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Hola Dragones!

Ola a todos Dragones y Dragonas!

I am so very excited to meet each and every one of you. By signing up for this experience, you have already proved what brave, adventurous, and dynamic spirits you have, and I cannot wait to share this course with you.

A bit about me: I grew up in Arizona, developing a deep love and gratitude for the natural landscapes of red dirt and desert. It was there that learned to climb rocks, to seek out secret swimming holes, and found that nature was my medicine for all ailments. I went to college to study education and found myself teaching for a few years in a traditional classroom setting. As many of you may have experienced, being stuck in a classroom turned out to be stifling and lacked the inspiration I craved, even though I believed in the power to teach and learn. The summer after my first year of teaching, I discovered experiential education and trip leading, and I was hooked. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to work with students from all over the world in some of the most amazing places on the planet. I’ve led courses in the South Pacific, India, Central America, the backcountry of the Southwestern United States, and most recently just finished up a Himalayan Semester with Dragons this fall. I have found that experiential education is more authentic and fulfilling than any other traditional path we’re told to walk. I care about people, the environment, community, grassroots activism and social justice work, and love getting to know individuals and places on a deeper level.

What I have learned from my years of travel, both personal and professional, is a deep humbleness and gratitude for the world and my place in it. I am honored to have the role of instructor on this course, but ultimately I feel like we are in this exploration together, and cannot wait to learn alongside you as we venture into the unknown. I hope that along with a good water bottle and sturdy hiking shoes, you also bring an open heart, a willingness to be pushed out of your comfort zones, and an understanding that everything you experience this summer will surely change your life. Expect to have your assumptions challenged, your boundaries pushed, to laugh harder than you ever have, to make life-long friends and breathe in deeply the beauty of Guatemala!

I am looking forward to getting to know each of you, so please post an introduction about yourself in the coming days…I can’t wait to read them! Feel free to reach out with questions to y personal email address: [email protected].

Abrazos,

Lauren