Discover the New Frontier: LGBT Volunteer Vacations

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Jill Bennett and her partner Lauren Neal

Jill Bennett and her partner, Lauren Neal, will go to Costa Rica this month and make a documentary about their experiences.

With the recent LGBT victories and passage of new laws there is an increasing global acceptance of the LGBT community. The Global Volunteers organization is launching a new program, LGBT Volunteer Vacations. The new ground-breaking program will partner with global communities and increase intercultural sharing, help to build a stronger worldwide LGBT community, and promote human rights for all. For 30 years Global Volunteers, a private non-profit international non-governmental organization (NGO) has supported development projects in 32 countries with 30,000 volunteers donating their service.

LGBT Volunteer Vacations will be an exciting way for singles and couples to make new friends, learn about global cultures and make a difference in the community. In August 2014, actress and producer, Jill Bennett will travel to Costa Rica with her partner, actress Lauren Neal. The couple will be documenting their experiences on twitter and the Global Volunteers blog. When discussing the trip, Lauren Neal said, “LGBT service matters, LGBT dollars matter, LGBT people matter. And they matter all over the globe. We can think of absolutely no better place for our respective crafts and consciousness than Global Volunteers.”

Global Volunteers in Costa Rica

Global Volunteers in Costa Rica

There are several vacation destinations including Italy, Greece, Peru and more. Each trip may include: excursions into the regional area, LGBT cultural activities, outings to LGBT establishments, and speakers from the local community to discuss what success and challenges they see in their everyday lives.

“From performing grassroots community service to meeting the people and being immersed in their culture, my first experience with Global Volunteers was life changing,” says Linda Schlapp, Director of LGBT Programs and Development. “With the current victories for the LGBT community in this country, it is an exciting time to reach out to other communities to provide service and share our stories while at the same promoting peace on a people to people basis.”

LGBT Volunteer Vacations program is a fun way to meet new friends and become part of a global network of volunteers. More than that, the program fills a niche in the local LGBT community.

“The current state of voluntourism, specifically LGBT volunteer vacations, took a hit with the recent dissolution of the eco-friendly lesbian travel company Sweet,” says Bennett. “Sweet’s devotees (myself included), a contingency already on board with the ideology behind LGBT voluntourism, will need somewhere new to take their adventurous, socially responsible spirits. We hope to show them that Global Volunteers is the next frontier.”

The Global Volunteers organization works at the invitation of local people and assists with many different types of projects; from educational to construction. The organization also works closely with the United Nations, as well as in partnership with ECOSOC and UNICEF. Schlapp explains, “This new international program is safe, fun and worthwhile. It will show that the LGBT community has a lot to contribute to the world.”

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