Giving Back

Travel is a great privilege, and Adventure Associates is committed to seeking efforts which benefit the communities we visit.
Adventure Associates and our spirited travelers donate services or money to local communities or organizations in the areas we travel. Please do read through some Giving Back options, below.

Tarahumara Family Donations – Copper Canyon, Mexico

Tarahumaran families in the depths of Sierra del Madre, or the Copper Canyon of Mexico’s north-central region
Beyond the remote village of Satevo, we enjoyed visiting rancheros where two extended Tarahumaran families truly live off the land. The Raramuri, as they call themselves, create homes out of cave outcroppings or structures made with sticks. They grow corn and raise chickens. They make each article of beautiful colorful clothing and raise their children in the ruggedness of the desert canyons. They walk for miles and miles to sell their wares in markets closer to the train stations where travellers are more often seen. They are described as a shy people, rich with family and tradition and pride. They have for generations, by choice, resisted modernization.

In gratitude for sharing their homes and their traditions with us, we bring practical gifts – a box containing cooking oil, flours, sugar, salt, canned fish, powdered milk, and vegetables. With 12-20 members in a rancheros, this heavy box we carried in was gratefully (if shyly) accepted, and we hope it will offset the next trip to town for a number of weeks.

We also visited with Adanely in Satevo village. Our new friend is a 15-year old girl with epilepsy, who asks for donations, sharing with us a government certified letter, to help offset the costs of her monthly medication. She showed us her home, explained that her father was not able to make very much money in this tiny town, and that her monthly medications are costly. Adanely presented a beautiful painting she had created herself, of the Lady of Guadalupe, on a homemade drum. Our group was quick to purchase the drum from her in support of her medical needs.

Adventure Associates is proud to support this kind of one-on-one Giving Back. We know personal experiences and meaningful connections build longlasting relationships.

If you would like to raise money for Adanely, please contact Adventure Associates: 206-932-8352.

Click here to learn more about our tours to Copper Canyon and giving back in the region.

Momoya’s Water Project – Lake Eyasi, Tanzania

Momoya’s Lake Eyasi Bush Campsite
Adventure Associates just returned from East Africa, having guided a group of 8 women to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I am personally very excited, because I broke my own limit of 17,000 ft and getting altitude sickness, climbing on to the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,341 ft. The women climbing were amazingly strong and a joy to have on the mountain. Most of the women are celebrating a 50th birthday in 2005.

We did a wonderful short safari seeing lots of the migrations, birds and animals. We also had a nice visit with Momoya, his family and the Hadzabe. We first met Momoya about 20 years ago when he walked into our camp at 16 years of age and asked us if we wanted to visit with his village people and family. He has been our guide in the region ever since. Momoya has been married for eight years and his family has grown. His oldest son is in a private school in Arusha. His daughter, 5, is home with him and he has a new baby boy. Sadly, two of the Hadza that we visited within recent years have passed away.

Adventure Associates is writing because we are helping Momoya raise $700 to put in a water system in his camp for his guests. He has created a beautiful campsite for visitors to the Lake Eyasi region and is working hard to serve the tourists. His camp helps bring in tourism money directly to the Tatog people and Hadzabe tribe. There is more competition in the area and we see the Western companies marketing the area aggressively. So, we do hope to help him compete. There is no nonprofit involved in any donations for this project. It is a direct gift for improving his camp, and we know that this gift will help tourism in the area and provide support to the ethnic groups Momoya works with. We will be sending him funds by the beginning of April, 2005.

Let us know if you are interested in contributing any amount. You can send a check here to Adventure Associates indicating the funds be directed to Momoya’s Water Project. Thanks for your support.

New Improvements to Momoya’s Water Project:
Bathroom Facilities

In September of 2006, we received these photographs from C. Turnbull after her Adventure Associates custom safari in Tanzania. It’s extremely exciting to see the progress that has been made in just one year!

