Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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    [post_content] => Today we helped create flower rugs on the street for Holy Week. We started by cutting up flowers that we would later use to create designs for the precession to walk over. We spent time working together with local community members to create beautiful designs with different plants. It was a great experience getting to be apart of the celebrations
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University of Oregon Guatemala

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Every Thread Counts

Sahar Petri,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

Today we helped create flower rugs on the street for Holy Week. We started by cutting up flowers that we would later use to create designs for the precession to walk over. We spent time working together with local community members to create beautiful designs with different plants. It was a great experience getting to […]

Posted On

03/25/16

Author

Sahar Petri

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    [post_content] => Today we spent our 2nd day at IMAP participating in a Mayan ceremony. Through it we learned about the circular structure of life and the importance of nature. It was an incredible experience! In the afternoon we worked together to build a huerto planting lettuce, beets and cilantro.
    [post_title] => Mayan ceremony and huerto building
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University of Oregon Guatemala

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Mayan ceremony and huerto building

Kristen,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

Today we spent our 2nd day at IMAP participating in a Mayan ceremony. Through it we learned about the circular structure of life and the importance of nature. It was an incredible experience! In the afternoon we worked together to build a huerto planting lettuce, beets and cilantro.

Posted On

03/23/16

Author

Kristen

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    [post_content] => Hello from Guatemala! We've officially been here for 3 full days, but somehow it feels like much longer. Maybe it's because of the total immersion in Guatemalan culture, the countless fresh tortillas, and the extremely friendly people! Yesterday, the group went to IMAP (instituto mesoamericano para permacultura) and toured the facilities. It was extremely inspiring to see how anything from old milk jugs to tires were reused instead of being wasted, and the sheer variety of plants gave testament to Guatemala's abundance. Permaculture, originally a term coined by the Australians, boasts unique philosophies and tactics that are simultaneously traditional and innovative. Ronnie then gave us an enlightening talk regarding NAFTA, El plan mesoamericana, and the systematic oppression of mesoamerican land and people that has been caused largely by capitalistic greed. We definitely left IMAP for the day with a lot to think about!

Also, the coffee in Guatemala is indescribably good! I know I'll be bringing a few bags of ground coffee beans home.
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University of Oregon Guatemala

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First Day at IMAP!

Emily,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

Hello from Guatemala! We’ve officially been here for 3 full days, but somehow it feels like much longer. Maybe it’s because of the total immersion in Guatemalan culture, the countless fresh tortillas, and the extremely friendly people! Yesterday, the group went to IMAP (instituto mesoamericano para permacultura) and toured the facilities. It was extremely inspiring […]

Posted On

03/23/16

Author

Emily

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    [post_content] => This is a quick note to inform all friends, family and well wishers that the University of Oregon students have all safely arrived in Guatemala.  After a long day of travel they will get some well deserved rest and tomorrow hit the ground running with an exploration of Antigua, Guatemala.  Stay tuned to the Field Notes for more information and photos coming soon!
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University of Oregon Guatemala

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Student Arrival!

Luis Alvarado,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

This is a quick note to inform all friends, family and well wishers that the University of Oregon students have all safely arrived in Guatemala.  After a long day of travel they will get some well deserved rest and tomorrow hit the ground running with an exploration of Antigua, Guatemala.  Stay tuned to the Field […]

Posted On

03/20/16

Author

Luis Alvarado

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Hola U of O students!

My name is Luis and I’ll be one of your instructors on your upcoming trip to Guatemala.  Let me start by saying congratulations on your decision to come to this incredible part of the world to expand your understanding of global economics.  I first came to Guatemala 11 years ago as a college student and I can honestly say that my life has never been the same since.  I have confidence that our time together here will be equally impactful for you all and your futures.

Guatemala is a place that holds a lot of power and significance.  One the center of the ancient Mayan kingdoms, today Guatemala is multi layered society where the indigenous knowledge mixes with the remnants of colonialism, civil war and global capitalism.  All of these layers converge into a colorful mixture of bustling markets, barking dogs, firewood being cut, the smell of fresh tortillas, friends laughing in the street and plentiful coffee.  You all will be here during a particularly active time, Semana Santa or Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter and is the biggest holiday season of the year!  You’ll have the opportunity to see and participate in lots of festivities as we delve into the socioeconomic and environmental issues that face contemporary Guatemala.  It’s going to be a big experience and I’m really excited to be along for the adventure.

I’m currently in Guatemala and happy to answer any questions that come up as you’re preparing for your trip.  Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me at luis@wheretherebedragons.com.  I’d love to hear from you and I’ll be watching the Field Notes to see if anyone posts there too.  Best of luck and I can’t wait to meet you soon.

Saludos,

Luis

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University of Oregon Guatemala

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Hola from Luis

Luis,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

Hola U of O students! My name is Luis and I’ll be one of your instructors on your upcoming trip to Guatemala.  Let me start by saying congratulations on your decision to come to this incredible part of the world to expand your understanding of global economics.  I first came to Guatemala 11 years ago […]

Posted On

03/2/16

Author

Luis

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    [post_content] => Saludos a todos los viajeros!

I’d like to welcome you to the Dragons community and to the journey ahead in Guatemala.
The period of planning and anticipation before a great journey should be filled energy and excitement. We hope that the Field Notes forum encourages you to voice your ideas, anxieties, thoughts, and questions. It’s a great way to begin processing expectations and to try your hand at relating your experience in writing and photos.

