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Welcome, Thacher!

Greetings, Thacher School Travelers!

It’s exciting to introduce you all to the Thacher and Where There Be Dragons Yak Board for the upcoming Bolivia course “Bolivia: Culture and Climate Change in the Andes”!

It may seem like the fall semester just began, yet June is approaching! In just a few months you’ll trade Ojai for the sacred landscapes of El Alto, La Paz, and Cochabamba. Bolivia is a land of extremes. Dizzying, snow-capped peaks descend at an astonishing rate into tropical lowland forests, and the nation’s first indigenous president fervently defends the rights of the Mother Earth while forging new pathways of development and environmental destruction.

And, soon you’ll find yourself bouncing back and forth between time and place as you learn about Bolivia’s people and environments and experience the ever-present tension between development and tradition. You’ll spend days and nights with homestay communities who will take you in as their own upon meeting you; you’ll engage with remarkable people dedicated to indigenous rights and identity; you’ll bounce between vastly different rhythms of life and interwoven stories of ethnically diverse peoples. And alongside you, you’ll find that this Yak Board will be a powerful forum that weaves together a vibrant narrative of the collective journey you’ll be on with your Thacher-Dragons community from the pre-course days, well into the field, and even after.

We are thrilled to be a part of your experience in Bolivia. To make it real, the first thing we are asking of you is an introduction. You may be well-acquainted with your peers on this course, but you may not know their expectations, excitement, goals, curiosities, and fears of your classmates, instructors, and teachers. This forum will provide the space and support to share these things. And, you’ll be amazed looking back at the end of the course and witness the ways you’ve grown and changed in just a couple of weeks!

We are overjoyed to follow along with your adventure.

-Dragons Administration Team