Image: Still from teaser for Eco-Volunteering Documentary: "Volunteer"
When was the last time you drank Kava with a group of Fijians in their remote village? Or gathered in fear with a community under the threat of a tsunami warning? Played with a 15-foot python? Tickled a chimpanzee? And, anecdotes aside, when was the last time you opened yourself to a challenging, broadening experience beyond the safety of your usual horizons? When was the last time you served as ambassador from your culture to learn, share, and teach among people from another culture?
If you answered those questions with "last week/month/year..." then you may already know the joys of eco-volunteering and will leap at the chance to share the volunteer experience. If your heart sank, and your soul sighed, "I wil never find time for that in my busy life," then this may be an opportunity for you to feel you are making a difference. Because to a great extent, eco-volunteering is not about the two weeks you spend counting turtle eggs, cataloging rhinocerous ranges, or cleaning coral. It is about waking people up. It is about opening everyone's eyes to what is happening in other parts of the world, and how our everyday choices affect that cycle of supply and demand.
Enter Mariah Wilson, documentary film-maker. Mariah hopes to collect enough donations to kickstart "Volunteer," the documentary. Mariah's goal is "raise awareness about the importance of environmental volunteering, and to inspire people to take their own cross-continental conservation journeys." Already the short trailer Volunteer impresses with spirit-lifting music, and people getting right to the point about what they believe: "We want to wake everyone up."
If you have already served as an eco-volunteer, think about donating to share the beauty of the experience with others. If you want to but don't have time, think about making an offering from the vacation-that-will-never-be kitty so that your day-dreams about eco-volunteering can be enhanced by the documentary images. And if you have never given eco-volunteering a thought at all: here is your chance to learn what it is all about at zero risk. Give!
More about Mariah Wilson
Mariah Wilson, attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for Film and Television Production. In 2009 she completed her first feature-length documentary, Revealing Hate, about the white supremacist movement in America today. In Mariah's words:
I believe passionately in 'Volunteer,' but I won't be able to complete the journey without your support. In return, beyond receiving my heartfelt gratitude, I'm offering goodies like photo stills from film shoots, on-screen thanks and credit, and invitations to private screenings of the film.
More on eco-volunteering:
9 Wild Eco Volunteer Opportunities to Save the World
Forget Vacationing: Travel through Volunteering
Volunteer on an Organic Farm