As your Program Director at Dragons, I’m going to be working closely with your group to support the program and the instructors and be a contact for those at home while the group is out in the field.
My journey to Latin America began in the back of a 1978 Ford station wagon squeezed between three siblings and two proud parents. Together we spent two months weaving our way through the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan, the giant megalopolis of Mexico City and the warm beaches of Oaxaca. By age fifteen I decided I was ready to spring the nest and catapulted from my hometown town of 682 people in northern Wisconsin into a yearlong homestay with one of Puebla, Mexico’s most respected families.

During the course of the next ten years I would be thoroughly infected with the traveling bug, living in Taipei, Taiwan for two years and traveling throughout southeast Asia, returning to Latin America to travel and study in Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia and Costa Rica, and spending the better part of a year living and studying in Cameroon where I focused on community based conservation efforts amongst indigenous tribes in the Congo Basin. After a long string of educational adventures I find it a great privilege to have joined the Boulder Administration for Where There Be Dragons, and look forward to a long and prosperous journey, continuously challenging my senses, and most importantly, generating new stories. I’m glad to have all of you at my side for this next chapter in the book of life.

So as we begin to pack our bags for this adventure, keep in mind that while we are in Guatemala for little more than a week, this experience has the potential to weave its way into a much larger story, of life, and education, and growing up in these times. Consider that this program will weave together each our life paths into a common tapestry. That the life-stories of those we travel with, our teachers, and the people we meet in Guatemala, will be intertwined. You may find yourself writing an email to your homestay mother ten years down the road, or returning with your family to a park you visited on this program. Guatemala is now a part of YOUR story.

Dragons is different from other travel-study programs because of the tremendous amount of care and intention that goes into the conception of each course. The design and development of our course curricula and itineraries are part of an organic process that is directly spearheaded by our administration and field staff. Rather than out-sourcing this work to large-scale operators who will present to you a program on a platter – one that can be mindlessly facilitated by just about any guide – Dragons prefers to keep our hands in the dirt, allowing us to sculpt courses that represent our unique goals of profound cross-cultural learning and self-cultivation. You should know that you are about to embark on an adventure that is intensely personalized and has been many months, and in many cases, years in the making!

We hope that you will discover the magic of the Field Notes forum and learn to love it! It’s a powerful tool for pre-course communication and community building, and once you head into the field, it will undoubtedly become the default homepage of your parents and friends at home – all of those who WISH they could be out there with you!

Again, welcome to Dragons. I look forward to hearing from you all, and vicariously journeying alongside you this spring.

With Best Regards,
Simón
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University of Oregon Guatemala

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Welcome to University of Oregon Guatemala!

Simon Hart,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

Saludos a todos los viajeros! I’d like to welcome you to the Dragons community and to the journey ahead in Guatemala. The period of planning and anticipation before a great journey should be filled energy and excitement. We hope that the Field Notes forum encourages you to voice your ideas, anxieties, thoughts, and questions. It’s a […]

Posted On

02/12/16

Author

Simon Hart

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    [post_content] => Hola!!!!
As we all go about daily life we can already share the moments and thoughts of anticipation for the journey we will embark on together so soon. My name is Ariel, one of your instructors this March. I'd like to start by thanking you for choosing to join this course. I have much respect for the students that we work with; they all embody a curiosity about the world, a sense of adventure, and above all, a willingness to challenge themselves that keeps me inspired. I truly believe that the most meaningful learning and growth happen when brave people are eager to push their comfort zones and embrace the experiences and challenges that result.
We will be a community of instructors, teachers and students dedicated to making the most out of our experience in a beautiful country, where opportunity for learning is limitless.  I am really looking forward to getting to know YOU, and creating a community where we support one another, learn from each other, laugh together, sing together, hike together, challenge each other, and create an amazing journey side by side.
This is my sixth year working with Dragons, and I am deeply passionate about my role as an educator and mentor for my students, and also about the communities and issues we work with on course. My goal as an instructor is to create a course that is safe, challenging, inspirational, and allows space for your own personal growth and learning. My hope is that your time in Guatemala will be an impactful experience; that you will leave the country feeling as though you have made meaningful connections with individuals, communities and yourself.  This March you will not be asked to learn facts about Guatemala, but rather to think deeply about concepts and how they connect to you and your life.
I hope you have a lot of excitement bubbling up about this trip!  If you are feeling nervous that is great too, and totally normal as you prepare to travel into the unknown. I can promise you that you’ll be very supported by your instructors and teachers beforehand, during and after our journey. I would like to leave you with a few suggestions on how to prepare yourself for this trip. Take a deep breath, and be ready to leave all preconceptions at home.  When you leave Oregon on the 19th come with an open mind and heart; ready to take on the challenges presented to us, ready to be respectful to ideas that may be different, ready to be flexible, ready to leave your comfort zone, ready to try something new, ready to immerse yourself in a beautiful country and culture!!!! Also keep checking the yak board for suggested readings and pre course activities!
Well Dragones, I think that is all I have for now. I am really looking forward to seeing you all!  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me: ariel.storch@gmail.com
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University of Oregon Guatemala

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Intro

Ariel Storch,University of Oregon Guatemala

Description

Hola!!!! As we all go about daily life we can already share the moments and thoughts of anticipation for the journey we will embark on together so soon. My name is Ariel, one of your instructors this March. I’d like to start by thanking you for choosing to join this course. I have much respect for the students […]

Posted On

02/5/16

Author

Ariel Storch