International Expeditions is committed to responsible tourism, or ecotourism, and strive to thoroughly understand each place we go in order to minimize our impact on it. To do this we select and train exceptional local guides, who accompany our guests every step of the way. We share with them an appreciation for the natural and cultural history of their homelands. We impress our mission upon our service providers too, so that they can participate in conservation initiatives.
Our Conservation Mission
Our mission is creating a partnership — not dependency — so that the communities and people we work with are empowered. Working with locals on the ground in the countries we explore gives our team an insider’s perspective on the daily challenges of life in Earth’s wildest ecosystems. This understanding and partnership helps us create effective, long-term health and education solutions that ensure lasting opportunity for local people while conserving local environments.
Responsible tour operators like International Expeditions, working in partnership with our guests, can be a driving force behind conservation and education efforts aimed at stabilizing fragile environments. Tourists spend $200 billion in developing countries every year. Inspired by your adventure and the warm, inviting people you encounter, you too can join IE to have a positive, sustainable impact in the places we explore.
To honor our guests’ contributions to worldwide conservation, health and education, International Expeditions will match guest contributions up to $50,000 each year.
Clean Water Project
By creating water treatment plants and point-of-use water treatment systems in small villages in the depths of the Amazon, IE is addressing a very real health need of the villagers, providing clean drinking water daily for villagers whose only source of water has been the river. In these villages, that means parasite-free drinking water to drink, brush teeth and cook with every day! Local medical clinics are already reporting a difference in the health of these villagers. Stemming from the water treatment plants and in-house water treatment systems, the village economy is stimulated because the communities can use excess pure water to bake breads and make jams and marmalades to sell to nearby villages. By providing an alternative economic means, the local river people will not have to resort to logging for an income.
Created by IE and CONAPAC in 1993, the Adopt-A-School program began by matching schools in the USA with rural schools in the Amazon rainforest. It quickly grew into a donor based program, providing rural schools and students with school supplies while promoting environmental education in their communities. The program serves 120 schools with 4,200 students and teachers in 71 communities along the Amazon and Napo rivers. Before a child receives books and supplies, the parents sign a pledge to send their children to school every day and to use the supplies with respect. IE recently purchased an 18-foot boat to more easily deliver these supplies to the remote villages.
Iquitos Education Project
In conjunction with U.S. and Peruvian education experts, IE is developing an environmental education curriculum and enrichment pilot projects for Iquitos schools that teach the importance of ongoing education, health and nutrition in the rainforest. IE is also in the beginning stages of an endeavor to build an environmental education center in the city.
Medical Clinic Support
Amazon Special Interest Travel participation supports the Amazon Medical Project and the medical clinic of Dr. Linnea Smith. As part of our Lifelong Learning custom group workshops, guests have an opportunity to meet Linnea and learn more about her clinic, which brings Western medical care to more than 2,300 remote people each year. www.amazonmedical.org(link sends e-mail)
Amazon Center for Environmental Education & Research (ACEER)
IE donated $60,000 to establish the ACEER. Ongoing support is generated by your participation in our Lifelong Learning travel programs and eco tours. www.aceer.org(link sends e-mail)
ACEER Canopy Walkway
IE established – and continues to fund – the ACEER Canopy Walkway, making accessible to scientists, educators, students and other travelers the most dynamic dimension of the Amazon rainforest.
International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA)
IE is an active member of IGTOA, a successful organization which backs special legislation and promotes measures aimed at protecting the Galapagos Islands and marine reserve and promoting ecotourism. www.igtoa.org
Travel Foundation: Masai Mara Project
The Travel Foundation's Masai Mara Project works with Maasai villagers in the Mara to increase their involvement and income from tourism on their land, as well as providing for greater village infrastructure and facilities. By partnering with the Travel Foundation, International Expeditions is helping to bring schools, healthcare and even rainwater harvesting systems to the villagers of the Mara Triangle.
East African Wildlife Society
IE is a corporate sponsor for the East African Wildlife Society. Founded in 1956, the Society's mission is to promote the conservation and use of East Africa's wildlife and environment. By influencing policy reform through advocacy; helping support national park infrastructure, anti-poaching measures and wildlife sanctuaries; conservation education and research; translocating endangered species; and community conservation initiatives, the East African Wildlife Society has been able to conserve the region's black rhinos and elephants and contribute to current efforts to preserve East Africa's rapidly disappearing forests.www.eawildlife.org