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Cancun offers new 'voluntourism' options for conventioners

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Heading to Cancun for a meeting or convention? If so, the Convention & Visitors Bureau for this fabulous Mexican resort along the waters of the Caribbean wants you to know about some new “voluntourism” options open to you during your stay.

Delegates wishing to get down to business in Cancun and also “give back” to their host community can volunteer for corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs such as:

• The Mayan village experience – Work on projects with the local Mayan community such as garden maintenance, painting, cleaning up historic sites and traditional Mayan tamale cooking.

• Making piñatas with intellectually disadvantaged youngsters – Visitors work with the youngsters in constructing the colorful paper mache containers of candy or small toys.

• Entertainment night with seniors – Dance, sing, play board games, talk and share individual talents with older folks in a local residence managed by nuns.

• Sea turtle hatchling release – Support the maintenance of a healthy habitat for turtle migration and help provide patrols and security during the nesting and hatching phase of turtle migration. (Seasonal: September – October.)

• Reforestation programs – Help grow local flora including seed planting, watering, weeding, preparing soil bags, clipping plants, etc.

Organized by Travelfuture, the CSR programs are open to some 900,000 annual delegates to meetings and conventions held in Cancun.

Jesus Almaguer, CEO of the Cancun CVB, said the resort hosted close to 2,000 meetings and conventions last year.

Getting there: Cancun International Airport is served by nonstop hops from major U.S. gateways including Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Phoenix and San Francisco, among others.

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