Category Archives: Volunteer

The International Ecotourism Society

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) published one of my Go Overseas articles onto their blog! Check it out: Volunteering Abroad for Women’s Rights.

You should also look into their upcoming conference in Monterey, CA in September. Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2012 #ESTC2012 http://www.ecotourismconference.org/

Quiz: How much water do you use?

It’s important to appreciate what you have and not over-indulge. Water is one thing I definitely take for granted. Living the way we do in the United States, we barely ever have to think about our water supply except for when you buy a Brita filter or when the water bill comes.

I have been aware of Water.org, and their support of the water crisis, for quite some time now. Check out the website for more info, they have some great infographics too.

water.org water crisis infographic

According to the simple, six-question quiz from Life by the Liter, it would take me 2.2 days to collect the water that you require in just 24 hours of your life. (I found this quiz via another great site, Take Part.)

The average American lives on 262 liters of (clean) water each day. There are some slums in the world where people live on just 30 liters of water a day, sometimes less. That’s 30 liters for drinking, washing, cooking and going to the bathroom. That’s 30 liters for everything.”

How much water do you use? How often do you consider the lengths other people have to go to for that amount of clean water?

The International Ecotourism Society Interview

Go Overseas: Global Community of Volunteer Reviewers and Passionate Travelers

Our newest blog partner, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), interviewed the Go Overseas Volunteer Abroad Director, yours truly, about ecotourism, volunteering abroad, Go Overseas, and more.

TIES is a great, well-established organization in the ecotourism world and I’m excited to be working with them. Check it out!

 

Go Overseas Marketing Team Hard at Work

Definitely enjoying my new job!

From the Go Overseas blog: “We have some exciting new initiatives in the works here at Go Overseas! Our Marketing team was putting the finishing touches on some creative content plans which we know our users will love. Pictured above is our Volunteer Abroad Marketing Director, Katie Boyer, our Teach Abroad Marketing Director, Andrea Moran, our Study Abroad Marketing Director, Brett McKay and our study abroad intern, Elise Blum.”

Bicycling in Mexico

My followers here may know the story but here’s a new take on my Mexican bicycling adventures on MuchBetterAdventures.com. Check it out, great website, big thanks to Tom at Much Better Adventures.

Bicycling in Mexico

Opportunities for Writers

Have you traveled and volunteered? I want to hear your story! At Go Volunteer Abroad anyone can be a writer and contribute to our growing number of volunteer abroad articles. From tips, how to, photo essays, interviews, profiles, and more, Go Overseas wants to let you get creative and tell your story.

Send me an email to katie (at) gooverseas.com if you have a story idea or questions!

New article on Go Overseas

“Easy Resolutions to Keep the Spirit of Volunteerism Alive” article on Go Volunteer Abroad

 

Five Ways to Continue Volunteering After Returning Home

1. Spread the Word: Be An Advocate for What You Believe In

2. Start an Organization

3. Stay in Touch: Sending Support, Supplies, and a Little Love

4. Volunteer In Your Community

5. Plan Another Volunteer Trip

 

Read the rest here: “Five Ways to Continue Volunteering After Returning Home” on Go Overseas, Go Volunteer Abroad

Tlacalula market

My last full day in Oaxaca was spent visiting the famous Tlacalula market, the biggest one in Oaxaca. With the women’s group from the Centro de Aprendizaje, we took a crowded bus out there. Many people travel from the city to sell at the huge market once a week. We talked with young girls and women too about their jobs there and roles as women in general. It was a great place to spend my last day, very authentic feeling. I even tried chapulines (grasshoppers) for the first time!

Chapulines for sale at Tlacalula market

 

 

 

16 yr old selling desserts

 

 

 

Next article: Harvest Season Around the World

Harvest Season Around the World

As Thanksgiving approaches in the United States, other cultures and people around the world are celebrating the harvest season with their own traditions. While some of these fall holidays preceded the American Thanksgiving, several shared the theme of giving thanks.

Fall is the harvest season when crops are gathered for storage and consumption during the coming cold months. Since ancient times, many cultures have celebrated and shown gratitude for the bounties of harvest season. Take this time to learn about a new harvest season tradition and think about the origins of your own.

In the U.S., we know the American tale of Native Americans and Pilgrims coming together on a cold autumn night to share food from both cultures. The Native Americans helped the Pilgrims get accustomed to the new land, and without such help, the Pilgrims wouldn’t have known how to best utilize native crops and animals or how to survive at all. But modern day American Thanksgiving can be described in very different words: football, turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, the beginning of the holiday and shopping season, being thankful, and family time.

In Canada, Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated on the second Monday of October since 1957. While it is more religious than the American tradition, Canadians still celebrate in similar ways. The three day weekend consists of parades, pumpkins, cornucopias, and other harvest-related festivities. Both Canadian and U.S. Thanksgiving holidays are national secular holidays with religious roots.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, has spread around the world and is one of the most popular harvest festivals today. Originating over 3,000 years ago from the practice of moon worship, the Mid-Autumn Festival always falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth month on the Chinese calendar, which is in August and also the day of a full moon. This holiday is the second most important in Chinese culture, after Chinese New Year. At the Moon Festival you can be sure to find mooncakes (traditional pancake), Lord Rabbit (a human with a rabbit mouth and ears the icon of the festival), matchmaking (a skill of the moon god), lanterns, and dragon dances. Also celebrated in Vietnam and Taiwan, it has been a national public holiday in China since 2008.

Sukkot, a Jewish holiday, is celebrated with a feast, like Thanksgiving. In contrast to Thanksgiving, it’s a biblically mandated pilgrimage festival that lasts seven days. Sukkot is named after the huts the Jewish people create to represent the temporary shelters Israelites had to stay in while wandering the desert. Farmers stayed in the sukkahs, or booths, during the end of harvest before the rains came. Most of the Sukkot rituals are related to thanking God for the harvest.

There are a number of festivals in India to celebrate the harvest during different times of the year. One example is Pongal, celebrated in South India. Starting on January 14 and lasting for three days, the festival is named after pongal, a sweet rice porridge dish, which is offered to the rain gods and the sun. The last day of the festival honors the families’ cattle by cleaning it and dressing it up with flowers, bells and colored powder.

The celebrations in the other parts of the world vary dramatically. In Liberia, Africa, the Catholic National Thanksgiving Day and the Church’s Annual Harvest Celebration fall on the first Thursday of November. On the same morning as American Thanksgiving, the Dutch hold a Thanksgiving Day service in Leiden; the Netherlands celebrate the hospitality the Dutch Pilgrims received on their way to Leiden after fleeing from the English in the early 1600s. Ceres, the Goddess of corn, was honored with fruit, grains and animals while the people enjoyed sports, music and parades. No matter where you go around the world, there is always a way to give thanks and celebrate the harvest season.