Applications closed for 2024.

Reflecting on the First Half of the Trip

Today we settled a little further into our routine with the community. Our service today was planting native trees in some gardens as well as the forest surrounding the village. Some of the species of trees we planted are medicinal while others provide fruit. After our work was done we walked to a community member’s…

Moral Courage

Moral Courage   Today was our first full day in the community that we will work with for the next 3 days. Our service projects today involved fixing and painting the stands next to their soccer field, painting school buildings and painting their water tower. We worked alongside community members and (attempted) to have conversations…

Getting Proximate

Continuing on the theme of animal restoration, we paid a visit to RAREC (Rainforest Awareness Rescue Education Center). We walked through the property and learned about different animals rehabilitated in enclosures spread throughout the jungle. Our group favorite animal was the mini anteater, Maki. We moved on to the enrichment projects for the different animals….

In Kathmandu Valley

Waking up to the dogs barking and pigeons happy outside me and Emma’s window was a gentle reminder that I was far from home. I immediately got my personal journal, book and camera, and headed straight for the rooftop restaurant at our hotel. I wasn’t the only person who wanted to be up there first…

Why Are We Here?

To begin our field study in Peru, we explored the beautiful city of Iquitos! After fueling up at the hostel (The Jungle Hostel), we headed out into the city on Tuk-Tuks (motor powered bike taxis), our first stop being the city’s main market. The sensory experience was unmatched, with smells coming from left and right,…

Beautiful Chaos!

Today the group and I went to “Cristobal” and I would describe the first day with the kids as beautiful chaos! The boat ride was about 30 min long and we were all pretty tired prior to our arrival. Nevertheless, the kids’ energy and curiosity was extremely contagious- there was not one dull moment with…

The Long-Awaited Homestay

Last night was the long-awaited homestay. I had been looking forward to it for a while and was really excited the day of. I was a little disappointed to learn that I was not with one of my friends and instead with Jim. However, it was a very lovely experience for the both of us….

A Collection of Sentiments From the Safari

– I saw an ostrich today and that’s enough to make me happy. Oh yeah, and I swam for the first time in 3 years. -We got to swim in the most beautiful oasis that no one would expect to be there! – I really wanted to see a rhino today and was disappointed that we did…

The Smell of the Hojaldres

Eight AM consisted of hojaldres and roosters. I awoke wrapped in both blankets and aromas, of the ocean, the humid island air, and, of course, the hojaldres. The smell of the hojaldres eventually pulled us out of our beds and down the stairs to where Louis was busy cooking. “My favorite breakfast” I commented, not…

A Letter From the Instructors:

It has been the greatest of honors to be entrusted with your students this summer. I know you’ve been missing them at home, and soon will have them back with stories, souvenirs and suntans. This was the first year we (Ade and Matthew) worked with SStS and the first year that we’ve met the wonderful…

The Chisme Group

For the first time in the last two weeks, the group yesterday had a traditional ¨tourist day.¨ We took a boat tour of Marino Ballena National Park and saw the four principal beaches of the park. Along the coast was a stretch of cliffs with huge caverns. Many of the caverns were large enough for…

Martial Arts and Hand-Washed Laundry

Today we had pancakes for breakfast. That’s all that really matters but I guess we did other things as well. Doctor K took us to one of her Kach kids who now is an adult and owns a fabric store. It was a tiny little store off of a busy road. All of us who wanted…

A Place That We Had Made Our Home

This day is one that I don’t seem to have finished processing. Although today wasn’t the most eventful, it was filled with reflection. I see it as the end of an experience that I will hold very close to my heart. I woke up with the mindset that I would take in as much as…

Working Together

It’s crazy to believe that we are just over halfway through our trip. It has been an incredible trip, and one I am very grateful to be on. I have made so many new connections with people not only in our group, but also the people we have met here in Meru. Today we went over…

A Wonderful End to a Fantastic Journey

On Day 6, we helped out at an urban farm in the upper ninth ward named Farming NOLA. They grow fruits and vegetables for the community and provide donations to Common Ground Relief for their food bank every Saturday. At the farm, we helped Josh and Scott water plants, pick figs, pull weeds, and clear…

