The last (plastic) straw: travel and its environmental responsibilities
The Guardian
July 4, 2018
“Christine Mackay, founder of the Travelers Against Plastic (TAP) campaign, who also runs a non-profit adventure company, Crooked Trails, has been using filter devices for years. Where once she drew strange looks, now fellow travellers ask where they can get one from.”

Industry determined to do more on the environment
Travel Weekly
April 23, 2018
“Christine Mackay, co-founder of Travelers Against Plastic and the founder and executive director of the tour company Crooked Trails, has for the past 15 years been requiring Crooked Trails guests to purify their own water using a SteriPEN or similar portable water purification system. “

Mindful Travel: Doing Good While on the Road
April 20, 2018
“The lure of seeing something new is always intriguing, but going back to see friends and visit communities I have gone to for years is what really pulls on the heart strings. I love being surrounded by people who live and think differently than I do.”

A Muslim woman walks into a coffeeshop… and creates a movement
The Seattle Times
January 20, 2018
” ‘You can’t know a country if you don’t know the people,” said executive director Christine Mackay, who recalled Googling “Meet a Muslim” after the 2016 election and finding Shaiq.”

Spotlight: Interview with Travelers Against Plastic Co-Founder Chris Mackay
Eco Tour Linq
January 19, 2018
“The more I was out in the field the more I got sick and tired of seeing everyone carrying around disposable plastic water bottles….(so) we came up with this campaign idea.”

West Seattle families take a trip to Peru – to build field of dreams
West Seattle Herald
January 15, 2018
“You don’t go on a Crooked Trails trip to get away from it all,” Mackay said. “You go on a Crooked Trails trip to get into it. It’s going to be active, it’s going to be immersive, and it’s most likely going to be transformative.”

Exploring Mezcal and Mushrooms in the Land of the Zapotec
Epicure & Culture
August 21, 2017
“Beyond learning how mezcal is made (which was fascinating) and tasting many types of mezcal (which was great), was the biggest discovery — the importance of this liquor’s role in the culture of the people of Oaxaca.”

The Unexpected Ingredient Mexico Should Be Known For
Afar Magazine
August 22, 2017
” ‘When you have the opportunity to connect with the local population on their terms, everyone is genuinely happy to meet you and proud to share their knowledge,’ said Christine MacKay, executive director of Crooked Trails, a nonprofit travel organization that arranges custom, community-based tours of Oaxaca’s northern villages during peak foraging season.”

Crooked Trails Offers Travel with a Purpose
Outdoor Project
June 19, 2017
“As a leader in community-based tourism, Crooked Trails believes in low-impact travel practices and the idea that travel is truly valuable when an opportunity to form relationships with communities exists.”

A Vacation With a Purpose: Fighting Trafficking in Thailand
The New York Times
May 11, 2017
“I was on vacation, visiting Thailand on what was billed as an advocacy journey, one that, along with sightseeing, provided opportunities to learn about the sexual exploitation of children in a country known for sex tourism.”

Trekking Through One of the Least-Visited Regions of Mexico
January 30, 2017
“It’s a cool green, with massive fleshy leaves that look like they belong in a science fiction film in this seemingly familiar forest landscape.”

Volunteer vacations offer adventure with a purpose
Edmonds Beacon
April 21, 2016
“Would you pay to volunteer on vacation? Many travelers are opting to do so, and are swapping sightseeing and lazing on a beach for service opportunities from making mud bricks in Kenya to building clay ovens in Peruvian villages.”

Nepal Earthquake: Quake Deals Blow to Nepal’s Landmarks and Tourism
NBC News
April 28, 2015
“While Seattle-based Crooked Trails has no trips to Nepal planned for the next month or so, “for future trips I will be working closely with my in-country operators and partners and communities to help me determine when they are ready to resume operations,” said company executive director Christine Mackay.”

Trekking to Choquequirao, Peru’s remote Inca ruins
The Guardian
November 1, 2014
The reward for those adventurous enough to make the trek is an Inca sanctuary that still feels, in Rudyard Kipling’s phrase, like ‘something lost behind the ranges’.

Let’s Talk About Water Bottles
Immersion Travel Magazine
June 5, 2014
“Christine Mackay, one of the founders of Crooked Trails and the Travelers Against Plastic (TAP) campaign was able to take a few minutes to share her traveling experiences and her solution to the plastic water bottle problem.”

