Done right, travel can make a big and positive difference in the world. Modern Adventure’s CEO and founder Luis Vargas writes about why launching a 501(c)3 nonprofit — the new MO/AD Foundation — matters and why the whole travel industry should, too.
A brand is more than a logo or a website. A brand is a point of view. It’s a set of beliefs, and an ensemble of values. In its full articulation, a brand can be a movement, a call to action, an expression of identity that makes a difference. We believe deeply in our brand, and while we’re humbled to be recognized as a 2022 Brand that Matters by Fast Company, we know this is just the beginning. It confirms our flight path and provides a welcome tailwind, and invites us to both do, and give more.
Sadly, we have seen first hand what irresponsible and over-tourism can do in places like the Riviera Maya, Hoi An, and many others. These places and people, their ecosystems and cultures, have been heavily impacted by the amount and type of tourism practices. In many ways, they are forever changed. I knew early on that my calling was both to inspire and enable extraordinary experiences for others, but also to help protect and preserve through action and example. When we started Modern Adventure, we had the idea of creating our own foundation someday. We wanted a vessel that would contain our ethos and purpose, and to be an instrument for action. A charitable arm actively supporting the causes we stand for and the people and communities we visit.
Someday is now. We are proud to announce the launch of the MO/AD Foundation. We took the step of creating a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit for so many important reasons. For starters, the foundation is supporting the charitable organizations selected by the Luminaries on our new Paragon departures: we’ve already earmarked more than $150,000 in direct support to nonprofits including the Culinary Institute of America scholarship fund, The Roots Fund, The Skatepark Project, Northern Arizona University’s First-Gen Student Scholarship, Fundaziun Uccelin and the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.
And that’s literally just the beginning. From now until the end of the year, Modern Adventure is giving $500 to the MO/AD Foundation for every booking we receive. This will help the foundation to hit the ground running in 2023, so we can begin to partner with the right organizations to make a tangible and lasting difference in the places we hold so close to our heart.
As a Certified B Corp and Certified Climate Neutral business, we’ve been advocates for using travel as a force for good and understand its importance to the people and places we visit. The MO/AD Foundation builds on this principle, and we’re thrilled to celebrate its launch. As the African proverb so beautifully says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”