Photo of the Week
Photo Title


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28 June: Meet in Miami Airport, Victoria and Sean will be there to accompany you to Guatemala City where I will be waiting for you. Stay the night in Guatemala City.   29 June: Wake up early and take a bus ride to Nueva Allianza, a coffee and macadamia farm. This will be an ideal place to start our journey because the farm’s interesting history relates closely with a major theme of our course; land rights.   30 June-2 July: We will spend three days at Nueva Allianza, our orientation spot, where we will get to know each other, learn about Guatemala and set our intentions for the course.   3 July: We will officially kick off our journey today as we travel to the Western Highlands, where we will spend the next week practicing our Spanish skills and living in home-stay families in the community of Todos Santos.   4-10 July: Spanish classes, group activities (guest speakers, hikes, lessons, ect), ISP projects, and time with home-stay families in Todos Santos.   11 July: Time to prepare for our long trek!!! Lessons and free time in Todos Santos to get ready for a 3 day walk to Nebaj   13-15 July: Say goodbye to home-stay families and start walking for Nebaj. The trek from Todos Santos to Nebaj is a spectacular walk through high elevation forests and meadows surrounded by exquisite rock formations. We will be staying in small communities along the way.   16 July: Take time to rest after trek while exploring Nebaj, and beginning to learn about the Civil War, whose remnants can still be seen in this area.  Travel by chicken bus to Cotzal on afternoon of the 17th and meet our new homestay families.   17-20 July: Start our first service project; We will spend the mornings working in the fields, and planting beans alongside with the women from the community of Cotzal. This is a region of the country heavily effected by the civil war, and some of the women will share their testimonies with us.   20-21 July: Travel to Xela, where we will do our midcourse reflection, and have a chance to experience urban Guatemala.   22 July: Climb Volcan Santa Maria early in the morning. Take time at the top to enjoy the gorgeous view. Travel to Pachaj by chicken bus and meet our new home-stay familes       22-28 July: In Pachaj we will meet Armando, the founder of the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project. We will spend the week learning about the organization and working alongside Armando planting trees in the mornings. In the afternoons our time will be dedicated to Spanish class and ISP projects..   29 July: Say goodbye to our homestay families and Armando and travel to San Lucas Toliman.   30 July-3 August Alongside the impressive Lake Atitlan we will meet Rony, Ramiro and Goyo, who are all involved in a local permaculture center called IMAP. Here the students will take the reigns, and put the skills they have been learning into action, helping IMAP on a community project.   4-7: Travel to Earth Lodge in the afternoon for the beginning of transference. During this time we will reflect on our experiences, talk about ways in which we can take what we have learned home with us, give and receive feedback, and enjoy each other’s company. 8 August: Early morning shuttle to airport. Fly back home…Adios Guatemala…for now!   *Important Note About I-pods: In order to create the most authentic experience and course for you, we have decided as an instructor team that Ipods will not be allowed. (we will have plenty of music though, GUATEMALAN MUSIC!) From our past experience working with students, we have found that the best way for them to connect with a new culture is by being truly present and undistracted in their surroundings; listening to the music and chitter chatter of locals on the chicken bus, and hearing the thunderstorms and blowing leaves, or faint sounds of animals while in the mountains is an important part of being present in our experience in Guatemala. We hope that you can understand our reasoning behind this decision! 

Attached Documents

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Projected Itinerary

Instructor Team,Guatemala Summer 6-week

Description

28 June: Meet in Miami Airport, Victoria and Sean will be there to accompany you to Guatemala City where I will be waiting for you. Stay the night in Guatemala City.   29 June: Wake up early and take a bus ride to Nueva Allianza, a coffee and macadamia farm. This will be an ideal […]

Posted On

05/30/13

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2013-05-17 11:48:36
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    [post_content] => 
Hola Dragones!!!!

 As we all go about daily life in our respective parts of the world, we can already share the moments and thoughts of anticipation for the journey we will embark on together this summer. My name is Ariel, your Course Director for this summer, and I would like to be the first to thank you for choosing to join Dragons in Guatemala this June. I have so much respect for the students that we work with; You all embody a curiosity about the world, a sense of adventure, and above all, a willingness to challenge yourselves. I truly believe that the most meaningful learning and growth happen when brave young people are eager to push their comfort zones and embrace the experiences and challenges that result.

