Page 1


Our Mission Rustic Pathways empowers students through innovative and responsible travel experiences to positively impact lives and communities around the world.

u Cover Photo | United States: Rebuilding New Orleans, page 178


What’s Inside Testimonials

6

Program Index

7

Letter from the CEO

10

The Rustic Pathways Experience

12

The Rustic Pathways Global Team

14

Financial Aid

16

Safety and Risk Management

17

Three Pillars of Impact

18

Student Impact at Rustic Pathways

20

Critical Issues Programs

22

Mystery Trip

23

Base House Programs

24

Young Explorers Programs

26

Spring Break Programs

27

Australia

28

Cambodia

38

China

46

Costa Rica

52

Cuba

72

Dominican Republic

80

Fiji Islands

92

Laos

108

Mongolia

116

Morocco

120

Myanmar

128

Peru

134

Tanzania

144

Thailand

154

United States

174

Group Travel

182

Gap Year Programs

183

Frequently Asked Questions

184

Get In Touch

187


17 countries 100+ programs

United States Morocco Cuba Dominican Republic Costa Rica

Peru


Mongolia

China

Laos Vietnam Cambodia

Tanzania Myanmar Thailand Australia

New Zealand

Fiji


What Students and Parents Are Saying About Rustic Pathways “Rustic did such a good job of making me feel comfortable in every situation we encountered. I gained nine best friends, stepped outside of my comfort zone, and learned so much about the culture surrounding me, all in just 16 days. This was an unforgettable experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.” Nicole Levi | Portland, Oregon Sun, Sand, and International Service, 2016 Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children, 2017

“I am beyond grateful for the sense of appreciation for life I have been able to develop through traveling with Rustic. The experiences of looking out into the vastness of this planet from the top of a sand dune in Peru or assisting a community in Thailand with the construction of a meeting hall allowed me to develop a sense of positivity, thankfulness, and understanding.” Henry Philpott | Houston, Texas Come with Nothing: The Mekong Expedition, 2015 Peru by Backpack, 2016 Climbing Kili, 2017

“Rustic Pathways taught me that happiness is far more than just an emotion. Happiness is students from around the world falling in love with a country, a culture, and a group of fellow adventurers whom they now call family. Happiness is looking out at a day’s work and being proud of your impact. More importantly, happiness is recognizing the impact that a community can have onyou.” Samantha Jaloza | Forest Hills, New York Island Living and Eco-Service, 2014 The Amazing Thailand Adventure, 2015 Culture and the Crater, 2016

The Thai Elephant Conservation Project, 2015 Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children, 2015 The Ultimate African Adventure, 2016

“I never had the opportunity to go abroad before I signed up for Come With Nothing. I had this misconception that when you volunteer abroad you’re rescuing people from a horrible life. What I learned is that people of Pa Dang are the ones who changed my life. They opened up their homes, shared their food, and exposed me to a world that I’d never known before.” Rachel DuRose | Kissimmee, Florida Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition, 2015 Sacred Valley Service, 2016

Rustic Pathways Alumni Association Become part of the Rustic Family. Join our Alumni Association and connect with other students, become a brand ambassador or member of the Rustic Squad, get exclusive access to travel gear, and network at reunions and meetups. Join at rusticpathways.com/alumni-association.

From Parents of Rustic Students “The entire experience with Rustic Pathways has been exceptional from start to finish—from information about trips we were considering, selecting and paying for a trip, making travel arrangements, the organization at the departure airport, and the adventure itself to the correspondence I received as my daughter arrived and enjoyed her time abroad. After each of her Rustic Pathways trips my daughter has participated in, she is more open-minded and eager to experience circumstances outside of her comfort zone.” Julianne Frost, Peyton’s mom Tolland, Connecticut

Turtle Conservation Project, 2014 Thai Elephant Conservation Project, 2015 Marine Service and Adventure, 2016

“Emily had an amazing experience and we trusted the counselors and staff completely. Safety and security is paramount and we knew that she was well taken care of. Her experience meeting people her own age from around the world is invaluable. Last year Emily traveled to the Dominican Republic with Rustic Pathways and she came back more appreciative of her surroundings. She has always been compassionate, but there is something extra that she has taken from each Rustic Pathways experience.” Karla Sudock, Emily’s mom North Baldwin, New York Life in the Bateyes, 2015 Surf and Service, 2016 Andes to Amazon, 2017


Base House Program

Critical Issues Program

Costa Rica Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica 9 days | 22 service hours

Australia Golden Sands and Helping Hands 9 days | 15 service hours

Awesome Aussie Service Adventure 16 days | 25 service hours

Epic Outback

16 days | 15 service hours

You, A ‘Roo, and Australia Zoo 16 days | 30 service hours

Great Barrier Reef Dive Expedition 16 days | 15 service hours

Island Survival

16 days | 20 service hours

Seven Wonders of Australia 16 days | 15 service hours

Spanish Language Immersion

page 58

Ramp Up Your Spanish

page 59

16 days | 40 language study hours page 31

9 days | 20 language study hours

Vanishing Cultures of the Rainforest

page 32

16 days | 12 service hours

Bribri Indigenous Culture and Service

page 61

page 34

Sarapiquí: A Tropical Service Adventure

page 62

page 35

Young Explorer: Pura Vida!

page 63

page 36

Summer Camp Leadership in Costa Rica

page 64

page 37

Heart of the Jungle

page 65

Traveling Soccer and Service Team

page 66

9 days | 15 service hours 9 days | 25 service hours

16 days | 14 service hours 16 days | 60 service hours 16 days | 25 service hours

Surf and Service

page 67

Nicoya Turtle Expedition

page 68

Turtle Conservation Project

page 69

Costa Rican Adventurer

page 70

Caribbean Adrenaline

page 71

9 days | 12 service hours 16 days | 35 service hours 9 days | 30 service hours 16 days 9 days

Cuba

Cambodia

Innovation in Action

From the Ground Up

page 41

The Cambodia Children’s Project

page 42

18 days | 36 service hours

Floating Village Service Expedition

page 43

Off the Map: Cambodia

page 44

Snapshots of Southeast Asia

page 45

18 days | 30 service hours 25 days | 42 service hours 18 days

China Chinese Language Immersion

page 49

Panda Conservation and Wild China

page 50

Silk Road Service

page 51

15 days | 28 language study hours 15 days

15 days | 15 service hours

page 60

page 33

16 days | 25 service hours

18 days | 35 service hours

page 57

16 days | 12 service hours

page 75

Viva Cuba! Culture and Conservation

page 76

Off the Map: Cuba

page 77

Intro to Photography in Cuba

page 78

16 days | 24 service hours 16 days | 12 service hours 16 days


Dominican Republic Mountain Air and Village Service

page 85

Life in the Bateyes

page 86

Public Health in the Caribbean

page 87

9 days | 20 service hours

16 days | 50 service hours 16 days | 30 service hours

Summer Camp Leadership in the Dominican Republic

page 88

Bats, Hats, and Gloves

page 89

Marine Life and Coastal Restoration

page 90

Island Living and Eco-Service

page 91

16 days | 60 service hours 16 days | 20 service hours 16 days | 32 service hours 9 days | 12 service hours

Morocco Peace, Wonder, and Understanding Islam 16 days

page 123

Souqs and Service

page 124

Moroccan Wanderer

page 125

Advanced Photography Workshop

page 126

16 days | 25 service hours 16 days | 10 service hours 16 days

Fiji Sun, Sand, and International Service

page 96

Intro to Community Service in Fiji

page 97

Highlands and Islands Service Immersion

page 99

Marine Service and Adventure

page101

Impact of Climate Change on Marine Environments

page102

16 days | 60 service hours 9 days | 30 service hours

16 days | 45 service hours 16 days | 26 service hours 16 days | 26 service hours

page 103

Big Fiji Explorer

page 104

16 days | 6 service hours

Escape to the Fiji Islands 9 days

The Heart of Myanmar 18 days | 30 service hours

page 105

La NiĂąa Andina

page 107

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

page 139

Andes to Amazon

page 140

Off the Map: Peru

page 141

Peru by Backpack

page 142

22 days | 10 service hours

Wonders of Laos 11 days

Sticky Rice Service Adventure 18 days | 35 service hours

Come with Nothing: The Mekong Expedition 25 days | 56 service hours

Southeast Asia Adventurer 18 days

Tanzania page 112

page 115

page 148

African Wildlife Conservation

page 149

16 days | 25 service hours

page 113 page 114

The Maji Safi Project

16 days | 25 service hours

Culture and the Crater

page 150

Njoro Village Service Immersion

page 151

Serengeti to Zanzibar

page 152

Climbing Kili

page 153

16 days | 50 service hours 9 days | 25 service hours

Mongolia Off the Map: Mongolia 22 days | 25 service hours

page 137 page 138

15 days

Laos

page 132

Sacred Valley Service

15 days | 20 service hours

Pacific Adrenaline

page 131

Peru

15 days | 25 service hours

page 106

23 days

18 days

15 days | 40 service hours

Fiji Diver’s Dream 9 days

Documenting Democracy

15 days | 20 service hours

Ridge to Reef Expedition 16 days | 12 service hours

Myanmar

9 days page 119

16 days


Thailand Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children

page 159

Intro to Community Service in Thailand

page 160

Community Health and Wilderness First Aid

page 161

Life on the Margin

page 163

The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

page 164

18 days | 39 service hours 11 days | 24 service hours 11 days | 18 service hours 18 days | 32 service hours 11 days | 17 service hours

Children’s Home and Elephant Sanctuary 18 days | 23 service hours

page 165 page 166

Thai Elephant Conservation Project

page 167

Elephants and Amazing Thailand

page 168

Amazing Thailand Adventure

page 169

Island Hopping and Diving

page 170

Backroads of Southeast Asia

page 171

Wonders and Riches of Southeast Asia

page 172

Ultimate Asia

page 173

11 days | 4 service hours

18 days | 4 service hours 11 days 18 days

25 days | 12 service hours 18 days 24 days

Spring Break Programs

page 27

Costa Rica: Surf and Service 8 days | 12 service hours

Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich 25 days | 54 service hours

learn more on page 25

Dominican Republic: Island Living and Eco-Service 8 days | 12 service hours

Fiji: Spring to Fiji

9 days | 15 service hours

Peru: Sacred Valley Service 8 days | 12 service hours

United States: Rebuilding New Orleans 8 days | 25 service hours

Young Explorers Programs

page 26

Costa Rica: Pura Vida! 16 days | 14 service hours

United States: California Rush 14 days | 10 service hours

United States: Key Largo MarineLab 7 days

College Programs

online only

Australia: The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve Project 16 days | 60 service hours

Thailand: Elephants and Amazing Thailand 15 days

Contact Us Enroll online by visiting rusticpathways.com/enroll. If you still can’t decide between programs, contact one of our global program experts.

United States Refugee Education Project

page 177

Rebuilding New Orleans

page 178

14 days | 35 service hours 14 days | 40 service hours

Off the Map: Alaska

page 179

California Rush

page 180

Key Largo MarineLab

page 181

14 days

14 days | 10 service hours 7 days

Our team of former program leaders and country operations staff will help you figure out which Rustic Pathways experience is right for you. They can answer your questions, discuss program options, make recommendations, or even help you enroll over the phone. Call 800.321.4353 or email rustic@rusticpathways.com. We also host online information sessions, Facebook Live broadcasts, and local meetups across the country to provide families with additional opportunities to connect with us. Visit rusticpathways.com/events and keep an eye on our social media pages for more information.


Welcome to Rustic Pathways! You’re holding our 2018 program catalog. In these pages you’ll find nearly 100 immersive travel experiences in 17 countries designed for all types of students. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or seasoned adventurer, service buff or adrenaline junkie, future educator or future business executive, we have the right program for you. Why do you want to travel? Think about it for a minute. At Rustic Pathways, we travel because exploring new places and interacting with people from other cultures provides opportunities to learn about ourselves, about others, and about the world in a way nothing else can. Traveling changes our perspectives and shapes who we become. We start to see the world in a completely different way and begin to understand our place in it. That’s why it’s so important to travel now—when you’re young enough to apply these lessons in ways that impact your life. Each year Rustic Pathways students return home with truly global perspectives. They become more accepting, more independent, more empathetic, and more inspired to be change makers— characteristics associated with future professional and interpersonal success (turn to page 20 to read more about how we measure these Student Learning Outcomes). Our intentionally-designed programs, long-term community partnerships, and year-round local staff uniquely position us to help students grow and develop as global citizens. So what are you waiting for? Dive into the following pages to learn more about Rustic Pathways and start planning your life-changing adventure. Learn about scholarship opportunities and fundraising, our industry-leading safety standards, and our exceptional program leaders and local staff members from the communities where we operate. Travel changed my life and helped me discover my passion and purpose. I know your travel experience will have a similar impact. And I speak for all of Rustic Pathways when I say we can’t wait to hear about it!

Chris Stakich Chief Executive Officer

To learn more, visit rusticpathways.com/ceo-letter.


u Australia: Great Barrier Reef Dive Expedition, page 35


How to Use This Catalog This catalog was designed to help you evaluate Rustic experiences and choose what’s right for you.

Rustic Pathways, the Company Learn more about who we are in the next eight pages: •

Rustic’s diverse team of global staff members live in more than 20 countries and work to guarantee you a transformative experience and ensure your health and safety

Our nonprofit Rustic Pathways Foundation identifies long-term community partners and collaborates to create sustainable service initiatives where we operate

We intentionally design programs with the right mix of service, adventure, and education to have the most impact on your personal growth

In addition, you can learn more about scholarships offered for gap year and high school programs, and our By Invitation Only Critical Issues program, which requires a recommendation from an educator. Our financial aid page also includes resources about how to fundraise for your Rustic trip, which many of our alumni have successfully done in the past.

Rustic Pathways Programs

Rustic Program Types

Our summer programs are organized by destination country. Each country features a side-by-side program comparison. Use this tool to compare program accommodation amenities, adventure and physicality, educational activities, on-program travel, community service hours, trip length, and cost.

Critical Issues Programs

Intentionally-designed programs that allow students to explore some of the most significant challenges facing our world.

page 22

Mystery Trip

An epic journey where each twist and turn is a puzzle your group will decipher as the experience unfolds.

page 23

The program comparison chart will help you determine whether you’re looking for a more introductory travel experience with familiar accommodations and fewer activities or something more active and immersive. Rustic has a variety of programs featured here that you can evaluate to find the perfect program for you.

Base House Programs

Ideal for first-time travelers, these programs feature the comforts of home during an international service program.

page 24

Young Explorers Programs

Introductory programs for students ages 12 to 14—because it’s never too early to start traveling.

page 26

If you’ve read through the catalog and still have questions, or just want to talk through program options, contact one of our global program experts. Call 800.321.4353 or email rustic@rusticpathways.com.

Spring Break Programs

One-week high school programs offered in March and April for adventurous Spring Break travelers.

page 27

High School Programs

Choose from nearly 100 programs in 17 countries—designed for service buffs, adrenaline junkies, and students in between.

page 28

12 800.321.4353


How Rustic Works Choose a Program and Enroll Find your perfect program—choose from 100+ in 17 countries—and enroll online or over the phone with one of our global travel experts.

Prepare for Your Trip We’ll send you a packing list, info about your destination country, passport instructions, and a pre-departure package with free travel swag.

Explore the World You’ll make lifelong friends, explore a new culture, complete meaningful service, and have adventures on an experience you’ll never forget.

Apply What You’ve Learned Return home with new passions and skills, join our Alumni Association to connect with peers, and support the Rustic Pathways Foundation.

Find Your Next Adventure As a Rustic alumni, you’re eligible for special discounts and offers to help you plan your next incredible travel experience.

Enroll in Connecting Programs Many Rustic programs are designed to interconnect allowing you to visit multiple countries or mix and match program types to maximize your summer. Review the dates in this catalog to see if your top choices are running back to back. rusticpathways.com 13


The Rustic Pathways Global Team Our exceptional staff members are the backbone of our organization. Their incredibly diverse backgrounds provide us with a profound understanding of the destinations we visit and offer our students one-of-a-kind experiences. Our staff members ensure our students have fun, empowering, and safe experiences while they travel, learn, and grow.

International Staff

Exceptional Program Leaders

Rustic Pathways spans the globe! Most of our staff members are based outside the United States. While the cultural traditions and accents of our staff vary from country to country, the shared values that define Rustic Pathways and make us exceptional extend across all borders. We build leadership teams that pair international staff members with local employees, resulting in diverse teams that blend an understanding of our students and their needs with deep local knowledge.

Our program leaders have backgrounds in teaching, experiential education, psychology, wilderness training, international development, and a variety of outdoor and educational fields. Each year, we hold in-country training sessions for both new and returning staff to uphold our standards in safety, student learning, community service, and the overall student experience. Our program leaders are dedicated to creating the best possible experiences for our students.

14 rusticpathways.com/team

The Rustic Pathways Team by the Numbers more than

staff members from more than

countries across the globe speaking more than

different languages


Chris Stakich

Oscar Hackett

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer

An expert on travel and service-based education, Chris leads Rustic Pathways with an eye for innovation and excellence. Since graduating from Harvard in 2001, Chris has worked in virtually all areas of the organization. He works diligently to develop future leaders who embody a broad perspective and compassion for the world. Chris lives in San Francisco with his wife and three sons.

A former Rustic student, “Oz” returns to us as our CFO. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He applies his expertise in finance, business, and law to streamline and grow Rustic’s operations. In his free time, Oz enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and two sons.

Brent Watkins

Ryan Gibbons

Vice President of Program Operations

Vice President of Business Operations

Brent holds a master’s in teaching from Johns Hopkins University where he is also on the adjunct faculty. Prior to joining Rustic Pathways, Brent managed the training and preparation of new teachers for Teach For America-Baltimore. With extensive experience in learning development and training, Brent ensures the highest level of quality across our programming.

With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Ryan brings his talents in marketing and photography to Rustic. Ryan spent four years building our creative team before taking on business operations. He now focuses his time on creating a worldclass client experience for every family at Rustic. He previously worked at NPR in Washington D.C., where he now resides.

Anna Beckerman

Andrea Bouch

Vice President of Sales

Rustic Pathways Foundation Executive Director

An alumna of School Year Abroad and extensive traveler, Anna has a dual degree in geoscience and Mandarin from Dartmouth. She applies her passion for experiential education and travel at Rustic Pathways where she provides opportunities for students and teachers to immerse themselves in new surroundings and engage powerfully with other cultures.

Andrea has spent her career exploring social impact and sustainable development while working in microfinance, impact investing, philanthropy, education, and tech. She holds an MBA in nonprofit management and international development from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where she was also an adjunct professor in social entrepreneurship.

Kevin Porter

Erin Murphy

Global Program Operations Director

Student Impact Director

Kevin is entering his eighth year with our program operations team. Based in Boston, he manages our team of diverse country directors and ensures the quality of the programs we deliver. Kevin previously worked with development organizations in East Africa, completed research for the UN, and oversaw wilderness leadership programs while attending Harvard University.

Erin is passionate about Rustic Pathways’ vision of a world where travel is an essential part of every student’s education. After graduating from Notre Dame, Erin spent three years in northeastern Thailand teaching business English through a Princeton in Asia Fellowship. Erin holds a master’s in education from Harvard and brings energy to our team of educators.

Dave Dennis

Pete Brown

Safety and Risk Management Director

Safety and Risk Management Manager

Dave brings more than 20 years of experience and a master’s degree in risk management to our operations team where he works with local leadership to ensure quality and consistency across all programs. Prior to joining us, he owned a firm specialized in implementing risk management and response plans for tour operators. Dave lives in Colorado with his family.

A graduate of St John’s University in Minnesota, Pete developed his first love of travel studying abroad in New Zealand and Australia. Those experiences kicked off an 18-year career in travel focusing on safety and risk management. Pete has guided groups across the United States, Canada, and way up north to Alaska. Pete now lives in New York with his wife and daughters.

Ann Dunphy

Lauren Anderson

Medical Screening Manager

Program Staffing and Training Director

Based in Wisconsin, Ann has been in emergency medicine for over 35 years and has been a professional EMT and Wilderness First Responder instructor for decades. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education with certifications in specialized emergency medicine. Ann teaches for Wilderness Medical Associates and picks up ambulance shifts to keep her skills sharp.

Lauren joined Rustic Pathways two weeks after her graduation from Emory University, and has been a member of our team since 2008! She spent her first six years in Costa Rica overseeing our operations and seasonal staff, and now manages staffing and training across our global programs. She lives in Chicago, travels often, and enjoys maintaining her Spanish fluency.

Brielle Friedman

Rachel Levin

Marketing Director

Alumni Engagement Coordinator

A Rustic alumna, Brielle returned to us after earning a degree in international relations and creative writing from Brown University. She channels her passion for travel, writing, and design with the creative team to spread the word about Rustic. She discovered salsa dancing in a small town in Guatemala’s highlands and now competes and performs across the U.S.

