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Fourteen years after Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana, the Gulf Coast still remains relevant to our mission at The Road Less Traveled. Residents, wildlife habitats, and diverse fishing and tourism industries still struggle to recover as the Gulf Coast remains one of the most vulnerable areas in the U.S. 

We are committed to bringing stability to this vital region. Our work is not finished. 

Travel with us to New Orleans on a 15-day teen community service and hurricane relief program focused on the residents and coastal wetlands of Louisiana. Based in the Crescent City, we volunteer and partner with local homeowners who are rebuilding their lives from the devastation of natural and human-made disasters from the past decade. We work to bring community gardens to low-income neighborhoods and provide aid to the ecological systems of destroyed marshes, sand dunes, and islands.

The Gulf Coast has a lived-in, cozy feeling that’s fun and easy. Everything that makes life worth living is here: food, music, architecture and culture. Journey to find an expression of tradition, community spirit, and joy that can only be found in the charming city of New Orleans.


#1 Kayak Through The Legendary Manchac Swamp

The historic Manchac Swamp has many roots anchored in the past. Learn about the previous inhabitants and the current wildlife that have taken over, all while taking in the beautiful mossy scenery. 

#2 The American Alligator

New Orleans is surrounded by water – the Great River, Lake Pontchartrain, and the ever-encroaching Gulf of Mexico! Keep a look out for wildlife in this region, as Louisiana has the highest population of alligators in the world! 

#3 World Famous Desserts

A dessert-free trip to New Orleans would be a travesty! Cool off with a sno-ball or savor a beignet in the French Quarter. For more than 150 years, the French Market Café Du Monde has entertained guests with signature fried treats, café au lait, and prime seating to view the nonstop parade of tourists, street performers, and local characters.

#4 The French Quarter

Vieux Carré, the French Quarter, is the city’s oldest neighborhood. Colorful gardens add natural beauty to the square where coins are tossed wishfully into the fountain. The crescent along the Mississippi River is the setting for iconic New Orleans photographs.

#5 The Bayou by Boat on Barataria

Mysterious moss-draped bayous are home for flora and fauna found nowhere else in the country. Cruise on a fan boat through age-old cypresses, among 10-foot gators, and where long-legged waterfowl wait patiently to scoop up their dinner.

#6 The Labyrinth at Audubon Park

As the gutting of homes, rebuilding of levees, and removal of debris continues, the Labyrinth stands as a symbol of hope for the New Orleans community: a place to heal, walk together, and celebrate the city's culture.


#7 Lending A Hand – Evidence of Disaster

Human and natural causes are behind Hurricane Katrina's remarkable loss of life, land, and property. Volunteers continue to lend a hand to the flooded neighborhoods that still need help where life is hardly back to norm

#8 Cajun Cuisine

New Orleans relies on the skill and creativity of its chefs. Foodies can expand their culinary horizons and learn about traditional recipes and ingredients from the experienced chefs at the New Orleans School of Cooking.

#9 Jackson Square

A ragtag collection of artists and fortune-tellers gathers here at the heart and soul of the French Quarter. At the Square’s crown is the Hurricane Katrina Museum and three 18th-century architectural glories: the Cabildo, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Presb

#10 The Sound of Jazz - Preservation Hall

The sounds of jazz are everywhere in the Crescent City. From trumpeters at Preservation Hall to other venues scattered throughout New Orleans, sweet melodies rise through the warm air.


30-40 Community Service Hours
  • Disaster Relief, Hurricane Reconstruction, Replanting Native Trees, Wetland and Ecosystem Rehabilitation. 

  • A Certificate of Community Service indicating the total number of hours worked and a Presidential Volunteer Service Award will be issued upon successful completion of the program.

  • Explore: French Quarter, Area Beaches, Audubon Park, Cafe du Monde, Jackson Square, City Park

  • Tour: Bayou fan boat tour on Bayou Barataria, Voodoo Tour, Lower 9th Ward Living Museum, WW2 Museum

  • Class: Cajun Cooking

  • Attend: Preservation Hall Jazz Band Performance

  • Kayak: Historic Manchac Swamp & Bayou 

Completing Grades

8 - 12




We stay in a private home. Bedrooms will be divided by gender and participants will sleep slumber party style – in sleeping bags, rotating available beds nightly. Showers are available; however, we shower every three to four days to conserve resources and support sustainability.

For more information about this program and custom options for your group, please email Corey at or call 660-342-9816. Round Trip Airfare is available if needed.

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