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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…

The Medicinal Plants and Cacao Farms of San Cristobal!

Hello all! Today we had an exciting day of touring a cacao farm and medicinal plants in San Cristobal followed by volunteering at San Cristobal‘s community center. We started off our tours by meeting the Ngobe ladies who ran the farms and our translator Sergio who helped with the Ngobe to Spanish translations. Although I…

Eye-Opening Perspectives

While we were at the trapiche Don Carmen, Victor shared with us a very personal story about his life and the struggles he faced, including not being able to go to school past third grade. This was very touching and really gave us a new perspective and new awareness for the  privileged life we live….

Cultural Differences Emerge

Today was a relaxing day in Panama! We had a beach day that started off with a 45 minute boat ride followed with snorkeling adventure. While in the water, I noticed that the ground I was standing on was all dead coral. This made me realize the dangerous condition our oceans are in. We relocated…

Update from Cordelia !

Today we boated to the farm of a man named Luis, who’s the son of the man who owns the hotel we’re staying at. There was a path for the boat through the mangrove trees that took us to his family’s farm. Luis showed us the different exotic fruits he grows and let us try…

Beach Cleaning on the Southern Nacoya Peninsula

Hey! It’s Elsie writing to you from our 5th day on the Southern Nacoya Peninsula. Today, we started our morning with a beach clean-up along Playa San Miguel. We spent a little over two hours picking up trash of all sorts along the beach, that ranged from plastic water bottles to Cars-themed crocs. To be…

We Are All Equals in the Process

When shoveling the irrigation systems at the center, we all had to work together and help each other out. There were no leaders or group members with higher authority, but we all were equals in the process, as Jessica taught us, allows organizations to thrive. It also helped us to understand that everyone working at…

Systems Thinking, Infectious Smiles

  Today was a beautiful day in Panama! Our group started off with a short beach hike where we quickly became friends with three local dogs. We swam in the blue water which we all really enjoyed. The beach swim was followed by a group reflection in which we talked about our presence on Bastimentos….

Unreal Human Beings

Today we woke up at around 7:00 and got ready for a day of hard work, but lots of fun. We walked outside to find that Maribeth had made us delicious scrambled eggs, rice and beans, and of course accompanied by Costa Rica’s famous Lizano sauce. We took a short bus ride to Coyote where…

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