Bearing Witness to the Fight Against Child Sexual Slavery in Nepal
Adventure Travel News
January 20, 2014
“My group had witnessed firsthand the brave work of former trafficking victims. It is estimated that to date, Maiti Nepal has rescued or prevented the trafficking of over 20,000 girls. This is why my clients were inspired and even hopeful.”

Top Adventure Travel Trips of 2014
The Active Traveler
January 13, 2013
“As if you needed another reason to visit, the non-profit organization Crooked Trails is hosting a volunteer program. The goal of the trip will be successful development of a coffee house that is beneficial for the community and more specifically, the women in the community.”

Plan a Trip with Volunteering in Mind
Dallas Morning News
March 31, 2012
“Volunteer vacations enable parents to model their values while demonstrating compassion for others who share our planet. Develop new talents, brush off rusty skills and make a difference as a family.”

Can We Protect Machu Picchu?
Ethical Traveler
October 4, 2011
“Tammy Leland, co-founder of Crooked Trails, a nonprofit, community-based travel organization, fears that adding Machu Picchu to the Endangered List might restrict access to the public. “There are other ways to mediate the environment and cultural damage on such a large site,” she says.”

Diverse Zip Code Travel Magazine
September 19, 2011
Video segment from Evening Magazine tv show profiling Crooked Trails’ Travel 98118 Program.

Stepping Out and Giving Back
Talk Magazines
April, 2011
“Tammy Leland, a pioneer in the industry and co-founder of Crooked Trailsexplains, “We began doing this kind of work 14 years ago. There were very few companies doing community-based travel that gave the locals the power to make decisions about tourism in their own communities. People were talking about ecotourism benefiting the environment but not cultures.”

Crooked Trails Co-Founder Tammy Leland on Creativity and Play in Community-Based Travel
Blog Talk Radio
February 16, 2011
Interview with Mary Alice Long, PHD

Happy Trails: Crooked Trails Promotes Volunteer Tourism and Responsible Travel
Abroad Volunteers
June 25, 2010
“Tourism can happen with host communities not to them if they have control over it. So we want to show travelers as well as host communities that tourism can be beneficial and a lot of fun to boot.”

Crooked Trails providing meaningful vacations Magazine
June 21, 2010
“A Seattle company is offering a new kind of vacation that practically guarantees to change your life.”

Non-profit spotlight: Crooked Trails
The Global Citizen Project
May 10, 2010
“I realized that my favorite country is usually the one I am traveling in at the moment. I seem to appreciate wherever I am at any given time the most.”

Family Volunteer Vacations
USA Today
April 20, 2010
“These interpersonal adventures focus on community service, from reforestation to building schools–whatever is most needed per the community’s decision.”

Dreaming of the Three Cups of Tea Experience? Build a school in Nepal with Crooked Trails
Austin International Travel Examiner
June 29, 2009
“Crooked Trails participants return home having learned ways to incorporate lessons from these exchanges into their own lives and communities.”

Beyond ecotourism: How to travel responsibly
Seattle International Travel Examiner
June 10, 2009
“It’s not just about minimizing negative impacts; it’s about respecting local traditions and cultures and having a positive effect on the local economy.”

Every backpacker’s bible – Unpacking the gospel according to Lonely Planet
McGill Daily
March 5, 2009
“Crooked Trails’ Thailand trip includes combating sexual slavery among the hill tribe people and replanting mangrove swamps in Andaman fishing villages.”

Travel responsibly with Crooked Trails
Seattle International Travel Examiner
February 18, 2009
“Participants may find themselves building a school in Kenya, working with a weavers’ cooperative in Peru, or replanting mangrove swamps destroyed by the tsunami in Thailand. The emphasis is on creating meaningful and mutually beneficial cultural exchange.”

Community Tourism In Peru
CBS News
February 11, 2009
“Sheri Steiner, a 58-year-old media buyer from Steamboat Springs, Colo., who has traveled around the world, said that despite the differences between her dress, language and lifestyle from the family: ‘We’re not so different. They laugh, we laugh. They cry, we cry,” she said.’ “

New Family Values
National Geographic
November/December 2008
“Crooked Trails, specializing in community-based travel, has developed a homestay trip to Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas for families with children ages five and under (yes, you read right).”

