JIP 101: Ricardo Lima
Ricardo Lima: Worldpackers, volunteer around the world
Imagine traveling around the world and living with locals for free in exchange of a few hours of your time. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, this is possible thanks to Worldpackers.com.
Ricardo is from Brazil around 2010 was having a very successful career in finance. Successful from a money standpoint, however he was totally unhappy and unfulfilled. That's when he decided to leave everything behind and use his savings to travel the world. Little did he know at the time that he would be traveling for 3 years through Africa, Europe, Asia and North America!
It was during this long trip that he discovered you can volunteer in exchange for accommodation and sometimes even food. In 2013, Ricardo stayed in a hostel in San Diego - a hostel run by Eric and lots of volunteers. That's when Ricardo & Eric decided to create Worldpackers, a platform to connect hostels and travelers who want to volunteer to reduce their expenses and live different experiences. The first version launched in early 2014.
Fast forward to 2022, they have around 50 (fully remote) employees, 7000+ hosts and more than 100,000 travelers volunteered through the platform. Ricardo's purpose is to provide an alternative to traditional travel, to offer unique experiences to travelers and create a community around the world by volunteering. Through multiple online programs, they gave back $1M to the community in 2021 alone!
As you can imagine, the pandemic impacted Worldpackers, but they managed to get through it and the platform and team are now stronger than ever. Despite being a niche market in this huge industry, Ricardo is determined to have an impact.
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