Rose's Most Excellent Adventure

Rose Hornedo Start Date: Dec 27, 2016 - End Date: Sep 2, 2017
  • Thailand

My Travel Story

by: Rose Hornedo Start Date: Dec 27, 2016 - End Date: Sep 2, 2017
Up until the mid-1980’s local elephants were still used for logging. Now however logging is an illegal process. This means that the elephants have literally been made redundant. Treated by their owners just like your ordinary household pets, these elephants can consume upwards of 300kgs of food daily and require constant health checks – this is extremely expensive for an ordinary farming family with an income of less than $5 per day.

In order to pay for an elephant’s care, many of their owners (known as ‘Mahouts’) began to walk their elephants through the streets of the larger cities, selling photo opportunities to tourists. This is obviously dangerous for both the elephant and their Mahout. In order to help one such village, our partner organization has joined forces with its elders undertaking to support to the villagers and their elephants by supplying physical labour and finance if they commit not to tout their elephants to tourists.

This is where volunteers come in… this is a unique opportunity to live and work with the Mahouts, spending 5 days each week learning how to work with, train, feed and wash the elephants. (Given their size, the elephants while domesticated, are trained to be around humans.) This program is designed to ensure the elephants remain in a natural environment and receive the healthcare and regular healthy diet they need. At the same time, the villagers enjoy spending time with volunteers from all around the world.

This is a ‘hands on’ program where volunteers will experience ‘real’ Thai community life.   Along with your elephant work, volunteers will learn Thai cooking while helping to cook meals; assist with farming the land, and getting your hands dirty on small micro-development projects such as a sustainable fish farm which helps to provide families with extra income.
  • Thailand