When you visit Jackson Square on a crisp Spring morning, you feel the grandeur of the French Quarter with the same vivid intensity as travelers have experienced for generations.
New Orleans' French Quarter is still vibrant and unique. It bears a few scars from Hurricane Katrina's wrath in August 2005, but you must look for them.
Just a few miles from that small and renowned section of the city, you don't have to seek out damaged buildings and neighborhoods. They surround you for blocks. Twenty months after Katrina, there were still large sections of this sprawling city abandoned and decaying. The residents who hadn't relocated were struggling to rebuild.
For many visitors, it's not enough to enjoy the beauty of New Orleans without also helping restore everyday life in places like Lakeview and the Ninth Ward.
Language purists wince at the word "voluntourism," but it is the most succinct way to describe this growing trend among travelers.
Throughout the world, travelers are discovering that they can achieve a profound connection with the people and places they visit by simply spending some time helping make life better.
Many of the destinations needing help--New Orleans included--are places where discounts can be found for willing travelers. Many voluntourists travel in groups, making discounts even easier.
Click "next" below and consider a New Orleans love story that does not involve the usual tourist spots.