When New York City heard that its bodegas, cornerstones of the city’s culture, needed support, it launched into action.
Bodegas are as quintessential to New York City as yellow cabs. The humble shops, which get their name from the Spanish “la bodega,” or grocery store, number over 13,000 throughout New York City’s neighborhoods.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Like any small business, the bodega must now compete with name brand chain stores and online shopping. Thanks to allies the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) NYC and the NYC Department of Small Business Services, mom-and-pop shops now have an edge in that competition.
The two-part Commercial Corridor Challenge aims to help bodegas stay in business. To start, the program will fund superficial changes, including new signage, awnings, and lighting, in order to improve storefronts. The Corridor Challenge may further entice potential patrons with pop-up vendor markets and yet unnamed hacks to “boost foot traffic” and “contribute to a greater sense of safety.”
The latter is of particular concern to the gentrifying corridors in East New York (Fulton Street), Staten Island (Bay Street), and the Bronx (Southern Boulevard), which the program targets. There is only so much that the LISC NYC and NYC Department of Small Business Services can do for these communities from their Manhattan headquarters. The Corridor Challenge will also financially support “community partners,” or neighborhood-based organizations who possess the insight needed to perform corridor work.
It’s the hope of the LISC NYC and NYC Department of Small Business Services that organizations like Southern Boulevard’s Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) will be able to identify a corridor’s needs beyond the surface level.
WHEDco Senior Program Manager Yesmín Vega told Culture Trip a “majority of these small businesses are immigrant-owned mom-and-pop shops, and they’re providing much-needed goods, services and jobs to the community.” It’s on their behalf that Vega calls not for beautification but for “an array of [language-appropriate], [free] workshops and trainings on topics such as [preparing] for an emergency, marketing, expanding your business online and becoming MWBE certified.”
In the past decade, Southern Boulevard’s community has become one of New York City’s fastest-growing neighborhoods; any incoming resources should ideally contribute to the growth of Crotona Park East’s inhabitants as well as its economy.
Michelle Neugebauer of the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), another of the Corridor Challenge’s community partners, summarized the importance of both, saying: “We know that local businesses aren’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ but, rather, a critical part of a complete, self-sufficient community.”
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.