Mark Edelston from the Purple Monkey Hostel in Medellin, Colombia wrote a blog arguing that using volunteers in hostels goes against responsible tourism.
You can read the blog here:
The blog describes a local woman who works as a housekeeper to earn a living and put food on their family’s table. It goes on to compare that to a situation where a volunteer is used to perform the same task for free. A volunteer is certainly the cheaper solution, but is it the right one?
The blog also describes how volunteers can make a life-changing impact through charitable organizations rather than providing labor in for-profit businesses.
Hostels… are privately owned businesses. Helping in a business isn’t contributing anything to the welfare of a country, it is in fact taking away the opportunity of paid work from the residents of the country who need that income to live.
Mark admits this topic is likely to split the hostel community, which makes it all the more interesting to hear everyone’s opinion on the subject.
What is your opinion?