Greenheart travel is the travel abroad division of the center for Cultural Interchange (CCI).
Their mission is to provide cultural exchanges to promote global understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace.
Jennifer Salvador, the Program Manager at Greenheart decided to work at Greenheart because she thought it stood out as an organization that “walks the walk.”
“As a non-profit organization, we really are able to put our focus on offering great programs that will make a true difference in people’s lives through immersing themselves in other cultures and languages and well as creating environmental consciousness,” stated Salvador.
Greenheart also has a bustling eco fair trade shop online and in Chicago, called the Greenheart Shop where they sell only fair trade products. The organization also has a carbon-offset program that a portion of every participants program fee goes into to help offset environmental repercussions of travel.
Salvador’s advice on small things to do while traveling?
- Take reusable bags with you
- Don’t buy souvenirs made from wild animal products such as ivory, skins or bone
- Use public transportation or walk whenever possible
- Take a reusable water bottle with you
- Choose eco-conscious airlines
Emily Dkystra, a senior International Studies major at Loyola has been interning with Greenheart since August.
“The communities that we are sending people to, they grow their own food and are so dependent on their environment. We need to realize that what we do in the US impacts people in impoverished countries,” she stated.
“In fact, portions of all the fees are going to an NGO in Kenya that teaches people how to grow their own food.”
Greenheart opened in 2006 and since then has helped over 10,000 students travel abroad while raising awareness about environmentalist, fair trade, social transformation and cross-cultural understanding.
They offer a variety of scholarships for university students, educators, high school students and families.