Voluntourism (Volunteering + Tourism) is one of the sustainable ways to approach tourism, and PEPY Tours is a model for responsible voluntourism.

Pepy is both an international non-governmental organization registered in the USA and Cambodia, PEPY, and an educational adventure and service-learning tour operator, PEPY Tours that helps to fund education programs while inspiring change in the way people travel.

Daniela Rubi Papi, the cofounder of the organization says

“We arrived in Cambodia in 2005 with a lot of enthusiasm, but also a lot of naïve and incorrect ideas. We thought we could help people by giving them things that they needed and improve education by building schools. We came to a new place we knew very little about with our own ideas about education and change. We have since realized that schools don’t teach kids, people do; things don’t change lives, people knowing how to use them or make them does; and that we had not arrived to teach, but instead to learn and support the development of those who have the capacity to teach, even long after we leave.”

TEDx BKK Daniela Rubi Papi

The first sustainable real aspect of this organization is the transparent pricing system applied.  Pepys Tourists pay for the tour and also commit to a found raising goal, the former paying the tour operator and sending money into the local economy. The volunteering part is left open to meet the needs of the local community, in this way Pepy is helping the local economy and not on the need of the tourism. In this way tourist will get a full picture of the country’s socioeconomic challenges and not contribute just to small tangible results.


The Pepy Journal is very interesting to understand how this enlightened organization is run and which are the challenges every voluntourism organization face.