Our Partners and Community Engagement Projects
Each of the community engagement or service experiences that Global Family Travels offers on our trips is made possible through partnerships with locally based organizations that work hand-in-hand with the communities we visit. These partners share our commitment to sustainable travel focused on our three pillars of learn, serve and immerse. We are grateful for the partners listed below – they are part of our epanded family circle.
Awamaki is non-profit organization whose mission is to empower rural Andean women with skills-based education and connect them to the global marketplace so they can earn an income, support their families, and have the opportunity to turn around and transform their communities.
See trip details with this amazing partner:
A pioneer in the craft chocolate industry, Seattle-based Chocolopolis was founded by in 2008 by Chief Chocophile Lauren Adler, and was one of the first chocolate retail stores in the US to focus on building a customer community through chocolate tastings, experiences and education. We are thrilled to be working with Lauren and Chocolopolis on our Ecuador Chocolate Expedition.
Colorful Cities Explore & Color
With a penchant for modern design and clean lines Colorful Cities Explore & ColorTM books take you deep into cities and let you color along the way. The series has captured the unique essence of some of our favorite places in Seattle, Tokyo, Portland, Chicago and Havana and creates illustrations that allow for your reckless coloring. We have developed a fun trip to Cuba to Explore & Color with Colorful Havana!
Dujiangyan Panda Base
Based just outside Chengdu, the Dujiangyan Panda Base offers
volunteer programs that give visitors an opportunity to get closer
contact with the giant pandas and understand their panda wilderness
training program. It also provides patrol officers that help prevent
poaching and rescue sick or injured pandas.
FNE International partners with communities in developing nations to
identify opportunities to advance housing, health and education. By
Facilitating collaboration and Networking with local and international
organizations, we strive to seize those opportunities and empower
individuals to do the same as engaged members of their community
and the world. We work with FNEI in Nicaragua to help promotes educational and sustainable development projects on two of our trips:
The Kiran Anjali Project (KAP) is a nonprofit with a mission to provide
guidance and financial support to institutions providing education
to disadvantaged children, especially girls, in India. KAP has several
projects, including the Wings School for girls in the South of India.
See details about our KAP Trip to India in support of the organization’s endeavors.
Founded in 2005, Kanghua Community Development Center is a grassroots non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The organization focuses on community development projects with an emphasis on environmental and rural community preservation. See details about our China: Learn, Serve, Immerse trip in support of the organization’s endeavors.
Established in 2000, the Karatu Education Fund (KEF) uses its proceeds to strategically build and restore education facilities, and to improve the quality of learning in Tanzanian Schools. KEF supports efforts that encourage teamwork and active participation, in the hopes of developing a community of confident, educated citizens capable of making contributions to their community. We engage with KEF on our Tanzania: Learn, Serve & Immerse Safari.
The Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (LAMO) is a public charitable trust established to articulate an alternative vision for the arts and media in Ladakh. The organization set up the LAMO Centre in Leh, the main town of the region, to provide a space for the understanding and development of the arts. We visit LAMO's Centre each time we visit Ladakh and are thrilled to be partners with LAMO on our Photo Adventure in Ladakh, India.
Manos Unidas is a Peruvian non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of children and youth with disabilities for inclusion within the family, schools and workplace. MUP founded the first non-profit school for special education in the region of Cusco, educating approximately 80 students each year. We are thrilled to be engaging with their good work on two trips:
John and Lisa Merrill of Merrill Images create compelling images to evoke wonder, inspire action, grow businesses, and strengthen communities. Their images have been featured in books, websites and other media, including National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Geo, Sunset, and Outside magazines. They relish opportunities to learn from and connect with people we photograph and use their visual storytelling skills to help non-profits doing vital work in the Seattle area and around the world.
Lisa and John are Trip Leaders for our 2021 Ladakh Photo Adventure and Lisa is our Trip Leader for our family-friendly Ecuador: Culture, Adventure & Photography Trip.
Ngari Institute Foundation
The Ngari Institute’s mission is to empower and enrich the underserved children in the remote region of Ladakh, India, by imparting a combined learning of both modern education and ancient Buddhist wisdom. The foundation initially opened in 2012 thanks to the work of five devout monks from the Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and under His Holiness the Dalai Lama's auspices with His blessings. As of 2019, the organization is now operating under the newly formed Ngari Institute Foundation as a 501 (c) 3.
Read On the Fly is an all-volunteer initiative placing bookshelves in Alaska airports for children to choose a free book while they travel. Started by our Trip Leader, Erin Kirkland, all books are donated and there is no expectation from a child to return the book; it is theirs to keep. Currently, Read On the Fly supports 13 bookshelves in seven Alaska airports around the state. We are excited to work with this organization on our Alaska: Learn, Serve & Immerse trip.
Dan Sandoval is a professionally trained photographer who graduated from the world famous Brooks Institute of Photography and has been featured in a number of international magazines and exhibitions around the world. Having lived in China since 2008 and traveled extensively throughout the country, Dan now uses his expertise to lead groups of photographers in workshops around the world where he helps them unlock their photographic potential. Dan is our Trip Leader for the Discover China: A Photo Tour.
What started in a one-room shed by a Tibetan Buddhist monk is now an exemplary private school with over 200 students in grades K through 10. Unique to Ladakh, this is the only private school in area that accepts students regardless of their ability to pay tuition and no child is denied admission to Siddhartha School on the basis of need. Since our inception, Global Family Travels has been grateful to support this organization on several trips:
Ladakh Photo Adventure
Established by a group of young professionals in 2005, Sunrise Library is devoted to establishing free community libraries in poor districts in China and creating spaces where children can have the chance to expand themselves, learn about the world and unleash their educational and creative potential. To date, Sunrise Library has set up 16 libraries in 6 provinces across China, and has benefited over 10,000 children. We engage with Sunrise Library on our China’s Cultural Crossroads trip.
The primary mission of The Rose International Fund for Children (TRIFC) is to improve the lives of children in Nepal with disabilities. TRIFC raises funds through donations, grants and hands-on fundraising activities. The organization provides support in the areas of education, medical needs, nutrition and facilities improvements. We have facilitated Nepal: Nature, Culture & Adventure for donors of TRIFC, and are happy to facilitate a visit to many of their projects for interested travelers:
TRIFC’s Deaf Women’s Empowerment Group
Carnival for children with disabilities
Blind/Visually-Impaired students at Sanjiwani School
Vicki Weeks, through her company Global Weeks, collaborates with schools and other organizations to develop meaningful global and experiential education programs and strategies that foster empathy, perspective, and intercultural skills. She has dedicated her 40-year career in education to helping people meet, work and play together as a means of increasing understanding and compassion. We are fortunate to be working with Vicki on our Transformative Travel Connections Program and to have her as our Trip Leader for our Peru: Learn, Serve, Immerse tour.