We will be 15, a community of instructors and students dedicated to making the most out of our experience in a beautiful country, where opportunity for learning is limitless. You will be supported by myself, and my two co-instructors, Sean and Victoria, who are incredible leaders filled with enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion. We are really lucky to have such a capable and well-versed group of individuals on our trip. 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 fourth year working as a field instructor at 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 a Course Director 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 summer you will not be asked to learn facts about Guatemala, but rather to think deeply about concepts, and what they mean in your life. Sean, Victoria and I have been working closely with the Boulder office to create a course that attains these goals.  Your time in Guatemala will offer deep cultural and language immersion into rural Guatemala. Your Spanish is going to improve a ton!  Part of living in a new culture also entails taking a step back and assessing our own perspectives and beliefs, as a way of processing the intricacies different worldviews and how they come to be.  We will spend lots of time off the beaten path in communities where we will engage with locals on topics of development, work with grassroots organizations, study Spanish, get to know our homestay families, and explore the natural world, and the Mayan cosmovision. Alongside these experiences we will have lessons, and facilitate discussions that will give you an understanding of how global issues affect local communities. We will discuss topics including agriculture, water and forest management, history of the war, education, social justice, immigration, Mayan Cosmovision, etc.

 For us at Dragons, it is not only important that you have a meaningful learning experience in relation to Guatemala, but also that you develop leadership skills. One of our goals is also to create space for all of our students to discover and reach their full potential as leaders. We will serve as your mentors, teachers and facilitators, rather then guides. This trip is not about being guided around Guatemala, but rather asks that you take ownership over your experience, and being part of your surroundings rather than watching them from the outside.  Right now Sean, Victoria and I are working to create an itinerary that offers opportunities for you to step up as leaders and take a lead over certain aspects of the course both personally and as a student group.  I am very excited to be a part of this process with you this summer!

I hope that this letter has given you a better understanding of our journey this summer, and sparked a lot of excitement in you! 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 before, during and after our journey. I would like to leave you with a few suggestions on how to prepare yourself for this summer. Take a deep breath, and be ready to leave all preconceptions at home.  When you arrive in Miami on the 28th of June, 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!!!!  Furthermore, take some time before you leave to read about Guatemala.

Well Dragones, I think that is all I have for now. I am really looking forward to this summer and meeting you all! If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk please don’t hesitate to contact me:

 ariel.dragons@gmail.com

(575) 770-7649

 ¡¡¡Nos vemos pronto!!!

 Ariel

 

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Guatemala Summer 6-week

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Course Director Intro

Ariel Storch,Guatemala Summer 6-week

Description

Hola Dragones!!!!  As we all go about daily life in our respective parts of the world, we can already share the moments and thoughts of anticipation for the journey we will embark on together this summer. My name is Ariel, your Course Director for this summer, and I would like to be the first to […]

Posted On

05/17/13

Author

Ariel Storch

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    [post_date] => 2013-05-16 09:57:54
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-05-16 15:57:54
    [post_content] => 
Saludos a todos los Dragones; parents, travelers, instructors and dreamers, To those who are new this year, I’d like to welcome you to the Dragons community and to the journey ahead! And to those who have joined us for another year, we are excited to have you back! Spring is a celebration of transitions; a transition that marks the beginning of a summer-long journey to give life to our aspirations and imaginations. We hope that the Yak Yak forum encourages you to voice your excitement, anxieties, thoughts and questions–it’s a great place to share a bit about yourself.  In the coming weeks, instructors and students will post their own introductions and begin sharing more information about the journey ahead. From here, discussions will begin to build and your instructors will offer advice for course preparation regarding packing, recommended readings, the itinerary, and topics to consider for your Independent Study Projects (ISPs). Your instructors for this summer are incredible!  Collectively, they bring many years of in-country experience, are seasoned guides and educators, and as you will discover over the course of your journey, are some of the most thoughtful, kind, and inspiring folks in our community.  As your Program Director, I’m here to support and steward the overall process from our offices in Boulder, CO before, during, and after the course. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly to say hello! Dragons prefers to keep our hands in the dirt, allowing us to sculpt courses that are represent our unique goals of profound cross-cultural learning and self-cultivation. When it’s all said and done, and you finally gather in late June at your course’s point of departure, 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! The Yak board is also the most appropriate place to address your pre-course questions and concerns. We hope that you will discover the magic of the Yak Yak forum (have a look at past courses to get a sense of how the Yak board can be used), and learn to love it! It’s a powerful tool for 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! And finally, as you prepare for the upcoming summer, be prepared to be challenged, to be inspired, and to learn and grow in ways that can only come from living these experiences. Most of all, be prepared to have fun and to forge your own footprints into that trackless wilderness that is our selves. Again, welcome to Dragons. I look forward to hearing from you all, and vicariously journeying alongside you this summer. With Gratitude,
Japhy Dhungana
Program Director: Latin America and Himalaya
Japhy@wheretherebedragons.com
800-982-9203, ext. 15
 
