Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



In this thesis, my goal is to share the insight I have gleaned from my academic, professional and personal involvement in the region. The most dominant theme I have observed is the rising trend of North American volunteer tourism (also referred to as “voluntourism”) in LAC and unanticipated consequences it involves. This trend reinforces an intercultural hierarchy, which will be the focus of my study.

I will begin with an overview of the intercultural, hierarchical mentality and explain two key aspects it involves: the North American “Planner” or “fix-it” tendencies toward the region, and the region’s developed dependence on North America. The second section of my thesis will discuss the way North American communication reinforces hierarchical thinking. Finally, my thesis will culminate with guidelines for bridging the gap between North American providers and LAC recipients.



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