Discover the environmental and cultural diversity of Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. On this high school summer abroad program, explore contemporary opportunities and challenges facing Brazil, particularly in the areas of sustainability and environmental conservation, while experiencing many of Brazil’s different cultures and communities. Visit coastlines, mountains, and forests to see the unique species inhabiting some of the most biodiverse locations in the southern hemisphere.
Cananéia, a historic coastal town founded in the sixteenth century, will be your base for exploring the Atlantic Forest, home to diverse species, many of which are endemic to the area. Visit fishing villages and trek through the forest and pristine beaches of Cardoso Island State Park. Spend time in an indigenous Caiçara community and quilombo communities, originally formed in the nineteenth century by escaped slaves. Learn about conservation and sustainability efforts in the area.
A 13-day homestay, which will allow you to become part of a Brazilian family, will take place in Monte Alegre do Sul, a town nestled within the Mantiqueira mountain range. Share in the daily activities of your host family. Start learning Portuguese and practice your new language skills over home-cooked meals. See colonial architecture while strolling down cobblestone streets and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains while sipping coffee in local cafés. Visit nearby waterfalls and mountain forests and see toucans and parakeets in their natural habitats. During the program, you and your group will participate in community service projects.
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Delve into the creative arts in Nicaragua and Cuba and examine how people in both countries have used the arts to promote social transformations. In Nicaragua, where this immersive high school summer abroad program is based, experience daily life and culture from several different perspectives. Live with a host family in the working-class Máximo Jérez neighborhood of Managua, where supporters of the Sandinista Revolution lived during the 1980s. Witness how Nicaraguans today are using the arts for economic sustainability and to express their aspirations for the future. Participate in workshops and visit artists’ studios and communities as you learn about art, poetry, and music as mediums for social change.
Stay in the coffee-producing rural community of San Ramón, in the mountains outside of Matagalpa. While there, experience a second homestay, with a campesino family, and witness the campo-city differences in Nicaragua. Visit a coffee cooperative, and hike through the lush vegetation of this cloud-covered area. Create “socio-dramas” with members of a community organization, make jewelry with seeds, take a poetry workshop, and learn how to prepare multiple dishes incorporating exotic fruits from Nicaragua.
Your journey continues as you travel with your group to Cuba. Learn about Cuba’s significance in Latin American history and the multiple connections between Cuba and Nicaragua. Spend a comparative week in the city of Havana exploring the arts in a different social and cultural context. Visit associations of young artists and African-Cuban community-based arts centers. Participate in a community workshop transformation project (Talleres de Transformación), and dialog with Cubans about their aspirations. Learn about Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his home in Cojímar and visit other historical sites in Old Havana.
Orientation: Managua, 3 days
Homestay: Managua, 10 days; San Ramon, Matagalpa,* 7 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
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Experience the natural beauty of Argentina through a month of cultural immersion, outdoor activities, and community service. Begin your high school summer abroad in Argentina’s capital, where you and your group will explore the city’s art galleries, theaters, and boulevards and start practicing your Spanish. Sail by catamaran to the city’s surrounding islands to learn about the region’s ecology and biosystems.
From Buenos Aires, travel to colonial Salta La Linda, capital of the Salta province, on Argentina’s northern frontier, where you'll spend two weeks sharing day-to-day life with an Argentine host family. During this period, work on a community service project such as volunteering at a center for children with developmental disabilities or helping to renovate an orphanage or kindergarten. Study Spanish in language classes with other members of your group and learn about local gaucho culture. Go hiking or white-water rafting. Continue on to the small town of Chicoana, just south of the city of Salta, where you'll assist on service learning activities such as painting or landscaping.
Then, embark on a week of outdoor exploration with your group and leaders. Ride horseback, stay on a large ranch, and enjoy traditional barbeque. Travel through the mountains to the city of Cafayate, stopping at famous rock formations. In Cafayate, take a bike tour of the city and then ride to the sand dunes. Return to Buenos Aires for a final day of exploration and reflection.
Orientation: Buenos Aires, 4 days
Homestay: Salta,* 14 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, campsite, hostels