Off the Radar Home PageResourcesabout off the radarSign UpContact Ussearch
Off the Radar Trips Newsletter SignUp

In this issue: Art, Media, and Voluntourists Forge Connections in Cambodia and Honduras and Alt Celebrates the Bay Area

This month we talk to ChangeStream Media about their volunteer programs in Cambodia and Honduras, and highlight Alt. a bike ride created by Transit and Trails that takes riders up three Californian peaks.

Check out our Facebook and Visual Blog to see greatbackpacking in Yosemite.

Try This

Art, Media, and Voluntourists Forge Connections in Cambodia and Honduras

The most powerful forms of media today are those that allow others to tell their own story, connecting and engaging people across cultural and geographical divides.  ChangeStream Media, is a nonprofit organization that uses technology, art and digital storytelling to spread important ideas and support innovative grassroots organizations in disadvantaged communities around the world, recently caught our attention with their new independent volunteer projects.

Join their Cambodian Flashcard Volunteer Project, and you’ll get to participate and pass along these English learning skills to educators, parents and children through a video and flash cards. Flashcards should stay with the community so that the learning can continue even after you’ve left.

“We’re working with local non-profits who tell us their needs, and from this we design programs for travelers.  Our goal is to create long-lasting impactful relationships between travelers and communities,” says Laura Brewer. Laura is the Social Media Manager at ChangeStream Media, and is most excited about the way volunteering changes the dynamic between tourists and locals, going beyond a relationship of commerce to one of mutual respect and kindness.  “Executive Director, Denise Miller made a Khmer-language video to advocate for better education policies in Cambodia. It was well received by high-level officials at the Ministry of Education, which changed policies to require training teachers to learn about using child-friendly resources in classrooms.” Charlene, ChangeStream’s on-the-ground partner, commented on the success of these videos in Cambodia, “I had taxi drivers saying they saw the video clips on national TV and then recited to me how important teaching resources are!”

In Latin America, the Spanish Dental Volunteer Project focuses on educating children about dental health through media and fun puppet skits.

Developing a “hero complex,” is all too easy, be sure to research an area and a community before diving in. Using ChangeStream Media’s established relationships will help you understand the community, their needs, and their culture, much more clearly.

Try This

Alt. Event

This June, the Bay area in California is trying something different. Okay, okay we know, the Bay area already IS different. Transit and Trails will be hosting the Alt.Ride. Space on the ride is limited to 25 participants. Riders will summit three peaks and will be using public tranportation to get between each peak. These peaks, Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Tamalpais, and Mt. Diablo total an elevation gain of 12,000 feet and 128 miles.

See yourself as more of a commuter and cheerleader? Then join in on the open air parties as they follow the riders and celebrate as they complete each leg – delicious food and handouts will be available in the Caltrain, in the San Francisco Ferry Building, the north end of the Golden Gate park, the Golden Gate Ferry, the BART train, and the Pleasant Hill BART station. What better way to celebrate Spring, the joys of public transportation, and public parks than with a few hundred of your new best friends. Mark Alt. on your calendar – June 16, 2012.


Photo Contest

April 2012, Photo Contest

Question: Can you name this lake?

Hint: Black swans, native to Australia, can also be found in a semi-wild state in New Zealand and Switzerland.  This one was photographed on a lake in a city that houses the headquarters of numerous international organizations and is famous for its banking and watchmaking industries.

Prize: Be the first to send the correct guess to editor@travelofftheradar.comand we’ll reward you with a prize from Xola’s gear bag!


Photographer: Yuri Horowitz,

Last Issue: Congratulations to our last contest winner, Susan Schamay of Florida, who was the first to guess February’s Photo Quiz which featured Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya

Click here to sign up for Off The Radar