When Unearth the World was first founded, I had visions of planning high impact experiences not just for students and individuals but also for companies. Prior to my traveling sabbatical and subsequent launch of Unearth the World, I spent 8 years in corporate America. And – while I had enormous respect for the companies that I worked for – I always felt like something was missing. Sure, we had corporate social responsibility initiatives and volunteer affinity groups, but it did not feel like enough. I felt a tremendous void; a lack of connection with those outside my little “corporate bubble”. In fact, I believe that this lack of connection was one of the reasons that I chose to form Unearth the World.
After traveling the globe, connecting with local people and using my skills to work alongside community members, I saw a clear path to how companies and volunteer travel could align. I started wondering: “Wouldn’t it be great if companies and their skilled employees could contribute their time and resources abroad?” It seemed like such a “win-win”: international organizations would benefit from engaged and competent volunteers while corporate employees would find a meaningful connection to the world around them.
It is for all these reasons that I am incredibly proud to announce Unearth the World’s first official partnership with a company! We are working with Centro – an amazing organization that develops digital advertising and media management software to help advertisers streamline and scale digital campaigns. Simply put, they are all about improving collaboration between humans – something Unearth the World feels pretty passionately about as well!
When I first met with members of the Centro staff, I was immediately energized. They expressed an interest in supporting their employees in so many ways – including making global service trips available to them. They had done one international volunteer trip in the past but had found it difficult, time consuming and confusing to plan all of the logistics on their own while also validating that their service would be meaningful.
For the past year, Unearth the World and Centro have worked together to plan a week-long service and cultural immersion trip for 15 Centro employees to Nicaragua. One of the trip participants, Marissa – Supervisor, Campaign Management – sums it up when she expresses what drew her to this experience –
“ I prefer to embed myself into a destination, on a more local level, and I think volunteering abroad is a great way to do it. Doing so will allow me to better understand the people who live there, more so than I would if I were recreationally traveling.”
Marissa – and others – also seem to be especially excited to connect and bond with their co-workers on a deeper level! The group will depart in February and focus on the environment. To view Centro’s itinerary click here: Centro Nicaraguan Itinerary.
After collaborating with Centro, it does not surprise me that Crains Business Chicago has ranked them as the No. 1 Best Place to Work four years in a row. Centro seems to truly get it. And this partnership has inspired me to seek out other companies that want to engage in international immersion so that we can multiply our impact. This seems like the next step in breaking down cultural barriers, learning from one another, and changing the world – one volunteer at a time!
If you or your company are interested in planning a trip with Unearth the World – please reach out by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.