Check out this great presentation by Dr. Danny Recio and Andy Myers - given at the Young Adult Transition Association conference in October 2016 in Idaho, USA. You will learn a lot about the psychological and social benefits of an appropriate, supportive cross-cultural immersion experience on growth and complexity.
- Students spotted a female Puma resting on the base of a tree, and have photos to prove it!
- Our guide alerted us to a shark in the water, which emerged and began walking toward the group. The “deer shark” has now entered into Aventura legend.
- Students learned about biological relationships and forest succession deep in the Costa Rican rainforest.
- Students and staff tested the limits of their physical abilities, which served as a reminder of strengths and capabilities even in the most challenging situations
- An incredible experiential learning experience! Students gained first-hand knowledge about cloud forest ecosystems by being IN a cloud forest, and about water currents by swimming through them.
- Kayak students experienced true integration as one of our amazing Case Managers and resident sage, Marcel, taught about mangrove ecosystems, watersheds, and the tides on pristine beaches
- Students built important peer connections by vying for prizes in the Tent Partner Olympics
- A full moon, spectacular sunsets, and impressive rains punctuated this once-in-a-lifetime journey
- Our newest students and staff engaged in the busiest round of turtle egg relocation in recent memory, according to the Turtle Conservation Director, Manuel. Seven nests were located, with over 700 turtle eggs placed in the hatchery.
- Students who exceeded Aventura expectations earned the opportunity of a night patrol, and were rewarded with finding a giant turtle nesting on the beach!
- In an amazing cultural-immersion experience, NSA students and staff put forth a valiant effort but ultimately were defeated 3 to 0 by the rubber boot-wearing team from our community service partners at Finca Osa Verde and Osa Conservation.
Each quarter, students embark on one of four Aventuras with therapists, Experiential Education mentors, and teachers joining them to make each experience truly integrated. Aventuras are some of the most effective components of the New Summit Academy program for encouraging student growth, community building, and for creating unforgettable memories. This round of Aventuras was a success in all areas. Here are some highlights as recounted by students and staff!
Our Peru trip culminated in a journey to the sacred Incan site of Machu Picchu. Early in the morning, students boarded a train which snaked its way along the Urubamba River to the town of Aguascalientes, where we hopped on buses for the winding road to Machu Picchu. We spent the day learning about the history and architecture of this bucket-list wonder of the world and UNESCO heritage site, before returning to the Sacred Valley. On our final day, the owner of our guiding company, Piero, and his family welcomed us into their home for a celebratory barbeque!
Thanks to students, staff, families, and the wonderful guides at Terra Explorer for helping to make this year’s International Aventura to Peru such an amazing experience!
After three days of intensive workshops in preparation for Peru, our community braved a red-eye flight to arrive at over 11,000 feet in Cusco - the ancient capital of the Incan Empire - to get physically and mentally acclimatized for the adventures to come. Our first days included an historical tour of the city, a mountain-bike ride through the stunning landscape surrounding the Sacred Valley, and a day of community service with the Amaru people.
This indigenous village welcomed us into their homes with music and smiles, explained their way of life revolving around farming and weaving of textiles, and worked side-by-side with our students as we tilled the soil using traditional tools in preparation for planting potatoes. The Amaru then prepared a hearty lunch of quinoa, potatoes and guinea pig – a traditional delicacy in Peru.
In order to prepare students for their upcoming adventure to Peru, the teachers and academic staff facilitated three days of workshops so that this international experience is as rich as possible. When NSA journeys to a new destination, it is important that we do so as travelers, not tourists. These workshops were intentionally designed with that goal in mind.
Students have been working with our English teacher to learn the intricacies of travel writing, studying the history of Peru with our Social Studies teacher, learning travel etiquette and curiosity with our Coordinator of Student Success, and pondering how travel changes them and their destinations through daily reflective writing.
Keep an eye out for exciting photos and stories in our next issue from this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!