Coronavirus Response

Spring '20 Programming & Our Response As the coronavirus escalated last week, Carpe Diem staff, students, and families faced many difficult and frequently changing realities. The safety and well-being of our students and Overseas Educators is always our number one priority, and determining what would best serve our students in the field was a challenge that required sifting through a deluge of information and constant adaptation. As the global socio-political… Read More

Hello From Sarteneja In Belize

Written By Nika, Latitudes Year ’20 Belize I’m at Wildtracks in Belize, which is a rehabilitation/release center for monkeys and manatees. The owners are Paul and Zoe, who are the nicest people. They work so hard for the betterment of the animals here at Wildtracks. Wildtracks have two different types of monkeys: Howler monkeys and Spider monkeys. I work in the nursery with the baby howler monkeys. I’ve been here… Read More

New Zealand Conservation & Off-Grid Living

Written By Lily, Latitudes Year ’20 New Zealand Picture this: it’s approaching midnight, and you’re sitting in the middle of the dense, ominous New Zealand forest. You sit in the dark, so your sense of hearing is stronger, and you’re alone. The many sounds of the diverse forest distract from the fact that you can’t tell if your eyes are open or closed due to the intense darkness. You listen,… Read More

Marine Conservation In Thailand

Written By Lily, Latitudes Year ’20 Thailand S̄wạs̄dī from Koh Phangan, Thailand! It’s crazy to think that 6 weeks ago, Jackson, Madi and I were boarding our 22-hour flight to arrive on this beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand. Time is flying by; it’s hard to believe we are past the halfway point in the semester! At Core Sea, on our daily morning dives, there is always a new… Read More

North Bali Reef Conservation

Written By Sydney, Latitudes Year ’20 Indonesia Hello from Bali! I am currently living in a village called Tianyar on the North East coast of the island. For the past few weeks I have been working with other volunteers and local fishermen to deploy reef structures into the ocean out front of where I have been living. Each morning we go to the beach to either build, move, or deploy… Read More

Life In El Paredón

Written By Lindsay, Latitudes Year ’20 Guatemala Living in El Paredón, Guatemala is akin to constantly being on vacation, I am surrounded by palm trees, it takes me 3 minutes to walk to the beach, and the weather is hot and tropical. A day in my life begins with an early start at 8:30 am (early for me at least because I am a teenager and used to waking up… Read More

Kenya: The Energy, Experiences, & Emotions

Written By: Isabel, Latitudes Year ’20 Kenya The liveliness and hospitality in Kenya is inescapable. I always find myself in awe of the sense of community I have seen many countries embody. Often times, being seen as or referred to as a “sister” or “brother”. The way of life here feels so natural; with months left here it still doesn’t feel like long enough. From the loud music, the cultural… Read More

A Day In the Life of a Volunteer at KSTR

Written By Sammi, Latitudes Year ’20 Costa Rica For my Focused Volunteer Placement I chose to work at a jungle animal rehabilitation sanctuary in Costa Rica! To start my day, I eat breakfast with all of the volunteers and staff, including fellow Carpe Diem member, Sierra. We start work off by chopping fresh fruit and vegetables for the animals, and making sure everyone gets their necessary medication. Some animals housed… Read More

Island Life

Written By Madison, Latitudes Year ’20 Thailand Hello from COREsea, in beautiful Koh Pha-ngan-, Thailand. The island of Koh Pha-ngan is like a sense from a movie. At COREsea Jackson, Lily and myself have been hard at work. During diving we have been doing fish survey’s, coral bleaching surveys, coral identification and coral predator surveys. On conservation Friday’s, we pick up trash on the beach and take out plastic and… Read More

Unexpected Lessons of a Gap Year

By Carpe Diem Education Alumni Breezy Zins On my first night back in America after a three-month-long journey through East Africa, I opened up my closet doors, looked at all the clothes I had – so many they all wouldn’t fit on hangers and had to be folded on shelves – and I cried. I’d seen such incredible poverty it seemed so unfair, so confusing, to have so many… Read More

