The year 2018 was an eventful year filled with social and political movements, polarizing world events, and endless news cycles. At the same time, we saw much of the world begin to take change into their own hands. Here at Planeterra, we watched the momentum of grassroots-driven movements surge around issues like gender equality. We knew this year we had to put a focus on these issues, with our own twist. Our team set out around the world, spurred on by the desire to use the travel industry to distribute wealth to those who need it most, not only to fight poverty, but to strive for a more equal world, where cultures are celebrated, women are empowered, the environment is protected, and no member of society is left behind.
We proudly worked with four new women’s organizations, and witnessed many fulfill dreams they never had believed possible. These innovative women took their first jobs outside the home, saved for the future, and launched their own businesses. We travelled far and wide (Morocco, Jordan, and Colombia, to name a few), and we were left inspired by the universal drive of women to lead their families and communities toward a better future.
As our world continues to struggle with environmental responsibility, we proudly invested in five local organizations working to create sustainable change in their communities, and reinvent the way we interact with the environment around us. From New Zealand to Costa Rica, we were inspired by their focus on conservation education and engagement as a way towards a more sustainable future for all.
Last year, we felt more than ever the need to celebrate, embrace, and empower marginalized communities, and to cultivate economic opportunities that honour what makes us unique as individuals. We poured energy into our partnerships with Indigenous communities, such as the Diné (Navajo) community in the USA where a beautiful new project benefits members of Navajo Nation. We’re confident you will see this dedication and enthusiasm stretch into 2019.
Every day we have the privilege of working with individuals striving for a future where people have equal opportunities, value those around them, and protect the natural environment. We could not have achieved the success we had in 2018 without these hard-working, dedicated partners. We also thank the thousands of individuals who supported our cause this year, and every year. From the travellers that visit our projects, to our generous donors — we are grateful to each and every one of you.
In 2018 we on-boarded more projects than ever before — forging 17 new partnerships in 11 new countries — showing us that, though the world continued to face challenge after challenge, we could still use our passion and focus to enact change. As we look back on the year together through the publication of this report, we hope you enjoy seeing the journey we took to empower women, youth, and communities around the world. We hope you will join us in 2019 as we continue our mission to connect local communities to the life-changing benefits of tourism.
From all of us,
Jamie, Kelly, Rhea, Alanna, Vanessa, Joel and P. Tung