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    [post_date] => 2016-06-16 10:48:39
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    [post_content] => Hey Team!

I'm writing to let you know that starting tomorrow Chelsea, Diriang, and I will be together outside of LA for our annual Where There Be Dragons orientation. We will be camping out and will have less access to phone/internet so if you have any questions please make sure to post them here and we'll try to respond in a timely manner as soon as we can. We'll be back from Orientation on the 27th of June.

Thanks for understanding!

Best,

the I-team
    [post_title] => Dragons Orientation in the Sierras
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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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Dragons Orientation in the Sierras

Mitch,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Hey Team! I’m writing to let you know that starting tomorrow Chelsea, Diriang, and I will be together outside of LA for our annual Where There Be Dragons orientation. We will be camping out and will have less access to phone/internet so if you have any questions please make sure to post them here and […]

Posted On

06/16/16

Author

Mitch

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    [post_date] => 2016-06-10 09:51:10
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    [post_content] => Hey All I wanted to post this link here to an article for you all to read before course. It's something that has inspired us as travelers and we hope that it gets you thinking about our course this summer. Feel free to leave comments on the Field Notes board!

Best,

The I-Team
    [post_title] => Pre Course Reading
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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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Pre Course Reading

Mitch,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Hey All I wanted to post this link here to an article for you all to read before course. It’s something that has inspired us as travelers and we hope that it gets you thinking about our course this summer. Feel free to leave comments on the Field Notes board! Best, The I-Team

Posted On

06/10/16

Author

Mitch

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    [post_date] => 2016-06-04 17:07:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-04 23:07:07
    [post_content] => Hello Everyone!
I hope the end of the school year is wrapping up smoothly for you all. We're getting excited to embark on our adventure in about a months time and wanted to post a more detailed narrative of where we'll be spending our month in Nicaragua. I know we've been e-mailing back and forth and there have been a lot of great questions. We wanted to put this info on the Field Notes board where it is readily accessible to everyone and where we can post questions and answers for us all to see. Feel free to respond here with any questions you may have. Please keep in mind that this is subject to change:
  • July 8th: We meet at the Airport in Miami (MIA), everyone should be arrive to the airport by 1:30pm. Chelsea will be at the airport to meet you all and travel with you to Managua. The flight lands at 7:24 pm, Diriang and Mitch will meet you at the airport and together well head to our Hospedaje for the first night in Managua.
  • July 9th-July 12th: From Managua we'll travel to a small farming community called La Garnacha located in the mountains 15km outside of Esteli. Here we will take time as a group to acclimatize both to the physical environment and our group. We will also learn about the Community of La Garnacha,  about the different artisanal products, and explore the area around.
  • July 12th-July 15th: Miraflores: From La Garnacha we'll head to Reserva Miraflor where we will explore life in rural Nicaragua while discovering the beauty that is the high mountainous forests around Esteli. We will also begin discussing in more depth the History of Central America and Nicaragua's past and present.
  • July 15th- July 17th: From Miraflor we will make our way back to Esteli where we will spend on night to prepare for our hike to El Largatillo. We will hike for 3 days from the outskirts of Esteli to the Community of El Largatillo. We will spend our nights in the homes of local farmers who live on the way to  El Largatillo.
  • July 17th- July 31st: We begin our stay at El Largatillo a community located outside of Achuapa. This is where we will spend the majority of our trip, it will feel like home.  We will be living with families in partners and fully immersing ourselves in the campo for two weeks. We will be taking Spanish lessons each weekday and filling our off times with various activities. During this time we will be meeting with folks who were involved in the Nicaraguan Revolution and further exploring the importance of community. During the weekends we'll hike around the surrounding area, or visit the neighboring town of Achuapa. Be prepared to play a lot of volleyball.
  • August 1st- August 7th: We leave El Largatillo to move onto our next and second to last stop: Project Bona Fide. Project Bona Fide promotes food security and sustainable living systems on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua through permaculture design, agroforestry, research and education, and community collaboration. They educate and expose people locally and worldwide to the possibilities of multi-strata food production through demonstrative agriculture on their farm. Project Bona Fide is run by one of our very own Dragons Instructors, Mitch Haddad.
  • August 7th:  We leave the farm in the morning and head to Granada, the last stop of our journey. We'll spend the day here checking out the oldest city in the Americas and wrapping up our trip with group activities and a nice meal.
  • August 8th: American Flight #994 departs Managua at 7:00am and arrives to Miami (MIA) at 11:36am. Please see more detailed flight info below.
IMPORTANT FLIGHT INFO:

Departing Flight:

July 8, 2016

American Airlines #993

Depart: Miami (MIA) 6:31pm

Arrive: Managua (MGA) 7:24pm

Returning Flight:

August 8, 2016

American Airlines #994

Depart: Managua (MGA) 7:00am

Arrive: Miami (MIA) 11:36am

Planning your travel to and from MIA:

Connecting flights should arrive by:

July 8, 2016 @ 1:30pm

The participant can be picked up or should arrange a connecting flight after:

August 8th, 2016 @ 2:45pm*

*Students need at least 3 hrs to gather baggage, clear customs, change terminals, etc.

