Biking, Hiking, and Building Homes

Adventure junkies who like to volunteer in their free time love Play it Forward Adventure Travels (PIF). This organization combines the thrills of the outdoors with the fulfillment of giving back.

I spoke by phone with PIF’s President, Jodi Nelson, at a cafĂ© in Guatemala. She told me about the 10-day tour she and 12 others had just completed. Their trip was filled with all-day bike rides, breathtaking views of Lake Atitlan, hiking the City of Stairs, kayaking to Santa Catarina and yoga by the water.

Not only did these thrill-seekers fulfill their need for excitement, but they also spent much of their time serving the local people. Working with the St. Paul organization Common Hope, PIF connected with others volunteering in Guatemala. In only two and a half hours PIF and a European Youth Group passed panels for a home up a mountain. Jodi explained how great it was work with fellow group members: “I must say, this group was amazing. Everyone was so connected; we were like a team that´s known each other for years. What a great thing to see.”

Through Common Hope, PIF sojourners also visited children they sponsored, accompanied social workers to local homes and learned more about the Mayan community.

“I can´t say enough about how wonderful this trip was. I hope every one of you can experience this for yourself one day.” – Jodi

At the end of the trip, the group gathered at an earth lodge in the Guatemalan mountains. PIF used the day to relax and reflect on the week they had completed. One of the most rewarding aspects of each trip, Jodi explains, are the testimonials of fellow sojourners: “One person told me during our hike yesterday that she thinks my trips cure depression. Another person told me they are having all these amazing breakthroughs with what they want to do with their life when they get home. Another woman came to conquer fears, and she´s done EVERYTHING presented to her ... we find it hard to believe she is scared of anything.”

For an adrenaline fix or an opportunity to serve others, a Play it Forward Adventure is a not-to-be-missed experience.

PLAY it Forward, LLC
PO Box 14126
St. Paul, MN 55114

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