Planting Empowerment partners with tour operators for carbon offsets
Austin International Travel Examiner
December 15, 2008
“Tourism companies that are serious about sustainability and responsible travel have found a new way to reduce the footprint caused by travel: Carbon emission offsets. And they’ve found a partner in Planting Empowerment.”

Cultural Immersion: A Deeper Travel Experience
Austin International Travel Examiner
November 5, 2008
“Participants return home having learned ways to incorporate lessons from these exchanges into their own lives and communities.”

Travel responsibly with Crooked Trails
Green Scene USA
September 11, 2008

Adventure travel can leave a lasting impression born of giving and friendship
Seattle PI
September 10, 2008
“The village elder had never seen an airplane, and it took two interpreters — translating from English to Thai to the indigenous language and back again — to communicate. Despite the cultural hurdles, the Westerners bonded with the villagers and helped them build a much-needed community center.”

Experience a High-Altitude Homestay in an Andean Mountain Village
Spire Presents Suzanne’s Files
Fall, 2008
“My exposure to the values of the villagers has given me a better understanding of what is most important for me to enjoy life. It is not my material positions but the opportunity to be a citizen of the world.”

Off beaten track in Peru – As tourism booms, intrepid travelers veer into the farm
August 1, 2008
“Travelers pay to stay in villagers’ homes, eat what they eat, live as they live, learning about their customs firsthand.”

Intrepid travelers in Peru veer off beaten track
Associated Press – Yahoo! News
July 30, 2008
“Crooked Trails offers tours to Vicos as well as Peru’s top tourist destination, Machu Picchu… Travelers are expected do to some light farm work, a small price to pay for waking up to a view of the snowcapped Andes.”

Interview with co-founder Tammy Leland on community based tourism
SCAN TV cable 77 Seattle WA
October 6, 2006

Crooked Trails broadens understanding of planet through innovative programs
International Examiner
August 3, 2006
“Before heading to the Himalayas, many tourists tend to think of how the experience will make a huge impact in their lives. They rarely realize how meaningful their visits will be to the people of the Himalayas, who never leave their village and don’t often have foreign visitors. After participants on the Crooked Trail program experience the cultural exchange, the people in the villages can’t wait for the tourists to return.”

Working tours – Crooked Trails allows visitors to live and work in local villages in Peru, Nepal and elsewhere
Puget Sound Business Journal
October 5, 2005
“‘The best thing is seeing the changes in people when they come back from our trips,’ Mackay said. ‘They say, ‘You changed my life.’ I say, ‘No, you changed your life.’”

A Nonprofit Travel Company With a Global Mission
Seattle Woman Magazine
June, 2005
“‘Crooked Trails’ biggest contribution has been to connect people around the world in a nonthreatening, nonjudgmental environment,’ smiles Leland. ‘Creating new friendships, building understanding of our global community, breaking down cultural barriers, and encouraging people to be active in their own communities at home.’”

Weekend concerts to raise money for tsunami victims
The Seattle Times
January 14, 2005
“‘We’re working out what we can do, if we can help rebuild docks and homes,’ said Mackay. ‘This has wrung our hearts, and we wanted to reach out.” Travel companies big and small in the United States and worldwide are contributing to relief efforts.”

Beyond Ecotourism – Transformational Adult Learning in the High Himalayas
Transitions Abroad
December 2003
“Finally, she explained, we would travel with a purpose. Crooked Trails would ensure that we would all leave something of ourselves behind, in the form of carefully planned and targeted financial support or a community service project or perhaps both.”

Guest speaker co-founder of Crooked Trails Chris Mackay on “Travel to Asia” with Steve Scher
KUOW (local NPR affiliate)
December 4, 2003

Nature Brings Americans, Locals Closer
Himalayan Press, Kathmandu
Dec. 13, 2003

Interview with co-founder Chris Mackay on community based tourism
SCAN TV cable 77 Seattle WA
Dec. 17, 2003

Interview with co-founder of Crooked Trails: Tammy Leland on eco-tourism with Steve Scher
KUOW (local NPR affiliate)
May 8, 2002


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