Global Exchange envisions a people centered globalization that values the rights of workers and the health of the planet; that prioritizes international collaboration as central to ensuring peace; and that aims to create a local, green economy designed to embrace the diversity of our communities.
In a world where the economics of quantity fuels corporate power and political greed, the elite are reaping profits while working people and the planet are left to pay the price. In response to the global degradation caused by this system of elite globalization, Global Exchange envisions an alternative economics of quality centered upon protecting international human rights to ensure that the cost of globalization does not come at the expense of us all.
As an education and action resource center, Global Exchange advances its vision by working to ensure our members and constituents are empowered locally and connected globally to create a just and sustainable world.
Global Exchange® takes a holistic approach to creating change. With 20 years working for international human rights, we realize that in order to advance social, environmental and economic justice we must transform the global economy from profit centered to people centered, from currency to community.
The idea that travel can be educational, fun, and positively influence international affairs motivated the first Reality Tour in 1989. Global Exchange Reality Tours provide individuals the opportunity to understand issues beyond what is communicated by the mass media and gain a new vantage point from which to view and affect US foreign policy. Travelers are linked with activists and organizations from around the globe who are working toward positive change. We also hope to prompt participants to examine related issues in their own communities.
Why go on a reality tour?
Today Global Exchange Reality Tours organizes trips to over 30 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Participants learn about women’s struggles in Afghanistan, the impact of oil exploration on Ecuador’s indigenous communities, fair trade in Tanzania, the struggle for peace and justice in Palestine & Israel, and more. Global Exchange Reality Tours also provide opportunities for Americans to travel as “citizen ambassadors” to countries like Syria, Iran, Libya, and Cuba, breaking down the stereotypes and misinformation that can lead toward hatred and war.
All Global Exchange Reality Tours are coordinated by locals working in the host communities we visit. Our tours are directed by qualified trip facilitators and typically include two meals per day, double room accommodations, translation of all programs, reading and preparatory materials, all transportation within the country, program and entrance fees.