We are announcing today that our teen travelers completed an amazing 31,865 hours of service in the summer of 2012 on our North American Active Teen Tours, Community Service, Language, Pre-College Enrichment & Global Adventure programs! This incredible accomplishment works out to be the equivalent of 3.6 years of volunteer work within the communities we visited, and tops the previous year’s count by 468 hours. From California to Alaska, Ecuador to South Africa and destinations as far as Thailand, their participants have truly made a lasting impact on the communities they have worked with and learned so much in the process. Below are highlights from just a few of the amazing projects that their trips have been involved with …
In Hawaii, groups had the opportunity to work with two Boys & Girls Clubs and organized day camps for underprivileged children in the communities. Whether it was playing sports, leading arts and crafts activities, or reading, the trip members didn’t hesitate to pitch in and help the communities they became a part of. The groups also worked with one of the partners that 360° Student Travel works with worldwide, Habitat for Humanity, to build several homes on the island of Oahu.
In Costa Rica, along with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, travelers helped to reconstruct a family’s home after a devastating fire, as well run a day camp for the community. From the initial groundbreaking through the laying of foundation, floors, and putting up walls they did it all. An incredible accomplishment! This was also a rare opportunity for the local children to play organized games and participate in activities throughout the day.
Last summer on the Community Service elective on the Pre-College Enrichment program in Barcelona, 20 teenagers worked at the Juvenile Center with children aged 5-9 years old. It was an amazing opportunity for participants to interact with disadvantaged children and bring smiles to their faces while teaching English and practicing their Spanish.
Heading down to South America and the Amazon Jungle on the Peru Community Service program, trip members worked with a local co-op of farmers and community members to help clear land for an endangered turtle protection site. They spent time with the local community playing soccer and practicing each other’s languages, as well as working with a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and truly made a lasting impact.
Travelers in Thailand had the unique opportunity to volunteer with an Elephant Research Project where they assisted in behavioral studies on the elephants and helped the mahouts feed and take care of them. The groups were also able to teach English at a number of local schools, running activities and developing a fun curriculum for the students. An experience not soon forgotten by both the Thai students and their travelers!
Our participants certainly made positive change and contributions on 6 continents this summer and we are extremely proud!
The Westcoast / 360° Blogger