After three years of leading Rustic programs, Rachel’s commitment to students is top notch. A graduate of University of Vermont with degrees in sociology and Spanish, Rachel focuses her love of travel, writing, and unquenchable curiosity as our Alumni Engagement Coordinator. Based out of Jackson, WY, Rachel is a talented ceramicist and lover of the outdoors.

rusticpathways.com/team 15


Financial Aid

2017 Scholarships by the Numbers

Rustic Pathways believes every student should have the opportunity to learn through travel. We offer three types of scholarships for students who demonstrate financial need or merit achievements: •

Service Scholarships high school students

Gap Year Scholarships students who are 17 to 21 and have graduated from high school by the time their gap year starts

By Invitation Only Critical Issues Program Scholarships high school students from anywhere in the world

By Invitation Only Scholarships

Financial Aid Scholarships

Students are required to provide proof of family income and answer essay questions about why they deserve a scholarship. By Invitation Only Scholarships also require a nomination from a teacher, counselor, or coach. To apply for a scholarship, go to rusticpathways.com/scholarships. Click “Apply Now” for the scholarship that is the best fit for you and follow the instructions.

By Invitation Only Critical Issues Program Scholarship This year, our By Invitation Only program will invite a diverse group of promising change makers to explore the complicated history of racial identity and collective action in the United States. By Invitation Only: Race in America will expose students to ongoing issues related to race, class, and privilege—the continued impact of institutional racism, police violence, the emergence of new hate groups, and the role politics still plays in racial identity in the United States. Each year we create a By Invitation Only program and give it away completely free of charge as a way of ensuring the most promising change makers are exposed to the critical issues we believe will shape their generation. More than 400 students applied for last year’s program in Morocco exploring critical issues related to Islamic relations. Visit rusticpathways.com/by-invitation-only for more information.

Fundraising All students are also encouraged to review our fundraising resources. Many Rustic Pathways alumni have successfully raised some or all of the costs of their programs through a variety of fundraising methods. 1.

Create a crowdfunding page and spread the word on social.

2. Host an event and ask a local business to provide goods or services you can raffle. 3.

Make something to sell and explain to your customers why you’re fundraising.

For more fundraising ideas, tips about how to maximize your efforts, a potential donor checklist and sample letters you can use with friends and family, check out Rustic Pathways’ Fundraising Guide at rusticpathways.com/fundraising-guide. 16 rusticpathways.com/scholarships

Gap Year Scholarships


Safety and Risk Management As an industry leader, we take our students’ health and well-being very seriously. While we believe in the transformative power of expanding one’s boundaries, we are invested in managing the risks that come with travel. Our comprehensive training programs, year-round presence in countries, rigorous safety standards, and continued commitment to evaluating risks ensure we remain at the forefront of our industry.

Philosophy of Risk At Rustic Pathways, we understand that risk is an inherent part of our programs. We travel to remote destinations, expose our students to unfamiliar surroundings, and encourage personal growth through new experiences. When conducted responsibly, these experiences create student transformations that are impossible to replicate. For this reason, our risk management system remains a fundamental component of all our programs. It is driven by strong leadership and executed successfully by our teams and partners.

Four Tiers of Risk Management 1.

Our Safety and Risk Management Director works year-round to establish global policies, support local country teams, and train all levels of staff on emergency response activities.

2. Country Directors maintain risk management plans for each program offered and location visited, perform safety assessments on service providers, and monitor local conditions through a combination of on-the-ground contacts and U.S. Department of State agencies. 3.

Our Program Leaders are trained on localized risks and focus attention on the safety and well-being of our students. These combined efforts are complemented by our partnership with HX Global, the leading provider of international medical consultation, emergency evacuations, and urgent travel services.

4.

Each participant completes our medical and emergency information enrollment form. The information in each form is reviewed by our medical screening team well before the trip begins to ensure participation is safe and appropriate for each student.

Additional Safety Measures HX Global HX Global is a leading provider of international medical, security, and travel assistance. Students receive a membership with HX Global upon enrollment, providing access to travel safety and security information consultations, and vaccination recommendations. In country, HX Global is a 24/7 resource for our staff, including clinic visits with multilingual doctors and nurses, and emergency evacuation with a fleet of land and air ambulances.

Risk Management Plans Risk management plans identify known or foreseen risks and detail the protocols by which we respond to critical incidents and natural disasters. Each risk management plan details the risks and responses that are specific to that country and the activities that occur on each program. They also identify the nearest clinics and hospitals for every location that a program visits, so we know ahead of time where to go for help.

Rigorous Safety Training All full-time Program Leaders are Wilderness First Responder certified and all seasonal staff have at least First Aid and CPR certifications. Programs in rural areas are staffed with leaders that have the highest level of training. Additionally, all Program Leaders attend an in-country training during the summer that covers common medical issues, emergency scenarios, and critical incident protocols.

rusticpathways.com/safety 17


Three Pillars of Impact There are three ways we work to achieve our vision of creating a world where travel is a model of sustainable development that has a positive impact in the places where we operate programs: responsible travel, community service, and the Rustic Pathways Foundation.

Responsible Travel We are committed to decreasing our environmental footprint, stimulating local economies, supporting community initiatives, and teaching our students responsible travel practices. We travel to locations where tourists rarely go, buy goods from locally-owned businesses, and respect local cultures and customs. Our programs provide direct support for education, infrastructure development, conservation, and other community projects.

Community Service We believe through responsible travel and well-designed service initiatives our students can gain an understanding of pressing social and environmental challenges at a global level and help combat these challenges at a local level. We take a comprehensive approach to service, working with community partners from the design process to monitoring and evaluation. Our Community Impact team uses specific guidelines to identify potential partners and collaborates with local leaders to create impactful and sustainable projects. This practice has allowed Rustic to establish lasting partnerships with communities for years, and even decades in some cases. We first partnered with Fiji’s Nasivikoso Village in 1996 and our relationship with Ban Chiang Yuen in Thailand began in 1999. 1. Identify and Design Long-Term Projects with Local Partners We spend time with our local partners and community members on the ground to understand their priorities. In collaboration with partner communities, we design projects that both address needs and build on community strengths. 2. Provide Students Opportunities to Engage in Meaningful Service We collaborate with our partners to create well-defined roles for our students that harness their skills and ensure they make a meaningful contribution. Select programs based on your interests and skill sets, maximizing your experience and the success of your service initiatives.

Our community projects focus on the following types of service initiatives: Community Health and Social Services

3. Work Together to Achieve Community and Student Goals Students join our local partners during their programs and work collaboratively to achieve project goals. Both students and communities use the unique skills they bring and learn from and about each other.

Economic Development

4. Monitor and Evaluate the Process and Impact of Ongoing Initiatives We conduct regular formal and informal evaluations with project partners and beneficiaries, evaluate both the process and impact of our ongoing initiatives, and consistently use feedback to improve project design and implementation.

Education

5. Ensure Projects are Sustainable and Have a Lasting Impact We establish partnerships with a long-term view, recognizing that real change can take time. We provide ongoing support to partners and projects, take on initiatives in a range of areas, and work to ensure a lasting impact.

18 rusticpathways.com/pillars-of-impact

Environmental and Animal Welfare Infrastructure


The Rustic Pathways Foundation The Rustic Pathways Foundation is a key piece of how we support the communities where we travel. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that was started in 2006 because students returned from programs inspired and wanted to stay involved with the communities they visited with Rustic. Since then, the Foundation’s role has expanded to support year-round operations in the countries where Rustic students travel. Here’s how it works: • The Rustic Pathways Foundation works to extend our impact in the communities where we operate through locally-driven, year-round, sustainable projects that directly address a highpriority need. •

Students, alumni, and parents support these projects by donating and/or fundraising to collect even more donations. Rustic Pathways (the company) supports all administrative expenses of the Foundation, so 100 percent of donations go directly to projects on the ground. Finally, the Rustic Pathways Foundation collects all these funds and works with local partners to implement sustainable and impactful solutions.

2017 Regional Fundraising Campaigns

Global General Project Fund

Supporting high-priority needs around the world

Cambodia Education Fund

Making education a reality for young Cambodian students

Costa Rica Development Fund

Supporting essential human needs within rural communities

Dominican Republic Housing Fund

Providing safe and dignified housing for families

Fiji Education Fund

Bringing education closer to home for young Fijian students

India Development Fund

Bettering the lives of humans and animals across India

Laos Education Fund

Providing Laotian students with safe living conditions

Peru (Sacred Valley) Education Fund

Empowering young girls through secondary education

Thailand Education Fund

Supporting Thai students to further their education

U.S. (Baltimore) Refugee Fund

Helping young refugees get a fresh start in their new home

U.S. (New Orleans) Housing Fund

Bringing families home after natural disasters

Through the foundation, students have raised $400,000 to support the projects and communities where they traveled. To donate or become a Development Ambassador with your own personal fundraising page, visit rusticpathways.org. rusticpathways.org 19


Student Impact at Rustic Pathways Rustic Pathways programs are designed to foster habits of mind and characteristics that we believe will define enduring success. Learning moments and opportunities for growth are intentionally built into our programs to capitalize on the unique learning environment that travel provides. Our program leaders facilitate meaningful discussion and reflection to ensure students are making meaning of their experiences while traveling.

Student Learning Outcomes We believe in a key set of habits of mind and characteristics that enable students to achieve personal growth and make a positive contribution to our world. We call these our Student Learning Outcomes and they drive every aspect of our program design. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Openness to New Ideas and Experiences Sense of Wonderment A Belief that All People Are Connected by a Shared Humanity A Desire to Positively Impact the Lives of Others Empathy

6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Self-Awareness Humility Grit Independence Intercultural Competence

Why We Measure Student Impact Travel provides a learning environment uniquely positioned to help students develop critical non-cognitive skills, the habits of mind and characteristics mentioned above that our programs are intentionally designed to foster. Each year we actively innovate our program design with new focuses, community partnerships, discussion elements, and program leader education. Measuring the impact of these changes on students allows us to learn what program elements drive the most growth or what we could improve and apply these lessons to our programs for future students.

How We Measure Student Impact In 2016, we began measuring the growth our students experience in these learning outcomes as a result of their Rustic Pathways programs. To measure student impact, we survey students, parents, and program leaders to determine the impact of their Rustic programs on individual growth in the above Student Learning Outcomes. Quantitative data tells us what and how much students learn, while qualitative data illustrates how and why students learn. We survey students before and after they travel on their programs (and again three to six months after return) to capture quantitative data on both attitudes and self-reported probable actions to greater understand not only what students think they value, but also how their values may be demonstrated. Our qualitative methods help us better understand how students show growth in some learning outcomes and why that occurs. We capture feedback from students about their improvement in these learning outcomes, ask parents open-ended survey questions to assess their perceptions, and gather input from program leaders. 20 rusticpathways.com/student-impact


The Results of our Student Impact Evaluation We evaluated how often students felt they embraced behaviors associated with our student learning outcomes on a scale from one to six. Take “Openness” for example. A student whose answers to questions related to openness that averaged a one wouldn’t be open to many new ideas or new experiences. In comparison, a student whose answers averaged a six would likely be open to just about anything. The graph below indicates results collected from a series of evaluations that students completed before, immediately following, and three to six months following their Rustic Pathways programs last year.

Average Student Growth

Openness Sense of Wonderment

We found that students grew in all 10 Student Learning Outcomes after traveling with Rustic Pathways. Several months after their program, students showed additional growth in eight of the 10 outcomes, demonstrating they built on the skills they developed during their travel experience.

Shared Humanity Desire to Positively Impact Empathy Self-Awareness Humility Grit Independence Intercultural Competence

initial pre-trip survey

4

5

6 *on a scale from 1 to 6

Openness

Self-Awareness

30.9%

Sense of Wonderment

40.6%

Humility

Shared Humanity

39.7%

Grit

Desire to Positively Impact Empathy

Independence

44.8% 28.3%

Intercultural Competence

39.1% 30.9% 18.5% 25.8% 34.8%

post-trip survey delayed post-trip survey

Percentage of Students Demonstrating Growth Comparing pre-trip and delayed post-trip survey results, the largest percentage of students experienced growth in their desire to positively impact the lives of others.

Through our impact reporting, we’ve also learned that students of different ages grow in different ways. Younger students are typically more receptive to developing openness to new experiences and ideas, while older students trend more toward thinking about how they want to impact the world. The belief that we’re all connected by a shared humanity might help those students think about college majors and potential career choices. We’ve learned that additional growth is more likely to occur when students keep reflecting on their Rustic programs and identify new experiences that foster similar learning outcomes after they return home. We encourage students to participate in our Alumni Association, become Development Ambassadors for the Rustic Pathways Foundation, or get involved with a school group or community organization. And students should continue to travel and expose themselves to more new thoughts, ideas, and experiences.

The Future of Our Student Impact Evaluation As we gather more data and streamline our collection processes, we will be able to use student impact to further improve our programs and provide our students with growth and learning opportunities. We are specifically interested in using the ongoing impact assessment data to design program experiences that drive stronger—and more enduring—growth in the habits of mind and characteristics we believe are critical for students’ success as they tackle their generation’s most significant challenges.

rusticpathways.com/student-impact 21


Critical Issues Programs Today’s world faces exceedingly difficult and complex challenges. Human rights abuses, systemic inequality, environmental degradation—our global struggles cross borders, languages, and cultures, and the path forward isn’t always clear. We believe the best place to start is by developing an understanding of these issues as they are experienced in daily life. Our Critical Issues programs involve culturally-immersive experiences that bring together a group of likeminded peers, spark dialogue, and encourage participants to take action. If you’re interested in social justice, international relations, nonprofit work, or learning how to effect change, these programs are for you. They are designed for dedicated students who are socially conscious and aspire to make meaningful impact. Humanity needs committed leaders ready to take on the world’s most daunting issues. The first step toward change is out your front door.

2018 Critical Issues Programs Page

Key Components of Critical Issues Programs

Country

Program Name

Topic of Study

Cambodia

From the Ground Up

International and grassroots development

page 41

Costa Rica

Vanishing Cultures of the Rainforest

Cultural anthropology and protecting civilizations

page 60

Cuba

Innovation in Action

Social entrepreneurship and economic development

page 75

Dominican Republic

Life in the Bateyes

Citizenship and human rights for migrant communities

page 86

Dominican Republic

Public Health in the Caribbean

Public health as a human right

page 87

Fiji

Impact of Climate Change on Marine Environments

Global climate change and aquatic ecosystem conservation

page 102

Morocco

Peace, Wonder, and Understanding Islam

Religious persecution and multicultural acceptance

page 123

Myanmar

Documenting Democracy

Political change, storytelling, and democratization

page 131

4 Program Staff with intimate knowledge and experience with issue

Deliberate Focus on a specific global issue through a local lens 2

Peru

La Niña Andina

Access to education, gender equality, and women’s empowerment

page 137

Tanzania

The Maji Safi Project

Natural resources accessibility and preservation

page 148

Tanzania

African Wildlife Conservation

Conservation and community development

page 149

United States

Refugee Education Project

Refugee resettlement, access to education, and citizenship

page 177

u If you’re considering a Critical Issues program, check out By Invitation Only: Race in America. Students will explore ongoing issues related to race, class, and privilege. Our By Invitation Critical Issues Program Scholarship covers 100% of the program cost for students nominated by an educator. For more information, or to apply, got to rusticpathways.com/by-invitation-only.

22 rusticpathways.com/critical-issues

1

Pre-Travel Engagement through various learning opportunities 3 Program Activities and Discussion to expand understanding


We introduced the Mystery Trip last summer and within weeks of its release, students who understand that some of the best adventures lie in the unknown, grabbed all the spots for this epic travel experience. This isn’t our typical program. There is no itinerary—each day you’ll awake to clues and it will be up to your group to decipher them and unravel that day’s adventure. You’ll explore iconic sites, discover the remote villages of some of our most beloved staff members, and blaze a trail for future students by exploring destinations Rustic hasn’t visited.

Cost

$5,195 plus international airfare $650 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Starts Wednesday June 13 June 27

Ends Wednesday June 27 July 11

Your experience will begin one month prior to your departure date. We’ll send you a Patagonia duffel bag filled with subtle hints about your upcoming adventure and a packing list. After that, all you need to do is show up at the airport ready for an adventure you’ll never forget! rusticpathways.com/mystery 23


Rustic Pathways Base Houses At Rustic Pathways, you don’t need to choose between meaningful service and a comfortable living environment. Our purposefully-built service bases provide accommodation with familiar living standards and easy access to service projects with our long-standing partner communities. Our bases facilitate local immersion while ensuring our students can rest comfortably, play happily, serve wholeheartedly, and learn from their experiences.

Volcano and Rainforest Base

South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Momi Bay, Fiji

Situated on the edge of a rainforest reserve and under Arenal Volcano’s shadow, this base allows ample space for playing outdoor games, swimming in the pool, or relaxing in a hammock. Students sleep in bunk beds, and access hot showers and western toilets.

Perfectly balancing an island getaway with access to meaningful service, our South Pacific Eco-Lodge boasts bunk beds, solar-heated showers, and standard western toilets.

Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica

page 57

Sun, Sand, and International Service Intro to Community Service in Fiji

page 96 page 97

Ricefields Service Base

The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

Ban Chiang Yuen, Thailand

Mae Sariang, Thailand

Our largest service base, Ricefields features modern amenities, a Thai sala, café, swimming pool, sports fields, and even a few water buffalo. Students can expect single or bunk beds, hot showers, western toilets, and air conditioning.

Nestled in verdant rice fields and one of the largest teak structures in Thailand, the Children’s Home blends unique program experiences with simple accommodation. It features mattresses with mosquito nets, hot showers, and western toilets.

Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children Intro to Community Service in Thailand Community Health and Wilderness First Aid

Life on the Margin The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home Children’s Home and Elephant Sanctuary

page 159 page 160 page 161

24 rusticpathways.com/base-house

page 163 page 164 page 165


Additional Rustic Pathways Base Houses Country

Base House

Programs at the Base

Australia

Glass House Mountains Service Base

Golden Sands and Helping Hands

page 31

Cambodia

Kampong Cham Service Base

The Cambodia Children’s Project

page 42

Costa Rica

Surf and Service Base

Surf and Service

page 67

Dominican Republic

Mountain Air Service Base

Mountain Air and Village Service

page 85

Fiji

Highlands Service Base

Highlands and Islands Service Immersion

page 99

Fiji

Islands Service Base

Marine Service and Adventure Impact of Climate Change on Marine Environments

page 101 page 102

Laos

Mekong Service Base

Wonders of Laos

page 112

United States

New Orleans Service Base

Rebuilding New Orleans

page 178

rusticpathways.com/base-house 25


Young Explorers We believe traveling is the most important way students can enhance their education—and it’s never too early to start. Our Young Explorers programs are designed exclusively for students ages 12 to 13, and allow them to step outside their comfort zones and participate in culturally-immersive travel experiences that shape their perspectives of the world.

Costa Rica

Ages

12 to 13

Pura Vida!

Length

16 days

Practice Spanish, participate in meaningful community service, and adventure through breathtaking Costa Rica in this two-week program. Zip line through the rainforest canopy, learn to surf, and stroll through the La Paz Waterfall Gardens on the lookout for wildlife. Head to La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano, where you’ll participate in service projects at schools or community organizations. During your down time, play volleyball and soccer with Costa Rican children or relax on the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula and enjoy the laid-back Pacific vibe.

Service

Up to 14 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,395 plus airfare

United States

Ages

12 to 13

California Rush

Length

14 days

Journey through the diverse California terrain from towering mountains to the stunning beaches of the Pacific on this exciting road trip for budding environmentalists. Kayak Lake Tahoe, hike the Sierra Nevadas, explore Yosemite National Park, cruise the scenic Pacific Coast Highway between Big Sur and Monterey, surf in Santa Cruz, and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Participate in environmental service, such as building or restoring trails. Your adventure will expose you to California’s natural wonders and an experience you’ll never forget.

Service

Up to 10 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,195 plus airfare

United States

Ages

12 to 13

Key Largo MarineLab

Length

7 days

Discover a world beneath the Atlantic Ocean in this introduction to oceanography for students with a passion for marine conservation. After a snorkeling orientation and lessons about various marine ecological systems, you’ll partner with MarineLab, a local non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of sea resources. Swim through crystal waters to identify fish, coral, and other natural wildlife. Study seagrass ecology and learn about identifying phytoplankton and zooplankton in a lab. It’s all part of this unforgettable experience in sunny Florida.

Cost

$2,795 plus airfare

26 rusticpathways.com/young-explorers

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs. Starts Tuesday June 26 July 10 July 24

Ends Wednesday July 11 July 25 August 8

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights. Starts Saturday July 14

Ends Friday July 27

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights. Starts Saturday July 4

Ends Friday July 20


Spring Break Spring break programs are a great way for students to have a fun and rewarding alternative break experience. Designed for students to get the most out of one week, these programs are a great opportunity for experienced travelers to spend their spring break doing something meaningful or for first-time travelers to get their feet wet.

Costa Rica

Surf and Service Get to know the Tico people during construction, environmental, and social projects. Work on eco-service initiatives such as building trash cans out of recycled materials or volunteering in the nearby national park. After service, find out why Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise. With the help of our expert guides, you’ll be riding the Pacific waves in no time.

Dominican Republic

Island Living and Eco-Service Spend your spring break helping communities in the Dominican Republic, assisting local volunteers on mangrove restoration, beach cleanups, and other initiatives. Take a horseback ride to Las Galeras beach, discover ancient Taino paintings in hidden caves, and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Santo Domingo.

