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Humanitorism: Travelers and Communities Coming Together

The relationship between tourists and locals is one that has never really existed. The stereotypical tourist is one that wanders around their destination visiting all the “hot spots” snapping pictures of any and everything, while locals separate themselves to their favorite dives and go about their daily lives with hopes the tourist doesn’t find out. That is until now.

Travelers go on a hiking tour after completing their volunteer project.

A Boulder, Colorado based company called inside/out has come up with a revolutionary idea for adventure travelers called “Humanitourism.”  What this does is combine humanitarian project work with guided adventure travel; a concept developed to promote a longer-term relationship between communities and travelers.

Participants on these trips dispatch to destinations around the world to work on humanitarian projects that have been largely overlooked.  The travelers show up to these communities and volunteer to work alongside locals for a good cause.  Following this rewarding work, they are treated to a guided multi-sport adventure local to the area served. The goal is to create a more intimate experience with local culture and land so travelers return home with more than just photos and memories, rather a connection to the people and place.

“Ideally, we’d love for people to return home and continue a relationship with the project and people visited, either with support, mentoring or even return visits,” said inside/out founder Zoe Katsulos.

The travel experience includes stays with local hosts or in small culturally significant accommodations and enables travelers to experience local food and culture through both the project and the adventure. On most trips the volunteer work lasts seven days with 6 additional days for local adventure. Small group sizes, from 6-12 people, are designed to provide opportunities for each traveler to personally interact with the local population, hosts and each other.

Humanitarian trips are available all over the world, with a variety of volunteer work available.  Some of inside/out trips include trips to Greece to assist animal welfare workers in the struggle to improve inhumane conditions and Guatemala to assist in the efforts of rebuilding villages devastated by Hurricane Stan in 2005.

The trip is perfect for anyone looking for an adventure and who loves the outdoors. Travelers get an up close look at the destination through activities that include kayaking, hiking, camping, and ziplining through the country’s natural environment.  Activities vary from each location based on what the destination has to offer.

These trips are designed for people who want to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. These are the "journeys for your inner self in the outdoors" that inside/out facilitates. Currently, the company is the only organization offering this combination of volunteer work and guided adventure.

"Our goal is to make an impact on the well being of people and places in a way that empowers and improves the lives of those receiving assistance as well as those providing it," said Katsulos.

For a more complete list of how to help or for more information on attending a trip, visit

Source: inside/out