5 days; it is a taste of volunteering so that you can find out if volunteering is for you. if you already know it is for you, we would be delighted to prepare a tailor-made volunteering trip for a longer period of time.

Come and join us for your Adventure That Counts!