Fiji Islands

Spring to Fiji Experience Fiji through a combination of service projects and daily adventures. Zip line, kayak, and island hop with our happy-go-lucky staff then help the community with education and infrastructure projects. You’ll enjoy the relaxed pace of island life with plenty of time to lounge in the sun and share laughs with your fellow Rustic travelers.

Peru

Sacred Valley Service Trade in your typical beach spring break for the opportunity to hike and camp in the Andes and to work on community improvement projects. Play fútbol with new friends, learn traditional dances from local children, and practice Spanish with villagers. Finish your epic adventure by exploring Machu Picchu, one of the new wonders of the world.

United States

Rebuilding New Orleans Join local residents and community organizations in the ongoing Hurricane Katrina relief effort to rebuild and preserve the physical, ecological, and social structure of New Orleans. Assist with projects in schools, urban gardens, and neighborhoods. After service, listen to live jazz in the French Quarter and eat beignets at Café du Monde.

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$2,295 plus airfare

Length

8 days (departs Saturday)

Departures March 17, 31

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus airfare

Length

8 days (departs Saturday)

Departures March 17, 31 April 7

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus airfare

Length

9 days (departs Friday)

Departures March 16, 23, 30 April 6, 13

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus airfare

Length

8 days (departs Saturday)

Departures March 24, 31 April 7

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus airfare

Length

8 days (departs Saturday)

Departures March 24, 31 April 7, 14

rusticpathways.com/spring-break 27


u Island Survival, page 36


Australia


Australia The magical Land Down Under occupies a special place in our history as the birthplace of the very first Rustic Pathways program in 1983. As Rustic has grown across the world, Australia has remained at the heart of our operations, thanks to the tireless efforts of our energetic and expert Aussie staff. Whether on adventure or service trips, these blokes and sheilas bring with them years of expertise, knowledge, and an immense pride in their wild homeland.

majestic Australia is ___________.

Known for the wild outback and pristine coasts, programs here feature awesome outdoor activities like surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling, skydiving (optional), wildlife encounters, and riding through the Outback in a 4×4. No matter which program you choose, you’re bound to have a blast!

Population

22.99 million

Capital City

Canberra – the Australian Capital Territory

Currency

Aussie Dollar (AUD)

Language

English with a twist of Aussie slang

Attractions

The Great Barrier Reef – a 1,600-mile reef system visible from space

The Outback – home to Uluru and the world’s largest cattle ranches

Sydney Harbour – famous for its view of the Opera House

Sam Murray | Australia Country Director “Novice and experienced travelers alike will find themselves in awe of Australia. While some come for our beaches, reefs, and wildlife, others seek the dramatic gorges and red dirt of the Outback. In a country that’s nearly the size of the USA, yet with only 23 million people, it’s not hard to escape the crowds and find true adventure.” Sam joined Rustic Pathways in 2008 after working in outdoor education for 10 years. He serves as director for both inbound and outbound operations in Australia. With education degrees from La Trobe and Monash universities, Sam’s passion for travel and love of the outdoors inspires him to provide life-shaping programs for students. Sam loves sharing adventures with people and is proud to show off his beautiful country. He lives near Melbourne with his wife and three young girls.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

••••

•••

•••

15 hours

9 days

Awesome Aussie Service Adventure

•••

•••

•••

••••

25 hours

16 days

Epic Outback

•••••

•••

••••

15 hours

16 days

You, A ‘Roo, and Australia Zoo

••••

••

•••••

••

30 hours

16 days

Great Barrier Reef Dive Expedition

•••••

••••

••••

•••

15 hours

16 days

Island Survival

•••••

•••••

•••

20 hours

16 days

Seven Wonders of Australia

••••

•••••

•••

•••••

15 hours

16 days

Golden Sands and Helping Hands

30 australia@rusticpathways.com

Cost $2,495 + airfare

$4,595 + airfare

$4,7,95 + airfare

$4,595 + airfare

$8,995 + airfare

$4,795 + airfare

$5,995 + airfare


Australia

Golden Sands and Helping Hands Participate in service and experience Aussie wildlife during this unique program

Support ongoing community service projects with local primary schools and environmental organizations in southeast Queensland.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Live at the Rustic Pathways Glass House Mountains Base and wake up to views of mountains through the swaying native trees.

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Discover Australian wildlife at world-renowned Australia Zoo and explore breathtaking Noosa National Park.

Cost

$2,495 plus international airfare

Learn about ancient Aboriginal culture, visit a working dairy farm, explore local markets for treasures, surf at pristine golden sand beaches, and immerse yourself in Aussie life. Experience a week living like an Aussie at Rustic’s picturesque Glass House Mountains Service Base. Explore the golden sand beaches of the Sunshine Coast while supporting ongoing educational and environmental service projects. Spend three days assisting at a school, working on wildlife conservation projects, or providing food relief in the community. Outside of service, get to know the locals, visit a dairy farm, learn to surf, attend a workshop about Aboriginal culture and history, visit Australia Zoo, and watch the sun set over mountain peaks with new mates while hearing stories of the traditional custodians of the land.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday July 10 July 17

Returns Wednesday July 18 July 25

Connects well with‌ Awesome Aussie Service Adventure Island Survival Seven Wonders of Australia

p. 32 p. 36 p. 37

Base House Program: Glass House Mountains Service Base rusticpathways.com/au 31


Australia

Awesome Aussie Service Adventure Inspiring service, great surfing, and unforgettable Aussie adventure

Ages

14 and up

Experience a taste of farm life at an Australian bush camp.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Volunteer at elementary schools, spend an afternoon playing basketball with the Sunshine Coast Special Olympics team, and support low-income families.

Cost

Visit Australia Zoo where you’ll feed kangaroos, watch the famous crocodile show, get up close to furry friends, and visit a world-leading wildlife hospital

$4,495 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 August 8

Connects well with… You, A ‘Roo, and Australia Zoo

p. 34

Surf some of the country’s best breaks with expert Aussie surf coaches. Research with marine biologists on Stradbroke Island, enjoy close encounters with humpback whales and dolphins, and sandboard down massive dunes. Join us for an unforgettable adventure on the Sunshine Coast! Experience some of Australia’s most beloved coastlines, iconic cities, and remote beaches while contributing to diverse community service projects. Volunteer at nearby elementary schools and coach special-needs youth at a sports center. You’ll also help with marine mammal research and coastal restoration projects with local organizations. When you aren’t engaged in service activities, you’ll explore the region with new friends, encounter local wildlife, tour the diverse landscapes of Stradbroke Island, visit markets, sandboard massive dunes, and learn to surf!

32 australia@rusticpathways.com


Australia

Epic Outback The quintessential Rustic adventure in the remote Australian Outback

Travel in the footsteps of the original Rustic Pathways tours that kick-started our company more than three decades ago.

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Venture across the Outback in a 4×4 to discover the Kimberley—a wild and remote region of waterfalls, cattle ranches, cowboys, dingoes, kangaroos, and crocs.

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Enrich the lives of Aboriginal children through social service projects, provide meals for disadvantaged communities, and volunteer at a wildlife rescue.

Cost

$4,795 plus international airfare $ 1,295  internal airfare

Discover Australia’s ancient Aboriginal culture and partake in a workshop to learn about its traditions and customs.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Step off the beaten path and into the wild heart of Australia. This program is exactly what it claims to be—an epic Outback adventure. You’ll road-trip by 4×4 down dirt in the footsteps of Rustic’s very first adventure programs. Swim in billabongs, camp in swags under the stars, hike into spectacular gorges, and marvel at waterfalls. Along the way, listen to dingoes howling in the night, spot wild animals, and share stories around the campfire. In several towns, you’ll contribute to environmental and social service projects with Aboriginals, the guardians of a culture passed down for more than 50,000 years. Learn basket weaving, spear throwing, and how to play a didgeridoo. Work with partner organizations to run after-school activities for the children of Kununurra. Get to know real cowboys, learn how to muster cattle, ride horses (add-on), and cruise across Lake Argyle at sunset.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3 July 17

Returns Wednesday July 4 July 18 August 1

u Travel has taught me the importance of loving everyone from all walks of life and has shown me the shared humanity between people from all corners of the world. Jessica Galen | Menlo Park, California

rusticpathways.com/au 33


Australia

You, A ‘Roo, and Australia Zoo A zoo keeping and conservation program at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo

Ages

16 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 30 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare

Enjoy the ultimate backstage pass at Australia Zoo, one of the world’s most respected animal conservation destinations. Experience a day in the life of a zookeeper and learn what it’s like caring for a variety of Aussie wildlife. Discover the incredible work being done at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and see firsthand how they care for sick and endangered species at this world-class facility.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8

Connects well with… Epic Outback Island Survival

p. 33 p. 36

Channel your passion for wildlife during this program designed for animal lovers interested in zoology, ecology, conservation, or veterinary science. After orientation, you’ll help prepare food and enrichment for amazing wildlife, watch keepers present guest talks, and assist with interactive animal enclosures. Volunteer alongside keepers in a multitude of tasks like gardening, mulching, pond scrubbing, raking, and poop scooping—it’s all part of the experience! Meet some of the majestic creatures that call Australia home and return knowing what it’s really like to care for wildlife at a zoo. After five days volunteering at Australia Zoo, explore Moreton Island, sandboard, snorkel, feed a wild dolphin, and use your new skills caring for wildlife at a grassroots animal rehabilitation center. College Program: For students 18 and over we offer a special version of this program, The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve Project, with session starting June 26. For more information, please visit rusticpathways.com/college.

34 australia@rusticpathways.com


Australia

Great Barrier Reef Dive Expedition Swim with whales and dive the Great Barrier Reef on an extreme aquatic adventure

Snorkel with the whales and help record data about their behavior during this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ages

15 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Scuba dive in the Coral Sea and discover incredible marine life around the largest reef system on the planet—the Great Barrier Reef.

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Develop your knowledge of marine biology, learn about environmental threats, and think critically about solutions to conservation issues.

Cost

$8,995 plus international airfare $495 internal airfare

Join the ultimate dive adventure on the Great Barrier Reef. Get certified as an open water diver or take an advanced course during your first live-aboard boat trip. Then venture into the far reaches of the Coral Sea on a second four-day live-aboard trip to snorkel with dwarf minke whales, a type of baleen whale, that visit the reef along their migratory path each year from June to August. When not swimming with whales and other marine animals, you’ll have the opportunity to join marine biologists from James Cook University to help evaluate the sustainable management of ecotourism and go on magical night dives. Marvel at the colorful reefs from above on your return flight to Cairns, then head into the Daintree Rainforest to top off your Aussie adventure with whitewater rafting.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12

Returns Wednesday June 27

Connects well with… Seven Wonders of Australia

p. 37

rusticpathways.com/au 35


Australia

Island Survival The ultimate challenge for body, mind, and soul

Ages

15 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 20 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,795 plus international airfare $595  internal airfare

Maroon yourself on “Rustic Island”—a remote island in the southern Great Barrier Reef, 45 nautical miles off the coast of Australia. Challenge yourself physically and mentally during Rustic’s survival program on a 13-hectare coral cay surrounded by reef and lagoon. Learn essential survival skills from Australian Army specialists, build shelters, catch fish, and cook your own food.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday July 17

Returns Wednesday August 1

Connects well with… Golden Sands and Helping Hands

p. 31

u This program showed me that when you get out of your comfort zone and really push yourself, you become comfortable pretty much everywhere and really grow and mature. Mehmet Inceoglu | Istanbul, Turkey

Complete a variety of environmental restoration projects and collect data during marine surveys in the lagoon. Fly to Australia then get dropped on a remote island off the coast with only five survival items of your choice. Think of this unique challenge as Rustic’s version of “Survivor.” For 8 days, your group will inhabit “Rustic Island,” surrounded by coral reef and turquoise lagoons. Undertake a series of physical and mental challenges that are carefully designed and coordinated by Australian Army survival specialists. Develop valuable life skills, learn about yourself, and build friendships through intense teamwork activities and challenges. Between challenges, you’ll watch the sun rise and set over the ocean, snorkel on the reefs, observe marine life, and contribute to environmental projects to restore this island paradise. Are you ready for Island Survival?

36 australia@rusticpathways.com


Australia

Seven Wonders of Australia The ultimate journey through the landscapes of the land Down Under

Discover Australia’s natural wonders and five amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Ages

15 and up

Snorkel or scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef and learn about the marine ecosystem.

Length

16 days from the United States

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest rainforest on Earth, and help preserve its tropical environment.

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Explore the Outback, visit Ayers Rock, hike along the rim of Kings Canyon, and learn about bush food from local Aborigines.

Cost

$5,995 plus international airfare $1,295 internal airfare

Tour Sydney and see the iconic Opera House, climb the Harbour Bridge, and take a ferry cruise through the beautiful harbor.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Experience the wonders of Australia, including the world’s oldest rainforest and largest reef system. From the cities to the Outback, you’ll travel far and see more in two weeks than many do in a lifetime. After a stop in Brisbane, fly up to Cairns—the adventure capital of Australia and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef—where you can snorkel or opt to scuba dive in a revered aquatic landscape. Then visit the Daintree where the rainforest meets the reef. In the Outback, you’ll hike through canyons, swim in natural springs, explore Kata Tjuta, see the iconic Ayers Rock, and learn about Aboriginal culture. Bid Australia farewell among the landmarks of Sydney, including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

rusticpathways.com/au 37


u Snapshots of Southeast Asia, page 45


Cambodia


Cambodia Cambodia is a country with a dark past but a bright future. Rustic Pathways has partnered with social enterprises and local community development organizations to help our students gain a true understanding of the beautiful yet complex realities of Cambodia. Our staff members are skilled at teaching while having fun, and students often leave with a changed perspective about their own lives.

eye opening Cambodia is _______________.

The ancient temples of Angkor Wat are jaw-dropping, the rural countryside shimmers with brilliant green rice fields, and the incredibly friendly locals are eager to show you around. Amongst the beauty, you’ll also be exposed to the pressing social and economic issues facing the country. The contrast can be shocking, but it can also be positively transformational.

Population

15.96 million

Capital City

Phnom Penh

Currency

Riel (KHR)

Languages

About 95 percent speak Khmer, English is widely spoken, as well as some French

Attractions

Angkor Wat – one of the largest religious structures ever constructed

Tonle Sap – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO biosphere reserve

Alexis Simchak | Cambodia Country Director “Through the years, Cambodia has become my second home. From the moment I first stepped foot in country, never have I felt more welcomed in another land where the people I’ve met along the way have sincerely become my family. That’s simply how Cambodia operates.” Alexis has extensive experience in Southeast Asia where she has worked since 2012 leading programs and managing operations in Cambodia. Discovering her passion for travel and service learning at a young age, Lexi loves exploring new places and uncovering the hidden gems. She is a proud alumna of Penn State and her love for Cambodia brings her dedication to service and cultural exchange to our programs here.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

From the Ground Up

••

•••

••••

••••

35 hours

18 days

$4,595

The Cambodia Children’s Project

••••

•••

•••

•••

36 hours

18 days

$3,695

Floating Village Service Expedition

••••

•••••

••••

30 hours

18 days

$3,795

Off the Map: Cambodia

•••••

•••

•••••

42 hours

25 days

$4,995

Snapshots of Southeast Asia

••

•••••

•••••

N/A

18 days

$4,795

40 cambodia@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


Cambodia

From the Ground Up An advanced seminar about grassroots development initiatives

Discover how international organizations work to address humanitarian issues and real-world challenges facing Cambodia.

Ages

15 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Engage with local grassroots NGOs and learn how they transform communities through sustainable development initiatives.

Service

Up to 35 community service hours awarded

Immerse yourself in rural life as you live and work alongside village members on a sustainable community-driven service project.

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare

Marvel at the ruins of Angkor Wat, the legendary relic of Khmer architecture. Channel your passion for service and feed your interest in real-world development projects on this intensive program. Spend the first week in Phnom Penh visiting NGOs to gain a better understanding of their role in modern Cambodian society and the complexities of international development. After your thought-provoking week in the nation’s capital, you’ll move to your new home in a rural Khmer village. Work alongside community members and develop skills for your own service initiatives. You’ll leave Cambodia with the tools to think critically about international development, NGOs, and the most pressing global concerns. Critical Issues Program International and grassroots development

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday July 10

Returns Friday July 27

Connects well with… Cambodian Children’s Project

p. 42

u From the Ground Up was absolutely amazing. I didn’t learn about the history and culture of Cambodia; I was immersed in it. The stories I heard and experienced in Cambodia will forever be with me. Catherine Von Dohlen | Austin, Texas

rusticpathways.com/kh 41


Cambodia

The Cambodia Children’s Project Enrich the lives of children and expand their access to education

Ages

14 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Service

Up to 36 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,695 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26

Returns Friday June 29 July 13

Connects well with… The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home p. 164

u This program affected my views of the world and taught me many valuable lessons including to never take anything for granted. Ines Ladha | Muscat, Oman

Experience Cambodian culture while staying at Rustic’s Kampong Cham Base House, a traditional Khmer house. Connect with Cambodian students as you participate in fun and engaging educational and youth empowerment activities. Explore the ancient temple of Angkor Wat and bustling markets of Siem Reap. Partner with the NGO Buddhism for Social Development Action (BSDA), a grassroots organization founded by a group of monks to empower and support women, children, and marginalized members of the Kampong Cham community. Alongside the BSDA, you’ll put your leadership skills into practice by organizing educational exchange activities for local students. Lead a range of programming focusing on providing life skills to the students at BSDA’s three community centers. In addition, work on infrastructure improvement projects at the centers. After challenging but fulfilling service, head north to the city of Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat. Then enjoy an unforgettable day exploring local markets and some of Cambodia’s renowned temples.

Base House Program: Kampong Cham Base

42 cambodia@rusticpathways.com


Cambodia

Floating Village Service Expedition Experience Cambodian river life and lend a hand to communities in need

Cruise past floating villages and immerse yourself in Cambodian daily life as you work alongside community members in Prek Toal to build new floating homes. Learn about Cambodia’s ancient culture and tumultuous past during visits to Phnom Penh’s museums and the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat. Join one of our most unique service adventures aboard Rustic Pathways’ boat in Cambodia. Travel around Tonle Sap Lake and visit villages where thousands of families live and work in homes that float like houseboats. At night, sleep at homestays with trusted host families and immerse yourself in their day-to-day lives. You’ll work alongside these families to repair and build new floating homes for the community. After your service, take time to visit Siem Reap, one of Cambodia’s legendary destinations, and stroll through the breathtaking stone fortresses of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm. Complete your trip with a traditional Cambodian feast and a visit to the local markets.

Sothy Than | Cambodia Program Manager

Ages

14 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Service

Up to 30 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday July 3 July 17

Returns Friday July 14 August 3

Connects well with… The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home p. 164 Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich p. 166

Sothy was raised in the Battambang countryside where he worked his way up through school and became a champion kickboxer. In addition to his native Khmer, Sothy learned English and Thai from the monks at Phreah Phrom Rach Pagoda. He loves sharing the wonders of his country with students on our Floating Village program.

rusticpathways.com/kh 43


Cambodia

Off the Map: Cambodia Journey through remote Cambodia to explore the country’s rich cultural tapestry

Ages

14 and up

Length

25 days from the United States

Service

Up to 42 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,995 plus international airfare

Explore the wonders of the Kingdom of Cambodia, from the bustling streets of Phnom Penh to the relaxing beaches of Sihanoukville. Learn about the resilient Khmer culture from our local staff and expert program leaders—a history you won’t soon forget. Wander the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, and marvel at its magnificent spires and myriad ruins.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12

Returns Friday July 6

Connects well with… Floating Village Service Expedition

p. 43

u I’m grateful for the amazing opportunity I was given to have such an unimaginable learning experience in Cambodia. Traveling teaches you more than any classroom could. Sage Spalter | Berkeley, California

Work with community members on educational exchange and construction initiatives around the country. Venture off the beaten path in small Khmer villages where you’ll discover what life is like in rural Cambodia. After a dose of history in Phnom Penh and a few days exploring Otres Beach, you’ll head deep into rugged Mondulkiri province to work on service projects. Travel even farther north to the rarely visited Ratanakiri province to explore Cambodia’s untouched natural wonders including remote jungle waterfalls and ancient volcanic lakes. Conclude your adventure by traveling by boat to the floating village region around Tonle Sap Lake where you’ll help build houses for the community. As you visit various villages, you’ll get to know friendly people, eat delicious local food, and gain a deep appreciation of life in Cambodia—past and present.

44 cambodia@rusticpathways.com


Cambodia

Snapshots of Southeast Asia A professionally led photo expedition through Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam

Experience Cambodia’s splendor in the ruins of Angkor Wat, bustling Phnom Penh, the Killing Fields, and the spectacular waters of Tonle Sap Lake.