Summit through Childreach, Mt. Kilimanjaro

Susan Bryant Thomas
Hilton Head Island, SC

January 2, 2005

Update: Feb. 24, 2005 Mt. Kilimanjaro Summit for Childreach – Accomplished!

Dear Friends,

It has been 18 months since a gathering of college girlfriends and spirited Sheryl proposed a unique way to celebrate her and others 50th birthdays: hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Five of us quickly jumped onboard and began our preparations to reach the Roof of Africa, at 19,340 feet!

Still safely ensconced in my forties (and practically the “baby” of the group), I have recently determined that my many months of physical and altitude training, test hikes and planning has left me a wee bit short of something I need to get me to the top.

This is where YOU come in!

As the death toll continues to rise well past 150,000 from the Tsunami in Sri Lanka and other Asian countries, the scope of recovery from the disaster for millions is just becoming clear. For those of us that live in coastal communities, the reality – there but for the grace of God go I – is all too clear.
Childreach is a part of Plan International, a global partnership in operation since 1937 to help the world’s poorest children. I have been fortunate enough to have developed relationships with sponsored children for a number of years, and heard firsthand the hope and self-sustenance this organization brings to families all over our planet. They have mobilized a special relief effort to support short and long term relief and rehabilitation in countries affected by this disaster of epic proportions.

* 100% of these funds go to ground relief and reconstruction programs
* 100% is tax deductible to you or your business

I would like to take your spirit of generosity with me to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Return your contribution directly to Plan International/Childreach, 155 Plan Way, Warwick, RI 02886. I depart February 16 and will attempt the Summit on February 24, but please contribute as soon as you are able. Then please email me that you have contributed and I will put your name and company name if you like, on the “Summit for Childreach” banner I am making to take to the top of Kilimanjaro!

Blessings in the New Year to you and yours,

Susan Bryant Thomas

You may see more about this program by going to the Plan USA website: www.planusa.organd clicking on the Tsunami relief link.

The Whale Museum – Orca Adoption Program

The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island “promotes stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.” For thousands of years the inland waters of the Pacific Northwest have been the summer feeding grounds for several pods of Orca whales. The Southern Resident Community is made up of just under 90 whales (J, K, and L pods), and researchers have been studying them in their natural habitat since 1976. Approximately 80 whales in these three pods are available for adoption through this program. Current problems facing these whales include declining fish populations, toxic exposure, surface impacts and underwater noise from pleasure and commercial boaters, and the possibility of a major oil spill in this region. All these issues need further study and solutions. The whales of J, K and L pods could use your help to ensure their long term well-being.

Click here to MEET THE WHALES.

Click here for ORCA ADOPTION packages.

Social Educational Environmental Development Services (SEEDS)

SEEDS is a non-profit organization in Nepal that provides basic grass-roots relief projects for the region’s poorest communities. Wherever possible, our participants will have the opportunity to meet representatives of this organization and become familiar with their work. Donations towards our partner organizations are always welcome. Click here to go to the SEEDS website.

Looking for a unique gift?

Adventure Associates is committed to seeking efforts which benefit the communities we visit and our “global village” at large. Our spirited travelers often donate services or money to local communities and organizations. If you are looking for a unique gift, consider one of these charitable foundations:

Compassion in Action
The Heifer Project International (HPI) works to alleviate hunger, poverty and environmental degredation by providing food and income-producing animals (and training) to families in need. You can buy an animal in honor of a friend or loved one, and it will be donated appropriately. To learn more about HPI visit their website:

Gifts of Service
Since 1978, Seva has served people around the world who are struggling for health, cultural survival and sustainable communities. For as little as $50 you can restore sight to a blind person or provide materials and equipment to train a midwife. To learn more about the SEVA Foundation or to provide a Gift of Service visit their website:



“We didn’t just see the amazing sights from a distance as observers, but with all the hiking we actually experienced the landscape first-hand and participated in a wonderful adventure. I am very happy and pleased to have been a part of this fun and educational adventure.”


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