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Andean priest and spiritual leader, Don Fabian Champi Apaza. Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

YO!

Hey everyone!

I’m Jackson from Boulder Colorado, home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. I am 18 years old and I just graduated high school. I decided to take a gap year and join this program because the thought of jumping right back into homework and tedious readings crippled me. I spent most of my summer spending a lot of time with friends along with visiting different parts of the country such as California, Montana, Utah, and Idaho. I also worked at a Mexican restaurant bussing tables just a few minutes away from my house called The Rio Grande. I love to ski, bike, play guitar, make movies, take photos, play lacrosse and jump on the trampoline. I am super into fashion and love making unique outfits and then taking creative photos of them around town.

I am so excited and lucky to be starting this three month journey with you all and anticipate many amazing memories to come. I think that there is no reason to rush college because you can start pretty much any time you want. I felt the urge to travel and make  memories seeing landscapes and trying new food than to be sitting in a classroom the same way we all did when we were in high school. I am stoked to get to work on my Spanish and hopefully become fluent by the time I head back home. I’ve taken four years of Spanish throughout high school but I still have much much more to learn.

In regards to the pre-course assignment, I see connections with how the local people push back against modernization and how they value their land not as something you can own, but as something only you can experience. I’ve studied Latinoamerica before and love how much deeper meaning is hidden throughout the song.

I can’t wait to meet you all, see you in 5 days!