Posts Tagged ‘elephant volunteer’

World Elephant Day and You

Today, August 12, is World Elephant Day.

ivory decoration with World Elephant Day text overlaidThere are lots of recognition events around the world, and a flurry of social media about them.

#WorldElephantDay is the Number One trending topic on Twitter.

The recent Cecil the Lion travesty has brought new attention to the plight of endangered and overly hunted species. Elephants have that extra strike against them of the voracious ivory trade that this nothing of slaughtering them for their tusks.

Currently in the United States, import and trade of African Elephant ivory and Asian Elephant ivory is prohibited (there are some cases where transport is allowed of antiques and family possessions acquired before the 1970s), but other nations still consume ivory as a weirdly valued status symbol.

Since the Cecil and the Dentist dust-up, many international airlines have now banned transport of endangered animal trophies and products on their flights—a good deterrent to poachers placing a price on the heads of elephants and other threatened species.

There are some wonderful elephant volunteer situations in East Asia and Africa, to help support the species and care for orphaned and injured elephants. Here is a list to get you started (and if you can fit me in your suitcase when you go to volunteer at one of these, I will ABSOLUTELY come along!)

Elevate Destinations Kenya Private Elephant Adventure

GVI Thai Elephant Project

Elevate Namibia Conservation Safari

Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tanzania Elephant Conservation Service and Safari—Elevate Destinations


Teens Committed to Giving Back This Summer Eligible for Scholarships

Photo: Adventures Cross-Country

Photo: Adventures Cross-Country

Now is the time when families are making summer plans for vacations, camps, visits to family, and hopefully some meaningful volunteering. For teens who are looking for a giveback element to their summer blended with amazing travel and cultural experiences, Adventures Cross-Country is offering $1,000 scholarships toward the travel costs for volunteer trips.

For more than three decades, the company has been creating meaningful travel experiences for youth ages 13-19, and some highlights making me wish I was age-appropriate include: Thailand Elephant Service (volunteer in a hill tribe village, overnight at a monastery with Buddhist monks, learn Thai cooking, scuba dive, white water raft, and teach English), Costa Rica Service Ultimate (community service work with school children and rural farmers, white water raft, surf, patrol turtle nests, and build a community shelter), and Hawaii Service (help preserve natural and cultural environments, work with Boys & Girls club, surf, swim, hike).

Overall, they offer community service and immersion trips in 21 countries across six continents. That is SO much more life-altering and purpose-driven than the summers I spent working the drive through window at Carl’s Jr!