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Guatemala Summer 6-week

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Welcome to Dragons – An Introduction From Your Program Director

Japhy Dhungana,Guatemala Summer 6-week

Description

Saludos a todos los Dragones; parents, travelers, instructors and dreamers, To those who are new this year, I’d like to welcome you to the Dragons community and to the journey ahead! And to those who have joined us for another year, we are excited to have you back! Spring is a celebration of transitions; a […]

Posted On

05/16/13

Author

Japhy Dhungana

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    [post_date] => 2013-05-16 08:36:10
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-05-16 14:36:10
    [post_content] => 
To all ’13 Summer Participants:
It’s great to see all the yak boards coming alive!  This is a very exciting time of year for all of us, and while we know that you are anxious to meet your traveling companions, we have a request for you: please don’t direct your fellow travelers to social-networking sites (e.g., Facebook) before the course. Let us explain: our interest is to provide you with the best experience possible, and over the past 21 years, we have learned that that you will get the most out of your Dragons program if you’re able to make fresh introductions on the day that your course begins.  We welcome you to introduce yourself here, and we hope that you will use this site to voice your goals and ideas for this summer’s course and to begin forming a group culture.  But we’d like to avoid students forming any sort of “cliques” online before even departing on this program.  We certainly know that you can all find each other on Facebook  quite easily, and while we cannot (and don’t want to) forbid such networking, we encourage you to abstain from doing so and invite you to show up to meet your group in June without pre-judgment and with a willingness to expose yourself to everything new, different, wild and other.  We wish you the best as you prepare for this summer’s adventures! Sincerely, The Boulder Admin [post_title] => Social Networking: A Request from WTBD [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => social-networking-a-request-from-wtbd-21 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-05-16 08:36:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-05-16 14:36:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=84078 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 217 [name] => Guatemala Summer 6-week [slug] => guatemala-summer-6-week [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 217 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 253 [count] => 35 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 12.1 [cat_ID] => 217 [category_count] => 35 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Guatemala Summer 6-week [category_nicename] => guatemala-summer-6-week [category_parent] => 253 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/guatemala-summer-6-week/ ) ) [category_links] => Guatemala Summer 6-week )
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Social Networking: A Request from WTBD

Dragons Admin,Guatemala Summer 6-week

Description

To all ’13 Summer Participants: It’s great to see all the yak boards coming alive!  This is a very exciting time of year for all of us, and while we know that you are anxious to meet your traveling companions, we have a request for you: please don’t direct your fellow travelers to social-networking sites […]

Posted On

05/16/13

Author

Dragons Admin

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    [post_content] => Welcome to your Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak bulletin board for the Summer 2013! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for self-introductions, for building community, and for addressing any and all questions that arise during the upcoming months.

Until the start of your course in June, this will be THE place to find important notices related to your course’s development and itinerary design. It’ll also be the place to learn about your fellow students and instructors. So please, post a personal introduction! It may reflect any number of things about you, like your interests, reasons for choosing Dragons, independent study considerations, or any other thought or inspiration. Please also consider posting your packing and prep-related questions here. Don’t be shy – if you have a question, it’s likely that someone else in your group has been wondering the same thing! Your instructors have a lot of experience and many, many tips that they’re excited to share with you. So please, ask away.

Setting up the Yak board, in many ways, marks the start of your course. It’s the first step in establishing the community that will support you throughout the journey that lies ahead. Together, you will learn to walk, dress, eat, talk and think in an entirely new way. You will see landscapes that will cause your jaw to drop, and meet people that will touch, change and inspire your life forever. Although your course’s official start date is still many weeks away, we would like to remind you that your adventure actually began the day you made the choice to join Dragons. Choosing to make your dream a reality took immense amounts of courage, and all of us congratulate you on taking that first, and most important, step.

Welcome to Dragons. We’re excited to share in your adventure!

Sincerely,

Dragons’ Administrative Staff
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Welcome to your Yak Board!

Dragons Adminisration,Guatemala Summer 6-week

Description

Welcome to your Where There Be Dragons Yak Yak bulletin board for the Summer 2013! As you’ll soon discover, this board is a valuable forum for self-introductions, for building community, and for addressing any and all questions that arise during the upcoming months. Until the start of your course in June, this will be THE […]

Posted On

05/15/13

Author

Dragons Adminisration

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