Off The Beaten Path in Paris France

Ritz-Carlton Guests Lend A Hand

Guests at many luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotels can now volunteer their time and energy to improve and assist the local community where they are vacationing.

The program, called "Give Back Getaways" offers guests a variety of opportunities from helping to protect endangered sea turtles to helping autistic children.

My readers have heard of volunteer vacations before, but they usually are the main focus of your trip. This program requires is a smaller commitment and are not the primary reason for your visit.

 Photo Provided By Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau

This weekend, August 3rd,  for example, if your staying at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes you may want to help rehabbing the headwaters to the  everglades. These efforts range from artificial freshwater reef construction, shoreline structure and aquatic plant enhancement, to building wood duck nesting boxes. You can also take a nature walk to the fish feeding stations, butterfly garden, organic garden, and the bird and nature watching stations.

Or if you happen to be staying in Beiging this weekend you would be partnered with a multi-lingual hotel employee and join a student of the Dongba Village Migrant Community Learning Center for the day.  You will help to complete a mural in their library.

Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of Ritz-Carlton states "We have come to recognize the interest many of our guests have in becoming more involved in the region where they are spending their vacation. Many of them are active volunteers in worthwhile activities at home, and want to continue this spirit of giving when they visit other parts of the world," "We believe Give Back Getaways is a unique way for our hotels to partner with guests to provide an experience both memorable and personally enriching."

The programs have participation fees.  Transportation costs are deducted from the fee with the balance going to the charity involved with the program.  The Ritz-Carlton absorbs all internal costs associated with the program, including the payroll costs of  their employees who also participate.

Ritz-Carlton has created a website dedicated to describing the programs: .