An Insider's Guide to Travel: News, Tips, Information & Inspiration


Voluntourism Spotlight: Help Renovate Scenic French Villages

Share on: Share on Google+

Beaujolais Landscape near LyonThe French countryside is known for its vineyards, medieval towns, and sweeping views. With voluntourism, you can travel to destinations you’ve always dreamed about while giving back to the local community. This week’s spotlight is the French villages near Lyon, where you can help maintain various sites in local villages. Check out the program below and remember to tune in to Peter Greenberg Worldwide this weekend for more information. Plus, don’t forget to check out our archive for all kinds of voluntourism opportunities.

The Canadian Alliance for Development Initiatives and Projects (CADIP) is a non-profit organization based in Canada that provides volunteer projects all over the world. Its main mission is to build tolerance and understanding across multi-ethnic and multi-cultural groups and to create bonds between international volunteers.

From July 13 to August 2, 2014, you can participate in the Construction and Renovation Projects in Scenic Villages in the Heart of Beaujolais. If you’re a lover of French wine, you may know of Beaujolais nouveau, which is only sold for a short time each year in November.

For the third year in a row, CADIP is helping the communities of Châtillon, Chessy-les-Mines, and Le Bois d’Oingt in the province of Rhône -Alpes. There you can work with a group of local young adults to preserve different projects sites throughout the French countryside. Volunteers assist with maintenance, development, and enhancement works in the villages of Châtillon and Le Bois d’Oingt.

Various duties include painting, trail maintenance, and construction for buildings such as an ecological toilet and a bat shelter. The volunteer work starts in the morning and lasts for four to five hours each day, five days a week. Volunteers stay at a camping site in the village of Chessy-les-Mines, in tents provided with ground mattresses. You must be between the ages of 18 and 30 to participate.

During your free time, you can discover the vineyards that give this region its nickname “Little Tuscany.” Volunteers can also stop at various villages, get panoramic views of the countryside from a nearby chapel, and visit the vineyards and caves of Beaujolais wine. In the nearby town of Lyon, volunteers can see the cathedral, museums, and the zoological park. For more information, click here.

By Stephanie Ervin for