Buena Vida Team Maya

Hola Team Maya! This is the first post on the blog we will take turns writing for throughout the semester. The blog is a way to let friends and family know about our adventures, share experiences, opinions, and some photos. This is Rachael and Matt writing from Portland. We are in the midst of training and prepping for our trip. We spent last week camping, doing team building activities with… Read More

And a fond farewell…

That’s it! It’s a wrap. Al final. By now, students have traveled on to their respective places that they call home. Saying goodbye to them was bittersweet, sad to see them go but grateful that we were able to see them grow in many ways over our journey together. In the last three months we have been able to see three different countries and experience three different cultures. We have… Read More

Final blog from Central America!

Sarah Spirek here! As our semester comes to a close, I just wanted to write a few closing comments for our trip. We have all learned so much, some of it we won’t even realize until we get home. We have built a little family within our group and have suffered the loss of three of our members. We have spent the last three months learning, growing and experiencing the… Read More

Turtle conservation

We spent our last week in Costa Rica at KUEMAR, a turtle rescue project. It was hard work, but it paid off with our once in a lifetime experiences! Every night, we took shifts at neighboring beaches where we patrolled. We saw our first adult sea turtles and got closer than we could ever imagine with them. We watched them as they scooted their way out of the water and… Read More

TURTLE TALK TIMEEEE

Sailor and Sarah here! Our group spent the last week volunteering at a permaculture farm called CIRENAS. Due to a recent donation, they were able to build a hatchery and start up a turtle conservation project which we had the opportunity to work on. Our roles included exhuming nests that had already hatched, recording data and patrolling the beach. Most of the group took the opportunity to take a shift… Read More

CIRENAS

The group had a wonderful week at CIRENAS, learning about sustainability, permaculture, and turtles! A few photos from their adventures, with more updates to come: Kaylee wrote an article about their time there that was published in the CIRENAS newsletter:Working with baby turtles!… Read More

Turrialba

By Rachel and Sarah First week in Costa Rica! We had a pleasant early morning flight last Sunday and a short bus ride to the city of Turrialba. Meeting our host families created some anxiety as always but has greatly paid off this week. We feel we have made great connections with this group of people! We began our last week of Spanish school on Monday and we feel our… Read More

Flores Adventures

By Sarah and Madeleine Howdy from your southern belles, Sarah and Madeleine! We arrived in Flores Wednesday and met our contact Deiter who gave us some introductory information about Flores and the week ahead, then had free time. Some of us swam across the lake while others enjoyed immersing themselves in local culture by eating at Pollo Campero. On Thursday we toured the Yaxha ruins and camped overnight in tents.… Read More

La Choza Chula

By Nico & Sophie Hey everyone! We just finished up a beautiful week on the beach in the small village of El Paredon. We spent our time with an organization called La Choza Chula, a social enterprise focused on providing educational resources to the people of El Paredon. Throughout our time there, we participated in a variety of workshops based on the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This included… Read More

Our Spanish is Improving!

By Sailor and Daniel Hola! This Sunday we arrived at the mountain school in Fatima and Nuevo San Jose. Fatima is a community of ex-finca (plantation) workers, who were displaced by the unfair treatment of the finca owners. The people of Fatima lie on 20×20 meter plots of land, in houses composed mainly of cinderblock, wood, and sheet metal. We have been eating three meals a day with our homestay… Read More

Desayuno Típico

By Rachel, Madeleine, and Harrison Hola! Aqui en Xela! We are happily cruising around in the Independence Day celebrations. Last night we walked around in the city square and watched fireworks! The city of Xela is very busy and people are happy to greet us as we walk by. We have had many good meals, mostly Asian food and we are eating at an Asian cafe. Lucky for us this… Read More

Exploring Xela

By Daniel, Kaylee, and Asia Hola Amigos! We started our day with a traditional Guatemalan breakfast, which included scrambled eggs, avocado, fried plantains, and black beans. Muy delicioso! From there, we split into four groups and began our city-wide scavenger hunt. We have done such things as asking locals questions about Guatemala, purchased strange new fruit, taken pictures with many locals, and visited several local shops. We ate traditional Xelan… Read More

Independence Day and the Scavenger Hunt

By Sailor, Nico, and Camille Hola, This is Sailor, Nico, and Camille writing from an internet cafe in Xela, Guatemala. After a rough ride getting here, we finally made it and are able to explore this amazing city. Right now it is Independence day and we are currently on a scavenger hunt. The town is in full party mode. We are excited for more learning and fun! Adios.… Read More

There is a Bug on my Ice Cream

By Sarah, Ethan, and Sophie Ethan, Sophie, and I (Sarah) are in POPs getting ice cream. Ethan and Sophie practiced their Spanish while ordering. We did a scavenger hunt throughout the city but didn’t get to complete everything because we couldn’t find an internet café that was open. A lot of the stores are closed for Independence Day today. Part of our scavenger hunt was doing a random act of… Read More