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Two Dragons welcome the sunrise with an improvised dance atop the Andes. Photo by Ryan Gasper.

Students have cleared security in Santa Cruz

Dear friends and family,

After a wonderful 3 months in South America, our semester has parted ways at the international airport in Santa Cruz. Students will be arriving in the States early in the afternoon to transition to domestic travel. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Where There Be Dragons office.

These three months together have been a transformative time for all of us. As you prepare to welcome returning students, we ask for your patience and understanding as they work through the immediate challenge of travel fatigue and the slower process of integrating into a home culture that may now seem foreign through the lens of travels and learning on the other side of the world.

We hope that in the days following your student’s arrival, you can slowly find the time to ask them about their values, beliefs, and huge variety of experiences. If there’s one thing that characterizes our group, it was a willingness to engage in conversations deeper and more probing then they thought possible about why the world is the way it is, about social justice, and about how we form communities and treat those different from ourselves, both through our personal actions and through larger, systemic actions. We were impressed by care for the broader global community, and by their newfound or newly solidified sense of purpose in life moving forward.

Each of your students carries with them a plan they wrote for themselves for their immediate integration and culture shock, and also their goals for the next few weeks and few months. We know you will be supportive as they move forward in the effort of fully integrating their learning into a meaningful life moving forward.

With love and care,
The Andes & Amazon instructors:
Jhasmany, Sandy, and Jeff