What to Expect on a Crooked Trails Village Homestay
Crooked Trails works with indigenous people in villages around the world, creating cultural exchanges that offer visitors and hosts the opportunity to share in each others lives. For many people, this type of off-the-beaten-track travel experience is a new and perhaps intimidating prospect, but we encourage you to give it a try.
Once you’ve enrolled in a program, we will send you an in-depth pre-departure packet and will communicate with you to answer your questions and help you prepare. We enjoy facilitating a new and different experience for you and we go to great lengths to make sure you feel well-informed and ready.
In each of our destinations, you will have the opportunity for a homestay which allows you to experience the daily life of ordinary people who live in extraordinary places. Indigenous families open their doors to us, welcome us inside and share their meals around the fire. During our exchanges, we enter our hosts’ community with respect and openness, willing to ask questions and to listen and learn from the answers. Crooked Trails dissolves the lines that can separate travelers from locals so your travel is richer and more rewarding, for you and for your host family too. The homestay experience is optional in most cases (except for a few locations where homestay is the only lodging option); if you do not wish to have a homestay, let us know.
Local host families have made the choice to participate, and they have been briefed on the particular needs of their western guests. They are eager to welcome you into their homes and families. Your sleeping accommodations will be similar to those of your host family. Often, that means a mattress on the floor. Likewise, bathroom facilities vary according to the local custom. Squat toilets and outhouses are not uncommon in much of the developing world! You live the way your host family lives – simply. Food will be prepared by the family and represent what they eat. Please note there are no food requirements we can meet other than vegetarian during a homestay. We will help you anticipate the particulars of your programs’ homestay, but ask everyone to bring a sense of adventure and flexibility.
We work with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and partner communities, which provide local community guides and translators for our homestay programs. The local guides are native to the regions we visit and are especially knowledgeable, hospitable, and interesting. They will help you understand what you are witnessing and the projects you are working on and quickly become everyone’s favorite person.
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