Blog

Staying Engaged In The COVID Era

Written By, James Simmons The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in drastic changes on an individual, community, and global level. Each of us has experienced at least some degree of change to our social and familial relationships, as well as having to make adjustments to our educational and/or career options. Many have personally experienced the effects of COVID-19 firsthand; others have loved ones who have suffered due to the pandemic. We… Read More

Reflections On Life As An Overseas Educator

Written By, Doug ZaidemanLearning To Trip LeadBecoming an Overseas Educator (OE) with Carpe Diem wasn’t something that I always knew I wanted to do, in fact, I hadn’t even heard of formal gap year education programs until after I had already made my way through school and had the opportunity to travel internationally for the first time. During a trip to Southeast Asia, I would meet student groups… Read More

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Latitudes Year Placement

Written By, Doug Zaideman Taking a Latitudes Year with Carpe Diem allows you to build upon experiences you had during your group semester, carrying those skills and lessons learned over to an independent gap semester spent volunteering for an international organization, a Focused Volunteer Placement (FVP). In addition to where Carpe travels during group semesters, our Latitudes Year programs partners with organizations in over 20 countries worldwide.  Finding A… Read More

Exploring In Bilbao

Written By Maya, Latitudes ’20 Spain My time in Spain was spent either at my language school, cooking school or tasting the numerous delicious foods around my city -Bilbao.  Spanish cuisine is Morrocan cuisine with a touch of France and a splash of the big bad ocean. Spanish food can’t truly be understood without understanding the history of Spain. So much of the influence in their dishes comes from the… Read More

How To Make Your Gap Year More Sustainable

Thinking about the impact your gap year abroad has on the planet?  We are too.  From international flights, to travel gear, to the types of activities you do, the products you consume, the businesses you support, and the places you visit while taking a gap year… the choices you make have an impact on communities, environments and economies.  There is a lot to consider!  Is it possible to take a… Read More

Experiences In South Africa

Written By Tor, Latitudes Year ’20 South Africa “In South Africa, Poverty Alleviation Programs Show r-Eel Results” Everybody in this area knows and loves Anthea Rossouw, the woman who runs Dreamcatcher. She’s been at it for a long time, I gather, possibly since the days of apartheid. She gave up her status as a prominent community member in the white seaside town of Stilbaai (where her late husband was the… Read More

Black Lives Matter

Like many of you, we are experiencing immense anger and sadness for the suffering of Black people due to the systemic, institutional racism that continues to occur in our country. We condemn the racist policies, systemic racism and police brutality that led to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and countless others. We stand in solidarity with those who are protesting and those… Read More

Green Building In Guatemala

Written By Hayden, Latitudes ’20 Guatemala To say the least it has been an incredibly eventful two months. 56 days, 25 cold showers, 432 tortillas (probably), 84 tire bricks, and one global pandemic later, I have returned home. While watching the world attempt to cope with a disaster of epic proportions, it can be hard to think of all the things that are going right. But luckily I have a… Read More

My Gap Year In The South Pacific

Written By Sophie, Latitudes ’20 New Zealand Taking a Gap Year was one of the best decisions I have ever made, I learned so much about myself that I would never have learned if it wasn’t for Carpe Diem. During my group semester I was able to learn communication skills and I pushed my limits and grew so much as an individual and created long-lasting bonds with the members of… Read More

Wildlife Rehabilitation In Belize

Written By Celia, Latitudes ’20 Belize My last day in Belize was unlike any of the others. I woke up in the morning, grabbed my bags, said goodbye to my new friends, and jumped on a water taxi to the island Ambergris Caye, a popular tourist destination. For the first time since I arrived, I was surrounded by the sparkling turquoise caribbean sea I had been living so close to… Read More

A Weekend With Dragons

Written By Lucas, Latitudes Year ’20 Indonesia Sydney and I had planned to travel to Komodo during our time volunteering with the North Bali Reef Conservation, so we had the idea to ask Kyle, our coordinator, if he had ever been, and if he had any recommendations. He said that he hadn’t been, but that in a few weeks, he and the founder of the organization, Ketut, were going to… Read More

HONGI 2020: Reflections on our return to the States

Huge thanks to Claire for her work compiling these reflections and photos from her Spring 2020 South Pacific group! “I asked the group to share a few pictures, their favorite memory, and how they experienced the evacuation and return. I hope this sheds some light on what we as students were feeling during the evacuation time and also to share some great memories we made even though the time was… Read More

Wildlife Conservation

Written By Sierra, Latitudes Year ’20 Costa Rica Hello everyone! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at Kids Saving the Rainforest which is located in Quepos, Costa Rica. I visited Costa Rica when I was much younger, but going back and being able to give back changed my perspective and increased my appreciation for the beautiful country. Kids Saving the Rainforest is a nonprofit organization that… Read More

Teaching English in Argentina

Written By Molly, Latitudes Year ’20 Argentina Selecting a FVP was a long process for me, juggling between a variety of different focuses and locations across the globe. But eventually I committed to teaching English in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From exploring the trendy and historical city to practicing grammar with energetic children, it was an experience that resulted in both unforgettable memories and personal growth. Let me walk you through… Read More

Sea Turtle Conservation in Zanzibar

Written By Hunter, Latitudes Year ’20 Zanzibar Jambo from… Texas! That’s right. I am currently spending the remainder of my Latitudes semester at home in the luxuries of air conditioning, refrigerated food, and a bed that I actually fit in; but let me tell you, it wasn’t always this way! My early return home due to the coronavirus outbreak was totally unexpected, but it has given me a lot of… Read More

Mini Heart Explosions Experienced At Moyo Farm

Written By Nicole, Latitudes Year ’20 Zanzibar Overflowing heart moments are those when you feel an incredible lightness, fireworks in your belly, complete love and joy in your heart, with a goofy, uncontrollable smile on your face~ they make you want to dance, run and jump all in one breath. When I find myself with an overflowing heart, I feel like a child~excitedly looking at a world map~ understanding for… Read More

Hongi Spring ’20 Signing Off

Written By Rachael & Nathan Kia Ora friends and families! Nathan and Rachael here writing from Seattle and Northern California. We said goodbye to the group yesterday in LAX where we met 6 weeks ago. We exchanged warm and fuzzy notes and gave air hugs. Tears were shed. This has been a trying last week with plans changing daily and the group having to readjust plans constantly to keep up… Read More

Till We Meet Again

Howdie doodie neighborinos! Hanny and gang here. What a wild ride the past few days have been…. After we said our farewells to all the people and creatures at the Hart farm (especially to Pippi the dog!) we traveled down to the lively city of Wellington! We enjoyed a couple days strolling up and down Cuba Street, browsing the funky shops, eating at all the restaurants, and drinking TONS of… Read More

How Quickly Things Change

Written By Natalie & Paff How quickly things can change, hey? Three days ago, we all sat around wooden stools at Sandot’s permaculture farm gorging on banana cake and fried noodles. Two days ago, we were singing “Happy Birthday” to Jordan and Daniela during our final dinner in Chiang Mai. Yesterday, we parted ways and gave one last scorpion salute and “Seize the day, baby!” in San Francisco. Today, we… Read More