Serve to Travel

non-profit + travel

Month: September 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Ways to Give Back in Washington DC

DC Homelessness

Washington DC is a city of extremes. There is high wealth and power alongside poverty. Officially, 19% of Washingtonians live below the poverty line. DC also takes the title of the most expensive city to live. DC has the highest use of food stamp percentage in the United States. 30.5 %of homes with children are unable to provide enough food. This ranks 2nd highest in the nation.

Substance abuse, poverty and violent crime are examples of some of the wide range of interrelated health issues occurring in DC. The city ranks 21st in the country for perscription drug overdose mortality rates. DC’s problems with heroin, crack and cocaine have been well documented as well. 2015 brought a spike in murders, the highest since 2008. Whether living or visiting DC, it is important to give back to those less fortunate and contribute to the solutions of issues the city faces. Every time I am in DC, I make it a priority to volunteer with the organizations that are working to alleviate the issues.

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Things You Probably Never Knew About DC

Senate Chamber

Washington DC is one of the most visited cities in the United States. Thousands of articles are written about what to do and see in Washington DC. There are stories on DC’s history and secrets. But, the city still has a shroud of mystery, especially Congress. How much do you really know about the city and the Congress that operates there? I’m sharing my insider knowledge on things you probably never knew about DC.

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A Local Guide to Washington, DC

Washington, DC is a must visit city. But, what if you’ve already visited the tourist track before? Or what if you hate the ‘tourist trap’ visits to famous cities? Washington, DC has so much to offer that you can keep coming back time and again and experience a new feel to the city. While I’ve already offered my stops when visiting as a tourist, here is my local guide to Washington, DC. I share with you my tips, tricks and favorite hangouts.

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To the Land of the Monuments – Washington DC

The US Capitol, a Washington DC staple

Washington DC: where politicos play, tourists wander and everyone is in a rush to somewhere. Serve to Travel heads back to the (2nd) homeland to re-visit memories of living and visiting in Washington DC. As a former Washingtonian, I will always come back to this city, traveling as a local… and sometimes as a tourist.

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How to Pick a Good Non-Profit to Volunteer With

volunteers and youth sharing a meal

Knowing how to pick a good non-profit to volunteer with can be tough. There are so many non-profit organizations in developing countries doing (seemingly) a lot of good. But, how do you know if they are truly making a strong impact on the community? Once you know some of the key things to spot, the good non-profits will start sticking out to you.

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Guatemala Independence Day as a Foreigner

The Guatemalan flag on Guatemala Independence Day

September 15, a normal day for us foreigners. But, a day of pride and joy for Guatemalans. It celebrates their independence as a colony of Spain. This year, marked the 195th anniversary of independence for Guatemala. If in town, make sure not to miss out on this exciting day. Guatemala Independence Day is a true local holiday. To really enjoy the celebrations, you need to get off the tourist circuit and get local. Read on to see how I enjoyed Guatemala Independence Day as a foreigner.

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Loss of the Chichicastenango Market

Chichicastenango Market bags

The Chichicastenango Market

The Chichicastenango market is one the largest and most well known markets in Guatemala. The town is nestled in the Mayan highlands in the department (or state) of Quiché. It is usually on every traveler’s list of places to visit when in Guatemala. Shuttles and guides provide weekly visits to the Mayan community to see the market. On market days (Thursday and Sunday) vendors line the main square to sell their goods.

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Celebrating Mentoring in Guatemala


Growing up, I never really realized the impact that mentoring makes in the lives of kids. It wasn’t until I came to Guatemala that first time that I saw how important positive role models are. The country is filled with a great beauty but also great need. Currently less than 50% of the population is above the age of 18 and violence is common.

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