A teacher-founded company, Peace Works Travel is a socially-conscious study abroad program in countries recovering from history. Our travelers engage in meaningful experiential adventures designed to foster critical thinking, empathy, and innovative solutions for a more peaceful world. Itineraries are supported with standard aligned curriculum and destinations include Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Rwanda, Myanmar, Guatemala and Cuba.
– Transcend Ordinary Tourism: Engage with vibrant cultures of nations recovering from history.
– Learn Long Term: Insightful experiential education for teachers, students, and families.
– Create Peace: Foster stability through social enterprise and mutual prosperity.
– Motivate Students: Become informed, invested citizens of a global community through socially-conscious travel.
Founded by passionate high school history teacher Alethea Tyner Paradis, Peace Works Travel gives students empathic understanding of our world and 21st century skills to generate solutions.
In 2005—30 years after the “Fall of Saigon” and with American forces stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq—pop culture began to reflect on the lessons learned from the Vietnam War. Inspired by the gravity of this inquiry and wishing to pose it to a broader audience of students and teachers, Alethea Tyner Paradis built a service-learning program focused on Vietnam. Featured in an ABC News Emmy Award-winning documentary, Peace Works Travel earned notoriety among kindred-spirit educators, war veterans, and activist organizations dedicated to peace. We offer educational tours with C-3 aligned curricula in notable countries recovering from history: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Rwanda, Myanmar, Guatemala and Cuba.
Balancing exploration, service-learning, and cultural immersion, we provide transformative experiences designed to cultivate students’ global consciousness. Our groups travel in small numbers to ensure an authentic adventure that promotes well-being, personal growth, and connectivity. Our integrative approach—actively engaging with the countries we visit—builds empathy with people once dismissed as the “enemy.” After meeting survivors and traversing iconic grounds together — interactive museums, sacred sites, and natural landscapes– students are better equipped to analyze the human impact of today’s geopolitical strategic concerns.
Students return forever inspired to make a difference. Once they go, they know. Using their own talents, social-entrepreneurial models and our network of partnerships, travelers give voice to the voiceless. How? Lobby Congress to increase funding for landmine removal in Cambodia. Start a campus club for genocide-awareness and prevention campaigns. Design a website for an Agent-Orange rehabilitation facility in Hanoi. Launch advocacy efforts to lift the travel ban to Cuba. Create new markets for Rwandan genocide-widows handicrafts. Shoot a documentary about human trafficking in SE Asia. Our method of teaching builds long-term muscle memory and passion for creative activism. We ignite the spark of empathy within travelers to take action and innovate positive solutions.
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Bill Morse, Director Cambodian Landmine Museum, Siem Reap
Briggs Boss, Sophomore, Thacher School
Stacy Serrette, Teacher and Dean of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Paul Rusesabagina, Real-life Hotel Rwanda hero who saved over 1200 people during the Rwandan genocide.
Shirley Hahn, Beverly Hills, California
The Santa Barbara Independent
Alex Greer, Junior, Laguna Blanca School
Kelly Bennett, history teacher, Santa Barbara Middle School
Alexandra Kall, Francis Parker School
Spencer Barr, English Teacher, Santa Barbara High School, California
Stacy Serrette, Director of Student Life, Emma Willard School
Eric Taylor, Francis Parker School, San Diego, California