Participatory Travel in Cairo’s “Garbage City”

Photo: Backpacker Concierge

One of the attitudinal roadblocks many people face when deciding whether to participate in a volunteer vacation stems from the same concerns that govern most travel decisions–will I have the time? Will I have the money? There are some who assume it is all upper-class yuppies with arch politically correctness, CEO-level accrued vacation, and money to burn. There are, of course, as many styles and types of service travel trip as there are inspired travelers. Here is a new (or new to me) trip for backpackers, from Backpacker Concierge (an organization dedicated to off-the-beaten-path, responsible tourism to the Middle East), to Cairo’s “Garbage City.” One of the company’s “Eco-Initiatives” (others include a social exchange tourism program in Amman, Jordan and a Cairo program focused on empowering oppressed women and children), the Zebaleen trip is designed to raise awareness of the local residents of Menshiyet Nasr, (Garbage City), who collect, sort, reuse, and resell waste in the big city’s dumping grounds. In addition to interacting with the residents and learning about this predominately Coptic Christian enclave—its monasteries, its churches, and its garbage—you will learn about the controversies surrounding it, and how discarded items are recycled to produce new products. For every 24 travelers, Backpacker Concierge will install a bio-gas digester in the community, bringing energy to local families. It’s a great way to open your eyes and leave a positive impact from your visit.

One response to this post.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Linking U to travel, Andrew Mersmann. Andrew Mersmann said: Participatory Travel in Cairo's "Garbage City": […]


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