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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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The Path Ahead

Mitch,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Hello Everyone! I hope the end of the school year is wrapping up smoothly for you all. We’re getting excited to embark on our adventure in about a months time and wanted to post a more detailed narrative of where we’ll be spending our month in Nicaragua. I know we’ve been e-mailing back and forth […]

Posted On

06/4/16

Author

Mitch

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    [post_date] => 2016-05-17 16:02:47
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    [post_content] => 

Hello everyone,

I’m Diriang Peralta. I am Nicaraguan, I am 34, and I live in Ocotal, a city located in the northern region of the country, very close to the Nicaragua-Honduras border. This is my first time as an instructor and I’m excited about working with Dragons. Last year I was in charge of host-family stays and Spanish classes in September and October 2016 for semester-course students.

I had a similar experience in 2007 when I worked for a cross-cultural exchange program with Cornell University called The Language Center, a cooperative venture between Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and Ocotal, Nicaragua. I was a grammar and conversation teacher and in 2007 I was promoted to the position of Co-Coordinator.

I am a public accountant and I had the opportunity to work with a French NGO named Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières in the south of Honduras between April 2010 and August 2012. I was the administrator of a project implemented to provide the local organizations with advise so they could stand up for their rights and for their natural resources. I also kept records of their economic activities.

I am also an English teacher and I’ve worked at The Martin Luther University, in Ocotal, since 2008. I’ve had the opportunity to teach young students who graduated from high-school. I’ve enjoyed being a teacher very much, whether of Spanish or English and because of that I’ve made many friends in Nicaragua and abroad.

In my free time I play football and exercise from time to time. I also love spending time with my family and friends. I am eager to partake in this experience with all of you in my country and I hope you enjoy your stay in this part of the world.

I’m looking forward to meeting all soon!

Diriang

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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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Introduction

Diriang Peralta,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Hello everyone, I’m Diriang Peralta. I am Nicaraguan, I am 34, and I live in Ocotal, a city located in the northern region of the country, very close to the Nicaragua-Honduras border. This is my first time as an instructor and I’m excited about working with Dragons. Last year I was in charge of host-family […]

Posted On

05/17/16

Author

Diriang Peralta

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    [post_date] => 2016-05-15 18:20:46
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-16 00:20:46
    [post_content] => Saludos dear students!

My name is Chelsea Muir. I hail from Santa Cruz, California, but I have been living in the Dominican Republic for the last year and a half. I came to the Dominican Republic as a Princeton in Latin America Fellow at an education nonprofit in Batey Libertad, a historically Haitian community in the Cibao Valley.

I am passionate about storytelling and am deeply grateful for the travel experiences that have allowed me to hear stories from people all over the world. As an undergraduate at Pomona College, I studied abroad at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina and interned for the Buenos Aires government at a high-security women's shelter. After writing my senior thesis on the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, I traveled to Nogales, Mexico, where I volunteered with a human rights organization in deportation camps. Most recently, in the Dominican Republic, I have been witness to stories of people who have been stripped of their citizenship because of their Haitian ancestry. Creative writing is the tool I turn to to process and reflect on these stories, and it is a practice I would love to share with you.

I am also an avid fan of pick-up soccer, novice ukulele-player and a flailing yogi. I am also very, very excited to meet all of you soon and to share this summer with you!

Best,
Chelsea
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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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Introduction

Chelsea Muir,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Saludos dear students! My name is Chelsea Muir. I hail from Santa Cruz, California, but I have been living in the Dominican Republic for the last year and a half. I came to the Dominican Republic as a Princeton in Latin America Fellow at an education nonprofit in Batey Libertad, a historically Haitian community in […]

