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History of Smaller World Tours

Mary Pat buying allspice from BurtonExperience SHI's work in Central American farming communities and build relationships that will last a lifetime.  Smaller World Tours are not your typical vacation.

Smaller World Tours was developed in 2004 to support SHI's work with farming communities in Central America.  We provide meaningful, community-based, service-learning experiences to current and future supporters of the organization, while also promoting positive cultural exchange between host communities and volunteers.

Our trips are open to individuals, families or groups such as schools, congregations, clubs or groups of friends.  SHI staff travel with each Smaller World Trip to provide logistical support, translation and lead activities.  We do our best to match volunteers with projects that fit their interest and skills and welcome groups to contact our office to arrange a trip around your groups' schedule, interest or area of study.

Samuel and  MaribelWe offer a variety of trips including workshops for educators, sustainable chocolate tours, student trips, family adventures and trips with themes such as beekeeping, dairy goats and family nutrition. Accommodations vary depending on the trip you sign up for, but options include homestays, rustic community lodges, hotels and luxury eco-lodges.  Regardless of where you stay, our work areas are in rural communities and volunteers should be ready to be without the comforts of city living. Many of our participant families do not have electricity or running water in their homes.  Communities are close-knit and extended families live closely together.  Meals include traditional foods, are prepared by families and volunteers are encouraged to lend a hand.  Sustainable Harvest International is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Program fees for the Smaller World Program support the projects the volunteers take part in and may be tax-deductible.

Our goal is to create long-term community partnerships that build greater understanding among participants of the issues of sustainability facing both cultures.  We are indebted to our volunteers who support our programs.  We think of our Smaller World Tour participants as SHI ambassadors and hope that they will share their experiences with SHI in Central America with their own communities when they return home.

A group of 16 students from Unity College (located in Unity, Maine) came to Nicaragua for two weeks in March 2009.


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"I volunteered with SHI in Honduras many years ago. It was an amazingly inspiring trip, not just because we were able to work side by side with the families we were there to support, but I was able to see firsthand exactly how SHI operates and why its techniques and approach are so successful. SHI is a charity well worth supporting because its mission isn't charity at all -- it's empowerment."

~ Amanda, SHI Supporter