November 30, 2015

About Us

Consider the bandage.

Some believe that it is expendable – something available in excess. At the same time, others think that a bandage is a commodity – something very few people have.

Not Just Tourists was created in order to end that difference in thinking. Otherwise ordinary travelers are able to transform the lives of locals through a simple suitcase delivery.

The group was founded in 1990 after Dr, Ken Taylor and his wife, Denise Taylor, experienced Cuba’s medical supply shortage firsthand. Not long after, from their home in St. Catharines, Ontario, the two began taking medical supplies to Cuban towns. Word spread, and soon others were taking supplies all over Cuba.

Since then, several other branches have been established in various cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa. Not Just Tourists is the meeting point for travelers and donors. It’s where hospitals, clinics, and medical suppliers donate materials, and where those materials are packed into suitcases. Only after this are travelers able to take those suitcases and bring them to where they are most needed.

In 25 years, and with no funding, Not Just Tourists has delivered over 10 000 suitcases to 82 countries around the world. The project has no political nor religious affiliations, and is entirely volunteer-driven.

Not Just Tourists is a project. It is a project about love; a love for others, for the world, and for opportunity. We are collaborative, transparent, non-bureaucratic, committed, and inclusive.

As Rory Stewart said, “The question shouldn’t be what we should┬áto do. It should be what we can do.”