Organic Farm & Eco-lodge

Written By Veronica, Latitudes Year ’21 Ecuador I am currently living and volunteering on The Rio Muchacho Farm near Canoa, Ecuador. The organic farm and eco-lodge was founded in 1992 and is dedicated to practicing and teaching about sustainable agriculture and tourism. As a volunteer, I help carry out the agricultural work alongside the locals employed by the farm. I work in the morning from 8:30 until 12:00 and again… Read More

Ohana Gratitude

Aloha Ohana, We want to extend one final thank you to everyone who made this spring semester possible, including families, friends, HQ staff, and the amazing folks we crossed paths with throughout our time in Maui. The past eight weeks were so full— full of community, culture, sunshine, learning, friendships, whales, ice cream, hikes, farming, weeding, music, poems, dancing, journaling, silence, meditation, stretching, sharing, stars, and much more. As we… Read More

One Last Aloha

Written By Lauren & Amanda On our last day in Hana, we got lunch at the Thai food trucks and met Lipoa at the ‘ili she is working to protect. Lipoa was so generous in sharing her stories with us, and we feel so lucky to have the opportunity to visit such a special place. The next day we stopped at food trucks for lunch and transferred to Waihe’e Refuge,… Read More

Kipuka Love & Hana Magic

Written By Louise & Eli Our last week at Kipuka Olowalu and our few days in Hana were filled with so many tiny moments of pure joy, laughter, adventure, love, and deeper appreciation, not only for each other, but for the amazing contacts we’ve had the opportunity to work with. Having spent two weeks at Kipuka, we were able to gain a better understanding of Hawaiian culture and practices while… Read More

Mahalo for a Magical Time

Dear team Aloha, What a journey these two months have been with you all! It hasn’t taken us long to start missing you all. We are packing up at Olowalu, right where everything began and ended on our wild ride, reminiscing on some of our favorite memories from our time together. It was only a few days prior to your departure that a few of you finally figured out your… Read More

A Wild Whirlwind!

Written By Mackenzie & Clare Continuing from where we left off last week, we’ll start with last Sunday! The group hit the beach for a dip and played around in some super fun waves! On Monday, we worked in the greenhouse and garden before our tour of the bamboo farm by Rich, one of our hosts. After lunch we learned about how they had managed to turn the initially empty… Read More

Reflection Time & On To The East Side!

Written By Lachlan & Gemma Aloha, Its Lachlan and Gemma from the aloha group! This week was one of introspection and self discovery. We went to the Sacred Garden to do our meditation retreat where Danielle, who we spent time with previously at the organic farm, led the retreat. Deep meditation and yoga starting at 7 am, then six hours of reflection, finished off by another meditation at 6:30. It… Read More

More Cirenas & Reflections

Written By Audrey & Veronica Hola and happy Easter friends and family, For the majority of our second and final week at Cirenas, we continued to learn and physically experience permaculture. We spent the mornings helping out around the property with the full time employees. From an onlooker perspective, we were mostly sweating our butts off and desperately seeking shade. However, the work we did contribute to included: planting tomato,… Read More

Learning At Cirenas

  Written By Alma & Maggie Sunday was our first full day at Cirenas. We awoke to the briny ocean breeze and the hilly permaculture campus, littered with tree debris disguised as biomass. Haunted by a clan of walking skeletons, also known as a group of stray dogs, and a friendly cat whose name is still highly contested, scholars do not agree (we are scholars thank you) we had a… Read More

Kia’i’s Mighty Warriors

Written By Ally and Sarah Aloha! We left off last week’s blog with one more free day before our last work week at the refuge. We took the opportunity to finally see Iao Valley, which is a popular site. It was a very short “hike” to see the “Iao Needle.” A brave few, Sarah, Dani, Chloe, Doug, and Anya, jumped into the frigid river. With time to spare, we went… Read More

Aloha Group at Waihe’e Refuge

Written By Dani Aloha everyone! This week we transitioned from Camp Olowalu to Waihe’e Refuge for some conservation work. We got all set up with the help of Kia’i our guide and facilitator for our time here. His name also happens to mean “guardian” which is very fitting, considering he lives on this land and takes care of it. We started on our first project which was installing rolls of… Read More

Farm Life: Community, Gratitude, and Senior Prom

Written By Jane and Tara As we transferred to our next stay at a local regenerative farm in Makawao this past week, so much changed; our landscape, the weather, and our day-to-day activities. But one thing has remained constant throughout our ability to have a Taylor Swift sing along no matter the location. Pono means to live righteously and in harmony with one another and the earth. Here, Evan, the… Read More

Week 2 In Mastatal

Written By Hank and Macy After a long and rewarding week at Rancho Mastatal, we used our Sunday to regroup. We slept in until brunch at 10 a.m. and had the day to ourselves. In the evening, the group trekked up many hills to the next town to see the beautiful Costa Rican sunset. We watched as the sky grew pink, relaxing on the cliffside and taking many photos. After… Read More

Time In Mastatal

Written By Balkhiis and Cole It was a beautiful, sunny, and humid, yet melancholic day leaving Turrialba last week. We were leaving behind our Spanish teachers and beautiful balcony that allowed us to see perezosos (sloths) during class almost every morning. We were leaving behind Fernando’s amazing cooking and the kitchen that enabled us to cook exquisite meals. Most importantly, we were leaving behind the living room where Zumba sessions… Read More

Rain and Rainbow(kicks)!

Written by Chloe and Justin Despite the rainy weather on Maui, this week was flooded with new learning opportunities and experiences for our group even if we needed to keep our rain jackets with us. On Sunday our group vans, Ronnie and Mabel climbed to the top of Poli Poli recreation area in Kula. we wound our way through eucalyptus and redwoods forests. In the second half of the hike… Read More

Ohana Group Updates

Aloha friends and family of the ‘Ohana Spring 2021 semester!  It’s Peter and Natalie here from the beautiful Olowalu campsite on the west coast of Maui. We are full of gratitude and appreciation for the past week getting to know our incredible group of students. Orientation has been jammed pack full of adventure, learning, and connection. Students spent the day in Lahaina on their scavenger hunt in two teams. They… Read More

Organic Farm Life

Written by Alexa & Clare This week began with a rainy campsite so we decided to take a day trip to the sunny Southside of Maui for a hike. We spent all day walking across volcanic rock along “King’s Highway” with gorgeous views of the ocean coast, even stopping a few times to take a dip in an oasis. On Monday, we learned about keeping bees and even got to… Read More