Here are our 2016 trips!
Cape Verde – Dates: March 18-27, Cost: $1350
On Yale’s Reach Out trip to Cape Verde, we will be working alongside the Sea Shepard Conservation Society (SSCS) to aid in conserving the fragile marine ecosystem in this important cultural crossroads linking Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Cape Verde is a Portuguese-speaking island off the coast of Western Africa fraught with a rich and turbulent history, rooted squarely in the height of the Portuguese slave trade. Since then, the island nation has become one of the most developed and democratic countries in Africa, but remains with a vulnerable marine bionetwork. In Mindelo we will be working with the Sea Turtle Defense Campaign. Trained members from the SSCS Chapter will show us current methods of ecological preservation along with the current environmental and man-made obstacles threatening it. Beyond immersion in important hands-on conservation efforts, the goal of visiting Cape Verde is also to learn about its history. We will visit the historic city of Praia to get a better sense of The Republic of Cabo Verde as it has developed out of Portuguese colonialism, and to get a better sense of its place in the modern world. Get ready to learn português.
Dominican Republic – Dates: March 12-22, Cost: $1350
The Dominican Republic sits on the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. As a Caribbean island previously colonized by the Spanish, the Dominican Republic has a tumultuous history but a very rich culture. There has been a lot of recent media coverage on the relationship between Haitians and Dominicans, specifically along the border of the two countries. Though in close proximity, racism, differences in both colonization and liberation, and recent immigration policy changes have fostered and perpetuated an antagonistic relationship between the two nations, often resulting in discrimination against Dominican citizens of Haitian descent. Our Reach Out trip will work with an organization called Yspaniola, a Dominican-based organization that works to empower marginalized people of Haitian-descent in the Dominican Republic. We will work at a learning center in rural Batey Libertad where children of Haitian-descent receive academic assistance to supplement their educations. Many students in this community, whose first language is Haitian Creole, struggle in classes that are taught entirely in Spanish. Yspaniola offers Spanish instruction as well as tutoring in other subjects. The type of service we do with Yspaniola is practical and sustainable. Rather than going in with the pretense of teaching every Haitian-Dominican how to speak fluent Spanish, we do what’s possible and helpful. This tends to fall along the lines of resource creation and mild physical labor though there are hours set aside for the students to read/work on homework with the kids any students who are fluent in Spanish.
Guatemala – Dates: March 12-21, Cost: $1300
In this trip, students will travel to Guatemala to team up with De La Gente, an organization dedicated to supporting local coffee farmers and their families. Students will stay in the colorful city of San Miguel Escobar and later in the more rural community of Santa Anita, where they will spend time working with coffee farmers and engaging in Guatemala’s rich culture and landscape. Activities include working “a day in the life of a coffee farmer,” learning about coffee production from seed to cup, and sharing meals with the farmers and their families. Though useful, it is not necessary to know Spanish prior to the trip. Regardless, it is important to keep an open mind as well as a willingness to learn from and interact with the communities so generously hosting this group. This is Reach Out’s second year working with De La Gente, and hopefully this year’s return trip will see to the continued relationship between Yale students, the organization, and the coffee growers it works with. (For more information on De La Gente and what they do, visit their website at www.dlgcoffee.org)
India- Timeline: March 12-25, Cost: $2100
Reach Out India will be a medical outreach trip to rural Gujarat, India. The team will be focusing on cultural, political, and social aspects of healthcare in rural as well as urban India (and drawing generalities between developing countries) as well as contrasting this system to that of America. The team will get the opportunity to shadow some of the top doctors in their respective fields and will be able to gain first-hand experience with India’s healthcare system by participating in service clinics run by NGOs that provide health check-ups, blood drives, and education seminars. We will also spend a day “in the life of” high school children by visiting a local high school in order to understand the differences in the Indian educational system as compared to the American system. In the final two days of this trip, we will travel to Delhi and Agra, touring grand historical sites and cultural landmarks of the capital, including the Taj Mahal and India Gate.
Nicaragua – Dates: March 12-23, Cost: $1400
Reach Out Nicaragua is a twelve-day trip that will offer a cultural and historical immersion into the country. It is a collaborative project with a group of young students and artists from the northern city of Estelí. We will start the trip by visiting some of the most important historical sites of Nicaragua, striving to build an understanding of the country’s revolutionary past and oftentimes tumultuous relationship with the United States. We will then go on to visit and work with a collective in the agricultural center of Achuapa, before traveling on to Estelí. In Estelí, we will be working with a group of young urban artists in conjunction with the Estelí Instituto de Arte Popular to design and erect a socially conscious mural in the city—the mural capital of Nicaragua. The last few days will be spent on the volcanic island of Ometepe, in the middle of Lago Colcibolca, Central America’s largest freshwater source. What makes this trip uniquely exciting is that while we will be doing some traditional service work, the primary service is in hiring recently graduated young people like ourselves, who otherwise would struggle to find employment, to do what they love as tour guides, artists, and instructors. We will be providing them not only with some temporary income, but with an opportunity to garner valuable, marketable experience in their work. Join us in creating this opportunity and getting to know some really remarkable young people in an equally remarkable country!