Southeast Asia

In just a few hours during our agro-tour in the Nakhon Pathom province, we caught a glimpse of not only the agricultural sector that powers this province, but also less visible cultural practices and social trends....

Community living is a concept as old as the human race. Our modern lifestyle with singles, couples, and single-families living in isolated housing units is relatively modern, and uncommon in much of the world....

In March 2017, Operation Groundswell spent a day working with Ockenden Cambodia on the farm of Mr. Phle Song in the rural district of Mongkol Borey, Cambodia. We learned how to make raw sugar from both sugarcane and palm oil, but the highlight of the...

You are confronted by so many emotions and experiences over the course of your journey with Operation Groundswell. For starters, you learn to leave your comfort zone; you meet Backpacktivists, each friendlier than the last, and you reach another level in the search for self-discovery....

Over the past few decades, travel in Southeast Asia has become almost synonymous with elephant rides, posing some serious ethical concerns around the care for these endangered species. At OG, finding an ethical way to interact with these gentle giants was and continues to be...

OG redefines friendship by selecting some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. We're a family. Not that Jim and Becca are our mum and dad, but that they, too, are two of my newest 14 siblings....

My first steps onto the premises of the S-21 Prison were some of the most impactful. It once was a school; at first I didn't even believe we were at the prison. How could something that seemed so helpless and fragile be used for a...

The first stop we made in Cambodia was to volunteer with Ockenden, a non-governmental organization focused on promoting permaculture and sustainable farming practices. On July 16, after our last night with mattresses for a while, we headed to our home stay to drop off our...

Two of the participants on our Southeast Asia: Animal Conservation program are working towards displaying their photography in an exhibit and fundraiser once they're back in Toronto. When we asked if they'd like to contribute to the Operation Groundswell blog, they enthusiastically replied that they...

It's hard to say what I expected as I planned my departure for six weeks in Southeast Asia. I had many hopes, expectations, goals, and fears. The anticipation of the upcoming trip had my mind busy with things I looked forward to, and ultimately, how...

We recently had the opportunity to work alongside Freeland, an anti-wildlife trafficking organization in a National Park in eastern Thailand. Upon meeting the park rangers there, we learned that not just the wildlife in the park is at stake, but also their home: the forest...