Holiday generosity changing lives year after year

Written by Julia Pitcher – Communications and Development Coordinator, Planeterra

For the past several years, Planeterra has launched a fundraising campaign over the holidays to raise funds to uplift communities around the world. Without fail, Planeterra donors have answered our call for support. Particularly in these last few years, the Wish List Campaign became especially relevant during the global pandemic as several Planeterra community partners were struggling, but our donors played a crucial role in helping us transform these challenges into opportunities.

In 2020, during the height of uncertainty, our donors rallied for the Home For The Holidays Campaign. Their unwavering support became a lifeline for our community partners, such as the AidChild Leadership Institute in Uganda.

Without tourism income, their ability to care for HIV-positive orphans was suffering —until our supporters stepped in, ensuring these children had food and care during tumultuous times.

AidChild’s Café & Gallery Kayabwe (Equator), Uganda
Zoológico Magico-Planeterra
Cooperativa Zoológico Magico San Martin de Tilajate, Oaxaca, Mexico

The following year, in 2021, holiday donors reignited hope for communities who were preparing to partner with Planeterra pre-pandemic but had to put their dreams on hold. Take Zoológico Mágico, an Indigenous women-owned artisan cooperative in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Your generosity equipped these women with the tools they needed to preserve their cultural heritage. Turning their traditional skills into a sustainable livelihood while fighting against the commodification of Zapoteca crafts and culture. 

Then came 2022—a testament to the unwavering commitment of our holiday donors. Their generosity gave a path forward for community partners’ overwhelmed with the devastation of the pandemic. Like the Lusumpuko Women’s Club, with their equipment and sanitation systems deteriorating they had too much to overcome after years without an income.

With Planeterra donors by their side, the community tourism enterprise has not only been revived but it has thrived. They now welcome even more travelers, offering more employment opportunities for women while reinstating crucial community support initiatives.

From a burial fund for bereaved community members to providing meals for hospital patients in need, the ripple effects of your donations are being felt throughout the community at large. 

Lusumpuko Women’s Club
Lusumpuko Women’s Club Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Today, as we stand on the cusp of another holiday season and Planeterra’s 20th Anniversary, we couldn’t be more excited to focus once again on funding the future of community tourism.  

Community tourism doesn’t just provide much-needed income, it can seed opportunities, fuel dreams, and create a future where traditions flourish and communities thrive on their terms. As you’ve read, we can’t do it alone, we need everyone to join forces with Planeterra to empower, support, and connect communities to the resources they need to change their lives. 

We only have one wish this holiday season: 

We wish to strengthen community tourism around the world, so that economic opportunities are created, places are protected, and cultures are celebrated through travel.

Will you help us? – Donate today

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