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Community, Travel & Culture

Why Community Matters

October 3rd 2022

Tagged: Community, Community development, Ethical Tourism, tourism, Travel

In recent years the idea of community has been highlighted as the glimmer of hope keeping us all going through tough times. When the world begins to bend back into the more familiar shape we’re used to, it’s often easy to overlook those that supported us through uncertainty. Sometimes we forget about the true importance of communities, whether local or across the world. They often go unnoticed, ticking along as things do, silently helping one another and building bonds. 

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But one thing keeps us all connected and tied to this idea of community spirit – it’s a way of life that’s been around since the dawn of time. 

A Safe Space to Grow 

But communities are so much more than a lifeline during times of crisis. They’re active all year round. They help shape our individual identities, as well as that of the collective. 

The safe spaces inside our communities are where we can bond with other people, people that have different opinions, cultures and beliefs to our own. The beauty of community is that it can be characterised in any number of ways, you’re not solely bound by religious beliefs, location or education. 

It is on this basis that within our own spaces, they help us define our sense of self and place – essential for the change that helps us transform cultural and social institutions over time. Ultimately, communities help us grow both as societies and as people. 

Volunteers in community GalapagosGalapagos Volunteering | WorkingAbroadAcross the Globe 

The wonderfully enchanting thing about communities is how they’re so different across cultures and continents. From the Miao embroiderers in China, whose craft and tales of traditional Miao songs are handed down from generation to generation. To the Dinka people from the banks of the Nile. A domesticated community, they’ve taught generations the importance of agriculture and pastoralism, using cattle for cultural demonstrations, dowries and milk feeding. 

It’s not just ancient traditions like these that are kept alive amongst communities across the globe. If we look close enough we can see all types of practices, in all parts of the world. For example, living in Punta Mona is an off-the-grid farm and centre for sustainability and education. Located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge of Costa Rica the local community teaches visitors each about permaculture, herbalism, yoga and art.

So what are the benefits of this sense of community, the valued part of our societies? Keeping it local means all over the globe people can support one another, making sure no part of the tradition is forgotten – while looking to the future and embracing all the beautiful change that comes with time. 

Family at a medical camp in NepalVolunteer in Nepal | Community Volunteering | Working AbroadCommunity Volunteering and You! 

Now throughout this post, I hope I’ve been able to convey to you the beauty of local communities, whether down the road from your house or on the other side of the world. But the real question. How do you expand your worldviews, visit other societies and learn their ways of life without feeling burdenous or intrusive? The answer is in bringing value, real tangible support to those you visit. 

Here at WorkingAbroad we run a number of community and medical volunteering projects. They focus on health and sustainability, two pillars for a brighter future. Across these projects, we also offer chances to be involved in good work around women’s empowerment and education, specifically on conservationism and the value of ecology. So whether it’s a rural community volunteer project in Nepal or wildlife conservation and San Bushmen community work in Namibia, there’s something for you to find your passion in while helping others. 

After all, it’s all about how we treat each other. 

Written by WorkingAbroad Writer, Lucy Gordon

About the Author

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Blog articles about our volunteer projects, the wider world and from volunteers in the field are shared here for everyone to get inspired and learn more about wildlife conservation topics, volunteering abroad and much more.