Dear EYTT Supporters,
We did it!
In only 10 days, (June 20 to July 2) Empowering Youth Through Travel students will board a seven hour flight and begin their journey of a lifetime to Uvita, Costa Rica. Upon landing at San Jose, Juan Santamaria airport in Costa Rica, students will travel another three hours down to the small community of Uvita, located on the southern Pacific coast of the country. On arrival, students will meet their host families and get acquainted with the men, women, and children which whom they will be staying with for the next 12 days.
For one of our student’s, Dushun, this will be the first time he steps on a plane let alone outside of the country. Can you imagine what this experience will be like for him? Dushun lives in Chicago’s Austin community and will go from our concrete city streets to Uvita’s lush land, surrounded by the rainforest.
What will this experience be like for Yael, a soft spoken young lady from Cicero, IL, who is passionate about nature, yet has never left the country or strayed far from her close knit family? She will be venturing off to an unknown part of the world, stay with a family she’s never met, and see things she has only read about in books.
And for Chris, a quiet, young man of choice words who’s world currently revolves around soccer. He will soon have to step outside of his comfort zone by introducing and immersing himself into a lively, foreign community.
How will these experiences change our student’s lives in the immediate and long term future? Who’s lives will our student’s change as a result of their volunteer travel experience? We will soon be able to answer these questions and many more.
During their time in Costa Rica, students will participate in a range of activities which include:
1. A youth cultural exchange and service project with students at Flor de Bahia school, the local school in the Uvita community.
2. Visit the Marino Ballena National Park, assist in a beach clean up, learn its history, economic and social importance, along with how it is managed and maintained.
3. Explore the rainforest! Students will take a full day tour of the Corcovado National Park.
4. Learn about sustainable tourism, visit a local co-op hotel, and partake in a canopy tour.
5. Delve more into co-operatives and understand community agriculture by taking a trip to visit the produce market, followed by a rural coffee tour. Coffee production has played a huge role in Costa Rica’s history and is still very significant to their economy.
These experiences and many more will provide one of the greatest hands-on learning opportunities our students and their families could ask for. This could not have happened without the generous support of individuals who have attended EYTT events or donated to our cause. As a baby organization which recently turned two, our pilot launch will be successfully completed by August 2012. Through 100% grassroots fundraising efforts, we have paid the full cost of our students overseas travel expenses, provided them with a quality educational program before and after embarking on their journey abroad. YOU, the PEOPLE, have helped us make this happen and for that we are extremely grateful. Without this program, our students may have inevitably spent another summer at home. Now, they will discover, explore, learn, and understand a part of the world they never knew existed.
Each staff member involved in our program has generously volunteered their time. This means that every dollar we have received went directly to the cause. Major sacrifices were made to get us to this point. To support our efforts, you may visit EYTT’s website at www.eytt.org and click on the PayPal link at the top of the page. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to fund our students travel expenses. Upon giving, you will receive a ‘Thank You’ letter via email to be used for tax exemption purposes. Please remember, no gift is too small.
OR, if you do not have the funds to donate, we are also in need of in-kind donations. Do you have anything travel related that you’d like to donate to one of our students? A camera you don’t use anymore, a carry on suite case, or travel back pack? Maybe a few travel size containers for lotion, shampoo, etc…? Please contact Jessica@eytt.org if you would like to donate any travel items.