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July 29, 2009

Help Clean Up Aruba

EMBRACE
Hyatt Regency Aruba employees and guests sprucing up the ruins of the Bushiribana smelter.

by Brook Wilkinson

The reef internship I wrote about last week might be a long shot, but if you're looking to include some volunteer work in your next beach vacation, consider the Hyatt Regency in Aruba. The resort has committed to helping preserve local cultural attractions through its EMBRACE project, which stands for "Employees Maintaining, Beautifying, Revitalizing Authentic Cultural Elements." Every few months, a group of Hyatt employees and guests go out and spend a few hours cleaning up a historic site. (Yes, the employees who would otherwise be working at the hotel that day are still paid.) The next volunteer day will take place on August 25 at the Balashi Gold Smelter Ruins, a relic of the island's nineteenth-century mining industry. You can spend the morning lending some sweat equity to the volunteer project, and the afternoon lazing on the beach. Not a bad combination, if you ask me.

Further reading:
* How can we open the joys and benefits of travel to more people? Enter your idea and you could be featured in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler.
* Responsible Traveler: Making a difference.

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