Klahanie Faces: Chris Buckshaw of El Camino VolunTours
Klahanie is a diverse neighbourhood and to showcase this we want to feature residents who have an interesting hobby or profession. If you would like to be featured on our Klahanie Faces web page send an email to email@example.com.
Chris Buckshaw and his wife Cara Harper-Buckshaw have just moved to Klahanie from the White Rock Area. Chris is the founder of El Camino VolunTours, Volunteer Vacations Made Easy.
Q: What brought you to Port Moody?
A: My wife and I were looking at different areas in the Lower Mainland to buy. Our criteria was it had to be near the ocean, have lots of trees, nature walks, and a great community feel as we are very community-minded people. The Klahanie area fit every requirement, and we just love it here. Also, we are very excited about the sustainable development that has been going on here, including the new Sky Train in a few years.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I love to be in nature. Walking or biking through the woods is great for me. I am a musician and used to play drums in a rock band in my younger days, now it’s more for fun when I get the chance. I am also an avid sports fan, Go Canucks Go! But travel has to be my biggest passion.
Q: Where have you traveled to?
A: So far, I have been to 25 countries around the world including, Australia, Japan, eight countries in Western Europe, South-East Asia, Mexico and more, but I have many more to go. I spend a lot of time in Central America with my tours, and have been to all Central American countries.
Q: What can you tell us about your tours?
A: El Camino VolunTours is a volunteer tour company. In a nutshell, we combine fun holidays with volunteer work on specific projects in developing countries. We partner with existing non-profit organizations doing good things in these countries, such as a village for orphaned and abandoned children in Guatemala, a nature reserve in Nicaragua, building houses, rainwater catchment systems, and in the future we will have more nature and wildlife preservation tours. We spend the majority of the time on the project site working, and do fun excursions every few days to break up the work week, such as volcano hikes, Mayan Ruins, beach days, hot springs, etc. Our tours go for either 10 or 14 nights and are designed to fit the average person’s vacation time and budget.
Q: Who is your market? Is it mostly young people?
A: We do have a lot of young people in their late teens and 20s, but surprisingly, our second biggest market is Baby Boomers. They have a wealth of experience and have done the regular holiday thing to death. They are looking for something more fulfilling and meaningful on their holidays. We also have everyone in between, this is the type of travel experience that is suitable for all people, including families with kids.
Q: How long have you been doing this?
A: El Camino VolunTours officially started in July, 2009, but Cara and I have been volunteering abroad for many years now. I almost could not imagine going on holiday and not doing some kind of volunteer stuff working with the local community. It’s become a major part of who I am.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Lots of walks and bike rides around the Port Moody, Buntzen Lake and Tri-Cities area. We are very happy to grow the business here to Port Moody as well. It is a great city to live in and do business in. I can see spending the rest of our lives here, enjoying the nature and community. I am really enjoying the facilities at the Canoe Club too. I imagine you will see me in the hot tub, pool and sauna quite often over the next many years.
Q: Where can we find out more about El Camino VolunTours?
A: You will find all you need to know on our website at www.voluntours.ca and I am always happy to answer questions!