Country Walkers makes a donation on behalf of every traveler to the Travelers Fund, which supports designated projects in the communities and habitats where we travel. We invite you to learn more about our efforts and initiatives for giving back.
We put safety first on the Amalfi Coast: Country Walkers makes a donation on behalf of every tour participant to the local mountain rescue team. The trails and ridges of the Sorrentine Peninsula, above the busy coast, are surprisingly unpopulated and represent a large area for the local mountain search and rescue corps to service. Mainly relying on volunteers and donations, the rescue team depends on contributions to obtain and maintain equipment for rapid emergency response to visitors and locals alike.
Montana: Glacier National Park Montana & Wyoming: Yellowstone
The section of the Rocky Mountains stretching from the Yukon to Wyoming has the potential to be the largest connected patch of wilderness in North America—a superhighway for migratory animals and vital habitat for bears, birds, and more. However, isolated roads and towns segment this area into smaller sections. The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative seeks to re-connect these pieces, allowing the animals to safely move from region to region on wildlife-friendly highway overpasses. Country Walkers’ contribution will be used towards constructing one of these wildlife crossing structures. We invite you to learn more at y2y.net.
We proudly support the Foundation Sur La Pointe des Pieds (“On the Tip of the Toes”) in Quebec. The objective of the program is to provide young people (ages 14 to 29) living with cancer with an opportunity to regain their sense of well-being through therapeutic adventure expeditions. Each trip is free of charge to participants and includes activities such as canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and hiking in the summer and dogsledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling in the winter. These tours are fully supervised by medical personnel and outdoor experts. They’re a chance to make nature accessible to young people with cancer and show them they can live extraordinary adventures and accomplish great things—each trip tailored to their capacities. The organization’s name comes from a comment made by a Quebecois explorer, who was asked by a child how one becomes an “explorer.” He answered: “When I was your age, I rose on the tip of my toes and found out that I could see further…” We invite you to learn more at pointedespieds.com.
Every year, over 200,000 pilgrims walk the various routes of the Camino de Santiago. Coming from all corners of the world—with diverse needs, expectations, and reasons for walking—these travelers require lots of care from their host country. The Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago) coordinates a vast national network of hostels, volunteers, parishes, churches, and shelters in an effort to keep pilgrims safe, healthy, and informed about their journey. Along with organizing and managing shelters along the many routes, they train volunteers, petition for the upkeep of sections of the path, and produce publications relating to The Way. Country Walkers is proud to support the Burgos Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago and their efforts on behalf of every Camino de Santiago guest. Travelers will be able to see this organization in action when we visit their pilgrim hostel in Burgos.
In Africa, currently 345 million people live without access to clean drinking water. We hope to change this. Together with our local partners in Zambia at “Charity Begins at Home,” we’re supporting the “Commit to Clean Water” Fund. This initiative seeks to transform rural communities by drilling wells into deep aquifers and pumping potable water to the surface. Country Walkers seeks to fund the creation of at least three such wells, each benefiting a village of 70 or more people.
Maintaining America’s First Long-Distance Trail in Vermont
A highlight of our Vermont tour is stepping along one of the most spectacular portions of the legendary 270-mile Long Trail, the nation’s first long-distance hiking trail. Built between 1910 and 1930, it follows the spine of Vermont’s primary mountain ranges from Massachusetts to the Canadian border—your route includes the dramatic ridge line of Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak. Country Walkers supports the Green Mountain Club, the stewards of this“footpath through the wilderness,” who also promote conservation of and education about Vermont’s mountains and rural lands.
Along with exceptional cuisine and ancient ruins, Sicily has a centuries-old reputation for corruption. But now, a grassroots coalition of over 850 shopkeepers in Palermo is standing up to institutional graft with the nonprofit “Addiopizzo” movement. This Fair Trade style certification—the name, roughly translated, means “Goodbye, Bribes!”—recognizes businesses that operate honestly, vetting them through a rigorous process that examines their tax records and reputation with local law enforcement. The organization has enjoyed a chorus of growing support throughout the region, including the United States ambassador, who recently visited the organization’s offices.
Country Walkers is proud to support Addiopizzo’s efforts to squash corruption in Sicily and educate locals about ethical business practices.
On a bluff just outside of Monterosso, the historic Convento dei Cappuccini chapel and monastery boasts a history dating back to the 17th century and art treasures by the likes of Van Dyck and Strozzi. A local cultural hub, it has played host to concerts, conferences, and theatrical performances for the surrounding community and has been beloved by locals for its seaside garden, orchards, and vineyards. However, in March 2013, severe landslides destroyed the convent’s beautiful grounds. Though the cost of restoring the “paradise of the monks” was far beyond the modest means of the town or diocese, the project “Let’s Rebuild Monterosso’s Paradise” was soon created to begin raising money. Country Walkers is proud to contribute to this rebuilding project.
Leaving No Trace on the South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path Association is an organization that advocates for improvements to the iconic waymarked trail system that bears its name. Responsible for trail maintenance, restoration of damaged areas, and properly signing trails for hikers, the nonprofit protects more than 630 miles between Somerset’s Minehead around to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset. Maintaining these areas can be expensive and Country Walkers is happy to donate on behalf of all guests as these paths are heavily utilized in our itinerary. Preserving Cornwall’s Marine Life
Cornwall’s Atlantic Coast is home to an astonishing array of aquatic species, from vivid coral reefs to sea turtles. However, this bounty is under constant threat from invasive species, fishermen’s nets, and an epidemic of dolphin stranding. The Cornwall Wildlife Trust seeks to protect the regions valuable coast through their “Living Seas Program,” which collects data about local marine life, raises awareness about threats, and campaigns for better protection of species and habitats. Among many other initiatives, they gather data on seabeds through diving surveys, collect sightings of larger animals through their Seaquest Southwest Project, and work to map intertidal habitats of the entire coastline from Bude to Land’s End. Country Walkers is proud to support this organization’s efforts on behalf of every Cornwall guest. We encourage all visitors to help them with their efforts by reporting all marine animals spotted while out on the trail to their website using the following URL: http://www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/seaquest
With products certified organic since 2001, the Herdade do Freixo do Meio farm applies principles of sustainability within the context of the Portuguese montado, a pastoral agricultural system featuring three layers: oak trees, which provide shade for livestock and help prevent erosion; livestock (indigenous breeds); and pasture or cropland. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels in favor of locally-produced energy and marketing regionally to provide fresh foods and minimize transport costs are key policies. The farm processes and sells many products on site, providing training and employment for as many local people as possible.
In an effort to support the areas we visit on tour, Country Walkers utilizes our Traveler’s Fund to support the Campobello Whale Rescue Team. Created by Mackie Green, the same captain who offers a whale watching excursion and boat transfers on tour, the CWRT is trained to dive and rescue whales trapped in fish netting. Donations support the equipment and training for the brave individuals who seek after these majestic 40 to 70 foot mammals and cut them free from entanglement.
The Cotswolds, stretching over 790 square miles, is the largest recognized Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England due to its breathtaking scenery and rolling hills. Receiving this designation adds the Cotswolds to a family of protected natural parks and landscapes. Country Walkers is delighted to support the effort to keep this area well-preserved on behalf of every Cotswolds guest. By joining this tour, you will be able to experience the impact you are making by walking through these renowned trails. Each donation goes towards maintaining character, such as repairing historic limestone walls, and ensuring that the Cotswalds’ stunning qualities will be enjoyed by visitors for centuries to come.