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Take Backpacking to the Next Level with a Culture & Community Project

Projects Abroad offers alternative programs for travellers seeking adventure and cultural exchange abroad

Take Backpacking to the Next Level with a Culture & Community Project

A Projects Abroad volunteer helps two local men prepare a meal outdoors on the Nomad Project in Mongolia.

TORONTO – June 3, 2015 – Cultural exchange is the beating heart of travel, and seeing and discovering different cultures and people firsthand is a huge part of what makes the travel experience so powerful and appealing. For travellers who want to deepen the experience and are searching for an alternative to backpacking, Projects Abroad offers a range of Culture & Community programs that take cultural exchange and adventure to the next level.

“Our Culture & Community programs are a great way for adventurers of all ages to travel and learn while simultaneously giving back to the local community,” says Kaisa Partanen, a Program Advisor for Projects Abroad Canada. “Whether you are living with a traditional Moroccan nomad family in the Sahara desert or exploring ancient Khmer culture in Cambodia, you can learn about a different way of life through your own personal experience. That kind of experience is priceless – and life-changing.”

On every Culture & Community program, volunteers become an integral part of the local community, living and working alongside the people. They participate in a variety of tasks that form part of daily life, including cooking, caring for animals, crafts, agriculture, and more. Volunteers also get involved with activities that benefit the community, such as teaching, building, and cultural preservation projects.

Here are some of the Culture & Community programs offered by Projects Abroad:

Nomad Project in Mongolia

Volunteers live and work on the Mongolian Steppe with a traditional Nomad family, far away from exotic beaches or desert islands. During their time in Mongolia, they experience a way of living that has existed – and remained largely unchanged – for nearly a thousand years. Daily life includes staying in a ger, riding horses to move herds of yaks or cattle, caring for livestock, helping to produce dairy products, and teaching games and English. Volunteers will also find that their host family will be eager to share traditional Mongolian games and teach them a bit of the local language.

The organization also offers a Nomad Project in Morocco, where volunteers live with nomad family near the city of Guelmim, which is known as the Gate of the Sahara, as it marks the start of the Moroccan desert.

Maasai Community Village Project in Tanzania

Volunteers travel to the Ngorongoro National Park in Northern Tanzania to live in a remote Maasai community, gaining a rare insight into the life of a unique people. The Maasai face tough living conditions and limited resources, so volunteers can contribute a great deal by assisting with teaching and building homes and other buildings they may need. In return, volunteers can learn the tribe’s history, traditions, and rituals, as well as how to make their iconic jewelry.

Khmer Project in Cambodia

This project is a fascinating journey of discovery into Cambodia’s Khmer culture, past and present. In Phnom Penh, volunteers visit historical sites like the Killing Fields, learn some of Khmer language, and take part in cultural activities like cooking lessons, puppet-making classes, a copper molding workshop, and traditional music and dance classes. Volunteers will also spend time living with a rural village community, where they help with education and the rice harvest or planting.

To learn more about Projects Abroad’s Culture & Community projects, please visit www.projects-abroad.ca/volunteer-projects/culture-and-community

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 29 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.ca

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