Every year, thousands of students from across the states travel to underdeveloped countries to have fun, make memories, and take pictures. Along with these visits many students decide that they want to do some good in the country that they are visiting. This concept is widely known as Voluntourism. In theory this is great, helping others that need it most while enjoying yourself and relaxing. A “Win Win”, but is this such a great idea when this “helping” ultimately does more damage than good? What if in our pursuit to help others that we deem less fortunate, we actually do more damage than good when our hearts are in the wrong place? What if the solution was not an action, but instead was a change of heart? The solution that will truly impact…show more content… But then simply go home, never to reach out to those that they met during their stay and go back to their normal lives feeling good about themselves. Meanwhile the kids that they took pictures with and played with are left wondering why the people left and if they did something wrong. He explained that often times the kids have difficulty trusting new people because of how prevalent this is.
The visitors bring things from the States that they believe will help, like balls or curtains or other things for the local churches and school and leave them with the locals. This is a nice thought but gangs run this part of the city. Once the gangs catch wind of a “gringo” (rich american) visiting, they blackmail those that the visitors came to see and make them give up whatever they received and more just so they won't get attacked or shot at. This scenario plays out many times a year and just does significantly more damage than good (M. Estrada, personal communication, March, 5