Ages

15 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Photograph French colonial architecture, cascading waterfalls, and hundreds of orange-robed monks in the town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Cost

$4,795 plus international airfare $595 internal airfare

Stroll the bazaars of old Hanoi, taste delicious Vietnamese food, explore awe-inspiring natural beauty, and learn about the history of Vietnam.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Improve your skills with help from professional photographers and return with powerful images from across Southeast Asia. Trek across Southeast Asia to see the majestic ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the monks of Luang Prabang, and the lively atmosphere of Hanoi during this traveling photography workshop. Explore the wonders of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, and learn how to capture incredible sights and document the stories of people you meet. You’ll learn technical skills and photojournalism techniques from our skilled international photo guides. You’ll access remote villages and attractions that most tourists are not able to experience. In verdant rice fields and bustling city streets, you’ll capture the vibrant culture of Southeast Asia through your lens and leave with an incredible portfolio.

Departs Tuesday July 3

Returns Friday July 20

u All of the traveling was handled impeccably by the staff and all of the activities were fulfilling and so much fun. I learned so much on my program, both about myself and taking photos. Jane Gamble | San Francisco, California

rusticpathways.com/kh 45


u Panda Conservation and Wild China, page 50


China


China

Population

1.37 billion

Capital City Beijing

Our programs here expose students to the wonders of China. We’ve built partnerships with schools, language teachers, NGOs, and conservation groups to offer a wide range of perspectives on the nation. Students venture outside of the big cities to explore, learn, and conduct service in out-of-the-way places such as Yunnan province. They spend time with local people in our partner communities and leave with a depth of knowledge about the country and its culture.

China is ___________. magical

Currency

Renminbi (CNY)

Languages

Mandarin Chinese and numerous regional dialects

Attractions

The Great Wall – built to protect China in the third century A.D.

Terracotta Warriors – a 2,000-yearold emperor’s army

The Forbidden City – the best preserved imperial palace in China

From giant pandas to giant cities, everything about China is grand. You’ll be surrounded by the lights and energy of Shanghai and Beijing one day and enveloped in the serene beauty of the rural countryside the next. Historic icons such as the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors will be even more impressive.

Kevin Wang | China Country Manager “I’m always excited to see my home country though our students’ eyes and amazed by how much they change throughout their programs. They leave saying they’re going to introduce what they learned to their families. These moments make me proud. I feel like our students expand their view of the world in a way that defines Rustic Pathways.” Originating from the village of Minqin, Gansu, China, Kevin lead Rustic programs here over the past five years before becoming our China Country Manager. Kevin is a China history expert and loves to share his passion for his country with everyone he meets. Kevin has also been known to start a conga line during a traditional Chinese hot pot feast.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

Chinese Language Immersion

••••

•••••

N/A

15 days

$3,895+

Panda Conservation and Wild China

•••

•••

•••

•••

N/A

15 days

$4,595

Silk Road Service

•••

•••••

•••

•••

15 hours

15 days

$4,395

48 china@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


China

Chinese Language Immersion Small group classes or private instruction for a custom learning environment

Learn from university faculty and native speakers in settings designed to boost your Mandarin conversational skills. Enjoy the culture alongside program leaders who will challenge you to use your language skills in a variety of settings. Practice your Mandarin while ordering dinner, chatting with new friends, or playing basketball with local students. Explore the Great Wall of China and the hutongs of Beijing. Dive into this program designed to accommodate almost any proficiency level in Mandarin, the world’s most widely spoken language. At the start of the program, you’ll take an assessment and decide whether you want to learn through one-on-one instruction or in a class of five to ten students. Every day after class, you’ll try activities such as calligraphy and kung fu, or set out to explore and apply your language skills in the real world. Try delicious Chinese hot pot, embrace the hustle and bustle of the city, and learn how to bargain in colorful markets. Finish your experience with a visit to a remote section of the Great Wall and leave China with vastly improved Mandarin and a greater understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture and history.

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Language Up to 28 hours classroom instruction Cost

$3,895 group instruction $4,295 private instruction $200 internal airfare plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Wednesday June 27 July 25

Returns Wednesday July 11 August 8

Connects well with… Panda Conservation and Wild China Silk Road Service

p. 50 p. 51

rusticpathways.com/cn 49


China

Panda Conservation and Wild China Help protect China’s iconic and endangered giant pandas

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare $650 internal airfare

Learn how to protect and care for this endangered species at a world-renowned panda conservation center. Gain knowledge through observations of panda behavior, discussions on ecological topics with experts, and visits to breathtaking national parks.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Wednesday June 13 July 11

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 25

Connects well with… Silk Road Service

p. 51

u This program changed my perceptions on not only China, but the world. Almost immediately my expectations were shattered when I saw the mountains and temples and met our local guide. Eva Houser | Athens, Georgia

Assist researchers and handlers with the pandas by cleaning facilities, preparing food, and feeding these near-extinct animals. Experience the natural landscapes and cultural highlights of China during visits to a glacier, the vast Tibetan Steppe, and Sichuan province. Help giant panda caretakers in their daily responsibilities looking after perhaps the world’s most famous and beloved endangered mammals. Low birth rates coupled with bamboo forest depletion have left these gentle creatures struggling to survive. The Chinese government estimates there are just 1,600 giant pandas living in the wild today. You’ll prepare their food and feed them (they eat a lot!), clean their living quarters, and assist researchers by recording observational data on their behavior. Round out your time in Sichuan province with visits to some of the region’s natural wonders, including glaciers and the vast Tibetan Steppe.

50 china@rusticpathways.com


China

Silk Road Service An off-the-tourist-track service adventure through the Yunnan Province

Volunteer with NGOs focused on projects that support local communities and foster environmental protection.

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Hike ancient Naxi trails along the edge of Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest and most scenic gorges in the world.

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Ride on horseback along the Southern Silk Road, an ancient network of trade routes, into the remote Bai village of Ma Ping Guan for an overnight stay.

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare $830 internal airfare

Explore the ancient towns of Dali, Lijiang, and Shaxi and experience the cultures of China’s ethnic minorities including the Yi, Bai, and Naxi peoples.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Leave the skyscrapers of Shanghai behind as you join our grand service adventure through China’s famed Yunnan province. Yunnan is one of China’s most diverse provinces both in its ethnic makeup and its breathtaking landscapes. You’ll fly into Kunming, the heart of Yunnan and a major intersection of China’s diverse cultures. For the next two weeks, you’ll spend time experiencing the patchwork of people that makes up Yunnan province, volunteering with local NGOs to support local communities and foster environmental protection, and exploring the natural wonders of this beautiful province. As you travel from the city of Kunming to more rural communities, you just may fall in love with this special corner of China.

Departs Wednesday July 11

Returns Wednesday July 25

Connects well with… Chinese Language Immersion

p. 49

u The friendships that I made on my Rustic program, formed through scenic hikes, muddy adventures, and meaningful service, were some of the closest and most meaningful that I’ve had. Tina Barrios | Miami, Florida

rusticpathways.com/cn 51


u Surf and Service, page 67


Costa Rica


Costa Rica Rustic opened programs in Costa Rica in 2003. Since then, we’ve expanded our operations to cover the most spectacular regions of this country. From the Pacific to the Caribbean, from rainforests to rivers, and from service to adventure, our programs here encompass the breadth of what Costa Rica has to offer. Our local staff members challenge veteran travelers with new experiences and introduce more novice adventurers to the joys of travel.

Population

4.87 million

Capital City

San José

Currency

Colon (CRC)

Language

Spanish

Attractions

Arenal Volcano – the youngest and most active of all the volcanoes in Costa Rica

Corcovado National Park – a showcase of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and commitment to conservation

Pacuare River – known as Costa Rica’s best whitewater river

pura vida Costa Rica is _____________.

With our large staff of local Ticos, you’ll quickly feel at home in Costa Rica and easily slip into the lifestyle of pura vida, a phrase that literally means “pure life” and suggests living life to the fullest. You’ll embrace this mindset as you learn to relax, appreciate nature, and let the good times roll.

Ricardo Romero | Costa Rica Country Director “Discover the warmth and laid-back Tico culture in the beaches, towns, and jungles of Costa Rica. Experience for yourself the power of sustainable environmental development programs. Contribute to sea turtle conservation efforts, immerse yourself in the indigenous culture of the Bribri, hone your Spanish skills through immersive homestays, or explore the jungle and zip line through the rainforest.” Ricardo joined Rustic Pathways in 2005 after working in Costa Rica’s rafting industry for a decade. Ricardo has worn many hats on our team, from community service coordinator to sales representative and just about everything in between. He is an avid outdoorsman and holds a degree in business from the University of Costa Rica.

54 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

••••

•••••

•••

••

22 hours

9 days

Spanish Language Immersion

•••

•••

•••••

N/A

16 days

Ramp Up Your Spanish

•••

•••

•••••

N/A

16 days

•••

•••

••••

•••

12 hours

16 days

Bribri Indigenous Culture and Service

••

•••••

•••

••••

15 hours

9 days

Sarapiquí: A Tropical Service Adventure

•••

•••••

•••

25 hours

9 days

Young Explorers: Pura Vida!

•••••

••••

••

••••

14 hours

16 days

Summer Camp Leadership in Costa Rica

••••

•••

••

60 hours

16 days

Heart of the Jungle

••

•••••

•••

••••

25 hours

16 days

Traveling Soccer and Service Team

•••

••••

•••

••••

25 hours

16 days

••••

•••••

•••••

12 hours

9 days

Nicoya Turtle Expedition

••••

•••

•••••

••

35 hours

16 days

Turtle Conservation Project

••

•••

••••

••

30 hours

9 days

Costa Rican Adventurer

••••

•••••

••••

N/A

16 days

Caribbean Adrenaline

•••••

•••••

••••

N/A

9 days

Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica

Vanishing Cultures of the Rainforest

Surf and Service

Cost $1,995 + airfare

$3,795+ + airfare

$1,995 + airfare

$4,495 + airfare

$2,495 + airfare

$2,495 + airfare

$4,395 + airfare

$4,395 + airfare

$4,395 + airfare

$3,995 + airfare

$2,695 + airfare

$3,995 + airfare

$2,195 + airfare

$4,595 + airfare

$2,795 + airfare

Team Costa Rica at a Glance About 50 full-time and seasonal staff members support our summer operations throughout Costa Rica. Of those, half are native Costa Ricans and many live in communities where Rustic programs take place. And a majority of the host families who invite Rustic students into their homes are old friends of current staff members. Tourism is a major part of Costa Rica’s economy and many of our full-time staff and local program leaders have degrees in sustainable tourism and ecotourism. Other seasonal program leaders have backgrounds in teaching and outdoor education. All of our staff in share a passion for nature, sustainability, and giving back to our community partners—characteristics they channel to ensure our students have impactful experiences each summer in Costa Rica. rusticpathways.com/cr 55


Volcano and Rainforest Service Base Situated on the edge of a beautiful rainforest reserve beneath the famous Arenal Volcano, the Rustic Pathways Volcano and Rainforest Service Base is the perfect hub for summer service and adventure. You’ll be within minutes of incredible service opportunities as well as plenty of heart-pumping adventure activities such as zip lining, rafting, and hiking. The base is comprised of two stone and wood houses, a freshwater swimming pool, a soccer field, a volleyball court, several ponds, a small waterfall, and a lush rainforest for a backyard. The houses are equipped with electricity, private bathrooms with hot water showers, flush toilets, and fans. Enjoy delicious meals prepared fresh daily while socializing with your new friends. Carolina Bolaños | Costa Rica Program Manager Carolina jokes that she was born with a backpack on her back. With a background in business from the Universidad Interamericana, Carolina’s understanding of complex logistics and perfect English is essential to our Intro to Community Service program. You will know her by constant smile and her trustworthy character.

Service Initiatives Education: Serve as English language conversation partners with local students and reinforce the lessons they are learning in their classrooms. Many students in Costa Rica study English in school to develop skills necessary for future employment opportunities. Environment: Costa Rica is world-renowned for its dedication to environmental protection. Help reforest farms in support of the national Bandera Azul program, work with local students to establish school gardens, or create trash cans out of repurposed water bottles to raise awareness. Infrastructure: Work on small scale construction projects to create more effective learning environments for students in local schools, or work with our rural community partners to support infrastructure development projects. In the past, we have built new classrooms, installed tile floors and windows, and assisted in painting projects. We’ve also assisted community leaders with building projects such as the construction of a tilapia fish farm and a kitchen at a community center.

56 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica Exciting service and thrilling adventure at the Volcano and Rainforest Service Base

Live surrounded by lush rainforest in our comfortable base beneath Arenal Volcano.

Ages

14 and up

Play with school children as you enhance their day with much-needed English language enrichment activities.

Length

9 days from the United States

Service

Up to 22 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare

Savor the tastes of tropical fruits while sipping smoothies and relaxing in natural hot springs during your breaks from service. Participate in a variety of adventure activities like zip lining over the jungle canopy and whitewater rafting the class III and IV rapids of the Sarapiquí River. Work on a combination of service projects throughout your week at Rustic’s Volcano and Rainforest Service Base in La Fortuna. Whether helping out with service initiatives or participating in cross-cultural experiences, you’ll contribute positively to the community, practice your Spanish, and make new Tico friends. You’ll work hard and still have the opportunity to enjoy Costa Rica’s many adventure activities. Take a trip to secluded hot springs or hike through the rainforest. After action-packed days, relax in a hammock or take a dip in the freshwater pool. This program is great for first-time travelers and students interested in making new friends from across the globe.

Base House Program: Volcano and Rainforest Service Base

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7

Returns Wednesday June 13 June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

rusticpathways.com/cr 57


Costa Rica

Spanish Language Immersion Learn and practice Spanish in a traditional Costa Rican environment for two or more weeks

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Learn Spanish from native speakers in a small group or private setting and receive 40 hours of classroom instruction.

Language Up to 40 hours classroom instruction Cost

$3,795 for group instruction $4,195 for private instruction plus international airfare

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican family life and learn about the colorful Tico culture. Raft down the class III and IV whitewater rapids of the world-famous Pacuare River.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

Connects well with… Intro to Community Service in CR Bribri Indigenous Culture and Service Surf and Service

Hone your conversational skills while exploring the quaint town of Turrialba, an adventure hot spot and welcoming community.

p. 57 p. 61 p. 67

Enhance your Spanish in this program designed for students of all skill levels. You’ll be assigned to a class according to your language ability and taught by a native speaker trained to instruct students learning Spanish as a second language. Classroom instruction throughout the week will focus on conversational skills. You’ll live with a local family in a carefully selected homestay that will enhance the linguistic and cultural elements of your trip. When not in class, adventures around Turrialba will encourage you to practice Spanish while your adrenaline is pumping. Rappel down waterfalls, zip line through the forest, scale indoor rock walls, and take a ride on the Pacuare River. This two-week program is a great way to improve your Spanish before embarking on any of our other programs in Costa Rica, Peru, or the Dominican Republic.

58 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Ramp Up Your Spanish A service expedition into the heart of rural Costa Rica

Boost your Spanish speaking skills with 20 hours of specialized classroom instruction from native speakers. Live with a local family, enjoy home-cooked meals, and immerse yourself in the ideal environment to practice your Spanish. Explore the vibrant and peaceful town of Turrialba. Ride mountain bikes, zip line through the jungle, and make new Tico friends. Hone your Spanish skills with daily classes and conversational opportunities with native speakers. While only a 90-minute drive from the capital of San José, Turrialba is a peaceful town that provides an ideal environment for students to practice their Spanish and integrate into traditional Tico culture. Live with a local family for a homestay experience that will enhance your language immersion while providing an inside look at daily life. Outside of the classroom, you may visit botanical gardens, check out a coffee plantation, or pick up a few new moves during a Latin dance class. Those looking for adventure can mountain bike, hike to the Aquiares Waterfall, rappel and zip line through Turrialba’s stunning canyons.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Language Up to 20 hours classroom instruction Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25

Connects well with… Summer Camp Leadership in CR Heart of the Jungle Turtle Conservation Project

p. 64 p. 65 p. 69

rusticpathways.com/cr 59


Costa Rica

Vanishing Cultures of the Rainforest An anthropological exploration of disappearing cultures and lessons in preservation

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,495 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26

Returns Wednesday July 11

u Once I finish school, I want to work with Rustic Pathways and become a program leader. The work that Rustic Pathways does is exactly the kind of work that I want to be doing; combining education with travel and support for various communities through different kinds of service projects is the best job description anyone could ask for. Cristina Sanchez | Dunellen, New Jersey

Discover the vast beauty of Costa Rica’s Talamanca region, experience the warmth of the indigenous Bribri and Maleku cultures, and discover the mysteries of the rainforest, natural medicinal plants, and local arts and crafts. Learn important interviewing and active listening skills by living, sharing, and interacting with members of these two communities to better understand their history. Challenge your perceptions of the role indigenous cultures play in our society today. Explore the challenges facing two of Costa Rica’s eight remaining indigenous groups. Compare the experiences of the Bribri people with those of the Maleku and other societies struggling to survive in a world that is quickly leaving similar populations behind. What does civilization lose when these cultures are lost? Why is it imperative to preserve their ancient wisdom? What is the role of tourism in how communities maintain their cultural identities and make a living? Students answer these and other questions through interviews with community members and shared experiences in these communities. Observe differences between the Bribri and Maleku ways of living through traditional methods of farming, preparing food, and weaving. Hike to the mystical blue waters of Celeste River Waterfall, raft the Pacuare River, and spend time at a Caribbean beach to round out your time in Costa Rica. Critical Issues Program Cultural anthropology and protecting civilizations

60 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Bribri Indigenous Culture and Service Service and cultural exchange in a traditional Bribri community

Explore the hidden treasures scattered throughout Talamanca and experience indigenous and Tico cultures.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Interact with the community as you play games with children and get to know local elders by swapping stories.

Service

Up to 15 community service hours awarded

Visit a remote indigenous community and learn about Bribri history, language, traditions, food, and culture.

Cost

$2,495 plus international airfare

Raft the exhilarating whitewater rapids of the famous Pacuare River and surf the crystal-clear waves of the Caribbean. Interact with the Bribri people, Costa Rica’s largest indigenous group that has lived in the hills and valleys of the Talamanca region for hundreds of years. They have held onto their traditional beliefs and customs while integrating into mainstream Costa Rican society. Immerse yourself in indigenous life as you play an active role in development projects with community organizations and schools. Learn the secrets of artisanal chocolate making while lending a hand at a local business and pick up some Bribri phrases during activities with the village children. You’ll spend your free time hiking to hidden waterfalls or cooling off in the nearby river. At the end of the week, take a break from service and check out the picture-perfect Caribbean coast.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 July 10 July 17

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 18 July 25

Connects well with… Intro to Community Service in CR Surf and Service Nicoya Turtle Expedition

p. 57 p. 67 p. 68

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Costa Rica

Sarapiquí Tropical Service Adventure A service expedition into the heart of rural Costa Rica

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

Work on multiple service projects alongside Sarapiquí residents, practice your Spanish, and get to know life in this little-known paradise. Marvel at exotic wildlife and lush scenery while hiking, zip lining, and swimming. Raft the class III and IV whitewater rapids of the Sarapiquí River in Costa Rican style.

$2,495 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 20 July 4 July 18

Connects well with… Bribri Indigenous Culture and Service Surf and Service Caribbean Adrenaline

p. 61 p. 67 p. 71

Take a break from your fast-paced lifestyle and enjoy a week of service and culture in rural Costa Rica. Home to lush jungles and untamed waterways, the Sarapiquí is renowned for its natural beauty and the community’s commitment to conservation. We’ve partnered with local leaders to develop community-based service projects like improvement of the town’s communal facilities and building an agricultural greenhouse to help local women foster independent businesses. You’ll work alongside community members to continue and help complete these vital projects. When not doing service, take a rafting trip down the Sarapiquí River, cool off with a swim, and see how cacao is grown and turned into sweet treats during a chocolate tour.

62 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Young Explorers: Pura Vida The ultimate combination of service and adventure for graduating eighth graders

Discover Costa Rica on a trip designed exclusively for eighth-grade students who are about to enter high school.

Ages

12 to 13

Length

16 days from the United States

Interact with local school children and share with them in both English and Spanish through games, songs, and art classes.

Service

Up to 14 community service hours awarded

Raft the Sarapiquí River, one of Costa Rica’s most exciting whitewater rivers, and get a good dose of Tico adrenaline along the way.

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

Surf mighty waves, float in the warm waters of the Pacific, and relax along the famous white sand beaches of Costa Rica. Practice Spanish, work on service initiatives, zip line through the rainforest canopy, play beach volleyball and soccer with Costa Rican children, learn how to surf, and much more. Stroll through the lush La Paz Waterfall Gardens looking for Costa Rica’s amazing wildlife. Head to La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano, where you’ll participate in service projects at schools or community organizations. Explore La Fortuna through rainforest hikes, zip lining, and trips to hot springs. Journey to the Sarapiquí region for an unforgettable whitewater rafting trip. Visit an indigenous Maleku village to learn about traditional culture. Relax on the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula and enjoy the laid-back Pacific vibe.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday July 11 July 25 August 8

u I loved how my trip combined service, cultural immersion, and fun. It definitely impacted my views on conservation, because of how Ticos care for their energy and land. I made so many great friends on this trip and will value the memories I made forever. Abigail Gardner | Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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Costa Rica

Summer Camp Leadership in Costa Rica Develop leadership skills while running a summer camp for rural Costa Rican youth

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 60 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

Hone your leadership skills as you work with your group and practice team-building exercises developing a camp for local children. Empower youth in Costa Rican communities as you give them an unforgettable summer, build friendships, and gain invaluable experience. Adventure around the country by whitewater rafting the Pacuare River, zip lining down the base of the Arenal Volcano, and relaxing on the tropical Tortuga island. Gain valuable leadership and collaboration skills, and help enrich the lives of local community members as you lead a summer camp in La Fortuna. Your journey begins with an exhilarating rafting trip followed by the start of your camp planning. Design a six-day youth summer camp in small teams, then meet the children you’ll lead in sports, arts, and other recreational activities throughout the week. Enjoy zip lining, kayaking, soaking in natural hot springs, and a relaxing boat trip to picturesque Isla Tortuga.

