Week In Xela

Written By Liona & Ben We started this week off with a spectacular welcome into the grand city of Xela. We met our host families for this week. We are no longer doing one on one classes however we are definitely getting our Spanish practice in by talking to our host families and our teachers. We have explored many places in Xela and visited many restaurants. While sitting down in… 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

Mountain Treks & Rest Day

Written By Rosalba Hola todos! Oops wrong country This is Rosalba, writing the blog in an A/C hostel room while everyone else is out getting Thai massages. If you think I had to stay behind to write this, you thought wrong. Thai massages are way too painful for me to endure again, so I’m happily typing away! For the past few days, things have been going all sorts of ways;… Read More

Rural Life & Spanish Classes

Written By Ish & Dish Saludos desde la escuela de la montaña! We’re now in the welcoming town of Nuevo San Jose where we’re back to enjoying more rice, beans, and tortillas with local families with whom we’ve been having our daily meals. We’re also back to learning more Spanish in one-on-one classes dividing us up between morning and afternoon batches. While we were hoping for a bit of a… Read More

Cheers From The Hart Farm!

Written By Mia & Lucas It’s Mia and Lucas here to let you all know what we’ve been up to during the past week. We first were given the opportunity by our amazing overseas educators to explore the city of Rotorua. We started things off with a nice dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant, sharing our excitement about the next few days of adventuring. After a great first nights’ sleep… Read More

City Lights and Forest Trees

Written By Daniela Greetings family and friends 🙂 We hope you are all doing well and enjoying life back at home. This is Daniela reporting to you from a big porch with chickens bocking away and an incredible view of green mountains. Last week, we had the opportunity to stay in Chiang Rai for a couple of days. The city was filled with beautiful streets and a vibrant night market… 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

From Munnar To Madurai

Written By Riley & Will Part 1: the trek After a bittersweet goodbye to our host families, we took a 4-hour long bus ride to our next destination. As the scenery transitioned from a bustling city to rural hills, to the dramatic green slopes of the Western Ghats, the group became more and more excited for a change in the view. Our destination was a campsite located a couple of… Read More

Farming In Atitlan

Written By Catie & Andie This week we stayed at the wonderful Bambu Guest House in Tzununá. Although we missed our homestay families from last week in San Juan, everyone was very happy to once again be sleeping under the same roof. We have a gorgeous view of Lake Atitlan and the mountain ranges surrounding us. On clear nights, we have even gotten to see El Fuego volcano erupting in… Read More

Greetings from Kochi, India!

Written by Daniella & Grace On the 18th we got to settle into our family homestays. Bonding with these families, learning about their culture, customs and food have been the highlight of the trip so far. Each host family provides us with a roof over our heads and home-cooked food. And in return, Carpe students have the opportunity to connect with the family (and are responsible for being home by… Read More

Raglan: Maori Experience with Tiaki

Kia Ora Hongi fans, what’s up y’all, this is real life, After orientation we moved to Solscape, a sustainable hostel looking over the ocean, and slept in train cars for a couple nights. Here we began learning about Maori culture with Tiaki and Madi. Starting out strong at 5am, we headed over to Wairenga Falls; it was a really powerful experience. This waterfall is a place where Maori people let… Read More

Thai Language & Homestays

Written By Whitney Hey friends and family of the hustling and bustling Sabai 2020 group. This is Whitney (Whitneeeeyyy in Thai) coming to you from our first official laundry stop in 2 weeks in Chiang Rai, Thailand. After an inspiring first week in Chiang Mai for orientation, we packed up our bags from the Sarah Guest House and our lovely Ajarn (teacher) Panom drove us a quick 45ish minutes past… Read More

Saludos de San Juan

Written By: Alissa and Rachel Buenos dias from San Juan! Rachel and Alissa here to share with you the adventures of the week! We left Antigua on Monday morning and drove to Lake Atitlan. We got to enjoy a lovely boat ride across the lake to the vibrant town of San Juan. From here, we met up with our welcoming homestay families and went to see our new homes for… Read More

How to Use Our Free Gap Year Planner 

Is this you?  You’re thinking about taking a gap year after high school or in college, so you start googling gap year ideas to find the best gap year programs, and what to do during your gap year to see what your options are.  Maybe you also take a look at the gap year travel programs on or, read program reviews, and talk with friends who’ve gone… Read More

1st Week In Kerala

Wow! What a jam-packed first week it’s been. After close to 40 hours of travel, we woke up early our first day and we were warmly welcomed by our host, Celia, to a delicious Kerala breakfast. We were lucky to start our days off like this, and every morning Celia would cook a new Kerala specialty for us. By the way, they cook with lots of coconuts in Kerala-as Kerala… Read More