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Peru 4B group, summer 2019

Instructor Introduction

Hola queridos viajeros,

Hello dear travelers,

My name is Itzá and I go by she/her pronouns. I’m very happy to be one of the three instructors who will accompany you during this summer in Peru. To be honest, I’m excited that we have the possibility to travel to these special lands, despite this difficult time that we live in as a society. I am a true believer that safe travel exists and that we can create unforgettable experiences while traveling responsibly.

That being said, I’ll like to share a little bit of myself with you all, so we start getting to know each other as we prepare to spend 4 weeks together!

I was born and raised in Nicaragua, a small but beautiful country in the middle of Central America from a nicaraguan mother and a spanish father, so yes I navigate between two different cultures constantly. This is a part of my identity I just started to understand/identify more about recently.

I did my university studies in Nicaragua, where I graduated in environmental engineering. During that time, I mostly got involved with coffee production and its negative impacts on the environment (and society). Out of curiosity, I also worked with other industries (sugar on the pacific coast and shrimp in the mangroves) in order to better understand how they operate and what can be done better.

At the same time I was attending university I got involved with the Biointensive Growing Method, a way of sustainable farming. I was practically obsessed with it, and had my own food garden with a friend of mine. I participated in a program with the Agrarian University of Nicaragua for replicating this method in different communities in the country. I eventually got certified as a teacher, and one thing led to the other and soon I was traveling through South America to learn more about biointensive farming. Thanks to this I got to work in Ecuador in a small village near the Colombian border, with an NGO working in food security. After that experience and with some travel in between I got to live my dream: to meet and live on the farm of a famous family within the biointensive method community: the Ninas. I learned about them back in Nicaragua; for me it was this epic family of three siblings, growing food in the Andes and teaching people in the peaks of the mountains how to diversify food production in such hard conditions.

And that was what took me initially to Peru, to the Sacred Valley. When I got there, I fell completely and madly in love. With the mountains, the food, the people, the learning experience. I was overwhelmed with such impressive landscapes and such rich culture. With Peru, it was love at first sight.

Five years have passed since I first got to meet and lived in Peru, but my love for that land will remain. Right now, while I write this letter to you all I’m in Barcelona, Catalonia finishing my masters’ studies in Water Science and Management. I can’t express to you enough how grateful I feel to be able to come with you on this adventure where we will visit and learn so much!

I have worked on and off with dragons since 2017 in Peru, Bolivia, Guatemala and Mexico running semester programs, summer programs and some customized/short programs for high schools. Every time I get back home after a Dragons program I feel so humbled by the overall experience, amazed by the incredible people living on this earth, inspired by the projects we learn from and just jaws dropped by all the spaces we walk through. Just thinking about the idea of guiding this summer trip gives me goosebumps. And specially sharing it with you and with my two fellow co-instructors whom I admire and respect.

Well, that’s all about me for now. I hope this long introduction of myself wasn’t boring to you all, and that it gave you a sense of who I am and a bit of topics you can start to ask me about right away! (don’t be shy, I’m a very open, please ask!)

I would love to hear about you guys, your backgrounds, what inspires you! And what you are looking forward to with this program!

Don’t forget to do all the things Zack laid out for you all:

  1. Post an introduction Yak!
  2. Brush up on your Spanish!
  3. Do some walks/hikes so you start getting in the mood!
  4. Set goals for yourself for our time together as a group of conscious travelers

Keep tuned to the Yak Board!

¡Hasta luego gente!

See you soon folks!