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Volunteer Cruising – Can you fathom?

Lynn & Rob Belles

Travel Like an Architect™ has always meant stepping into a culture – interacting with the people and learning about their customs and way of life.

The Travel Industry’s new term is Social Impact Travel Now you can do Volunteer Cruising

TLAA™ has always meant leaving something behind that enhances the people’s lives in all the places we go!

It can include spending money on local goods and services and even just an exchange of knowledge or the contagious positive energy that we carry with us……   Take a moment to make eye contact, shake a hand, have a conversation!  Give the gift of a smile!

The new Social Impact Travel actually includes volunteering your time and doing some kind of WORK – you know like a work camp or mission trip. Interested? Read on…..

We have not yet visited the Dominican Republic but have heard good things about it – see what fathom is doing there below! 

We are really intrigued by the Social Impact Travel idea where people gather with others to give the gifts of their labor! Rob and I have done countless hours of public service work over the years – but not through a church.  It seems that most often Church groups are doing this type of work, and if you don’t do church – you are excluded.  This opportunity is perfect for generous good people with open hearts that are not affiliated with a church.  It really meets a need in that way.  Of course church groups can do it too!

Through Belles Architecture we often give drastically discounted fees for Architectural Services, when we favor a cause, and other times we actually get our hands dirty working on a building like we did when we saved the 7th Street Train Depot from demolition back in the early 90’s!  We worked with our neighborhood association doing the planning, recruitment, task assignment, supervision, and the MANUAL LABOR!

Architect, Rob Belles & Lynn Chavez, President and Vice President of Old Town Neighborhood Association meet with Rockford Register Star reporter to talk about saving the historic train depot from the wrecking ball in 1992!

Through Social Impact Travel – you can rely on someone else for all the planning, and just do the fun part – the WORK!  

We have already contacted fathom and offered Architectural Services – we hope they take us up on it!

Personally – I think it will really catch on!  Just think of all the people you have known that have gone on mission trips or to a work camp.  Think of all the planning and assembly of goods and equipment that they had to do prior to their trips….  Now anyone can just sign up by booking a trip – they can go alone or with a group – there is a task for every one – maybe do a little fund-raising to get others to help them pay – pack their work clothes and GO!

Travel Like an Architect™ – DO GOOD!

Let us know what your thoughts are in a comment below  – and don’t miss the video all the way at the end!

Search our Social Impact Category for Unique Opportunities for Organized Social Impact Travel

What better way to do Social Impact Travel than with what “fathom” is presenting?

Starting in April 2016 Carnival Corp’s new brand “fathom” (small f) will offer volunteer travel experiences to the Dominican Republic where the average household income is about $6,000 a year and more than 2 million householders do not have piped water in their homes.  fathom’s Adonia will also sail to CUBA – click the link to learn more!

*According to “fathom” below

fathom is for travelers. And we strongly believe that, somewhere deep inside, there’s a traveler in every one of us. A yearning to explore new dimensions of ourselves by connecting more profoundly with the lives and stories of others. A desire to make a contribution that lasts, long after our ships have returned to their own home port.”

“The unique focus of fathom is on making a lasting social impact, not just taking a one-time trip. The fact that the trips are ongoing allows us to build long-term relationships with local communities and impact partners in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, so that each group of travelers builds on the impact of the ones who came before.”

”Rather than the casino gambling or Broadway-style shows popular on mega ships, passengers on the 710-passenger ship, Adonia, will be offered training and education in preparation for their volunteer work. This may include classes in orientation to the Dominican Republic, conversational Spanish, activity training, workshops, personal enrichment, etc.”

”Your journey begins with two nights and one full, glorious day at sea, as you travel from Miami to the tropical port of Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Your home base for the next seven days will be the 710-passenger Adonia, the smallest and most intimate ship in the P&O Cruises fleet.

“On the outward journey, while you’re enjoying all the amenities of the Adonia, you’ll also have a chance to join your fellow passengers in preparing for your on-ground experience. During your days in port, you’ll work alongside local residents and our partner organizations in the Dominican Republic, drawing on your own particular passions and skills to make a meaningful contribution to the causes that speak to you.”

“On Tuesday, around mid-day, the Adonia will dock at the port of Amber Cove, near the city of Puerto Plata. Here, in the nearby villages, is where you’ll put your skills, your passions, and your shipboard orientation and training to good use. For three days, you’ll work alongside local residents and our partner organizations, adding your unique input to projects that focus on improving environmental, educational and economic conditions for the aspirational and hard-working people of the Dominican Republic. Yes, of course they’ll be learning from you. But the chances are that you’ll be learning a lot from them, too.”

“The base price of your trip includes on-ground impact activities and related supplies, onboard impact programs, daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a comfortable stateroom with a window, and taxes and fees. A few select impact activities will have an incremental cost to cover materials and supplies. The price is based on two people sharing a stateroom, and prices do vary by season.”

fathom will cater to the growing market of people who want to make a difference in other people’s lives and don’t always know where to start. To quote Tara Russell, president of fathom, “People struggle to know where they fit in and often people have challenges finding trusted, easy ways to make a difference.” “fathom” will fill a need because we’re all on a journey, really. And many of us are still in search of that elusive sense of purpose, the one that makes the journey matter by allowing us to know that we’ve helped make a difference in at least one life, in at least one tiny corner of the world.”

*Excerpted from above

You will have the opportunity to choose which causes you will work on. Some choices would be cultivating cacao plants and helping a women’s cooperative make artisan chocolates; teaching English in schools or to adults; or helping build water filters.

Passengers will pay fares starting at $1,540 per person for an outside cabin with a window, for a seven-day voyage from Miami. A portion of the fare will go to two Dominican partners to cover costs of the volunteer efforts as well as support the partners’ other missions.

If you’ve ever been involved in a mission trip or a work camp of any kind you know how much planning goes into it.

Just think – fathom does all the planning. Just pack your work clothes and go!

Wishing to help but don’t do church – grasp this opportunity of a lifetime!

We can book these TODAY!  Just give us a call 607-Get-Away

Volunteer Cruising – In Action

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