Stan Berrin | Costa Rica Program Manager After graduating from Pitzer College, Stan took a year-long trek around the world where he enjoyed cultural exchanges, seeing natural wonders, and, eating as much as he could. He will play any sport that involves a ball, is not afraid to sweat on the dance floor, and greets everyone with a big smile!

64 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Heart of the Jungle High adventure and rewarding service on the pristine Osa Peninsula

Kayak across the Golfo Dulce on a three-day water adventure.

Ages

14 and up

Hike through the jungle and discover the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula, one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

Challenge yourself as you rappel down a spectacular 150-foot Nauyaca Waterfalls and raft the whitewater rapids of the raging Savegre River. Enhance the communities you visit by completing environmental initiatives and school improvement projects. Start your journey by heading south where your first activity will be surfing the hidden breaks and enjoying the secluded beaches of Dominical. Spend your day hiking through beautiful trails and canyons to a series of impressive waterfalls, where expert guides will teach you how to rappel. Set off on a three-day sea kayaking expedition through the Golfo Dulce in the Osa Peninsula. At night, camp on the beach and enjoy dinner next to a bonfire as you exchange stories about that day’s adventures. Venture into Corcovado National Park, keeping an eye out for monkeys, sloths, and scarlet macaws. When you aren’t exploring the jungle, you’ll participate in a variety of infrastructure service projects to support the communities you visit. You might work on housing projects for lowincome families or support other local small-scale construction projects. Your adventure will conclude by rafting the whitewaters of the Savegre River.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

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Costa Rica

Traveling Soccer and Service Team Competitive soccer, rewarding service, and exciting adventure throughout Costa Rica

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,995 plus international airfare

Bring your A-game during competitive indoor and outdoor soccer matches against village teams and local clubs while practicing your Spanish. Raft the whitewater rapids of the world-famous Pacuare River, visit an active volcano, and relax on the beach.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

Connects well with… Spanish Language Immersion Sarapiquí Tropical Service Adventure Turtle Conservation Project

p. 58 p. 62 p. 69

Travel as a team and play against local soccer clubs in different communities. Start in Turrialba, where you’ll contribute to an ongoing service project. Then embark on a whitewater rafting trip on the Pacuare River. Practice your Spanish and join pick-up soccer games before playing some competitive matches. Next, travel to the Arenal Volcano region where you’ll recharge in hot springs. Then head to the rural mountain community of La Paz, where you’ll interact with Costa Rican families, do some service work, and play several competitive and pick-up soccer games. Wrap up your journey on the Pacific coast, where you can play soccer on the beach or just take time to enjoy the landscape.

Andrés Zúñiga | Costa Rica Program Manager A Turrialba native, Andres puts his master’s degree in environmental management and ecotourism to use managing our turtle programs and Traveling Soccer and Service, where he combines his passion for soccer and helping others. Andres enjoyed a successful college soccer career and is always looking for a friendly match!

66 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Surf and Service Live, surf, work, and play in a beautiful Pacific beach community

Ride the waves at one of the best surf beaches in the country with great conditions for all levels, from beginner to expert.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Work on a variety of service projects that directly help the local community by improving their living conditions and recreational spaces.

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Spot marine life on a half-day boat trip and explore the wonders of the sea while snorkeling one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful areas.

Cost

$2,695 plus international airfare

Experience breathtaking sunsets, palm-fringed beaches, and blue waters during this week of surf, service, and adventure in Costa Rica. Your service efforts will focus on helping the community to improve its quality of life. Then grab your surfboard and head to the beach for lessons from expert surf instructors. Hikes through the rainforest, beach soccer, and a boat trip to a nearby island will round out your time in this coastal paradise. No previous experience is necessary and experienced surfers will not be disappointed.

Base House Program: Surf and Service Base Spring Break Program: We also offer a one-week version of this program between March and April for spring break. For more information and dates please see page 24 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/spring-break.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7

Returns Wednesday June 13 June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

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Costa Rica

Nicoya Turtle Expedition Turtle conservation and environmental adventures on Pacific coast beaches

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 35 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,995 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday July 11 July 25 August 8

u I experienced so much growth on this trip personally and my life has been positively impacted by every person I shared this with. I am beyond thankful for Costa Rica teaching me how to truly live “pura vida.” Katharine Drorbaugh | Issaquah, Washington

Learn from experienced conservationists about ongoing efforts to save Costa Rica’s endangered sea turtles. Protect sea turtles during evening beach walks and spend your days working in the hatchery, continuing your education of this native species. Ride the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean in a sea kayak or on a surfboard, enjoy the Tico lifestyle, and truly understand what it means to live pura vida. Snorkel Costa Rica’s clear waters and discover the diverse marine life hidden beneath the surface of the Pacific. Spend two weeks contributing to the conservation of endangered sea turtles and exploring the beaches of Costa Rica. In Camaronal Wildlife Refuge, work with park rangers to protect the fragile natural habitat of the turtles that nest nearby. Patrol the shores looking for turtle nests, help clean up the beach, or assist with other restoration efforts. Then travel to the funky beach towns of Carrillo and Samara to snorkel and surf and explore Chora Island in a sea kayak. Although this program runs during turtle nesting season, we can’t guarantee you’ll see a sea turtle. We can ensure, however, that you’ll make a significant contribution to the protection of this endangered species and leave Costa Rica with a new appreciation for local wildlife and Tico culture.

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Costa Rica

Turtle Conservation Project Help save thousands of endangered sea turtles while living on a beautiful beach

Monitor the beach at night to collect newly laid turtle eggs, take them back to the safety of a hatchery, and ensure they hatch into healthy baby turtles.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Learn about effective turtle conservation initiatives being undertaken in Costa Rica and around the globe from local experts.

Service

Up to 30 community service hours awarded

Live, work, and play on a charming beach on the Pacific coast, zip line through the rainforests, and learn to surf the deep blue ocean waters.

Cost

$2,195 plus international airfare

Journey to a secluded beach on the Pacific coast to help protect Costa Rican sea turtles. These majestic creatures face threats to their nesting grounds from hunting, pollution, and development. While we can’t guarantee you’ll see a sea turtle, we can ensure you’ll contribute to the conservation of this endangered species. In the mornings, join beach cleanup projects and help construct a hatchery. At night, monitor the beach for turtle nests, record the number of eggs you collect, and carefully transport them to the hatchery or a safer place along the beach. With help provided by expert volunteers, many of these eggs will hatch into healthy baby turtles. In your free time, raft the Savegre River and take trips to the beach town of Jaco to learn how to surf the incredible waves of the Pacific Ocean. You’ll leave Costa Rica having contributed to a local conservation effort and with a better understanding of what it means to live pura vida.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

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Costa Rica

Costa Rican Adventurer A high-adrenaline adventure and exploration of Costa Rica’s natural wonderlands

Ages

14 and up

Rappel down a 150-foot waterfall in the middle of the jungle.

Length

16 days from the United States

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare

Take on the world-famous rapids of the Pacuare River and stay in a jungle lodge during an exciting three-day river expedition.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

Connects well with… Spanish Language Immersion Nicoya Turtle Expedition

p. 58 p. 68

u I loved everything about my trip, especially the small group and fun leaders. I was really lucky to have such a small group because we were all able to get super close. Margaret Ryan | Fair Haven, New Jersey

Surf the sweet waves of Avellanas Beach on the Pacific coast, sail on a catamaran, and snorkel in warm, tranquil waters. Fly over the rainforest canopy on a zip lining adventure. Sleep in a cave hidden behind a waterfall and wake to the sunlight filtering through the majestic falling waters. Experience two weeks of adventure in the jungles and on the beaches of Costa Rica! Beginning on the Pacific coast, you’ll hike through the rainforest to a hidden cave and then rappel down a 150-foot cliff as waterfalls surge on either side of you. Travel up the coast to spot monkeys and sloths, and enjoy the picturesque Costa Rican landscapes. On the cool coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, you’ll sail, snorkel, and surf in the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. In La Fortuna, zip line through the lush rainforest canopy and soak in natural hot springs. Conclude your journey with a three-day whitewater rafting voyage down the Pacuare River.

70 costarica@rusticpathways.com


Costa Rica

Caribbean Adrenaline Adventure and exploration on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast

Raft the class III and IV whitewater rapids of the legendary Pacuare River on a two-day expedition, spending your nights in a comfortable jungle lodge. Surf the warm turquoise waves of the Caribbean coast. Zip line through the forest canopy and rappel down a cascading waterfall near the peaceful town of Turrialba. Experience Caribbean culture as you venture along the coast with local staff and program leaders in this exhilarating adventure Begin your journey with a mountain biking tour in Turrialba, where its proximity to two world-class rafting and kayaking rivers—the Pejibaye and the Pacuare—has made this town a paradise for adventure seekers. You’ll hit the Pejibaye in an inflatable kayak, rappel down waterfalls, and zip line through the jungle. A two-day rafting expedition on the Pacuare takes you through impressive tropical canyons and over heart-pounding drops. Stop halfway down the river for an overnight stay in a comfortable jungle lodge, then continue your adventure with a ride through class IV rapids. Spend your last days exploring the quaint beach towns of the Caribbean coast, surfing the turquoise waters, and strolling along miles of white-sand beaches.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Cost

$2,795 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17

Returns Wednesday July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25

Connects well with… Intro to Community Service in CR Sarapiquí Tropical Service Adventure

p. 57 p. 62

u Experiencing Costa Rica and specifically Turrialba was incredible. Being in a non touristy city was a great look into the real Costa Rican daily life. Clyde Leef | Basking Ridge, New Jersey

rusticpathways.com/cr 71


u Intro to Photography in Cuba, page 78


Cuba


Cuba

Population

11.18 million

Capital City Havana

We’re thrilled to have a cultural exchange with the vibrant island nation of Cuba for the third year. In true Rustic fashion, students experience much more than Havana and the country’s tropical coastlines. Built around local interaction, hands-on learning, and engaging community exchanges, our programs here are designed to reveal what life is really like in Cuba. The country is just beginning to open its doors to American tourism, and there is so much for us to learn and experience.

Currency

Cuban National Peso (CUP) and Cuba Convertible Peso (CUC)

Language

Spanish

Attractions

Old Havana – see what Cuba was like 200 years ago

Plaza de la Revolución – a historical icon and memorial to celebrate the leaders of the Cuban revolution

Cuba is ______________. captivating

We invite you to get to know this intriguing Caribbean nation. The island’s vibrant streets, lush rainforests, and undiscovered adventures will captivate the most experienced travelers. Music and dancing are an integral part of life, and the lively beats of the island will provide a tantalizing soundtrack to your trip.

Rustic Pathways qualifies for the people-to-people general license established by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury. Under this license, Rustic Pathways offers educational and cultural exchanges with the people of Cuba.

Reid Owens | Cuba Country Manager “Cuba is at such a unique and important crossroads in its history. So much has happened in recent years, yet it still feels like a country fundamentally unchanged since 1959. The sense of community and solidarity among the Cuban people is striking and their resilience is fascinating. An experience in Cuba will leave you with a new perspective and a longing to return.” Reid joined us full time with a wealth of experience. He started his own study abroad program in Spain and has led trips to Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Reid graduated from the University of Alabama with B.S. in International Business Management and M.A. in Spanish Linguistics. He enjoys hiking, skiing, and asking tough questions.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

••••

••••

•••••

•••••

12 hours

16 days

$5,795

Viva Cuba! Culture and Conservation

••

•••••

••••

••••

24 hours

16 days

$5,495

Off the Map: Cuba

••

•••••

••••

•••••

12 hours

16 days

$5,995

Intro to Photography in Cuba

•••

••••

•••••

•••••

N/A

16 days

$5,995

Innovation in Action

74 cuba@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


Cuba

Innovation in Action An introduction to design thinking for future change makers

Turn insight into innovation with a course in problem-solving through design thinking.

Ages

14 and up

Expand your critical-thinking skills as your group discusses and debates political, economic, social, and sustainability issues in today’s society.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$5,795 plus international airfare

Learn how to tackle real-world challenges and convert them into opportunities to create tangible and sustainable solutions. Discover Cuba’s history, culture, and daily life through interviews and culturalexchange activities with locals. Get a head start on making a positive impact on the world by participating in this program designed for future leaders. Design thinking is an empathy-focused process used to find tangible solutions to problems on a local and global level. You’ll explore critical issues facing the developing world and learn how to turn your ideas into actionable solutions. Then take your knowledge to the streets and interact with local business owners to learn about real-world challenges they face every day. Witness Cuba’s economic transformation and learn innovative techniques entrepreneurs are using to spearhead this change. You’ll leave the program with a personal appreciation of Cuban society, the knowledge to drive toward action, and newly developed design-thinking skills. Critical Issues Program Social entrepreneurship and economic development

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11

u Rustic provided me the opportunity to make friends from around the world and broaden my horizons to a new environment. I’m so thankful for the distinct experiences I had that made me the person I am today. Julia Henry | Manhasset, New York

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Cuba

Viva Cuba! Culture and Conservation Experience Cuba’s vibrant culture and tropical scenery through a local lens

Ages

14 and up

Learn Cuban history as you explore the streets of Havana and Trinidad with local guides.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 24 community service hours awarded

Work alongside farmers and park rangers on reforestation, sustainable-farming, and ecological-conservation projects.

Cost

$5,495 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

u I think Rustic does a great job of helping students experience things out of their comfort zones. Rustic helped me realize how much I love the environment and how important it is to work towards protecting it. Abigail Schulman | Summit, New Jersey

Trek through the Lomas de Banao ecological reserve to see incredible waterfalls, discover local flora and fauna, and camp under the stars. Interact with Cuban culture during salsa and rumba dances, vibrant regional music performances, and engaging camp activities. Immerse yourself in Cuban culture and discover the country’s rich history. Visit iconic Havana and build relationships with community members. Work with our partner the National Organization for the Protection of Flora and Fauna to learn how Cubans conserve their natural resources and enjoy the spectacular beauty of the country’s pristine parks, forests, and coasts. Work alongside biologists and conservation experts near the Zaza River to harvest red mangrove seedlings and plant them in deforested areas along the coastline to serve as a barrier against wind and waves during tropical storms. In true Cuban fashion, this program is also full of fun as you move to the beat of Cuban music that pulses through the island.

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Cuba

Off the Map: Cuba Travel to some of the island’s most remote locations and visit Havana and Trinidad

Explore the diversity and vastness of the Caribbean’s largest island.

Ages

14 and up

Wander through Cuba’s natural protected areas and witness the beauty of its incredible karst formations and pristine coastal keys.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$5,995 plus international airfare $275 internal airfare

Uncover the remarkable history and culture in a country recently opened to the USA. Develop your own perspective of Cuban society, economy, and politics. Delve into some of Cuba’s most remote destinations while visiting several provinces. Explore striking valleys, picuresque beaches, and forgotten villages, and experience for yourself the Cuban culture and society closed off to the United States for nearly 60 years. Hike, camp, horseback ride, and climb through Valle de Viñales, Guanahacabibes National Park, and the Sierra Maestra. Aid a local organization on sea turtle conservation efforts in María la Gorda. Relax on the beaches of secluded keys only accessible by boat, wander the streets of Havana and Trinidad, and marvel at Cuba’s extensive history and architecture that spans more than five centuries. Return home with stories of an adventure you’ll be telling for the rest of your life.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

Connects well with… Innovation in Action

p. 75

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Cuba

Intro to Photography in Cuba Develop your photography skills in this culturally and historically rich country

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Cost

$5,995 plus international airfare $275 internal airfare

Build your photography skills on a 16-day program designed to introduce you to Cuban society and culture. Capture unforgettable images of some of Cuba’s most important and iconic landscapes, monuments, and buildings.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 10

Returns Wednesday July 25

Connects well with… Innovation in Action Viva Cuba! Culture and Conservation Off the Map: Cuba

p. 75 p. 76 p. 77

Document the energy and emotion of the local community as you explore rural towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Influence the way people see and discuss Cuba by positively sharing and showcasing your photographic work with friends and family. Develop an up close and personal look at Cuban life, architecture, and natural landscapes while enhancing your photography skills. Begin your Caribbean adventure by spending three days capturing images of life in Havana’s old city and its surrounding neighborhoods. Each afternoon during workshop and exposition, you’ll share photos with your group and learn new techniques for your art. Next, you’ll head west to some of Cuba’s most impressive natural landscapes. Hike to natural falls and soar through the forest on a canopy tour. Wander the Valle de Viñales, learn about its iconic geological formations called mogotes and go underground to explore the area’s extensive cave system. View of sunsets and wildlife on the shores of Cayo Levisa, one of Cuba’s most spectacular northern keys. End your trip with the Carnival of Santiago and explore Cuba’s Afro-Caribbean roots.

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u Island Living and Eco-Service, page 91


Dominican Republic


Dominican Republic Since Rustic Pathways started its first Dominican Republic programs in 2012, our goal has been to emphasize the people over the places. While our staff and students adore the pristine beaches and idyllic settings, our programs go much deeper than the average tourist trip. Each program in the Dominican Republic dives deep into service opportunities, whether through community development, environmental stewardship, or public health, and allows our students to connect with members of the communities where they serve.

complex The Dominican Republic is ___________.

Population

10.61 million

Capital City

Santo Domingo

Currency

Dominican Peso (DOP)

Language Spanish Attractions

Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo – a UNESCO World Heritage site

Los Haitises National Park – famous for limestone caves filled with pictographs from the native Tainos

San Pedro de Macorís – home of MLB’s Dominican Summer League where many players get their start

While you’ll be sure to enjoy the picturesque beaches and tranquil mountains, you will also understand what life is really like for local people. Next to resorts lie marginalized, impoverished communities called bateyes. Dominicans face many challenges, yet they have big hearts, warm personalities, and enjoy sharing their fun-loving culture.

Harry Alvarez | Dominican Republic and Cuba Country Director “Growing up between the Dominican Republic and New York has given me a unique perspective about what makes this country amazing. Most think of the Dominican Republic as vacation destination with beautiful beaches, but it’s so much more complex than that with many layers of history and politics. I hope students leave with an understanding of Dominican life and a different view of this Caribbean paradise.” Born in New York City and raised in the Dominican Republic, Harry graduated from SUNY New Paltz with degrees in psychology and Spanish and completed pre-med coursework at Columbia University. Harry opened our programs in the Dominican Republic in 2012 and our Cuba programs in 2015. Harry enjoys cooking and hosting friends at his home in New Orleans.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

Mountain Air and Village Service

••••

••••

•••

••

20 hours

9 days

$1,995

Life in the Bateyes

••••

•••••

••••

•••

50 hours

16 days

$3,595

Public Health in the Caribbean

••••

•••

•••••

•••

30 hours

16 days

$4,395

Summer Camp Leadership in the Dominican Republic

••

•••

•••••

••••

60 hours

16 days

$4,395

Bats, Hats, and Gloves

••••

••••

•••

20 hours

16 days

$3,595

Marine Life and Coastal Restoration

•••

••••

••••

•••

32 hours

16 days

$3,795

Island Living and Eco-Service

••••

•••

•••

••••

12 hours

9 days

$1,995

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

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Mountain Air Service Base

Service Initiatives

In 2014, the Rustic Pathways Mountain Air Service Base was built in the heart of the Dominican Alps. Located at Rancho Baiguate on an organic ranch, the Mountain Air Base offers dormitory-style bedrooms with modern bathrooms, showers, and electricity. Meals at the base are buffet-style, prepared with organic fruits and vegetables grown at the ranch and served in an open-air cafeteria. You’re just steps away from a soccer field, volleyball court, and swimming pool. When you’re ready for an adventure, you can find yourself completing a low-ropes course as a team or hiking to a nearby waterfall. The surrounding mountain villages offer service opportunities to build aqueducts and construct wastewater treatment systems. In the evenings, relax in the cool mountain air with a game of ping pong or billiards. Carlos Estrella | Dominican Republic Program Manager Carlos, a Santo Domingo native fluent in Spanish and English, is an avid outdoorsman who has summited Pico Duarte, the country’s highest peak, more than 30 times and hiked 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Carlos joined Rustic Pathways as a program leader in 2016 and now manages groups programs in the Dominican Republic.

