Julia Hamfelt

Julia, or Lazer Wolf as she's more commonly known around LUSH HQ, is the LUSH Times Editor and manager of the LUSH Copy Team. Her LUSH roots began four years ago at the Victoria, BC shop as a Bath Bomb detonating, bubble blowing, dancing machine. She now spends her days collaborating with fellow writers and designers to create fresh LUSH Times editions, web copy and in-store signage. When she's not writing and editing LUSH prose, you might find her engaging in fierce lazer tag battles, belting out a karaoke tune (Tina Turner, always) or doting over her beloved kitty, Luba.

Mar 03.3

5 Amazing Volunteer Travel Destinations

Charity Pot

Spring is the season for new adventures, and we’re sharing our top volunteer travel destinations!

We have fantastic Charity Pot partners in every part of the world, but we’re shining the spotlight on five partners who offer voluntourism trips or accept visiting volunteers on a short-term basis. Volunteering in a new city or country is an incredible opportunity to learn more about its culture, contribute to local non-profit initiatives making a difference in the community and create unforgettable moments to share with family and friends. Whether you’re already planning a trip to one of these destinations, or are looking for a new place to explore this spring, giving back wherever you go will make for an amazing travel experience!

1. Build a “Bottle School” in Guatemala with Hug it Forward
Grab a Spanish dictionary and a map of Central America, amigos! Hug It Forward empowers rural communities in Guatemala to build "bottle schools" using plastic soda bottles stuffed with inorganic trash. Entire communities come together with volunteers to clean up the environment and build a bottle school, creating the opportunity of a brighter future for local children. Pretty incredible, right? Hug it Forward hosts groups of volunteers for one week at a time in the community of El Retiro, Guatemala.

2. Monitor Sea Turtles in Mexico with RED Sustainable Travel
If camping on the magnificent beaches of Mexico, sharing nighttime stories beneath the stars and getting up close and personal with gigantic, majestic sea turtles sounds like your ideal vacation, then sign up for a trip with RED Sustainable Travel this spring! Black sea turtles are endangered in this part of the world—RED volunteers work with local marine biologists and fishermen to monitor them and prevent further damage to their population.



3. Restore the Mojave Desert in Nevada with Friends of Nevada Wilderness
If you’re traveling to Las Vegas in the near future, try venturing beyond the famous strip to explore the expansive and breathtaking Gold Butte area. Friends of Nevada Wilderness is committed to protecting and preserving Nevada’s wild lands, and they offer day trips to groups of volunteers on a regular basis. A volunteer day consists of planting cacti, building animal-proof fencing around new vegetation and cleaning up inorganic trash, followed by watching the sunset over gorgeous rock formations peppered with petroglyphs.



4. Rebuild Homes in New Orleans with Lowernine
Lowernine is rebuilding hope and homes in New Orleans almost ten years after Hurricane Katrina decimated the area. Just a short drive from the historic French Quarter, you can get your hands dirty painting, sanding and constructing in the resilient lower ninth ward. Lowernine accepts short or long-term volunteers to help restore residential homes and local services like grocery stores and schools. Making connections with local people is all part of the fun—the spirit of this community is truly inspiring!

 


5. Clean up the California Coastline with San Diego Coastkeeper
Going to California? Why not spend a day helping to clean up its gorgeous beaches? San Diego Coastkeeper hosts beach clean up days multiple times per month. Check out their calendar to plan your volunteer day combing San Diego’s beaches for inorganic trash—and make sure to bring all your travel companions along to help! Coming together to maintain California’s beaches means we can all enjoy them for many years to come.

 

Julia Hamfelt

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