A few moments from Cuyabeno Wildlife Sanctuary

The river skips past as we careen around a corner in the motor canoe. Suddenly our guide jumps to his feet, calling “monkeys!” The driver cuts the engine and we drift toward the forested bank. In the sudden absence of the motor’s roar, I hear the chirping of crickets, the wailing call of hidden birds, and finally, a telltale rustling in the branches. We gasp… Read more

The Volcano Hike: Interviews with our group

The much talked about volcano hike finally arrived and our groups departure was on our doorstep. We were scheduled to summit Acatenango, a massive Guatemalan volcano outside of Antigua, in 7+ hours. The night before was filled with last minute acquisitions for our overnight trip.  Some flooded the grocery store for bags of water while other stood outside Old Town Outfitters after they had closed,… Read more

Guatemalan Highlands, Backpacking from Xela to Lake Atitlan

Sitting in the quiet early morning, watching the sun peek out over the vast volcanos in the distance, I was struck by the fact that it had taken two long days to get to this beautiful mirador. Eight long hours each day of pulling our sore bodies, laden with heavy packs, over boulders, into rivers and through valleys. Of course, not all of it was… Read more

Rockclimbing 101

This week we were at rock climbing camp in Wanaka. Our whole trip has been filled with sunshine and good times, and this pocket of time in Wanaka was no exception. Here’s thoughts from some of the group on our time there… Gillian: Rock climbing with Ian and Loz was such a cool experience for everyone. Over the course of two and a half days,… Read more

West Coast Roadtrip

After our adventures in the Kahurangi, we headed back to Nelson to recharge and prepare for the next section of the trip heading down the West Coast. While in Nelson we had the chance to meet up with Group B. We had some delicious pizza, played cards, and had a good time chilling out in the hostel courtyard. In Nelson we also returned our tents… Read more

Memories in Agato

As we are reaching the final weeks of our journey through South America, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on our experiences and the adventures that we have accomplished. From hiking into the mountains of Machu Piccu, to rappelling down waterfalls in the Amazon jungle, we have all helped each other grow in numerous ways. The laughs, memories, and friendships that have formed… Read more

Kayaking in Quilotoa

On October 21, our group kayaked in the Quilotoa volcanic crater located in Ecuador.  The volcanic crater was filled with deep blue water and the mountains surrounding the crater were filled with different plants. We grouped into pairs for kayaking; Celia and Stephen, Griffin and Lexi, Jack and Sam, Abby and Elle, Lee and Alexander and me with Aidan. When we entered the water in… Read more

Not Just A Team But A Family

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” The Kahurangi National Park expedition was the most impactful experience on the program for me, so far. It was physically and mentally challenging. The days were long and feet were sore but it was worth it for every single view. We conquered mountains, whittled knives, and learned how to start fires. Our group is not only… Read more

Trouble in Paradise

Our first taste of New Zealand took my breath away; well maybe not the very first taste. After a long day of plane travel and grocery shopping we arrived at the campsite in the pitch black and set our tents up like the veteran campers we’ve grown to be. But emerging from the little yellow tent into a world of beautiful wide blues and greens,… Read more

Spanish, Hot Springs & Salsa!

The next stop on our Central American journey afforded us a week-long stop in the city of Xela, Guatemala.  This was an exhilarating and interactive learning experience. Xela, which is an alternative name for Quetzaltenago, happens to be the second largest city in Guatemala. The name Quetzaltenango is derived from a species of beautiful birds which are called the Resplendid Quetzal. They liked these Quetzales… Read more

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