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Local Travel by Bus in Nicaragua: A Slice of Life

  • Heather Rath
  • 15 April 2013

“They hang from the bars like monkeys,” says a Nicaraguan colleague. He’s describing his fellow riders as we discuss the exhausting 1.5-hour one-way trip of about 50 kilometres we undertook daily for two months on a local bus from Granada to the capital city of Managua, Nicaragua, and return.

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Microfinance Tourism: How to Turn Travel Cash into Microcredits

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 21 January 2013

What is poverty? To Mohammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi father of microfinance and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, poverty is the lack of control over capital. His answer to poverty is to harness the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor through low-interest microloans, mostly to women. Today, anyone can join the microfinance movement and offer capital to the poor through crowdfunding sites like the Geotourism Development Foundation or Kiva. Travellers can now also connect with borrowers in person through innovative microfinance tours.

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Soria Moria Boutique Hotel Raises the Bar in Locally Driven Hospitality in Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Thomas Holdo Hansen
  • 8 November 2012

By virtue of its Employee Ownership Scheme, the Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, has raised the bar on local travel and hospitality by becoming the country’s first employee-owned hotel. In fact, each member of the staff, from housekeeping to front desk, and from kitchen and restaurant workers to the local management, is an owner.

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What the Locals Talk About in Oaxaca, Mexico

  • Kim Groves
  • 6 November 2012

Imagine being invited warmly into the homes of local people and their families. Imagine sitting down in a living room, patio or workshop and having a conversation with a local woman about what it is really like to live and work in her town. Imagine getting off the beaten tourist path and, at the same time, making a positive difference to a community. Imagine the conversations the women will have about you after you leave!

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Investours Delivers Authentic Travel Experiences That Support Local Artists

  • Corrina Jacobs
  • 24 September 2012

Investours brings together socially responsible travellers visiting Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with local artisans who have applied for loans to grow their small business projects. Each Investours tour visits a local artisan’s workshop, helping visitors to gain an intimate perspective on local culture, daily life and the challenges of operating a small business.

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Oxlajuj B’atz’ Maya Women’s Center: Hands-on Cultural Tours in the Heart of Guatemala

  • Oxlajuj B'atz'
  • 6 August 2012

Oxlajuj B’atz’ (OB) – meaning “Thirteen Threads” in the Maya Kaqchikel language – is a non-profit organization in Guatemala supporting indigenous women’s empowerment and education. OB offers travelers the opportunity to tour rural Guatemala and to learn about Mayan women achieving economic independence through innovative and sustainable development projects.

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Beyond Books in Tanzania, Part IV: The Maktaba Project & The New Tanzanian Community Library Association

  • Anne M. Wells, UNITE the World with Africa
  • 30 May 2012

In a country where development can be frustratingly slow and good intention can be easily derailed by miscommunications, cultural differences and logistical setbacks, what does one do when one finds a program that works? Replicate it! In 2006, at age 69, Judith Smith, founder of the U.S.-based Crawford-Smith Foundation, traveled to Tanzania, met Deb Kelly and got hooked on community library projects.

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Beyond Books in Tanzania, Part III: “What a Difference a Library Makes”

  • Anne M. Wells, UNITE the World with Africa
  • 2 May 2012

In the United States, $15,000 may buy you a family vacation of sorts or maybe even a half-year’s tuition at a state university, but in Tanzania, it covers the entire annual budget for the Jifundishe Free Library in Ngongongare Village in the Arusha District of northern Tanzania. Jifundishe is one of a handful of free, independent community libraries in the entire country and now the model for a new community library initiative taking place across the country.

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Kabani Bamboo Village: Ethical Homestays, Empowered Communities

  • Amy McLoughlin
  • 25 April 2012

In the beautiful region of Wayanad in Kerala, India, where dense jungle carpets the rolling mountains in the Western Ghats, lies a magical hidden gem. The quiet village of Thrikkaipetta in the heart of this breathtaking region is a beacon for community spirit and an inspiration for ethical tourism.

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Beyond Books in Tanzania, Part II: Deb Kelly and the Jifundishe Free Library

  • Anne M. Wells, UNITE the World with Africa
  • 2 April 2012

Nestled in the remote rural village of Ngongongare in the Arusha District of Northern Tanzania, on a 2.7-acre plot with views of both Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Jifundishe Free Library is home to more than 5,000 books; textbooks for every subject through primary, secondary and university; six new laptop computers that provide free Internet service; and assorted newspapers and magazines.

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