“Voluntourism” has gotten kind of a bad rap.
The idea of going on vacation and doing something for the community you visit is full of good intentions. But in some places, it’s turned into a rather problematic industry. At its most innocuous, it’s little more than a pop-in pencils dropoff to a local school or an hour-long litter patrol. At its most harmful, it can be an exploitative parading out of “in-need” children for an Instagram post. In any case, these don’t do much to help the area once you leave. But for those who want to guarantee that their trip is leaving a legacy of service behind, several ethical travel companies exist to help you fulfill that intention. Here are five companies that will help you travel with a purpose.