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Global Impact Strategy

Global Impact Strategy

Small Efforts Create Big Change

Global impact is at the core of what we do. Rustic Pathways is committed to creating positive impact through transformative student travel experiences that facilitate meaningful engagement with our partners around the world.

To create global impact, we focus on two areas: community impact and student impact.

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Goal: Create a world where travel is a model of sustainable development by fostering positive impact around the world through community engagement, strong local collaboration, and responsible business practices.

Community Projects

Partnering with community members and organizations at a local level while aligning with global best practices like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Working collaboratively with local partners to develop long-term plans that address high-priority community needs, supported by our staff of international development professionals with a deep understanding of local community needs.

Creating appropriate roles for students to engage in meaningful community service projects, showing that small efforts add up to create large collective impact.

Supporting high-priority projects year-round through the Rustic Pathways Foundation, our nonprofit.

Inspiring students and staff to stay involved in community impact efforts from anywhere in the world.

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Goal: Inspire a future generation of globally-minded self-aware change makers to create positive impact at a local and global level.

Student Learning Experience

Creating student travel experiences centered on important global issues and helping students learn directly from community partners.

Facilitating meaningful discussions that challenge students to reflect on the complexities of travel, international development, and the role they play.

Encouraging students to apply lessons learned through travel and return home inspired and ready to lead positive change.

Student Impact Evaluation

Measuring student growth and non-cognitive development through defined Student Learning Outcomes.

Program Development

Designing programs that challenge students to think critically and experience personal growth.

Applying the results of our Student Impact Evaluation to improve our programs and training Program Leaders to facilitate those experiences.

Aligning our existing community and student impact work with the Sustainable Development Goals will allow us to take what we’re already doing a step further.

Our service work will contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goals such as improving access to education, protecting and preserving the environment, and ensuring access to basic human needs such as water, housing, and food—among others.

Not only will our community service outcomes contribute to the 17 goals the UN is working to address by 2030, but everything we do as an organization will be guided by those core principles.

How Rustic Programs Align with the Sustainable Development Goals

Community Impact

The Rustic Pathways Foundation completed a project in 2018 that provides clean and reliable drinking water to more than 200 people in the community of Yorkin, Costa Rica. The three-mile aqueduct and 20,000-liter water tank took nearly four years of work after Foundation donors raised $30,000.

Student Impact

Students who participate in Bribri Indigenous Culture and Service visit this remote community that’s only accessible by boat. By immersing in the community, students have the opportunity to interact with local people and learn about their lives. Guided discussions help students contextualize their experience and they reflect about how their own decisions impact global issues related to water and sanitation.


Learn more about Rustic Pathways’ global community and student impact by reviewing our annual Impact Report.