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dominican@rusticpathways.com

Education: We partner with a different community each year to facilitate educational programs for low-income youth during day camps. Through various games, activities, and lessons, our students provide enrichment activities in English language, math, art, and sports. Environment: Water pollution in the Yaque del Norte River has increased as the regional population grows and families are settling nearer the river. We partnered with Rancho Baiguate and Plan Yaque to complete six blackwater treatment systems to process wastewater from homes before entering the river since 2015. Infrastructure: In 2012, we began our collaboration with Obra Social Salesiana, a local nonprofit working to provide access to water to underserved communities in the Jarabacoa region of the Dominican Alps. In that time, Rustic students have built nine aqueducts.


Dominican Republic

Mountain Air and Village Service A cultural immersion and service experience in the heart of the Dominican Alps

Live at our service base in the Dominican Alps, known for its fantastic weather and amazing views.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Work with our partner communities on infrastructure projects, building aqueducts to bring running water to their villages.

Service

Up to 20 community service hours awarded

Hike to one of the region’s picturesque waterfalls.

Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare

Swim in warm, turquoise waters and relax on white sand beaches under the island sun. Stay at the Rustic Pathways Mountain Air Service Base at Rancho Baiguate and make the Dominican Republic your home away from home. Experience daily life in the heart of the Cordillera Central, also known as the Dominican Alps because of its cool weather, scenic vistas, and high altitude. Many small villages here lack basic necessities and infrastructure such as running water and electricity. Contribute to Rustic’s ongoing efforts to bring water to these communities by helping with the construction of an aqueduct that will serve local homes and farms. After service, enjoy a weekend of sun relaxing on one of the Dominican Republic’s beautiful beaches. Take part in challenging activities including a low ropes course and hiking to Baiguate Waterfall.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8

Base House Program: Mountain Air Base rusticpathways.com/dr 85


Dominican Republic

Life in the Bateyes A glimpse inside the lives of sugarcane workers and their families

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 50 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,595 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25 August 8

u Rustic Pathways did a great job of showing me what people were living through not only through learning the adults stories, but also the children’s. I’m not sure if my trip could have been better in any way. Cole Caress | Indianapolis, Indiana

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Immerse yourself in the lively Dominican-Haitian culture during service to improve living conditions and expand access to resources in rural batey communities. Enjoy the beaches of Bayahibe and the north coast where you’ll swim and snorkel during breaks from service. Work alongside community members to construct a new home for a family in need. Experience two very different sides of the Dominican Republic during this immersive program. You’ll leave the resorts and tourist destinations behind as you travel deep into the heart of the country to the bateyes—underserved communities of predominantly Haitian sugarcane workers. Here you’ll find that though resources are in short supply, there is a generous sense of community. Listen to the stories of local farmers, mothers, leaders, and youth, and contribute to service projects designed to create lasting improvements in these communities. Then travel north to experience a completely different side of the country. Reflect on your time in the bateyes amid the turquoise waters and white sand beaches that make the country one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Critical Issues Program Citizenship and human rights for migrant communities dominican@rusticpathways.com


Dominican Republic

Public Health in the Caribbean Powerful community health service with under-represented communities

Practice your Spanish in a medical setting as you help implement public health initiatives in underserved areas.

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Learn about issues facing the Dominican Republic as you interact with health care professionals from the area.

Service

Up to 30 community service hours awarded

Earn your Wilderness First Aid certification and use your newfound knowledge to help set up workshops for local youth.

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

Hike to El Limón Waterfall and admire 120 feet of spectacular cascading water. Work alongside medical professionals on high-impact public health projects across the Dominican Republic. You’ll explore the diverse regions of this beautiful country while experiencing local culture and practicing your Spanish in a health care setting. In Santo Domingo, meet with public health organizations and visit hospitals to witness how the country’s urban health system works. Then travel inland to learn about the health challenges in more rural areas. Earn your Wilderness First Aid certification and apply your new skills to help communities in need. After your hard work, head to the Samaná Peninsula where you’ll explore turquoise waters and white sand beaches, hike to cascading waterfalls, and enjoy the sun and fresh sea air. Critical Issues Program Public health as a human right

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25 August 8

u I made so many friends and met people who were just like me—people who wanted to do something amazing, cared about the world, and had a passion to serve and help others. It was an amazing experience! Lila Hathaway | Baltimore, Maryland

rusticpathways.com/dr 87


Dominican Republic

Summer Camp Leadership in the Dominican Republic An intensive service experience working with marginalized youth

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 60 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25 August 8

u The bond that I created with not only my leaders and fellow peers, but also with the communities in the Dominican Republic will forever be an experience I hold very close to my heart. Anna Huthnance | Houston, Texas

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Develop your leadership skills while working as part of team to design a summer camp for underserved youth. Bond with your new Rustic teammates and spend a night camping in the mountains known as the Dominican Alps. Visit underserved batey communities, home to the children who will participate in your summer camp Sail to Saona Island on a catamaran, stopping along way to snorkel in turquoise water and relax on remote beaches. Push yourself to become a leader and work as part of a team to design and run a day camp for underserved students during this challenging program. Your trip begins in the adventure capital of Jarabacoa. Here you’ll begin to plan your curriculum while you camp in the Dominican Alps and complete an advanced low ropes course—activities designed to build trust among your new teammates. Then journey into underserved batey communities to meet your excited students, put your week-long day camp plan into action, and lead them in sports, arts, and other recreational activities. When camp is over, reflect on your success while relaxing on a tranquil beach with your new friends, take a catamaran ride, and go snorkeling.

dominican@rusticpathways.com


Dominican Republic

Bats, Hats, and Gloves Learn how to swing like a pro during two weeks of teamwork and service

Surround yourself in the national pride, passion, and love that is the Dominican Republic’s relationship with baseball. Experience the incredible beauty of Bahia de las Aguilas Beach.

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 20 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,595 plus international airfare

Compete in baseball and softball scrimmages against local teams. Work on meaningful service projects in the batey communities that border famous baseball camps. Discover how baseball is a way of life in the Dominican Republic. Join in dialogue with local leaders about the role baseball plays in Dominican culture. Experience the passion found at all levels of Dominican society as you play vitilla with local children, scrimmage against community teams, and play full-fledged games at professional baseball camps. Contribute to the construction of baseball fields in underserved batey communities, predominantly Haitian sugarcane workers, and play on the manicured fields located just a stone’s throw away, highlighting the disparities between those who make it to the big leagues and those who don’t. Then take some time to experience the hidden wonders of the Dominican Republic with a visit to the turquoise water of Bahia de las Aguilas, considered by many as the most beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26

Returns Wednesday July 11

Connects well with… Mountain Air and Village Service Island Living and Eco-Service

p. 85 p. 91

rusticpathways.com/dr 89


Dominican Republic

Marine Life and Coastal Restoration Restore coastal reefs and learn about fragile island ecosystems in the Caribbean

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 32 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare

Snorkel to a coral restoration site, identify native marine species, and explore the ecosystems of the warm Caribbean waters. Enjoy the country’s famed white sand beaches and turquoise waters in Bayahibe on the island’s southern coast. Partner with marine professionals from FUNDEMAR, an organization dedicated to the protection of local dolphin populations.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8

Connects well with… Island Living and Eco-Service 90

Set sail to Saona Island where you’ll learn about local efforts by local volunteers to protect the sea turtle population. Grab your snorkel and dive into a marine adventure to protect the coastlines of the Dominican Republic. You’ll live in stunning Bayahibe and work with FUNDEMAR, a NGO dedicated to the conservation of marine ecosystems. Learn about threats to the local marine and terrestrial ecosystems as you gain hands-on experience in scientific conservation methods, including the construction of coral restoration structures and the rehabilitation of mangroves. On remote Saona Island, spend a night helping to protect sea turtles. Then share what you’ve learned about marine conservation with local youth during a fun day camp. In your downtime, swim in freshwater caverns, search for sea stars in natural pools, and fall in love with island life.

p. 91 dominican@rusticpathways.com


Dominican Republic

Island Living and Eco-Service Work to preserve the stunning environment of this island paradise

Preserve the biodiversity of the region as you get your hands dirty working on ecological restoration projects. Explore mangroves, reef formations, and marine habitats at Los Haitises National Park and on the Samaná Peninsula. Visit hidden caverns to see ancient Taíno cave paintings. Step off the tourist path and explore the real Dominican Republic. Your journey begins in the mountainous region of Jarabacoa. You’ll learn about efforts to foster sustainable tourism and park management as you help maintain protected territories. Then head to Samaná Peninsula and partner with the Green Brigade, a group of young environmental activists, to plant red mangroves along the coast to protect the region from storm surges. Then take a break from service to hike to the Baiguate or Jimenoa waterfalls, ride horses to the secluded beaches of Las Galeras, and take a boat ride across Samaná Bay to explore the islands of Los Haitises National Park.

Spring Break Program: We also offer a one-week version of this program between March and April for spring break. For more information and dates please see page 24 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/spring-break.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 July 10 July 17 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 18 July 25 August 1

Connects well with… Life in the Bateyes Public Health in the Caribbean Summer Camp Leadership in the DR

p. 86 p. 87 p. 88

rusticpathways.com/dr 91


u Pacific Adrenaline, page 107


Fiji Islands


Fiji Islands

Population

Approximately 915,300

Capital City Suva

Our community partnerships in Fiji date to 1993. These deep roots mean that we have friends in every village we visit and our expert local staff members make students immediately feel at home. Arriving students are welcomed to their programs with a traditional sevu sevu ceremony and invited to share a taste of kava. Our Fiji programs visit villages on remote islands and in the mountainous highlands, locations not available to the average tourist.

Currency

Fijian Dollar (FJD)

Languages

English with Fijian and Hindustani spoken widely

Attractions

More than 300 islands, of which only 106 are inhabited

Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park – famed for its giant dunes and rich archaeological history

Fiji is _________. magical

Sailing through the Fiji islands feels like you’re in a postcard brought to life. Whether you are in the highlands or the islands you will constantly be surrounded by calming tropical scenery. The warmth of the Fijian people make you feel at home and you will find yourself easily adjusting to island life.

Evan Wells | Fiji Country Director “The South Pacific has always held a romantic allure of adventure and ancient traditions for many people. Everyone loves the clear, warm waters and tropical islands of Fiji, but for me it’s the people that keep me coming back—their loving attachment to their land, to the surrounding ocean, and to each other. Their warmth and exuberant enthusiasm for life are contagious.” Born in New Zealand and living between Australia and Fiji, Evan has spent over 20 years with Rustic Pathways. With a degree in business and a commitment to Fijian communities, Evan proudly manages our South Pacific operations. Outside our EcoLodge Base, he enjoys time with his wife Lisa and their young boys, Henry and Sam, and races in long-distance running events.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

Sun, Sand and International Service

••••

••••

•••

•••••

60 hours

16 days

$3,795

Intro to Community Service in Fiji

••••

••••

•••

30 hours

9 days

$1,995

Highlands and Islands Service Immersion

••

•••••

•••

•••

45 hours

16 days

$3,795

Marine Service and Adventure

••

•••••

•••

••••

26 hours

16 days

$3,995

Impact of Climate Change on Marine Environments

••

•••••

•••••

••••

26 hours

16 days

$4,395

Ridge to Reef Expedition

•••••

•••

••••

12 hours

16 days

$4,595

Big Fiji Explorer

••

•••••

•••

•••

6 hours

16 days

$4,395

Escape to the Fiji Islands

•••

•••••

••••

N/A

9 days

$2,595

•••••

•••••

••••

N/A

9 days

$2,795+

•••

•••••

••••

N/A

23 days

$6,995

Fiji Diver’s Dream Pacific Adrenaline

94 fiji@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base Established in 2004, the Rustic Pathways Eco-Lodge Service Base positively integrates itself into the surrounding environment and community. Our base is located between two villages and surrounded by a number of farms predominantly owned by families of Indian descent. The mixture of Fijian and Indian neighbors creates a vibrant atmosphere for exploration and learning about Fiji and its unique mix of cultures. The main lodge contains a kitchen, dining area, game room with billiards, and features a large deck with a swimming pool. The grounds have extensive gardens and sports fields tucked among fruit trees and swaying palms. Rooms are divided between dormitorystyle bedrooms and several authentic bures, or cabins, spread throughout the property. Bathrooms are modern with flushing toilets and solar-powered, hot-water showers.

Shalini Narayan | South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base Manager Born and raised steps away from our Eco-Lodge, Shalini oversees general operations at the base. She welcomes every visitor with a warm and open heart, sharing cups of chai tea and lots of motherly love, while taking on a multitude of tasks to ensure the efficient operation of this base.

Weekend Side Trips Students staying at the base for two or more weeks have the option to take weekend side trip after their first full week of service. Highlands Discovery: 3 days, 2 nights | $295 Journey into the rural interior of Fiji and experience local life in a way few visitors ever have. Enjoy swimming beneath a towering waterfall and hiking along ancient trails. Spend the weekend learning from local families about the traditional way of life in the Nausori Highlands. Tropical Island Interlude: 3 days, 2 nights | $355 Take a dip in the Pacific as you visit one of Fiji’s glorious island getaways. Enjoy your surroundings by playing beach soccer or volleyball, or napping on the sands. Our Tropical Island Interlude is a chance to recharge between your service projects and to escape to a beautiful island. Coral Coast Cruiser: 3 days, 2 nights | $395 Experience Viti Levu’s impressive Coral Coast. Challenge yourself on a high-ropes course, explore a rainforest preserve to learn about Fiji’s native plants, and visit Suva, the country’s capital, for dinner and a movie. Between activities, take a walk on the beach or relax by the pool.

rusticpathways.com/fj 95


Fiji

Sun, Sand, and International Service Two weeks or more of community service and Fijian fun at the Rustic Pathways Eco-Lodge

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 to 65 days from the United States

Service

Up to 60 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

Immerse yourself in the fun and exciting tropical lifestyle at our Eco-Lodge Service Base in the hills surrounding Momi Bay for two weeks, four weeks, or the entire summer. Develop strong bonds with your fellow students as you work together on rewarding community-driven service projects. Absorb the friendly Fijian culture during lovo feasts, watch traditional meke dances, and play soccer with the locals. Choose an optional weekend excursion and relax on a delightful beach, experience farm life in the Highlands, or join adrenaline-pumping adventures in other parts of Fiji. Join us for two weeks or more on this service program at our Eco-Lodge Service Base, where you’ll work on meaningful environmental and needs-based service projects with local community members. After service, relax and take advantage of island living. This extremely popular program will give you insight into the Fijian way of life and introduce you to the natural beauty of this island nation. Our South Pacific Eco-Lodge sits in the hills south of Nadi and is surrounded by the diverse mix of cultures that makes this area unique. You’ll work with a small group of students each day on a variety of education and infrastructure service projects designed in partnership with local communities. Base House Program: South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base

96 fiji@rusticpathways.com


Fiji

Intro to Community Service in Fiji A fun and exciting variety of meaningful service and Fijian culture at our Eco-Lodge

Live, work, and play at our Eco-Lodge Service Base in the hills of beautiful Momi Bay—take a swim, play billiards, join a soccer match, or simply unwind with a good book.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Contribute to one or more of the diverse service initiatives designed in partnership with our long-term community partners.

Service

Up to 30 community service hours awarded

Explore historical sites, coastal dunes, secluded hot springs, and pure white sand beaches, or discover natural underwater beauty with optional scuba diving.

Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare

Participate in a range of service projects and learn about different ways to support the local community while enjoying the relaxed and easy-going South Pacific lifestyle. Fijians have long believed that strangers should be welcomed as long-lost friends and given the highest degree of consideration and hospitality. You’ll experience the inviting culture of Fiji while giving back to our host communities through a combination of service initiatives at the Eco-Lodge. Each group’s projects will be different, as we work with a host of schools, villages, and communities. Base House Program: South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base Spring Break Program: We also offer a one-week version of this program between March and April for spring break. For more information and dates please see page 24 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/spring-break.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7

Returns Wednesday June 13 June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

rusticpathways.com/fj 97


Highlands Service Base Far from the white sand beaches that make Fiji famous, the mountainous interior of Fiji’s main island is one of the least-developed regions in the country. Rustic Pathways first came to this stunning valley more than 20 years ago, inspired by the warm hearts and rich cultural traditions of the Highlands villagers. In that time, we have formed a close relationship with the villages and will continue to support ongoing service initiatives designed to meet their long-term goals. Programs that visit the Highlands region allow students to live alongside local families, follow the rhythms of local daily life, and participate in community-driven service. Students on Highlands and Islands Service Immersion become a part of the special relationships we’ve developed in this time. Panapasa “Oro” Orodai | Fiji Highlands Program Manager Oro is from the rural village of Wauosi in the interior of Fiji near our Highlands Service Base and studied at Nadi College. Oro’s great sense of adventure, natural, athletic ability, and extensive knowledge of the cultures and geography of Fiji make him a strong leader. When asked how he is doing, Oro always responds, “110 percent.”

98 fiji@rusticpathways.com

Service Initiatives Economic Development: We have joined forces with a local clan (extended family) to support a small-scale agricultural enterprise that will empower these families. From providing basic supplies, guidance, and training, to getting our hands dirty in the field, we are working closely with villagers to make this project a success. Education: In 2011, we began construction of a new elementary school so that children in the village of Nasivikoso would not have to attend boarding school away from home. As we expand our education projects, we continue to add other school partners in the area as part of this growing initiative. Infrastructure: We have undertaken a wide range of projects to improve basic services in the remote communities of the Highlands, including installation of simple water systems to improve access to running water, construction of toilets and footpaths to improve sanitation, and renovation of community halls.


Fiji

Highlands and Islands Service Immersion Our signature educational service and cultural immersion program in Fiji

Become part of our partnership with a Nausori Highlands village and help local children develop literacy and English skills, and lead arts and sports exchanges at schools.

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Live with a local host family and immerse yourself in the remote Fijian mountain lifestyle.

Service

Up to 45 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare

Explore hidden beaches and tropical coral reefs in the spectacular Yasawa Islands. Join a grassroots project designed to support basic needs within the community, such as education and access to health care. You’ll live in pairs with a host family that will open cultural doors and introduce you to the Fijian lifestyle in the Nausori Highlands. You’ll contribute to the ongoing development of a school, work on small-scale agriculture and construction projects, and lead English exchange programs for students in the village. Then travel to the Yasawa Island chain, where you’ll live right on the beach. Snorkel to tropical coral reefs, swim in the clear turquoise waters, and kayak to pristine beaches in this island paradise. Return home with a new perspective about the challenges this community faces on this rewarding and immersive experience.

Base House Program: Highlands Base

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

u My trip was everything I had hoped for and more and the best part was all the great people I met on the trip, both locals and those in my group. The way my host family welcomed me into their culture made me feel like just another family member. Margaret Larkin | Marblehead, Massachusetts

rusticpathways.com/fj 99


Islands Service Base Located on a breathtaking stretch of pure white sand in Somosomo, our Islands Service Base is a slice of heaven. We have worked to make this base a sustainable and eco-friendly place to live in harmony with the neighboring village and the surrounding environment. By eating freshly caught seafood, growing our own produce, and developing long-term positive partnerships with our neighbors, this base truly embraces simple island life. The base consists of large safari-style tents built on platforms where you’ll sleep each night. Meals are eaten in our rustic dining area or on picnic tables overlooking the water. Showers are outdoors and toilets are self-composting to minimize the impact on the environment. Kayak, snorkel, spear fish, learn to farm in this environment, or have a bonfire and guitar jam session on the beach with our local team in this island paradise. Setareki “Seta” Monovou | Islands Service Base Manager Setareki manages our Islands Service Base in Somosomo. Born in raised in the village, he is an expert on the history and traditions of the village. He and his wife Tavaita have three children—Setoki, Lasarusa, and Marica. Seta welcomes all visitors to the base with open arms and treats everyone as part of his family.

100 fiji@rusticpathways.com

Service Initiatives Environment and Animal Welfare Work on projects to help support regrowth of the coral reef system and help offset environmental degradation. Students will conduct reef checks on five different reefs, remove crown-of-thorn sea stars, build and install coral structures, and establish a nursery of giant clams. They will work with local partners to track fish populations and monitor the overall health of the reef. Students will also contribute to the ongoing efforts to plan mangroves in the area. One mangrove can offset 800 kilograms of carbon dioxide. That’s 7,200 metric tons of carbon offset, which equals the energy use of 657 homes. Last year, our students planted 9,156 mangroves to support the surrounding villages.


Fiji

Marine Service and Adventure Explore Fiji and help preserve its natural resources and unique ecosystems

Snorkel with manta rays, observe turtles in their natural habitat, and swim among schools of tropical fish in the South Pacific.

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Gather data on marine life to help monitor the health of Fiji’s tropical coral reefs and coastal waterways as you explore underwater ecosystems.

Service

Up to 26 community service hours awarded

Support community initiatives and contribute to the overall health of the island’s pristine oceans through marine service projects.

