Thank You For the Memories

By Anya and Doug Hola Jimmy, Katie, Bradley, Jillian, Jake, Toe, PJ, Cate, Juancho, Anna, Dylan, Ellie and Maggie!! Well, here we are, lying in hammocks overlooking Taganga bay in Colombia thinking back on our wildly successful three-month adventure. We are overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude as we think about our group and all of the fun times we shared this semester. You all each brought so much… Read More

Final Week!

By Jimmy and Jake Hello to every one of our blog readers, it’s Jimmy and Jake blogging here and we would like to inform y’all about all the fantastic activities and other experiences we had during the past week. Our journey during the past week started in the large and historic capital of Guatemala, Guatemala City. We entered by microbus coming from our fulfilling week at El Paredon, but we,… Read More

Surf, Sea and Social Enterprise

Last Wednesday we left Antigua. After a short two-hour van ride we arrived in the tranquil beach town of El Paredon. Our week in El Paredon was organized by a social enterprise called La Choza Chula. La Choza Chula is helping El Paredon through a recent increase in tourism. They are providing knowledge and help with sustainable ways of education, enterprise, and environmental protection. We stayed in an awesome hostel… Read More

Escuela de la Montaña Adventure: Part II

By Jon Hey, Jon here covering part two of our “Escuela de la Montaña” adventure. Big thanks to Dylan for part one. Give the man a Pulitzer, 10/10 writing. Anyways, let’s hop right into Thursday, November 9th, 2017. As it’s been explained, we had been split up into afternoon and morning classes. Now, there were two planned times for groups to go the local Mayan SHAMAN at a town called… Read More

Escuela de la Montaña Adventure: Part I

By Dylan Crovo Sunday morning was spent in Xela (pronounced shay-la); like any other morning spent at 8,000 feet in Guatemala, the day broke shockingly cold. Shivering despite my poncho, an impulse purchase made at one point or another by every member of the group, I arrived at Xela’s central park. In the mere 10 minutes it took for the rest of the group to arrive at the park, looking… Read More

Costa Rica Exploration: A Photo Story

By Anna, Bradley, Doug, and Anya Anya babysitting on a bus. Bradley in his happy place. Cate and Jimmy birdwatching. Cocos! Costa Rica cooking class. Costa Rican sunset. Quetzal dance class! Dylan and Jillian. Ellie, Maggie, and Cate. Cate, Maggie, Anna, Anya, Ellie, Katie, and Jimmy enjoying la playa. Gallina wranglin’. Jake and Cate. Jimmy getting in on the fun. Juan milking a cow! Cate and PJ. Katie and Anna Read More

Our Homestay at a Cattle Ranch

By Bradley Sabbar and Jimmy Toole After five days at Cirenas, we said goodbye to our gracious hosts and embarked on a two-hour trek up the beach to arrive at our next homestays. The route was treacherous, with many obstacles such as rivers and jagged rocks. Alas, we finally arrived at the homestay pick-up point. The group then split up into four separate homestays. All of the boys (minus Jake)… Read More

Fun, Hard Work, and Pristine Sunsets

By Cate and Katie Finally, after a week of no internet/procrastination, coming at ya: it’s your two PNW chicas, Kate squared! (Cate and Katie) Two Sundays ago, our group went to Laguna de Apollo and had a blast! We had a group talent show, a delicious lunch, great music, and lots of swimming/kayaking. Monday and Tuesday we had our last Spanish classes and some heart-wrenching goodbyes to our amazing host… Read More

From Bona Fide to La Concha

By Ellie and PJ Photos courtest of Anna Parker Greetings. This is your latest correspondence from ya girl Ellie and PJ, aka El Jefe. Our week began this past Sunday with a summit up the nearby volcano Maderas. While it is the shorter volcano on Ometepe Island, the hike proved to be no easy feat. Katie and Anna were both not feeling too great health-wise, so, unfortunately, by the time… Read More

From Primary to Secondary Forest: A Harrowing Tale

By Dillan Crovo On Wednesday, we finished up the bathroom construction in the morning. After lunch, I took a short, but much needed, nap. The group broke roughly in half; some chose to make soup, either driven by an enthusiastic appreciation for the culinary arts and how it pertains to soups and broths or perhaps more likely deterred by the looming storm clouds and the promise of rain. Others—spurred on… Read More

Volunteering at the Peñas Blancas Co-Op

By Jon Frey We arrived at the cooperative in Peñas Blancas on Sunday, unpacked, and immediately dove into meetings, and then painting murals. Our new member, Jake, joined us during the meeting of the community and he was instantly part of the family. These murals, once finished, were to go to families in the community to signify that those families are open to house tourists in homestays. At the “art… Read More

The Quetzal Constitution

By Tori Graffius So far we’ve been here for a week and I can already tell that this adventure is going to be the best adventure of our lives! We have an amazing group of 12 students and two instructors and I’m excited to see where these next three months takes us! Every day has been very eventful, with group bonding activities, Spanish classes, tons of walking, and delicious food… Read More

Group Bonding in Matagalpa

By Anna Reed We embarked on our journey, starting with orientation. The moment we all sat down together, a sense of relief fell over all of us when we realized how amazing each individual in our group is. Everyone brings something unique to the group in light of our diverse backgrounds. Jon’s personality radiates positivity and he has been kind enough to share his love for music with the group.… Read More

Saludos de Portland!!

Hola Team Quetzal Students, Families and Friends!! It has been wonderful getting to chat with all of you over the past few weeks, our excitement for the upcoming semester is through the roof! From our brief conversations, it seems we have a really strong group, with all of you ready to bring your own passions and strengths to our new community. We are in the midst of staff training in… Read More

Diving and closing the trip in Roatan

We were welcomed by clear blue water and beautiful beaches here in Roatan earlier this week. Everyone had a blast breathing underwater in the form of either snorkeling or scuba diving, and most of the group got to finish the week with a certification and some fun dives. The mood has been bittersweet as we have been preparing for our separation from each other and our return to the “real… Read More

Student Directed Travel (Antigua) and El Paredon

We said goodbye to our new friends at the Mystical Yoga Farm climbed onto a small boat and begun our Student Directed Travel time in Guatemala. Getting across Lake Atitlan was and adventure through some huge waves and, to say the least, our butts are pretty sore from boat ride. Student Directed Travel took us to Antigua, a beautiful colonial town. A few of the fun activities we took part… Read More