We read with much sadness an article from The Guardian about so-called “Human Safaris.” This is when local indigenous people are paid to act in a particular way to please tourists and put on a good show.
As awful as that sounds, it is sadly common. The Guardian’s previous investigation revealed not only payments to, but also bullying of a local tribe in India, all for the benefit of camera-toting tourists seeking a glimpse of “primitive” lifestyles.
We at Embark Adventures deplore this kind of behavior. We certainly understand that one of the lures of all travel is interacting with people and different cultures, but we have some very strict rules about this. For example, we don’t even give candy to local children, because it’s unhealthy for their bodies and their spirits. We do, however, support local efforts like the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.
We want to visit cultures and help to preserve them, but do both in a sustainable and conscious way.
So good for the Guardian, and for the Indian government, which is starting to crack down on this nonsense. We hope this starts a trend that goes far beyond India.