Travel with Spark Ventures
Spark Ventures’ Impact Travel leads the industry on travel for good. Our approach is culturally empowering, mutually beneficial, and creates a lasting economic and personal impact.
We build partnerships with local organizations who are creating powerful social good for their communities and support these existing efforts by providing ongoing human and financial capital. By focusing our resources in the areas of business, job creation and capacity building we are able to create a sustainable impact.
Over the past 10 years, we have facilitated impact travel trips for over 400 people who are looking for more from their travel experiences. Our well-balanced itineraries blend real cross-cultural engagement with opportunities to experience the natural beauty of the region and visit a few traditional tourist destinations.
Why Impact Travel?
Impact travel provides travelers with an incredible opportunity to engage with a community - in a way that classic travel can't compare. Travelers arrive and within hours they find they have been embraced by the community leaders we work with. By the end of the trip, the shared experiences, engaging conversations, and common core mission creates a warm and lasting connection.
A recent traveler who brought her young children put it this way:
It is important that our children have a world perspective and a sense of social responsibility... Visiting and interacting with the children who are served by this wonderful organization made a lasting impact on our whole family.
Jennifer Kim, 2016 Impact Travel Alumni & New Spark Ventures Board Member
In a globalized, yet increasingly polarized world, impact travel can expand our definition of community. Learning, sharing, working, and laughing together helps to remind us that we are all connected.
How to Choose?
When selecting an impact travel organization, find an existing program that has a long history of community engagement and well established local relationships. A key question to ask is, "What happens after I leave?' Is there an ongoing plan to ensure your efforts will be lasting?
In addition, when planning to do good while traveling, it's important to recognize that there are no quick fixes. Don’t give in to the temptation of oversimplifying the issues you encounter and expect to swoop in with a dramatic solution to long-standing challenges. Social challenges like poverty are multifaceted and there is never a silver bullet.
Instead, recognize that local leaders are the best suited to understand the complexities at hand. Engage with locals – listen and respect what you’re hearing. Then, after your trip is over, help to amplify those voices by sharing your experience with your own network.
When we say impact travel is “life-changing and world-changing” we don't just mean on the communities we partner with. We also see how these experiences have had a lasting impact those who have traveled with us.
For some, returning from our trips have resulted in life-changing decisions: seasoned business professionals pivot their careers, parents insist on a return trip to share the experience with their children, young adults decide to pursue their education at schools where social enterprise programs are offered. For others, the impact is less outwardly noticeable, but the sense of connection is no less profound.
Ready. Set. Travel.
The Spark Ventures August 2017 Impact Trip to Nicaragua provides the opportunity to learn about sustainable agriculture on a 170 acre farm investment in the mountains of Matagalpa. You may find yourself planting trees, harvest crops or learning about our organic honey production. In future years, Spark’s investment in this farm will generate profits to support the two community centers of our social program partner, Las Tías in Nicaragua.
You will also have the opportunity for hands-on engagement with children at these community centers in León and you'll cap off your trip with a visit to Granada, a stunning colonial city. Check out our trip overview here and if you want more information, please reach out to Arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org).