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To start a solidarity trip to a developing country takes a great commitment from the traveler, and the experience is totally different from a conventional trip, in which you would be able to rest and enjoy luxuries and comfort.
The solidarity tourists have the opportunity to help and participate in events that will allow the people from diverse communities to develop and improve their life quality. This type of trips allows the travelers to experience an intercultural exchange between them and the residents, which is beneficial for both parts.
If you are thinking about starting an adventure of this sort, and so you can have an unforgettable experience, we will share with you some tips to make the most out of a solidarity trip.
Choose the right project
You must do some research and look for different kinds of projects and organizations that work with solidarity activities. You must ask simple questions that will help you to have a better idea about everything: what kind of work do they do? How long it lasts? What kind of communities they work with? This will be very useful to make a better choice. Look for things you’ve never done before, something that can get you in touch with new groups of people, something that will let you help people trough your skills and experience.
Spend time with people and give your best
Sharing with the inhabitants raises the level of sensibility towards the problems a community faces. This will improve your ability to serve in a more efficiente way. Make sure you find the way to interact and have a a good relation with the local people and the other team members. If you finish your duties, ask if there is other way to help, keep moving. Avoid asking uncomfortable questions to your hosts, behave properly and remember that the children will look up to you, and will follow you anywhere.
Evaluate and reflect over the activities you do every day
We recommend that, when you end your day, you conduct a brief evaluation of the activities you had. Define the positive and negative sides, and look for a way to have better results every day, and enjoy the experience to its fullest. This will make the project more effective if you share your findings with the organization members, and it will show if the goals are being met.
Keep record of your experience
Take pictures, record videos, conduct interviews… anything counts! All this material could be useful later, even to motivate others to make this kind of trips. It is also valid to keep some kind of journal, so you you can keep track of all the things that happen along the day. Before starting this adventure you can make a list of your skills, and by the time you get back home you can make a new list adding all the new skills you acquired during your trip, it will show how much you have changed.
Keep in mind that social tourism’s main goal is to help in every way yo can. Remember these tips, take them to practice and make the most out of this experience!