The cost of a flight is still more than a year's earnings to one of Ecuador's rural poor. They've made great strides in the last decade, mostly due to the growth of the oil & gas industry in Ecuador, but there is still a big difference in most rural areas between standard of living there and in the UK. No, we don't know that all of the people are rich and privileged, nor should that alone be a cause for ciriticism, but travel is largely the province of the privileged. There are, of course, exceptions, but even the majority of the folks who earn their way, working for meals and the like, are coming from privilege. I don't agree completely with this http://www.ravishly.com/2016/06/16/your ... lassist-me
but the author makes some good points.
This sort thing makes more sense if someone is actually working their way around, beginning with passage on a freight ship or something.
I do think that it's important that such opportunities exist, but I also think that it's important for those who can afford the cost of an airline ticket to give more back to a poor community than they take. Whether that is labour or money or something else the community values, I'm not bothered. But being an imposition for the sake of adventure is selfish, at best. Honestly, if someone comes from the UK and wants to travel, but cannot afford to support themselves by doing so, why not volunteer for a charity that will support someone for a few weeks or a few months, or even a few years, working with others. Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Peace Corps, or check on those websites that help connect volunteers and charities who need them and find something that suits them.
The life experience is well worth having. Where do you draw the line between life experience and being an imposition? I don't rightly know, and I guess some people may make the judgement in a slightly different place than others. That's okay, too. But to go to another country and depend on hand-outs from people who likely need handouts themselves? I can understand why this would provoke negative comments.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom