Life in Guatemala, Working For La Choza Chula

Written By Jacob, Latitudes ’19 Guatemala Hola and buenos dias amigos! Jacob here checking in from El Paredon, Escuintla, Guatemala. For my latitudes semester I’m working with an amazing NGO (an org that doesn’t make any money itself but reinvests all its profits into the community) called La Choza Chula or “The cool hut.” In the past 5 years the organization has built a library, computer lab, organic garden, and… Read More

Latitudes Spring 19 is under way!

Greetings Latitudes families and friends, We have had an exciting couple of weeks with our 2019 Carpe Diem Latitudes cohort! Last week, all 27 students came out to Camp Angelos in the Portland, OR area to participate in a 3 day orientation. It served as a refresher for a lot of the topics our students covered during their group semesters in the fall, while also going over situations and scenarios… Read More

Learning Much More Than I Taught

By Hadley Olivia, Latitudes ’18 Uganda When I found out that I would be spending three months in southern Uganda teaching at a special needs school, I was equal parts excited and terrified. I had the opportunity to visit my placement during my East Africa group semester, so I had a vague idea of what I was getting myself into… but in the end, I truly had no idea what… Read More

How to Walk a Jaguar

By Finn, Latitudes ’18 Bolivia I’ve spent the past three months in the middle of the Amazon working with—and walking—Bolivia’s rescued wildlife and jungle cats. Only seven hours from the closest big city, Parque Ambue Ari is found in the depths of the wild. Given its remoteness, the park comes with all the fine amenities you’d expect: little to no electricity or cell service, the coldest showers you’ll ever take,… Read More

Swimming In Stars

At 1:30 am Rachana shook me awake. In the dark, my head still thick with sleep, I assumed it was one of my roommates waking me for my 6 am dolphin survey. This was not the case, I quickly realized, checking my watch and recognizing the culprit responsible for disturbing my sleep. “Come on! I have something to show you!” Now, I am not a person who likes to be… Read More

Peace Farm, Australia

By Ella Gambell, Latitudes Australia I’m not going to lie, the first couple weeks of this semester were pretty tough for me. At Latitudes orientation right before I came here, I heard about all of the amazing things all of the other Carpe kids are doing and I wondered if I could be doing something better or more adventurous than working on a farm. I would be weeding in the… Read More

Spider Monkeys on a Hot Tin Roof

By Eli Karsh-Lombardo, Latitudes Ecuador ’18 The days start at 6:30 AM with the crazy urge to pee after the three-Nalgene-a-day-from-sweat kicks in. Real alarm clock is when the family of seven Spiderman and 200 square monkeys decide to jump play and fight on the thin loud metal roof of the volunteer house. After that, depending on the schedule of the day, we either head straight to the bodega for… Read More

Touching the Stars

By Renee Noordzij It’s always hot here. And when it isn’t hot, it’s downpouring. So I’m either sweaty or soaked with rain. It’s just a little bit different than the snow of my hometown near Boston. There’s bugs. Everywhere. On the walls, the floors, in the shower, in my bed. My legs are covered in bug bites. My main source of nutrition is rice. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner I… Read More

Batwa Interview

By Chandler Christopher During my time with the Batwa, I received the opportunity to interview four of the members who spoke English. In Batwa communities, it’s very rare that people are educated and know English. So, this was a very big, uncommon opportunity to verbally communicate in the same language with these people. The Batwa are the indigenous people of Uganda, the native people of this beautiful country. Their ancestors… Read More

Making Uganda Home

By Daisy Osowski The rainy season is upon us. Dirt paths have turned to slip and slides and hauling water from our water tank 30 feet away has turned into an adventure. Just the other day while I was hauling a 40-pound jerrycan up to my house I made it to the top of the hill and slid all the way back down it. The rainy season isn’t all bad… Read More

Volunteering at an Elementary School for Deaf Children

By Maggie Otal Been in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala for a few weeks now and it is just as beautiful as I remember. I love the atmosphere and all the friendly faces. Every person you walk past says “Buenos Dias” or “buenos tardes” even if they have no idea who you are. Some of my favorite parts of being in Xela (short for Quetzaltenango) is seeing the panaderias (bakeries) on every corner… Read More

A New Experience that Came Along with Five Children

By Kyla Moede I never would’ve imagined myself to have gained a deep obsession with five baby howler monkeys in such a simple, tiny town in Belize called Sarteneja. It’s amazing how life always seems to work itself out. My initial inclination was drawing me to Australia, Thailand, Bali or Costa Rica, and I was somewhat disappointed in my choice of location, but now, I’ve realized that there is no… Read More

Foods of Lobitos

By Josh Krauss, Latitudes Peru ’18 Welcome to Lobitos Greetings everyone, I am Joshua Krauss, and I’ll be your spiritual guide to all things food. And our first destination is in the small beach town of Lobitos Peru. Most people come for Lobitos to catch some waves, enjoy the time on the beach or even watching the beautiful sunset on the edge of the horizon. However, deep within the heart… Read More

First Impressions

By Emma Clements, Latitudes Uganda Spring ’18 When I first arrived at the airport I had no idea what to expect. Were people going to be mean? Would I get lost? How many marriage proposals would I get? Mosquitos? Weather? Did I pack enough? With all these questions running through my mind, I stepped out of the airplane and into a new beginning to an end. After dealing with all… Read More

Deforestation, One Week Later

By Scott Penfield, Latitudes Brazil Last week, I posted about a farm that we visited near Belisario, where we witnessed firsthand the destruction of the rainforest in the name of agriculture and mineral extraction. Today, we received a somewhat hopeful update from Robin. He was initially skeptical that a complaint to the police would yield any results, despite the fact that the cutting of the forest was objectively illegal. Earlier… Read More

Welcome to Turtle Island

By Maggie Seida Seeing my first glance of Koh Tao from the boat, I was already hooked—the little island is dotted with bungalows, dogs running on the beaches, and boat captains calling to each other from the bay. To get from the main pier to the dive school is an overpriced, five-minute taxi ride (be prepared: that taxi means the back of a motorbike or the bed of a pickup).… Read More