What is Planeterra?
Planeterra is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and support of small communities around the globe. Originally established in 2003 by G Adventures, Planeterra has evolved out of a long history of travelers committed to finding ways to give back to the people and places they visit.
With a network of international field offices and guides, local non-profits and charitable organizations, Planeterra boasts a unique insider's understanding of the challenges facing the world today.
Our goal is to empower local people and communities to strengthen their well being while promoting long-term, environmentally responsible growth.
Planeterra's range of projects span the arenas of health, education, employment skills training, cultural heritage preservation, and environmental conservation. All projects have the central goal of helping local people achieve a sustainable way of life in an environmentally sensitive manner. Travellers have the opportunity to visit many of our projects while on a G Adventures Tour, and can spend extra time giving back on a Voluntour.
Make a positive difference in the lives of others by volunteering your time and energy to one of our many projects around the world as part of your dream adventure.
G Adventures Voluntours provide travellers with an opportunity to give back while spending time with one of Planeterra's Community Projects. From helping protect endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica, to lending a hand at a pre-school in South Africa, you will be making a real difference in the lives of local people. No skills are required, just a desire to lend a hand, and learn more about what life is like in communities around the world. Check out a complete list of Voluntours currently offered.
Travellers, guides, soon-to-be adventure travellers, the committed members of Planeterra's adventure company partners, and local people in the countries we visit all come together in our Planeterra Community to get to know each other better, stay in touch, and share fun and inspiring moments from trips of a lifetime to daily experiences found in our desire to be part of the solution.
Visit the Community and you'll find:
- Videos from around the Globe
- Images from Local Communities and Exciting Destinations
- Stories, Blog Posts, Audio Posts, and More
Jump in and join us in sharing how we're all finding the rewards in giving back and thinking of new ways to help local communities!
Shifting the overall trend from tourism, or simply descending upon a destination and spending time in an insulated tourism infrastructure in a foreign land, to travel – immersing yourself in another culture and experiencing a new place as local people do, is a massive undertaking. Planeterra's partners recognize the implications of this shift, and have been heavily involved in supporting sustainable community development through travel, including productive small economies, cultural preservation, and environmental restoration and protection. They are also positive global citizens and examples for other businesses in terms of their own business operations. We applaud all of their efforts in these areas. Our partners include the following world-renowned institutions:
Planeterra is a proud member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, and sustainable travel. TIES promotes ecotourism, which is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people," by:
- Creating an international network of individuals, institutions and the tourism industry;
- Educating tourists and tourism professionals; and
- Influencing the tourism industry, public institutions and donors to integrate the principles of ecotourism into their operations and policies.
The Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC Partnership) is a coalition of 32 organizations working together to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles. The Partnership was initiated by the Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Planeterra together with G Adventures is a steering committee partner, on industry implementation and education and training working groups with other industry and NGO partners.
Seva Canada Society is an international non-governmental organization whose mission is the elimination of preventable and treatable blindness. Since 1982, Seva's goal is to create and share sustainable and economically viable eye care programs through international partnerships. Seva provides funding and expertise to partners in 7 developing countries: Nepal, Tibet, India, Tanzania, Guatemala, Cambodia and Egypt - to deliver community and clinical eye care programs that reach the most vulnerable populations – women and children, the very poor and those living in rural areas. Since 2008 Planeterra supports an annual "eye camp" in Tibet where hundreds of Tibetans have their sight restored through a simple surgery that they otherwise would not be able to receive.
We are on the move to get the word out about Planeterra and our projects! Come join us at upcoming events, fundraisers, conferences and shows. Check out where we've been and where we're headed.
Be part of a growing worldwide movement toward service and community. Planeterra helps your donation dollar go farther and reach the people you want to help with double the impact!
Make a Donation
Want to make a donation to a community project of your choice, Donate Now.
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to donate one dollar per day for the duration of their G Adventure with 100% of these proceeds going directly to support Planeterra projects.
To participate, please indicate at the time of booking your trip that you would like to support the Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures Adventure Specialist or travel agent.
Travel and Volunteer
By travelling on one of G Adventures' Voluntours you have the opportunity to spend time at a Planeterra community project while on tour. These visits are a hands-on experience of true cultural immersion in local communities.
Check out what's new in the world of Sustainable Travel and Planeterra.