Globe Aware

Globe Aware, a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) develops short-term volunteer programs in international environments that encourage people to immerse themselves in a unique way of giving back.

Together, Globe Aware's founders have been arranging cultural missions for 15 years in developing nations and organizing volunteer missions since 2000. The first programs were run in Peru and Costa Rica, with several in Asia to follow.

Locations are chosen based on a huge number of factors, but generally are communities that are safe, genuinely needy, organized (in terms of proper NGO status), with significant cultural differences from the typical North American lifestyle, and willing to accept our involvement. Our nonprofit status was recognized in 2003.

Every activity in which we engage is intended to accomplish one of two things: promote cultural awareness and/or promote sustainability. For us the concept of cultural awareness means to recognize and appreciate the real beauties and real challenges of a culture, but not to change it. The concept of sustainability is to help others stand on their own two feet; to teach skills rather than reliance.

Chosen projects meet several key criteria: safe, culturally interesting, genuinely beneficial to a needy community, and involve significant interaction with the host community. Globe Aware reviews volunteer feedback on a weekly basis to incorporate changes, and continually meets with the communities to monitor and review projects. Simultaneously Globe Aware organizes several optional cultural excursions throughout every program, designed to highlight local culture in a way the typical tourist can rarely experience. The organization has no political or religious affiliation.

Volunteers help to empower the host communities in creating renewable, sustainable programs. While Globe Aware's financial assistance benefits the community economically, it is actually the involvement and collaboration between the volunteers and community that is the greatest mutual benefit. Globe Aware is not a foundation that focuses on giving out charity, but rather an organization which focuses on creating self reliance.

Unlike a regular vacation, during which you may spend a good deal of time on a tourist bus and in lines at museums, our trips allow you to learn things such as how to cook local cuisine, sing with local school children, work side by side on local community projects. Few vacations provide a way to bond so closely with local cultures in so short a time. The experience will likely change how you see the world.

In addition to being granted not-for-profit status by the United States Internal Revenue Service, Globe Aware is also registered with The Texas State Attorney General's Charities Bureau which is responsible for supervising the activity of charities to ensure that their funds are properly used.

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Globe Aware Reviews

Spring Break in Peru

My first “adventure in service” through Globe Aware was a journey filled with new experiences and out-of-this-world memories. I am a traveler through and through but had never been on a volunteer vacation. I had a desperate desire to explore a new place while also helping others in a meaningful way. After months of research to find the perfect company I chose Globe Aware. I was drawn to them for being a US based non-profit that specializes in coordinating group trips for those who want to spend their vacation helping in areas of need but also want to learn about and explore a new culture and place.
The “Care for Cusco” program had my friend and I volunteering in an albergue in Cusco for one week over spring break. Staying in the albergue was comfortable, clean, and busy. We were surrounded by happy children ages 9-16 who live there during the school year, away from their families, so they can get an education. We provided them with books, helped with homework, taught them English, new games and skills, and helped out with big projects around the albergue and their home villages.
We were tasked with hand sanding all the chairs in the house so they could be restrained. We used shears and shovels to clear a plot of land, mixed cement, and filled the plot to make a new soccer court that would withstand the elements. On a trip up the Andes to a mountain top village we broke down a woman’s old stove and used the mud clay in her backyard to mold bricks and build her a new one. The work was physically demanding and not in my comfort zone as an American girl in my 20s. But each day felt so rewarding after the hugs and smiles we got because of our help. Plus, we had a lot of energy due to Alicia, the house cook who made the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted and provided the fuel we needed.
In our off-time we spent Easter mass with the students, visited them at school to learn about Peruvian education, explored Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and took the slow train to Machu Picchu. Having Rocio, our volunteer coordinator, with us from the moment our plane landed, at the orphanage, and on each excursion meant we were traveling with a friend who deeply knew the area and culture.
I am thankful that I chose GlobeAware, which made the trip as smooth as possible and offered the most perfect mix of work and play. Rarely have I felt that I truly got to know a country and culture the way I did on that trip.
Soon after my return from Peru life changed and I became a mom, putting my voluntourism days on hiatus for a bit. That trip with Globe Aware made me think about what kind of life I want to live and how I want to raise my children. I am 100% sure I will go on another volunteer vacation someday, this time with my family in tow. And it’s no question that I would choose Globe Aware above all others.

By: Nicole Rothamel
Nationality: American
Age: 39

Great organisation

I've been volunteering with Globe Aware last year in Thailand. I really enjoyed the time and Globe aware was very good in organizing everything. Would definitely recommend

By: Alona
Nationality: Ukrainian
Age: 31

Volunteering in Thailand - Globeaware

It was my first time doing volunteering abroad, on another continent no less so I was scared & excited but Globeaware gave me a lot of information about the programme and the process of booking the trip was quite smooth.
I've met other people during our trip who have booked through other organizations and had very bad experiences. I must say I was lucky to choose Globeaware and will definitely book another voluntering activity with them in the future.

By: Diana Pataki
Nationality: Hungarian
Age: 30

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