Community-Based Tours (The Peace Corps Alternative)

If you’re one of the many who always thought a Peace Corps stint would be great — if only you didn’t have to commit two whole years — community-based tourism aims to give you that short-term but intimate cross-cultural experience.

“Rather than an hour spent at a reconstructed ‘tribal’ village, the traveller is invited to be part of community life,” says Conservation International, which recently announced a partnership with responsibletravel.com to promote such initiatives.

The community gains local employment and income for education, development and conservation initiatives. The traveller has a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and interaction with members of a remote tribe or community, often with profoundly different ways of life to ours.

Responsibletravel.com is an on-line travel agent based in Brighton, England, launched in 2001. They market pre-screened holidays from over 270 worldwide tourism brands and businesses. You can browse their site to find information, then contact the vendors directly to make a booking.