What is Service Learning?

Mutual Benefit

History and service learning is more than an activity: it’s a mindset, a relationship and a way of being in the world. Meaningful projects are collaborations between equals, an opportunity to learn and give while respecting the local communities.

It’s about solidarity: not charity.

Our history and service learning is conducted with sustainable non-profit organizations serving people recovering from conflict: genocide survivors, land-mine victims, economically marginalized-poor. We engage students in empathy-mapping through a social-entrepreneurship framework. What problems can I help solve with my skills? Students return from their Peace Works Travel tour empowered to take positive action.

We work closely with you to determine the best project fit for your group.

Be of Service

Direct service invites our students to contribute their skills and talents toward advancing a project or fulfilling a specific need. The projects are short-term, student-driven, and support local people towards continued self-sufficiency. 

Indirect Service

After learning about a social problem facing our friends abroad, students sponsor an event to raise funds and awareness in their own communities. Students create fundraising or supplies-collection efforts which generate resources for organizations addressing a community problem.

Examples include: movie screenings, car-washes, T-shirt / bake sales, art installments, walk-a-thons, school-wide collections or supplies drives. Schools can “adopt” a non-profit partner for sponsorship and measure annual progress towards a specific goal: funding additional nurses on staff at a clinic, increasing the number of scholarship students at an after-school arts and music program, clearing cluster bombs from hectares of agricultural land in SE Asia.

Advocacy and Awareness

Advocacy and Awareness students are inspired to share what they learned abroad with their communities at home, and work towards solving problems through political activism and civic engagement. Successful examples include:

Our Financial Commitment to Give

Each trip includes direct cultural-exchange activities with local children and a 1% donation to our non-profit partners who serve them. As a personal contribution, student travelers are asked to bring school / art supplies for play and educational activities with our native friends.

Rwanda Highlights

Visit Africa’s most peaceful country now honoring the 20 year anniversary of a genocide that shocked the world. Witness the indescribable natural beauty and cultural renaissance of a determined people. We go behind the veil, side-by-side with courageous souls who give voice to the voiceless and help make visible what is invisible in our own communities.

  • Explore dynamic capital city
  • Kigali Dance with Hutu & Tutsi people in celebration of unity
  • Experience dynamic art and agricultural cooperatives
  • Volunteer with local children
  • Understand hidden history at key genocide memorial sites
  • Hike volcanic mountains surrounding vibrant lakes
  • Shop traditional and modern markets
  • Visit colonial relics and ancient cultural museums
  • Learn traditional basketry and artisan handicrafts
  • Trek mountains with giant Silverback Gorillas

Myanmar Highlights

Surreal in its elegant simplicity, Myanmar offers us a tender insight of ancient traditions and British colonial days. Our explorations introduce travelers to the ethics of conscious engagement, increased transparency with people long-isolated by economic embargoes. Discover a living gem, scarcely touched by rapid industrialization of its Southeast Asian counterparts. Students return from our Mystical Myanmar adventures with their heads full and hearts open.

  • Climb labyrinthine ancient golden pagodas
  • Savor sumptuous cuisine
  • Volunteer with local children
  • Photograph sunrise from Mandalay’s romantic bridge
  • Shop traditional and modern markets
  • Stroll wide colonial boulevards
  • Meditate with monks in ethereal monasteries
  • Trek vibrant hills to mysterious temples
  • Boat the hauntingly beautiful Inle Lake
  • Sunset along the powerful Ayeyarwady River
  • Relax on the Bay of Bengal sandy beaches
  • Bicycle between the sacred stupas of Bagan

Vietnam Highlights

Combining cultural awareness, adventure travel, insider’s experiences and service-learning, this one-of-a-kind trip empowers travelers to understand the causes and consequences of America’s most controversial military conflict. Balancing active discovery with peaceful reflection, we perceive the Vietnam War through a lens of compassion. Students return from our Vietnam journeys as more ethical, attuned citizens of our global community.

  • Experience Saigon’s legendary buzz
  • Savor Hanoi’s French colonial charm
  • Boat the mighty Mekong Delta
  • Photograph rare scenery
  • Visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Honor U.S. veterans on China Beach
  • Relax in Hoi An’s breezy seaside tropics
  • Shop modern and traditional markets
  • Meet former “Vietcong” generals
  • Bike through local fishing villages
  • Trek terraced highlands to Hmong villages
  • Relax on breathtaking beaches
  • Taste Vietnamese-French fusion cuisine
  • Volunteer with Agent-Orange disabled children
  • Meditate in serene monasteries along the Perfume River
  • Kayak through limestone islands of mysterious Halong Bay
  • Trek through vibrant rainforest mountains
  • Understand past conflict and modern prosperity

Cambodia Highlights

Our meaningful engagement with kind-hearted locals brings the diverse realities of Cambodia to life: family farmers, genocide survivors, humanitarians, factory workers, artists and scholars. Travelers understand history of Cambodia at the local, regional, and global levels.  Go Deep: innovate social entrepreneurial ideas in a land resonating resiliency of the human spirit.

  • Explore Phnom Penh’s urban buzz
  • Boat the mighty Mekong River at sunset
  • Tuk-Tuk ride through charming colonial streets
  • Savor gourmet French fusion cuisine
  • Volunteer at preschools with local children
  • Ride elephants through jungle clearings
  • Understand history and healing at the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison
  • Meditate in serene monasteries
  • Photograph mysterious Angkor Wat at sunrise, 7th Wonder of the World
  • Visit floating villages on the legendary Tonle Sap Lake
  • Shop modern and traditional markets
  • Inspire yourself with music and dance workshops
  • Relax on breathtaking beaches
  • Volunteer with landmine victims
  • Trek through vibrant coastal rainforest
  • Enjoy insider’s access to genocide survivors, artists and local heroes

Cuba Highlights

Witness history manifest through an enchanting exploration of an enigmatic island in rare transformation. Perhaps the only place on Earth where time isn’t money, Cuba is a living museum of culture, music and boundless human creativity. Understand connectivity, commerce and social entrepreneurship as vehicles for long term peace between historical rivals.

  • Walk Old Town Havana
  • Explore colonial and native island culture
  • Photograph rare scenery
  • Taste creative island cuisine
  • Experience Afro-Caribbean rhythms
  • Play baseball with local children
  • Learn to Dance Salsa and Rumba
  • Visit Ernest Hemingway’s old haunts
  • Trek tobacco farms and old sugar plantations
  • Snorkel vibrant coastal reefs on tropical beaches
  • Meet notable artists, intellectuals and revolutionaries

Laos

Experience the tranquil spirit of a non-violent people thriving amidst a tragic legacy of the Vietnam War.  Working in collaboration with M.A.G (Mines Advisory Group), students explore the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) issue in a context of safety and mutual understanding.  We visit schools where our service-work teaching English, entrepreneurship and how to avoid the “bombies” threatening local villages illustrates the power of education to end poverty and heal from war.

  • Boat the breezy Mekong River
  • Walk French colonial capital of Vientiane
  • Feed the monks at their dawn pilgrimage
  • Experience romantic Luang Prabang
  • Visit the mysterious Plain of Jars
  • Enjoy creative Laos-French gourmet cooking lessons
  • Volunteer with UXO disabled children
  • Meditate in serene monasteries and ancient temples
  • Kayak through emerald waterfalls
  • Trek to historic caves on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • Understand past conflict and modern prosperity
  • Ride elephants through vibrant jungle villages