Posted On

05/15/16

Author

Chelsea Muir

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    [post_date] => 2016-05-12 15:43:19
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-12 21:43:19
    [post_content] => Dear Summer 2016 Travelers,
It’s great to see your Field Notes coming alive! This is a very exciting time of year for all of us, and while we understand that you’re likely 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: It is our intention to provide you with the best Dragons experience possible. Over the past 23 years, we’ve learned that that you will get the most out of your program if you’re able to make fresh introductions on the day your course begins. We welcome you to introduce yourself here, and we hope that you will use this site to voice your goals and intentions for the semester. At the same time, we’d like to avoid students forming any sort of “cliques” online before departing on the program. We certainly know that you can all find each other on Facebook, and while we cannot forbid such networking, we encourage you to abstain from doing so. Instead, we invite you to meet your group without pre-judgment and with a willingness to expose yourself to everything new, different, wild and other.
We hope that your pre-course preparations are going well. We look forward to connecting with you in a few weeks!
Sincerely,
The Dragons Admin Team
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Summer 2016, SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week, SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week, SUMMER: China: Search for Meaning, SUMMER: China: Yangtze River, SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week, SUMMER: Guatemala 6-Week, SUMMER: Indonesia, SUMMER: Jordan, SUMMER: Madagascar, SUMMER: Bolivia, SUMMER: Nepal B, SUMMER: Nicaragua, SUMMER: Myanmar, SUMMER: North India 6-Week, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week, SUMMER: Peru 6-Week, SUMMER: Rwanda, SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: Thailand

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A Note on Social Networking

Anne Koenning,Summer 2016, SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week, SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week, SUMMER: China: Search for Meaning, SUMMER: China: Yangtze River, SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week, SUMMER: Guatemala 6-Week, SUMMER: Indonesia, SUMMER: Jordan, SUMMER: Madagascar, SUMMER: Bolivia, SUMMER: Nepal B, SUMMER: Nicaragua, SUMMER: Myanmar, SUMMER: North India 6-Week, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week, SUMMER: Peru 6-Week, SUMMER: Rwanda, SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: Thailand

Description

Dear Summer 2016 Travelers, It’s great to see your Field Notes coming alive! This is a very exciting time of year for all of us, and while we understand that you’re likely 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) […]

Posted On

05/12/16

Author

Anne Koenning

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    [post_date] => 2016-05-10 16:45:19
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-10 22:45:19
    [post_content] => 

Hola Dragones!

Welcome to our Field Notes. I'm Mitch Haddad one of your instructors for the Summer 2016 Nicaragua Course. With summer fast approaching, I would like to use this post to introduce myself and invite you all to do the same in the next few weeks. We're in for an amazing course this summer visiting different communities and organizations around Nicaragua. From the northern highlands to the southern plains, we will be exploring the great cultural and biological diversity that Nicaragua has to offer and digging deep into the importance of community and resilience.

A little about me... I have been living and working in Nicaragua since 2009. In the past 7 years I have worked a variety of jobs from construction to farming and food processing to accounting and management. Besides living in Nicaragua I have also lived in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. I am currently involved in a couple of different organizations and businesses.

I run an experiential education center called Project Bona Fide on Ometepe Island. At PBF we provide experiential education for local and foreign partners and conduct research into sustainable agriculture techniques and appropriate technology.  I also work as an operations and design consultant across Central America for NGO's, businesses, and individuals.  I am the Country Director for a US based NGO called Give Love that works in eco-sanitiation across the world. Lastly, I serve as the Chief Operations Officer for a sustainable tourism project on the pacific coast in and around San Juan del Sur.

Each year, I teach custom courses and a summer course for Where There be Dragons. This is my third year teaching the summer course in Nicaragua with Dragons. I am very excited to be sharing the country that I call home with you all in a few short months. I'm passionate about education and getting to know people from all parts of the world. I also really enjoy cooking delicious (and often experimental) food, farming/gardening, and a good sense of humor. I'm an amateur banjo and ukulele player and avid reader, so bring your favorite books to share!

The rest of the Instructor Team (I-team) will be introducing themselves in the next few days as well so keep checking the Field Notes board. We would also like to ask you all to post an introduction to you here so we can start to get to know each other more formally.

If you have any questions at all about the course or logistics please post them on this form and we'll respond here. Often times questions you have are questions that might be coming up for others.

Saludos,

Mitch

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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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Introduction

Mitch,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Hola Dragones! Welcome to our Field Notes. I’m Mitch Haddad one of your instructors for the Summer 2016 Nicaragua Course. With summer fast approaching, I would like to use this post to introduce myself and invite you all to do the same in the next few weeks. We’re in for an amazing course this summer visiting different communities […]

Posted On

05/10/16

Author

Mitch

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    [post_date] => 2016-05-04 12:15:11
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-04 18:15:11
    [post_content] => 

Hola Nicaragua Summer students and families,

I’d like to welcome you all officially to the Dragons community.  Your decision to join us this Summer is an important one that promises to have a lasting impact on your life.  With the help of your families, friends and local communities, this Summer in Nicaragua promises to be an unforgettable experience.  I’m happy to be here to support you all through the process and to follow your journey.

My name is Luis and I’m the Program Director for Dragons in Central America, which means that I’ll be helping to support your program from our office here in Boulder, Colorado.  The Field Notes Board you see here is our community blog where all Dragons courses share their thoughts and reflections from the field.  During your course you’ll be posting here so that all of us back at home can see what you’re up to and what you’re learning.  Before your course starts, you’ll be able to find important information and introductions from your fellow students and instructors here as well.  Make sure to check this page frequently for updates and news.