Cost

$3,995 plus international airfare

Soak up island life with a beach at your doorstep and immerse yourself in Fijian culture. Explore the world’s third-largest coral reef system and thousands of marine species in Fiji. Assist with tracking fish populations, monitoring the health of various reef habitats, and observing marine life behavior. This practical experience will give you head start if you choose marine or animal conservation as your career. You’ll also help with development projects that contribute to the ecological balance of this aquatic wonderland. Your hard work will be rewarded with snorkeling trips alongside manta rays, exotic fish, squid, and sea turtles in this gorgeous stretch of reef. Visit majestic sand dunes and kayak with your new friends along the coast before parting ways.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 25 August 8

u It was the best program I’ve ever been on I can’t think of a way to improve it because no improvement is needed. It taught me a lot about diversity and how to accept people. Christian Evans | Covington, Louisiana

Base House Program: Islands Service Base

rusticpathways.com/fj 101


Fiji

Impact of Climate Change on Marine Environments Take a deeper look into the impact climate change has on Fiji’s fragile marine habitat

Ages

14 and up

Learn about the effects of climate change on sensitive marine ecosystems.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 26 community service hours awarded

Work with local marine biologists and support conservation efforts such as coral cleanups, crown of thorns sea star removal, and fish counts.

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26

Returns Wednesday July 11

u My program was very informational and taught me so much about conservation and the marine environment. The itinerary has a good balance of service and outdoor activities.

Observe sharks, manta rays, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Develop an understanding of the challenges facing island nations like Fiji. In 2016, the largest tropical cyclone in the history Southern Hemisphere made landfall in Fiji. Cyclone Winston caused massive damage and destruction to extensive areas of the country. With more than 300 different islands, Fiji is one of the countries most vulnerable to rising ocean waters, changing water temperatures, declining animal populations, and deforestation. Monitor and assess environmentally sensitive habitats that contribute to the overall health of the Fijian ecosystem, home to the world’s third-largest coral reef system and thousands of marine species. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to snorkel among exotic wildlife and experience the wonder of Fiji’s famous reefs. Cap off your experience by hiking along the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, kayaking down the coast, and exploring hidden waterfalls.

Maren Kavanagh | Lake Forest, Illinois

Base House Program: Islands Service Base Critical Issues Program Global climate change and aquatic ecosystem conservation 102 fiji@rusticpathways.com


Fiji

Ridge to Reef Expedition From hiking through mountains to swimming with manta rays, explore all that Fiji has to offer

Trek the forests of Fiji along mountain tracks walked for generations.

Ages

14 and up

Kayak tropical waters and learn about the marine environment that financially supports surrounding communities.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare

Become part of a friendly Fijian village by staying with a local family and living the remote Fijian-mountain lifestyle. Experience the ultimate exploration of the Fiji Islands. Your adventure begins with a fourday trek along mountain trails used for generations to travel from village to village. Stop in welcoming communities, swim beneath waterfalls, and take in sublime mountain vistas along the way. Conclude your hike in a friendly Highlands village and share in the relationship Rustic has built within this region of Fiji in several decades. Spend the final leg of your journey kayaking the blue waters of the heavenly Yasawa Islands. Swim with manta rays, scuba dive (add-on activity), or snorkel remote coral reefs essential to life in the islands. You’ll return home having experienced the diverse landscape and welcoming nature of Fiji and seeing places few visitors even know exist.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26

Returns Wednesday July 11

Connects well with… Sun, Sand, and International Service Fiji Diver’s Dream

p. 96 p. 106

rusticpathways.com/fj 103


Fiji

Big Fiji Explorer Wonderful waves, waterfalls, and wild wanderings throughout the Fiji Islands

Ages

14 and up

Island hop through the impeccable waters around the magical Mamanuca Islands.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 6 community service hours awarded

Hike along coastal trails and across the golden sands of Fiji’s beaches before going for a dip in refreshing crystal blue waters.

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1 August 8 August 15

Snorkel over brilliant rainbow-colored coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and exotic marine creatures as you explore these underwater ecosystems. Adventure through Fiji during this action-packed program that will keep seasoned explorers’ adrenaline flowing and provide a great introduction for students traveling abroad for the first time. Swim beneath waterfalls hidden deep in the interior of Viti Levu, visit the Yasawa Islands to snorkel with manta rays, and kayak in Fiji’s coastal wilderness. You’ll stay at a variety of locations and get a chance to live like a local. Hanging out around a beach bonfire, you’ll soon realize the Fijian people have found their way into your heart with their welcoming and carefree nature. Savenaca “Save” Rodan | Fiji Adventure Program Manager Save came to Rustic from the capital city of Suva. His extensive background in tourism and adventure sports has been a great asset to our Big Fiji Explorer, Escape to Fiji, and Pacific Adrenaline programs. Save is also an exceptional carpenter and can frequently be found building bicycles at our South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base.

104 fiji@rusticpathways.com


Fiji

Escape to the Fiji Islands Mountains, beaches, and spectacular sunsets in the stunning South Pacific

Live on a secluded beach, hike to a towering waterfall, snorkel the calm waters of the Mamanuca Islands, and zip line above ancient cave systems. Immerse yourself in rural life alongside our longtime Fijian friends from the lush jungles of the Nausori Highlands. Explore Fiji’s underwater world as you snorkel along reefs teeming with fish and other tropical marine life in this fascinating ecosystem Experience this program’s combination of adventure and exploration, perfect for students looking to get off the beaten path. Live in a remote camp and fall asleep to the uninterrupted flow of the river. Relish the escape from technology and adapt to the culture as you prepare traditional foods, hike to see magnificent views, join in games with locals, and enjoy an area of Fiji where few tourists ever venture. Take a boat ride through the mangroves of Momi Bay to an offshore island. Witness spectacular sunsets and swim in tranquil waters just steps from your front door. You’ll have a chance to swim, kayak, scuba dive (add-on activity), and hike through gorgeous hills overlooking stunning waterfalls. Or just relax with a book on the beach.

Ages

14 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Cost

$2,595 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 July 10 July 18 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 20 June 27 July 18 July 25 August 1

Connects well with… Sun, Sand, and International Service Intro to Community Service in Fiji

p. 96 p. 97

rusticpathways.com/fj 105


Fiji

Fiji Diver’s Dream Dive the oceanic depths, see the sights, and live the South Pacific lifestyle

Ages

14 and up

Discover an underwater world filled with incredible marine life and colorful coral in this world-famous dive location.

Length

9 days from the United States

Cost

$2,795 plus international airfare $2,995 including PADI Open Water Certification

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3 July 17

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

Connects well with… Marine Service and Adventure

p. 101

u I learned so much about scuba diving. The group leaders were not only very sweet and knowledgeable, but they were great role models. Leyla Namazie | Tarzana, California

Earn a PADI Open Water Diver certification or advance your current scuba certification and improve your underwater skills. Explore stunning Momi Bay from above and below the surface during unforgettable dives and fun optional activities in Fiji. Trek to the beautiful Fiji Islands to explore the renowned waters of the South Pacific. The underwater landscapes are vibrant, varied, and teeming with life. If you’re not a certified diver, you can obtain a Professional Association of Dive Instruction Open Water Diver certification. After classroom lessons and diving pool practice, you’ll be ready to experience the majestic Fijian coast. If you’re already a certified diver, you’ll participate in up to eight dives, depending on your group and add-on activities, and have the opportunity to advance your level of certification for an additional fee. When not exploring life under the sea, you’ll find yourself immersed in traditional Fijian culture, hiking the sand dunes, or kayaking through the mangroves. You’ll leave with a far better understanding of life above and below the surface of this fascinating island paradise Base House Program: South Pacific Eco-Lodge Base

106 fiji@rusticpathways.com


Fiji

Pacific Adrenaline An epic and challenging adventure through beautiful Fiji and New Zealand

Kayak along perfect white sand coastlines, swim beneath waterfalls, relax on beautiful beaches, and hike through untouched rainforests far off the beaten path.

Ages

14 and up

Length

23 days from the United States

Explore remote islands and plunge into Fijian culture as you travel with our experienced local program leaders.

Cost

$6,995 plus international airfare $650 internal airfare

Challenge the concept of time as you stand in both the present and the past on your visit to the international date line.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Raft the wild whitewater rapids of the Kaituna River and explore underground glowworm caves in nearby New Zealand. Participate in an exhilarating three-week exploration of Fiji and New Zealand designed for seasoned travelers and created with a small group of adventurers in mind. Come discover the beautiful Yasawa Islands, the remote Nausori Highlands, and Taveuni—the “Garden Island” of Fiji. Hike through exquisite rainforests, swim among waterfalls, scuba dive in pristine waters (add-on activity), and kayak past stunning beaches. Then high adventure awaits in New Zealand, the Land of the Long White Cloud. Whitewater raft down the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world, roll down a zigzag track in a slippery Zorb ball, and spend time relaxing in natural hot springs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 July 3 July 10

Returns Wednesday July 4 July 11 July 25 August 1

Connects well with… Intro to Community Service in Fiji

p. 97

u Everything about my trip was amazing: the people, the locals, the places, everything. Anne Beckerman | Short Hills, New Jersey

rusticpathways.com/fj 107


u Wonders of Laos, page 112


Laos


Laos

Population

7.02 million

Capital City Vientiane

Join us in Laos to experience breathtaking scenery and immersive service projects. Many of our programs visit the villages of our local staff, taking students off the tourist path. Our leaders help our students make the connection between Laos’ complex past, developing present, and hopeful future. Every year students fall in love with this little-known country and leave with a better understanding of this unique culture.

stunning Laos is __________.

Even the most well-traveled students find themselves entranced by the Laos landscape. Golden temples gleam against dirt roads. Verdant, rolling hills spotted with palm trees and rice fields create a backdrop composed of limitless shades of green. Remnants of the country’s French colonial past are woven into the fabric of tribal life. Laos will delight you at every turn.

Currency

Kip (LAK)

Languages

Lao is the official language, though many ethnic minorities speak dozens of different languages

Attractions

Luang Prabang – a French colonial UNESCO World Heritage site

Pha That Luang – a golden stupa and national symbol

Khone Falls – the largest waterfalls in Southeast Asia

Braden Betts | Laos and Myanmar Country Director “Take your shoes off, sit back, and watch the awe-inspiring sunset from the deck of the Rustic Pathways Base as the Mekong River flows beneath you. Whether you’re in remote villages surrounded by limestone cliffs, zip lining alongside waterfalls, or giving morning offerings to a procession of Buddhist monks, Laos will leave you with a constant grin and new appreciation for life.” Raised in Thailand and Singapore, Braden has a strong adoration for Southeast Asia and sharing the warm culture with Rustic Pathways students. Braden brings his passion for student learning and sustainable community projects to operations in Laos and Myanmar. In his spare time, you’ll find Braden in the pursuit of thrills, the great outdoors and spicy street food.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

•••

•••

••••

••

N/A

11 days

$2,395

Sticky Rice Service Adventure

••

••••

•••

••••

35 hours

18 days

$3,495

Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition

•••

•••

••••

56 hours

25 days

$4,795

Southeast Asia Adventurer

••••

•••••

••

••••

N/A

18 days

$4,395

Wonders of Laos

110 laos@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


Mekong Service Base Rustic Pathways’ Mekong Service Base in Luang Prabang was fully renovated in 2014 and is the perfect retreat for students participating in our northern Laos programs. Located in the country’s primary cultural city overlooking the Mekong River, the Mekong Service Base is a perfect jumping off point for your Rustic adventure. The base is designed to provide a rural village living experience with access to all of the resources and activities you’ll experience during your program. Featuring traditional Laos-style accommodations, with many houses being accurate replications of homes from across the country, students will sleep on simple mats with mosquito nets and personal fans. Bathrooms are modern with showers and flushing toilets. Outside, students may enjoy playing bocce ball, soccer, or frisbee with local staff and children. Lay Lay Ooh | Mekong Service Base Operations Manager Born in Myanmar, Lay Lay Ooh has been an integral member of the Rustic Pathways team for more than a decade. He is fluent in Burmese, English, Lao, and Thai and has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and the USA. He now uses his strong leadership skills to manage our beautiful base in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Support Initiatives Education: Sticky Rice’ students serve as English language conversational partners with teenage students at a non-profit literacy center in Luang Prabang. Environmental and Animal Welfare: During Wonders of Laos, students will spend two days and one night at the Lao Elephant Conservation Center a few hours west over mountain passes on misty jungle roads in Xayaboury Province. On-site veterinarians and mahouts, traditional elephant keepers, will provide students with instruction in animal conservation practices, basic veterinary training, and enrichment and socialization activities for the elephants. Infrastructure: Students who participate in Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition and Sticky Rice Service Adventure have short stays at the Mekong Service Base. Come With Nothing students assist with an ongoing construction projects in the nearby village of Nong Tok.

rusticpathways.com/la 111


Laos

Wonders of Laos Stay at the tranquil Mekong Service Base during a week-long mix of adventure and immersion

Ages

14 and up

Length

11 days from the United States

Cost

$2,395 plus international airfare $395 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3

Returns Friday June 29 July 13

Connects well with… Documenting Democracy p. 131 Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children p. 159 Intro to Community Service in Thailand p. 160

Stroll the charming streets of the town of Luang Prabang where you’ll pass French colonial buildings and exquisite Buddhist temples. Trek through the seven-tiered Kuang Si Falls, one of the most renowned and beautiful sites in all of Southeast Asia. Stay at the tranquil Rustic Pathways’ base house on the shore of the Mekong River. Embrace meaningful animal conservation work with an overnight bungalow retreat at the Elephant Conservation Center. Experience the best of Laos in this action-packed week in the charming town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Float across the Mekong River to explore the limestone Pak Ou Caves adorned with dozens of Buddhist statues. Climb the steps of Mount Phousi to get sweeping panoramic views of temples, French architecture, and the great river as it wraps around Luang Prabang. Wake up with the sun and give alms to monks who wander the town collecting offerings in traditional bowls. Venture out to western Laos to spend two days at the Elephant Conservation Center. Learn about their approach and best practices in elephant conservation and veterinary techniques, and spend a night in a lakeside bungalow. Base House Program: Mekong Service Base

112 laos@rusticpathways.com


Laos

Sticky Rice Service Adventure Experience all Laos has to offer in a two-week adventure combining service and the outdoors

Immerse yourself in village life while engaging in service projects and learning about local tribal customs and traditions.

Ages

14 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Delve into the heart of Laos on a memorable service adventure and experience over breathtaking green hills and along ancient rivers.

Service

Up to 35 community service hours awarded

Explore the French-colonial streets of Luang Prabang, swim at pristine waterfalls, and snack on sticky rice and baguettes.

Cost

$3,495 plus international airfare $395 internal airfare

Discover Na Som Village, the epitome of beauty in Laos with its towering green karsts and bamboo huts sprinkled among verdant rice fields. Experience rural life in this Hmong village, learn about animistic traditions and the role of the village shaman, swim in a cool lagoon, and explore nearby caves. Then you’ll head to the town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Rise early to give alms to monks and swim in the seventiered Kuang Si Falls. Then journey farther north to Nong Khiaw, where days of service will be complemented with excursions up the Nam Ou River. Work alongside villagers on service projects, bask in glorious limestone landscapes and the tropical outdoors, and experience the traditions of Laos firsthand.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10

Returns Friday June 29 July 13 July 27

u I would qualify my trip as meaningful, rich, and memorable. I loved being able to discover a culture, have the opportunity to help others, and make friends all over the world. Eugenie Volker | Paris, France

rusticpathways.com/la 113


Laos

Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition An advanced service program down the Mekong River in Thailand and Laos

Ages

15 and up

Length

25 days from the United States

Service

Up to 56 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,795 plus international airfare $395 internal airfare

Travel with only what fits in one carry-on bag and get whatever else you need in local markets along the way—or live without! Challenge yourself as you live as a hill-tribe villager and pour your energy into grassroots service projects designed with our community partners. Explore the charming town of Luang Prabang in Laos and travel through the Chiang Rai province across the border in Thailand.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 July 3 July 10 July 24

Returns Friday July 6 July 13 July 27 August 3 August 17

Connects well with… Floating Village Service Expedition Amazing Thailand Adventure

p. 43 p. 169

Leave rich in spirit and understanding of yourself and the world in which you live. Disconnect from the life you know on a service expedition through remote Thailand and Laos. You’ll be limited to one carry-on-sized bag with a change of clothing, toiletries, medicines, and no more than five personal items. The journey begins in the mountainous province of Chiang Rai in Thailand. Next, take a two-day boat trip on the Mekong River into Laos, where you’ll live for two weeks high in the mountains outside the town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit three villages for about five days each and expect beautifully simple living conditions. Meet with NGOs and local leaders and gain insight into the needs of the area and engage in service initiatives. This demanding program creates lasting memories and will alter your perspective on life forever.

114 laos@rusticpathways.com


Laos

Southeast Asian Adventurer An action-packed adventure Laos and Thailand

Venture onto remarkable natural landscapes in the remote Bolaven Plateau and Thailand’s amazing southern islands. Feel the rush as you zip line across ancient rainforests, hike through lush countrysides, and kayak down the Mekong River. Discover Southeast Asia as you explore incredible Thailand and fascinating Laos. Challenge yourself through the misty green mountains of northern Laos and the spectacular beaches of southern Thailand. Trek in the Bolaven Plateau and zip line through jungle canopies. In Laos, you’ll swim in waterfalls, kayaking down rivers, and bike through the charming streets of Luang Prabang. Then make your way to the breathtaking islands and limestone cliffs of southern Thailand. Finish your adventure with rock climbing, snorkeling, and fun in the sun at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Chanthavong Keopanya | Laos Senior Program Manager Originally from a small village outside of Luang Prabang, Vong joined Rustic fulltime in 2012. He is a graduate of Luang Prabang Technical School, and has a deep knowledge of construction and engineering. He is WFR-certified, is trilingual in Lao, Thai, and English, and can tell jokes in all three languages.

Ages

15 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Cost

$4,395 plus international airfare $795 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Friday June 29 July 13 July 27 August 10

u I’m thankful that Rustic taught me not to be scared of failing but rather scared of not trying in the first place. Sydney Diamond | Westport, Connecticut

rusticpathways.com/la 115


u Off the Map: Mongolia, page 119


Mongolia


Mongolia

Population

2.8 million

Capital City Ulaanbaatar

We work with nomadic communities in the Tavan Bogd mountain region, where villagers still live in traditional gers, circular buildings constructed of a wooden lattice and sheep felt. Mongolia has the lowest population density of any country in the world (there are just 4.5 people per square mile) and a horse-to-human ratio of 13 to 1. Most Mongolians learn to ride horseback at a young age, and some ethnic groups still use trained golden eagles for hunting.

Mongolia is _________. rugged

Travel to Mongolia and reconfigure your definition of rustic. You may lack showers and clean clothes, but you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring surroundings. Mongolia’s nomadic culture and vast, untouched landscapes appeal to the hardiest of travelers and the most determined of adventurers.

Currency

Tugrik (MNT)

Languages

Mongolian and other ethnic languages

Attractions

Naadam Festival – Mongolia’s national holiday and a celebration of the three manly sports – archery, wrestling, and horse riding

Steppe – the green rolling hills of central Mongolia

Nomadic Lifestyle – 30 percent of Mongolia’s people are nomadic

Amanda Cortes | Mongolia and China Country Director “It is hard to encapsulate Mongolia in a phrase. Is it the vast beauty of the country’s wide open spaces, the mountains that seem to reach the sky, the delicious khorkhog, sitting around a ger talking and drinking milk tea, or meeting the amazing people and experiencing their fascinating culture? Mongolia is all those things and so much more. You won’t regret your decision to experience it for yourself.” Raised in South Carolina, Amanda credits working in Switzerland and Colombia to kindling her love for travel, education, and cultural exchange. After graduating from Boston College she led international groups on camping-based adventure tours across all of the “Lower 48” states, Canada and Alaska, eventually returning indoors to train leaders and manage operations.

Program at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

Off the Map: Mongolia

•••••

•••

••••

25 hours

22 days

$5,595

118 mongolia@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare


Mongolia

Off the Map: Mongolia An epic cultural immersion into the far reaches of central and western Mongolia

Live in a traditional village and sleep in a Mongolian ger far from modern conveniences.

Ages

16 and up

Engage with the children of the nomadic Kazakh minority as you discuss healthy food options and help in the local garden.

Length

22 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

$5,595 plus international airfare $650 internal airfare

Explore the capital of Ulaanbaatar and learn about the country’s colorful history, rich traditions, and fascinating culture. Hike into Altai Tavan Bogd National Park on a three-day expedition that will introduce you to the natural diversity of the region. Join an epic journey from the central Mongolian lowlands to the rugged mountains of the country’s wild west. Leave modern contraptions at home as you explore untamed regions and trek through the remote countryside. You’ll glimpse an ancient way of life as you travel from ger to ger across Mongolia’s arid steppe without the luxuries of electricity, running water, or paved roads. From Kazakh eagle hunting to Tuvan throat singing, the nomadic herders of Mongolia maintain traditions that date back to the great empire of Genghis Khan. In remote western Mongolia, help a local NGO offer herding families nutritional guidance, educational opportunities, and improved infrastructure. This is a rugged experience—an adventurous spirit, positive attitude, and keen sense of exploration are required.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Wednesday June 13 July 4 July 25

Returns Wednesday July 4 July 25 August 15

Connects well with… Floating Village Service Expedition Elephants and Amazing Thailand

p. 43 p. 168

rusticpathways.com/mn 119


u Souqs and Service, page 124


Morocco


Morocco

Population

33.03 million

Capital City Rabat

Rustic Pathways’ operations in Morocco encompass the breadth of this gorgeous country. Our programs visit jaw-dropping sights, such as the Cascade D’Ouzoud waterfall and Hassan II Mosque. They travel to the indigenous Amazigh villages of the Atlas Mountains, where photography students learn to capture rich cultural traditions and service students work on community-based projects that focus on education, agriculture, and cultural preservation.

diverse Morocco is __________.

