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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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