As I mentioned, your amazing instructors Mitch, Diriang and Chelsea will be posting their introductions here soon.  They will also update information about the packing list, suggested short readings and videos related to Nicaragua as well. If you have any questions you can post them here on the Field Notes Board and your instructors will respond.  If you have a question, most likely other people are wondering the same thing, so posting on this board can be really helpful for everyone.  I’m here to support your course too, so if there’s anything that I can do please don’t hesitate to contact me at our office at (303) 413-0822 or email me at luis@wheretherebedragons.com.

I first traveled to Central America as a 19 year old student hoping to get in touch with my roots and the roots of the Americas.  I was immediately drawn into a world where the things I had learned growing up didn’t make any sense.  I began to learn about the history, culture and traditions of Central America, but more importantly I shared important moments with people.  I lived with families who took me in and showed me how to eat, how to walk and how to work with them.  Those lessons have been some of the most important in my life, and those people to this day, over a decade later, continue to be very influential and close to me.  I still travel frequently to Guatemala  and Nicaragua, I still continue to learn and I’m still humbled by people’s generosity.  It’s my hope for you that you can have a similar experience this Summer and I hope to be able to support you as best I can.

As I mentioned, this forum is the best place for you to post your questions pre-course.  Parents and friends are also welcome to post thoughts and well wishes as the course progresses.  When your course is over, this archive will be a way for you to remember the experience and to share it with others, so please take some time and learn to use it well.  You can start by posting your introduction.

Again, I’m thrilled to be a part of this experience for you and if there’s anything that I can do please don't hesitate to be in touch.

All my best,

Luis

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SUMMER: Nicaragua

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Introduction from your Program Director

Luis Alvarado,SUMMER: Nicaragua

Description

Hola Nicaragua Summer students and families, I’d like to welcome you all officially to the Dragons community.  Your decision to join us this Summer is an important one that promises to have a lasting impact on your life.  With the help of your families, friends and local communities, this Summer in Nicaragua promises to be […]

Posted On

05/4/16

Author

Luis Alvarado

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    [post_date] => 2016-05-02 15:53:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-02 21:53:09
    [post_content] =>  

Dear Summer Students,

Welcome to the Dragons community and welcome to your Field Notes board!
With summer just around the corner, we are excited to begin the final stages of course preparation with you. Launching your course Field Notes board marks the first step towards building your summer community, as this interface will help us bridge great geographic distances and connect you with your course instructors, your fellow Dragons students, and the Boulder Administration.

You can think of your Field Notes board as a virtual bulletin board.
  • Pre-course, your instructors will use the board to introduce themselves, tack up packing lists and respond to any of your pre-course departure questions.
  • On course, you can use Field Notes to share photos with your fans back home, jot down vignettes of your life abroad, or share longer reflections about your unexpected adventures on an overnight train, at a meditation retreat, at your home-stay sister’s birthday party… It’s hard to capture everything that happens over the course of a summer, or expect to share it all for the first time when you arrive home. In many ways, your Field Notes will become a collaborative journal, curated by members of your group and enjoyed by your friends and family back home.
  • Post-course, your Field Notes board turns into one big adventure log that will commemorate your group’s experiences abroad.
Your Program Director and instructor team will introduce themselves here shortly! We look forward to reading more about you in the coming weeks, as well. Please use the Field Notes board as an opportunity to dive in and start building a new community. There are no “dumb questions” when it comes to packing lists, only students that wished they had a backpack cover or an extra water bottle. Thanks so much for beginning this journey with us. We encourage you to post on your Field Notes board early and often, and we look forward to being in touch with you over the coming months. With love, The Boulder Admin Team [post_title] => Welcome to Field Notes! 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Welcome to Field Notes!

Anne Koenning,SUMMER: Myanmar, SUMMER: Jordan, SUMMER: China Language Intensive 4-Week, SUMMER: China Language Intensive 6-Week, SUMMER: China: Search for Meaning, SUMMER: Guatemala 4-Week, SUMMER: China: Yangtze River, SUMMER: Guatemala 6-Week, SUMMER: Indonesia, SUMMER: Cambodia, SUMMER: Bolivia, SUMMER: Madagascar, SUMMER: Nepal B, SUMMER: Nicaragua, SUMMER: Nepal A, SUMMER: North India 6-Week, SUMMER: Peru 4-Week, SUMMER: Peru 6-Week, SUMMER: Rwanda, SUMMER: Thailand

Description

  Dear Summer Students, Welcome to the Dragons community and welcome to your Field Notes board! With summer just around the corner, we are excited to begin the final stages of course preparation with you. Launching your course Field Notes board marks the first step towards building your summer community, as this interface will help […]

Posted On

05/2/16

Author

Anne Koenning

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