After each and every Globetrotting Gourmet® tour, we donate back to local communities. In trying to spread the wealth, we also ensures our tourist dollars promote local teaching projects, such as sustainable agriculture and hotel training schools.
Globetrotting Gourmet is committed to sustainable tourism. We recognize not only the environmental and cultural costs that tourism can exert, but conversely how to contribute positively. We ensure your dollars are directly shared throughout communities: to individual operators and small businesses alike, and not just to large, foreign owned consortiums.
Globetrotting Gourmet specializes in low-impact small group and individual travel, and we strive to give our clients the most authentic experience possible. In return, we also designate a portion of our proceeds from each and every tour to a local worthy cause or training program.
During our travels, we experience many cultures, and are regularly touched by the humble grace of these diverse peoples. As a way of saying thank you for allowing us to visit their countries, Robert and Morrison repaid a debt of gratitude by donating to the following:
- A year's training scholarship at Paul Dubrule hotel school in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
- A grant to Plan Thailand for teaching sustainable agriculture in a rural primary school near Surat Thani in Thailand.
- Purchase of a motorcycle for a guide in Laos, allowing him to travel to distant housing -- a situation caused by foreign tourism in Luang Prabang ousting him from his former home.
- Paying the accumulating medical debts of a horse cart driver in Burma/Myanmar, and saving him from a 20% usury loan.
- Buying a bicycle and license for a trishaw driver in Mandalay, to coincide with the birth of his first baby. Now that family can live without need to pay a daily $1 bicycle rental -- due even when there are no clients.
It takes as little as a $50 to prompt a rural Thai parent to keep their child in school for the academic year. Call it a small "bribe", but these brightest children were at risk from continuing their studies. After our tour for the American Dietetic Association Dietary Practice Group, we allocated funds to their parents from Ban Nongkung School, Khok Larm Sub-district, Lamplaimat District Buriram in Thailand's remote northeast region. The village is well hidden off the main road, and surrounded by rice fields, but the school and its delightful students a true oasis. We laud these Buri Ram administrators for teaching sustainable aquaculture. The school includes fish and frog ponds that provides food for daily lunch, and also rice field education to these farmer children.
It costs the Kalayw-Tawya monastery in Yangon/Rangoon $800 per day to feed and house its 2000 orphan students. Consequently, our donation after Tastings '08 barely met a day's requirements. We especially mention this to remind everyone that if we had boycotted tourism here, the monastery would have done without. We're especially proud of an unnamed former tour group member who returned several times last year to help fund the building of a rural school there. Likewise, we sponsored a Burmese student to Australia. We respect sincere opinions to the contrary, but strongly believe that tourism is a lifeline to the people of Myanmar.
Mekong Epicure, are allocated to at-risk youth. Lao donations go to the Stay Another Day project, while Khmer money goes to Mith Samlanh -- simply translated as "Friends." The latter is a restaurant training program in Phnom Penh, and a new restaurant has since opened in Laos, which we will include in our upcoming Mekong Adventure over the New Year.
We can direct you to a worthy cause, and your generosity goes directly to people in need. Currently, we are collecting used, but working-condition, computer laptops and applicable software, to take with us on our upcoming travels. They will go variously to rural schools, and to individuals in need. Friends International. Please contact us directly for delivery, and we will hand carry the donations during our upcoming tours