To make a big difference to your planet this Earth Day, consider one of the following outstanding conservation projects through The Intrepid Foundation.
You can help support:
The fabulous making of essential school kits out of trash in Bihar, India through GOONJ; help save endangered turtles in Vietnam through work at Cuc Phuong National Park; support the restoration of the habitat of extraordinary wildlife on the island of Floriana in the Galapagos through The Charles Darwin Foundation; help keep families in remote villages of Peru healthy through the provision of ceramic water filters, or help the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre rescue endangered Asiatic black bears from the illegal wildlife trade in Laos.
When it comes to protecting our planet, Brazil isn’t leaving anything to chance. The country’s per capita emission rate of CO2 per year remains well below the global average and it has been a leader in negotiations to introduce carbon-trading mechanisms. This commitment extends to local tourism, as Intrepid Express reader Shannon Smith explains…
“I found myself kitting up for a day of river snorkelling. This is the thing to do in Bonito as it claims to have the world’s clearest river. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Images of a dark, slimy waterway circulated in my mind, as none of the rivers back home would really entice me to dive in donning a snorkel and mask.
Before trekking Nepal we need to all ask ourselves “How can I hike responsibly?” Here’s some advice from our good friends at KEEP – the Kathmandu Environmental Education Project in Nepal, on how to be a responsible trekker in their beautiful mountainous land:
* Pack adequate warm clothes so as not to depend on fires for warmth.
* For women a mid-calf length skirt or loose trousers, and for men trousers or knee-length shorts (long trousers in monasteries) are respectful of local customs.
The Intrepid Foundation has long supported the Animal Care in Egypt hospital on the outskirts of Luxor because sadly there can be a downside to local transport when animals are involved. Here they are dedicated to improving the lives of the working animals in Egypt and as Sue from ACE reports, they are delighted when a sad story turns to good news…
“A donkey was brought in to the ACE hospital with an injury seen all too commonly – a saddle sore. In the majority of cases, these wounds are caused by inappropriate padding underneath tack, or due to badly fitting tack. He initially had two wounds which were very slow to heal so he had a prolonged stay with us at the hospital.
It’s easy to understand why Intrepid loves to use local transport. As well as being a responsible way to travel, it really gives you an insight into how people go about their daily lives, rather than being cooped up in a coach completely separated from the action. Intrepid’s Joseph Kornides explains why there’s no better way to explore China…
“Overnight sleeper trains are the main transport we use between cities, and for good reasons our travellers often rate the experience as one of the highlights of their China trip.
“Some people complain about the “dancing road” from Poi Pet (Thai border) to Siem Reap, but my groups so often say it was a fantastic experience of a life time. Yes, the road is bumpy, but have you taken a good look outside and noticed the countryside that you’re passing through?
Steve Davey is a world-renowned writer and photographer based in London. His international best-sellers include Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die and Footprint Travel Photography, so he certainly knows his way around a camera and the world! Here are great photo tips from Steve to help you take better travel portraits…
“For most travellers the people they meet are the highlight of any trip, yet many struggle to come back with pictures that they are proud of. Following a few simple rules can mean that you don’t only come back with better portraits, you can have more fun taking them!
The Intrepid Foundation is a long-time supporter of the Baan Unrak Children’s Village in Sangklaburi, Thailand. Volunteer Coordinator, Anne Cecile, recently sent us this update on how our last donation is being used…
“Here at Baan Unrak, the teenage boys and girls live in different houses. The girls have a concrete home, but the boys have a bamboo hut, which only lasts for a year as the rainy season makes it fall apart. The fact of living in a bamboo hut has been quite depressing for the boys. They feel discriminated against, it lowers their self esteem and they do not feel safe from intruders, increasing their fears and insecurity. The boys are currently living in one end of their house because the roof has caved in the other section, the walls have fallen down and all up, the house must be rebuilt.
Crammed in an overcrowded train in India, Intrepid traveller Kevin Whitely explains how a new photographic toy turned a tense situation into a very special real life experience…
“In the fall of 2001 I began a 14-day trip with Intrepid in India. A few days into the trip we travelled on an overnight train to Agra, where the next day we would visit the Taj Mahal.
After dinner we were all sitting together in one of our group’s compartments, when I happened to look out the window. We had arrived in a small village and there were hundreds of local people on the platform waiting for the train. “I wonder where they’re going?”, I mused as we pulled to a stop.
“Money mister? One dollar? One pen? One bon-bon? One rupee?” Coming to grips with poverty whilst travelling in developing countries, and deciding how you might respond to beggars can be distressing. Intrepid’s approach varies from culture to culture, but with advice from those in the aid and development sector, we suggest a few pointers:
– Don’t give to begging children. Giving to children is a sure way to perpetuate their poverty, particularly when they and their parents consider it more lucrative than attending school. If you want to support children, seek out organisations that are working to provide educational opportunities to the poorest children. A good education will be their best opportunity to climb out of poverty.