Inventing Colors

Today our group went to The Green Project, where we took an informative tour led by Erin, the project manager. While we were there we learned about the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle and how that played in with the local community. The Green Project is a warehouse and store open to the public…

Bonding in the Swamp

Today, our group woke up bright and early and prepared to go into the swamp. We had an early breakfast and then headed on our hour and a half drive out to the launch point on the lake. We split into groups on boats full of bags filled with California Bullrush. They scattered our groups…

Juneteenth in NOLA

Today, we spent most of the day at the Common Ground Relief(CGR) nursery planting baby cypress trees. It took us about 3 hours to finish all of the work which was very quick, and we planted over 300 Cyprus trees. After our work, we went back to the clubhouse to get ready for the Juneteenth…

Closing Thoughts from a Course Instructor

The border itself has a power that manifests itself differently for all who view it. It was the parting thought Alex left us with as we said our goodbyes drenched in the San Diego sunset. For him, the border will always be magical realism before his eyes, a piece ripped out of Gabriel García Marquez’s…

Continued Conversation Around Ethical Leadership

Around 8:30, we drove rental cars 30 minutes to the Border Wall, near Chula Vista and Tijuana. Before reaching the Border State Park, we read an article titled “Desecration” by Paulina Velasco. It detailed issues surrounding the history of Friendship Park, its Covid-19 closure, and its recent destruction by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Valasco…

The Multiple Perspectives of San Diego

This morning we started out in the movie room and met Maria. She  gave us a summary of what her organization (Madres y Familias Deportadas in Acción) does for those who get deported. Maria told us how she has several educational classes that she holds to give the deported individuals working skill sets in order…

Learning, Community, and Numinous Growth

Today was a pretty good day. We started the day off with Robert, who a leading force at the Veterans of Foreign Wars San Diego Post. Robert works on cases regarding Deported Veterans and collaborative efforts to bring them home. He talked to us about what immigrants that have served in the army have to…

The Well-Oiled Machine

  I woke up at 8 am and had some breakfast with the group. Some of them had woken up a bit earlier than me, but there was no rush to start the day. After breakfast, we all went on a tour of the farm and ended up on top of a huge boulder where…

Working at Costa de Oro

Last night’s turtle patrol was slow. We began by going to the southside, and then took a 15 minute break. Then we went to the northside and took another 15 minute break. We decide to head back early because a thunderous storm was rolling in. We started off the next day with some french toast…

Up In The Hill

Today we started off with a very adventurous morning that consisted of a jungle hike to Up In The Hill. We learned a lot of interesting facts about Javier and Jeanettes farm including that bamboo grows about 1 foot a day and that pineapple grows in bushes! After learning about how the owners created their…

Thoughts on the Source of Food

Summary by Kevin and Alondra based on group reflection… Today was all about food!  This community lives and eats in ways that are closely tied to the local environment. Most of the foods that we have eaten have come from the area.  We began the day with a visit to a small dairy very close…

Fencing the Hatchery

Greetings from Costa Rica!  Last night, the group that went on turtle patrol found two turtles. Unfortunately, one of the turtles was a dead male turtle who had washed up on shore. However, the other turtle was a female who dug a nest and laid 109 eggs! These eggs were also the first batch to…

Little Flecks of Gold

  One moment or experience that I am choosing to reflect on was earlier in the day at the gold mines.  Specifically Dona Rosa and her cooking.  Not only was the food delicious, but I really enjoyed her eagerness to share a little bit of her culture.  She made a variety of traditional dishes using…

2 perspectives: Caroline & Natalia (and friends)

After a week at the San Cristobol community center we feel mixed emotions. On the one hand, we have loved getting to know the kids. On the other hand, we are dreading having to leave as we know we almost certainly never see our new friends again. To make matters worse, the youngest kids don’t…

Jungle Mike

Today we woke up around 7:30, which is our usual time when we get up. Breakfast was served at 8am. We had toast, eggs and watermelon. It was very delicious, especially the toast. After we all ate, we cleaned all of the plates and got ready for the day. Today I was very excited for…

Questions?

WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

Footer Questions Box