A teacher-founded company, Peace Works Travel is a socially-conscious experiential education abroad program in destinations recovering from history. Our travelers engage in meaningful adventures designed to foster critical thinking, empathy, and innovative solutions for a more peaceful world. Itineraries are supported with standard aligned curriculum. Destinations include Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Rwanda, Colombia, the California/Mexico border, Washington, D.C, 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.
What Sets Us Apart
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 to social issues.
Following 9/11 Ms. Paradis was distraught to hear her students repeating “calls to war” as the answer to our national grief. She determined that taking students to now-peaceful destinations could serve as constructive experiential education in conflict resolution. We sampled travel with several large “education abroad” companies before incorporating our own program as a socially-conscious entity. By student classroom vote, the company was born as “Friendship Tours,” the name later changed to Peace Works Travel.
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, we built a service-learning program initially 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 now offer meaningful travel and digital storytelling abroad programs aligned with curricula in notable destinations recovering from history: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Rwanda, Myanmar, Guatemala, the California/Mexico Border, Washington D.C, Colombia 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 film 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.