Planning your summer vacation? As you start your plans and are looking at beaches, amusement parks, or National Parks, there’s a new trend that’s emerging called “Voluntourism” and people are spending about $2 billion each year doing it.

Credit: Alana Lynn, Townsquare Media
Credit: Alana Lynn, Townsquare Media

Voluntourism combines travel and volunteerism to create a great experience for both the tourist and the beneficiary. Naturally critics have something to say about it saying that it just helps young adults pad their resumes or college admissions, but to be honest, I like what’s happening here. Volunteering and getting to see the most beautiful places in the world?  You can count me in!

For the most part, people have been traveling abroad for voluntourism opportunities, but did you know Colorado is growing in voluntourism because of the incredible opportunities offered? If you are interested in voluntourism in our state, you can contact these non-profits directly to get you and your family and friends set up.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative – because Colorado has 54 mountains that rise at least 14,000 ft there is heavy foot traffic that can be grueling on the ecosystems, there are opportunities to assist in trail repair in Rocky Mountain National Park. Some volunteer vacations range from three-day trail builds, as an added bonus you get to camp near the work site.
The Colorado Trail Foundation – the Colorado Trail is 500 miles from Denver to Durango. The Foundation takes care of this trail with volunteers working on a variety of terrain.
Continental Divide Trail Coalition – no previous experience is required to help out on the Continental Divide Trial. You can expect to do anything from repair damaged sections of the trail to cook for trail crews.
Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado – a nonprofit dedicated to getting the public to care about Colorado’s outdoors and natural resources through volunteerism. There are some different programs you can join like the revitalization of federal and state parks, wildlife habitats, and other lands enjoyed by the public. This is also a great opportunity for kids as part of their focus is to get the kids involved in protecting and maintaining our natural resources.

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