The Importance of Reverse Culture Shock: An Alumni Perspective

Photos and article by Carpe Diem Alumni Evangeline Scazzero If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve already been poisoned. Poisoned by what your parents call “the travel bug,” what your friends call “you’re so lucky,” and what your college advisor will eventually call, “put down the study abroad pamphlets.” Full disclosure, I have also been poisoned. Yet here I am, still alive and well. I’ve survived it all.… Read More

Teaching in Guatemala

Written By Sarah, Latitudes ’19 Guatemala I had a really hard time deciding where I wanted to go on my latitudes semester, so much so I almost backed out of it entirely, but I’m so glad I didn’t. For the last two and a half months I have been living in Chimaltenango, Guatemala working with a ministry called One Way Community which offers extra classes after school. We have kids… Read More

Yogic Studies In Cambodia

Written By Sophie, Latitudes ’19 Cambodia About three months ago I hopped on a plane for twenty-seven hours and eventually found myself in the tiny coastal community of Kep, Cambodia. Even though I was quite literally as far from New York as I could be, arriving in Kep and arriving at Vagabond Temple felt like I was arriving home. From the beginning, everyone welcomed me with open arms, and I… Read More

Getting Comfortable With The Uncomfortable

Written By Shelby, Latitudes ’19 Belize My first night at Wildtracks in Belize was rough. I called my parents, tears streaming down my face, and begged them to book me a flight home as soon as possible. I was convinced I had made the wrong decision because it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Not to mention, a live mouse and a cockroach were living in the mosquito net… Read More

Life Decisions

Written By Camille, Latitudes ’19 Belize I am a horrible decision maker. I have a tendency to over think everything, minute or not, and am a definite worrier by nature. This little factoid about myself, as you might imagine, made picking a latitudes placement one hell of a ride. The moment I signed onto Carpe Diem I started sifting through years of blogs by previous latitudes students and researching the… Read More

Living and Working with Dreamcatchers

Written By Josh, Latitudes ’19 South Africa The past 3 months in South Africa have been some of the quickest but most memorable days of my life. I spent my time there doing amazing work with a program called Dreamcatchers, that has been working tirelessly to improve the community of Melkhoutfountein in any way that they can. Every day I was doing something different, some of it was hard but… Read More

Sharks Don’t Jump Because They Don’t Have Knees

Written By Madeleine, Latitudes ’19 South Africa A life changing volunteer experience in a place where everybody knows your name is what the two-and-a-half months I spent in Gansbaai was. There is no “typical” day working for Marine Dynamics. You can expect anything from having to leave a lecture early to collect dead sharks off the beach then having to ride on top of them in the back of a… Read More

My Life With Manatees

Written By Reid, Latitudes ’19 Belize My time at Wildtracks Belize has been amazing. It has been everything I thought it was. I wake up every morning at 6 AM, change into my wet clothes, and prepare to feed our seven manatees. I begin with making the formula they drink every day, which is pretty much a banana smoothie. Then we have the frames we put sea grass in that… Read More

Pura Vida Mae!

Written By Lexie, Latitudes ’19 Costa Rica Greetings from the Rich Coast! These past 3 months I’ve had the privilege of being a wildlife sanctuary intern at Kids Saving the Rainforest! Kids Saving the Rainforest is an organization founded in 1999 to plant trees in depleted areas of the country, and to rescue, rehabilitate and, when possible, release the animals who live in the rainforest. My day to day life… Read More

The Galapagos Islands

Written By Patrick, Latitudes ’19 Galapagos I spent 8 weeks on a sustainable organic farm in the Galapagos called Huerta Luna or The Bamboo House as the locals would say. The whole land is about the size of a football field and is located on the island of Santa Cruz. This includes a small farm surrounded by a natural forest, as well as the house I lived in and my… Read More