This capstone has examined what constitutes a true ecotourism experience, and how service work abroad can be tied into the international education field. It was researched by the author how to create a true ecotourism experience that is also educational, incorporating the theoretical foundations behind lifelong learning, informal education and nonformal education. This program will be run by the ProPeru Service Corps, which is a part of ProWorld.

Surveys were distributed to tourists visiting Cusco, Peru, as well as tourism professionals studying English, tourism agencies and hotels in the area. Information was also collected about how to determine what tourists would be willing to do, how the program could be created to ensure that it will benefit and not harm the local community, and how tourism agencies and hotels could help to market and sell the program.

A one-day volunteer program for tourists in Cusco to purchase and install clean-burning stoves in local homes has been created. The main goals of the ProPeru Stove Project are to provide tourists in Peru with an experience that enhances their ability to work successfully with people from different cultures, and to increase participants’ understanding of the Peruvian way of living and some of its challenges. The main objective of the Stove Project is to install as many clean-burning stoves in Peruvian homes as possible.

A program has been created that will improve the health of Peru’s families while curbing the deforestation that has been harming the country’s environment. Tourists will also be able to participate in a program that they will learn from, improving their cross-cultural communication skills and knowledge of executing international development work.

A replicable program that will expand the field of international education has been created, providing new challenges for professionals to take on and new opportunities for non-traditional participants to take advantage of. Using this research, new partnerships can be formed between education abroad organizations and international NGOs to provide short-term, cross-cultural learning experiences for tourists that also benefit their host communities.


Economics | Growth and Development | Natural Resources and Conservation | Oil, Gas, and Energy