We are entering our 35th summer of running summer programs for teens. Over these years we have had the opportunity to bring tens of thousands of students across the globe to destinations far off the beaten path to explore, adventure and make a difference in local communities. Whether in the rural areas of Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province, high in the cloud forests of Costa Rica, on a small Fijian Island in the South Pacific or here at home on the streets of San Francisco, we are incredibly proud of the impact our students have had on the places and communities they have visited.
I’m sitting in a tiny Costa Rican open-air cafe, drinking a well-needed, semi-cold Sprite. My large backpack filled with months worth of my personal belongings beside me. I’ve just ordered something off a laminated menu. I think chicken and rice, but honestly, I’m not quite sure, as I hardly speak any Spanish at all. Internally I’m kicking myself for the eight years of German I studied in school – Spanish would be pretty handy right about now.