Iconic images of camels trekking across the desert fall far short of capturing what Morocco is really like. From the red sands of the Sahara to the crashing waves of the coast and the fragrant spice stands of Jamaâ El-Fna market in Marrakech, Morocco is a country you have to see first-hand to truly understand.

Currency

Dirham (MAD)

Languages

The official languages are Standard Arabic and Tamazight. Darija, French, and Berber are also spoken

Attractions

The Sahara Desert – the largest non-polar desert in the world

Fez – a medieval city containing the world’s largest car-free urban area

Jamaâ El-Fna – a UNESCO World Heritage marketplace in Marrakech

Chaima Ait Al Mekki | Morocco Country Director “Morocco is this flourishing tree with roots in Africa and branches and leaves in Europe. It’s a land of diversity that resembles our national dish, tagine. Just as many different ingredients form the perfect stew, the variation of the mountains and deserts, ancient medinas and modern cities, French and Arab cultures will make you want to savor every bite.” Born and raised in Marrakech, Chaima has been with Rustic since our first summer in Morocco. Fluent in Arabic, French, English, and Spanish, she is an invaluable resource. With a degree in actuarial finance, she uses her knowledge of business, languages, and culture to manage stellar programs. Chaima is a strong believer in cross-cultural discussions to better understand one another.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

•••••

•••••

•••••

N/A

16 days

$3,895

Souqs and Service

•••••

•••

••••

25 hours

16 days

$3,595

Moroccan Wanderer

••••

•••••

•••

••

10 hours

16 days

$4,195

Advanced Photography Workshop

•••••

•••••

•••••

•••••

N/A

16 days

$4,595

Peace, Wonder, and Understanding Islam

122 morocco@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


Morocco

Peace, Wonder, and Understanding Islam Leave Morocco with the tools to take action against the marginalization of Muslim people

Examine the rich and fascinating history of the Islamic religion and culture.

Ages

15 and up

Discover how this religion and its people have become victims of unfair polarization and fear by media outlets and societies.

Length

16 days from the United States

Cost

$3,895 plus international airfare

Develop personal connections with Muslim spiritual and community leaders. Learn how to take action by understanding the tools necessary to create change. Dive deep into the beliefs and culture of the Islamic faith in Morocco during this Critical Issues program. Islam is often misrepresented in media and politics, leading to polarization and fear surrounding this religion. Join us in exploring the roots of stereotypes in an effort to promote peace and build empathy by connecting with Muslims in Morocco. Leave ready to stand against hate and misinformation and carry your newly recognized change-making skills into your community. This is a program for change makers with curious spirits who believe we can impact the world through positive engagement and understanding cultural and religious differences.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday July 10

Returns Wednesday July 25

Connects well with‌ Souqs and Service Moroccan Wanderer

p. 124 p. 125

Critical Issues Program Religious persecution and multicultural acceptance

rusticpathways.com/ma 123


Morocco

Souqs and Service Community service immersion and adventure in an Atlas mountain village

Ages

16 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,595 plus international airfare

Bond with youth as you work with local organizations on education, agriculture, and cultural preservation projects in an Atlas mountain village. Trek off the tourist path and immerse yourself in little-known Berber traditions and culture of rural Morocco. Swim in stunning waterfalls and explore the surrounding countryside on guided hikes.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 24

Returns Wednesday July 11 August 8

Connects well with‌ Moroccan Wanderer

p. 125

u Everything on my trip went smoothly and as perfectly as it could. It had an amazing balance of service the first week and of tourism in the second week.

Bargain for handicrafts, spices, and more in the markets of a 1,000-year-old medina. Travel to the imperial city of Marrakech and enjoy a welcoming feast in the middle of Jamaâ El-Fna marketplace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the buzzing energy of the old medina before making your way through the High Atlas mountains to settle in for a week of challenging and rewarding service work in a Berber village. Volunteer on community-based projects that focus on education, agriculture, and cultural preservation with Moroccan youth organizations and Amazigh, or Berber, associations. After time in the village, test your bargaining skill for a day shopping in the labyrinthine markets known as souqs. Visit Chefchaouen and hike to Akchour Waterfall before concluding your service journey at the vast Hassan II Mosque.

Hannah Lazarus | Hillsborough, California

124 morocco@rusticpathways.com


Morocco

Moroccan Wanderer Across the mighty desert, over the mountains, and into the sea

Work on collaborative development projects in a small village nestled in the High Atlas mountains. Ride a camel over the shimmering sands of the Sahara desert and explore the dunes under a blanket of stars. Wander through a maze of colorful souqs and riads in the ancient city of Marrakech. Zip line over the majestic landscapes of the grand Atlas Mountains and play in the waves along Morocco’s famed coast lines. Marvel at the imposing mud brick ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its appearance in films such as “Lawrence of Arabia.” Start your journey in Casablanca where you’ll visit Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest in the world, before heading off to begin your service projects. Along the way, stop by the ancient Ait-Ben-Haddou and pass through scenic Todra Gorge. Set off on a sunset camel caravan to a desert camp. Then take part in community development projects and learn about the indigenous Amazigh, or Berber, culture in a remote valley nestled in the craggy High Atlas mountains,. In Marrakech, visit the buzzing market square and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jamaâ El-Fna. Your last stop will be the white-walled Medina of Essaouira, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you can snack on fresh crepes and take surf lessons.

Ages

16 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 10 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,195 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25 August 1

Connects well with… Souqs and Service

p. 124

rusticpathways.com/ma 125


Morocco

Advanced Photography Workshop An advanced documentary project in Morocco’s Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains

Ages

16 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare

Live the life of a photojournalist as you traverse Morocco’s varied landscapes and encounter its diverse people. Develop an engaging photography portfolio under the watchful guidance of an expert photojournalist.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12

Returns Wednesday June 27

Connects well with… Moroccan Wanderer

p. 125

Ride a camel into the Sahara desert and photograph the traditions of the indigenous Amazigh, or Berber, culture. Become proficient at managing the manual settings of your camera, learn the key photography concepts of framing and lighting, and master other tricks of the trade. Immerse yourself in Moroccan culture among the snake charmers and medieval mosques of Marrakech. Use your camera to explore Morocco’s vibrant cultures, landscapes, and traditions under the guidance of a professional photojournalist. From the medieval streets of Fez, the world’s largest car-free urban area, to the tranquil landscapes of the Rif Mountains surrounding Chefchaouen, you’ll capture the diversity of life in this colorful nation. Hike to the Bridge of God and the waterfall of Akchour. Then make your way towards the gateway of the Sahara. Here you’ll hop on a camel for a ride into the dunes to meet Berber people and learn about their ancient way of life. After a farewell dinner in Marrakech, head to Casablanca and explore Hassan II Mosque, one of the world’s largest and most impressive.

126 morocco@rusticpathways.com


rusticpathways.com/ma 127


u Backroads of Southeast Asia, page 171


Myanmar


Myanmar

Population

56.89 million

Capital City Naypyidaw

While Rustic Pathways began leading trips in Myanmar in 1990, the country has only recently opened to general tourists, which means its spectacular beauty is still largely untouched. All of our Myanmar program managers are native Burmese, enabling us to take students off of the increasingly popular tourist track and into the villages and homes of their family and friends.

unique Myanmar is _________.

Largely cut off from the Western world for decades, Myanmar can feel a little like a land lost to time. Its colorful cultures, stunning landscapes, and complex history make it an intriguing destination. You’ll witness a nation wrestling with issues of globalization, internal politics, technological advancement, and cultural sovereignty, all while gaining an authentic look into the lives of locals.

Currency

Kyat (MMK)

Languages

Burmese is the official language, although dozens of other languages are widely spoken

Attractions

Shwedagon Pagoda – one of the world’s most spectacular temples

Inle Lake – a lake surrounded by mountains and villages

The Temples of Bagan – 2,000 plus temples in 16 square miles

Chit Oo | Myanmar Country Manager “Myanmar is often described as the Golden Land because of its richness in natural resources and glittering pagodas. It is filled with many unique cultures and generous people, as more than 135 ethnic groups live within the country. Myanmar recently opened its doors for tourism, but most of its beauty is untouched and ready for travelers to explore.” Hailing from Kengtung in eastern Shan State, Chit Oo is an integral member of Rustic’s Myanmar team. With a degree in geography from Kengtung University, he enjoys sharing his Shan culture and stories of colorful hill tribe people with our students. Chit Oo has mastered English, Burmese, and Thai, and loves practicing his photography during programs.

Myint Zaw | Myanmar Country Manager “I love introducing students to Myanmar and teaching them about the country’s complicated history while helping them understand its bright future. While experiencing Myanmar might be different from what they might read about or see on social media, students are immediately welcomed by the Burmese people whose warmth and generosity will make them feel like they’ve found a new home away from home.” Myint Zaw comes from a small village near U Bein Bridge in Amarapura. After years of working in tourism, he is fluent in English and French in addition to his native Burmese. His extensive knowledge of Buddhist history and sense of humor make him a valued part of our team. When not guiding trips, Myint Zaw enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Documenting Democracy The Heart of Myanmar

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

•••••

•••

•••••

••••

N/A

18 days

$4,595

•••••

•••

•••

••

30 hours

18 days

$4,195

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+ airfare

+ airfare


Myanmar

Documenting Democracy Develop your storytelling skills while engaging with local artist communities

Create your own journalistic piece through in-depth analysis and interviews with artists, journalists, filmmakers, and families.

Ages

15 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Learn documentary and responsible journalistic techniques from expert photographers who serve as program leaders.

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare $595 internal airfare

Capture unique people and gorgeous locations through your lens as you hop between the hustle of Yangon to the serene landscapes of Bagan.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Delve into Myanmar’s unique history through the stories of its people. Through hardship and challenges overcome to moments of enlightenment, you’ll gain an intimate perspective about life in the Golden Land from a variety of local people. Engage with local storytellers including artists, documentary filmmakers, political party members, monks, and village leaders. Spend time exploring a remote village where you’ll play soccer and cane ball, ride in oxen-drawn carts, and share a traditional dinner with village members. Guided by professionals, you’ll learn journalistic techniques and leave with your own story to share about this fascinating country.

Departs Tuesday July 10

Returns Friday July 27

Connects well with… Wonders of Laos Backroads of Southeast Asia

p. 112 p. 171

Critical Issues Program Political change, storytelling, and democratization

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Myanmar

The Heart of Myanmar Experience authentic Myanmar on this two-week immersive service program

Ages

14 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Service

Up to 30 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,195 plus international airfare $365 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26

Returns Wednesday July 13

u My trip to Myanmar was truly outstanding. Not only did I learn more about our global community by immersing myself in this different culture, but I also developed lifelong relationships with students and Rustic staff from across the globe. Morgan Zee | Hong Kong, China

Connect with Burmese students as you lead activities and run a day camp in a rural village along the Irrawaddy River. Admire the splendor of Bagan’s ancient temples and surrounding landscapes as you bike through the dazzling landscape at sunset. Impact the local community through education and water distribution service projects. Experience life in Myanmar as you work on service projects in remote villages and get to know the local people. Travel to the home village of our local staff, located on an island in the middle of the Irrawaddy River. Your group will run a day camp for children and contribute to infrastructure projects. Then visit the ancient city of Bagan, where the landscape is peppered with thousands of temples dating back to the time of the Burmese kings. Explore the complexities of Myanmar’s colonial past and learn how the country is changing as it rapidly opens to the outside world.

Soe Than | Myanmar and Thailand Program Manager Raised in the small island village that Heart of Myanmar visits, Soe Than enjoys sharing his home with our students. He is an impressive athlete who enjoys cane ball and loves introducing this acrobatic sport to interested students! An enthusiastic traveler, Soe Than has visited most of Myanmar and nearly every country in Southeast Asia.

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u Lake Titicaca Service Adventure, page 139


Peru


Peru

Population

30.74 million

Capital City Lima

Students who join us in Peru have the opportunity to scale glaciated Andean peaks, explore ancient Incan ruins, enter the depths of the Amazon Jungle, and work alongside villagers in rural communities. Students partner with local organizations supporting pressing issues such as access to water and education for girls. Outside of service, students take advantage of the abundance of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, and more.

Peru is __________. inspiring

Whether it’s the mountains, the beach, the rainforest, or the remote valley towns, every view in Peru is breathtaking. You’ll meet hardworking people in remote villages, contribute to service projects that make a tangible difference, and leave the country feeling refreshed and inspired.

Currency

Nuevo Sol (PEN)

Languages

Spanish and Quechua – both official languages

Attractions

Machu Picchu – the Incan Lost City

The Amazon Rainforest – the largest rainforest in the world

Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake on the planet

Colca Canyon – twice as deep as the Grand Canyon

Kelly Moynihan | Peru Country Director “For me, Peru is much more than a stamp in my passport. It’s being welcomed like family into Quechua communities, it’s being overwhelmed by incredible vistas in the Sacred Valley, and it’s trekking deep into the Amazon and truly learning about the power of nature. Tourists will come to see Machu Picchu, but travelers fall in love with the raw beauty, rich culture, and endless adventures Peru has to offer.” Ten years of program leader experience, fluency in Spanish, and commitment to community service make Kelly a natural to direct our Peru operations. She previously worked in Costa Rica with indigenous communities on the Caribbean coast and turtle conservation efforts in the Pacific. Originally from New Jersey, she earned a degree in journalism from American University.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

••

••••

•••••

••••

20 hours

15 days

$4,595

Sacred Valley Service

•••••

•••

•••

40 hours

15 days

$3,995

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

••

•••

•••

••••

25 hours

15 days

$3,995

Andes to Amazon

••

•••••

•••

•••

20 hours

15 days

$3,795

Off the Map: Peru

••

••••

•••••

N/A

15 days

$4,595

Peru by Backpack

••••

•••••

•••

•••••

10 hours

22 days

$5,595

La Niña Andina

136 peru@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


Peru

La Niña Andina Dive deep into the issues surrounding access to education and opportunities for women

Examine the real-world challenges facing girls in Peru and join the dialogue on equality and education for women around the globe.

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Learn traditional Quechua weaving techniques as you spend a day working at a textile cooperative with expert leaders.

Service

Up to 20 community service hours awarded

Trek for three days along the high mountain path many Andean girls take from a mountainous Quechua village to the nearest town with access to education.

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare $465 internal airfare

Climb 400 meters up a rock face and enjoy sweeping views of the Sacred Valley as you zip line back down overhead on your way back down.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Develop perspective about the current issues facing girls and women in Peru during a two-week service adventure in the Andean highlands. Learn how local nonprofits tackle daily challenges and visit a girls’ secondary-education dormitory, a vocationaltraining center and home for young mothers, and a women’s textile weaving cooperative. Immerse yourself in traditional Quechua culture during your homestay in the Mapacho River Valley, and build meaningful relationships with the Peruvian families you meet. Find adventure as you zip line down a 400-meter rock face and spend a day exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Critical Issues Program Access to education, gender equality, and women’s empowerment

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3 July 17

Returns Tuesday July 3 July 17 July 31

u I loved every part of my trip. The leaders were amazing and the service we did was eyeopening and a humbling experience for me. I was reminded that education is not a priority once it someone is old enough for secondary school. Caroline Sar | Raleigh, North Carolina

rusticpathways.com/pe 137


Peru

Sacred Valley Service Community service, cultural immersion, and adventure near Machu Picchu

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Service

Up to 40 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,995 plus international airfare $465 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31

Returns Tuesday June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7 August 14

Camp in indigenous villages and wake up each morning to the impressive sights and sounds of the Andean countryside. Immerse yourself in colorful communities near Ollantaytambo and get to know their people during service work and homestays. Raft your way through the Sacred Valley and test your limits on South America’s highest bungee jump—if you dare! Marvel at the sight of Machu Picchu and other ancient ruins scattered throughout the heart of the Incan empire, which once spanned much of western South America. Discover hidden valleys, stunning scenery, and rural villages on our most popular program in Peru. Rooted in service, this program partners with Peruvian communities on sustainable projects designed to address economic development, public health, and educational needs. Alongside the physical service work, you’ll enjoy time to play games of fútbol with new friends, practice Spanish with villagers, and explore Incan ruins. Experience Peru’s adventurous side while whitewater rafting and biking through the valley. Climb to the ruins of Machu Picchu for an awe-inspiring end to your incredible journey. Spring Break Program: We also offer a one-week version of this program between March and April for spring break. For more information and dates please see page 24 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/spring-break.

138 peru@rusticpathways.com


Peru

Lake Titicaca Service Adventure The ultimate community service tour through southern Peru

Experience the idyllic islands, regional cuisine, and ancient culture of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Contribute to meaningful community-driven service projects in partnership with the villagers of Lake Titicaca’s island communities.

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Roam the Incan capital of Cusco, explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, and marvel at the impressive Colca Canyon.

Cost

$3,995 plus international airfare $465 internal airfare

Play volleyball and soccer with eager young Peruvian boys and girls amid magnificent views of the vast Andean Plateau.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Start your adventure with visits to Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, and Cusco—the perfect introduction to the history and beauty of Peru. At Lake Titicaca, you’ll live and work among indigenous people who subsist much as they did hundreds of years ago. Venture to ancient highland villages and remote island towns to participate in a variety of service projects. From Lake Titicaca, travel to Peru’s canyon country. Plunging to twice the depth of the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon provides a spectacular setting for the last days of your trip. Watch condors soar, go mountain biking, soak in natural hot springs, and experience the diversity of this picturesque country.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Tuesday June 26 July 10 July 24 August 7

u My program changed the way I appreciate the little things I have in life and inspired me to go out and help others in need. Eva Serra | Old Greenwich, Connecticut

rusticpathways.com/pe 139


Peru

Andes to Amazon Adventure and service in the rainforest and at the foothills of the Andes Mountains

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Serve in an under-privileged region of Peru and enjoy adventure activities like whitewater rafting and zip lining.

Service

Up to 20 community service hours awarded

Journey into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, an extraordinary ecosystem teeming with exotic plants, rare animals, and diverse cultures.

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare $465 internal airfare

Discover regions of Peru not typically visited by most tourists. Assist at an animal rehabilitation center and learn about conservation efforts in Peru.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Tuesday June 26 July 10 July 24 August 7

Connects well with‌ Lake Titicaca Service Adventure

p. 139

Travel from the base of the Andes into the Amazon rainforest on this unforgettable service adventure. Get to know your group through community service, mountain treks, and picturesque bus rides while experiencing rarely explored regions of Peru. A flight into the Andean mountains will allow you to view majestic peaks, valleys, and glacial lakes before descending into the Amazon jungle for a unique journey through dozens of microclimates. See wildlife up close as you aid an animal rehabilitation center and work alongside the jungle community to improve their quality of life and environment. You’ll experience the ecological diversity of Peru while performing service to protect its environment during this impactful adventure.

140 peru@rusticpathways.com


Peru

Off the Map: Peru Cultural exploration and adventure from the Sacred Valley to the Amazon

Enjoy high-energy adventure as you bike, hike, zip line, and raft your way through the Sacred Valley and in the foothills of Apu Ausangate. Glimpse picturesque glaciated peaks, relax in natural hot springs, whitewater raft on clear mountain rivers, and pick up some Quechua as you go. Marvel at Machu Picchu as you explore the ancient Incan ruins. Descend from the high-altitude Andes into the lush Amazon basin, passing through diverse ecosystems along the way. Join an unforgettable journey that combines cultural immersion with adventure. Experience the breadth of Peru’s geography from the top of the Andes to the heart of the Amazon. Explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley, then plunge 7,000 feet by mountain bike, zip line across lush valleys, and hike through a cloud forest. Pass through remote Quechua communities, observe how they maintain their cultural traditions, and learn some Quechua phrases. After exploring the cobblestone streets of Cusco and rafting the Urubamba River, camp and hike below the snow-capped peaks of Apu Ausangate. Finally, descend 14,000 feet into the Amazon to a remote lodge on the Tambopata River and experience the heart and soul of the jungle.

Ages

14 and up

Length

15 days from the United States

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare $465 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3 July 17

Returns Tuesday July 3 July 17

Connects well with… Sacred Valley Service

July 31 p. 138

u After a strenuous hike with some of the best friends you’ll ever make, you look up and see this view. It makes you realize how grateful you are for being able to have such a life-changing experience. Sam Simpson | Birmingham, Alabama

rusticpathways.com/pe 141


Peru

Peru by Backpack This alumni-only program allows you to create your own adventure as you trek across Peru

Ages

16 and up

Length

22 days from the United States

Service

Up to 10 community service hours awarded

Cost

$5,595 plus international airfare $285 internal airfare

Gain valuable backpacking experience and assume the responsibility of planning your journey across Peru. Explore the most fascinating, eye-opening, and downright beautiful locations in this incredible South American country. Bond with your group as you work together to strategize, execute, and problem-solve during this epic travel adventure.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 10

Returns Tuesday July 10 July 31

Connects well with… Sacred Valley Service

p. 138

Develop invaluable life skills and transform yourself from casual tourist to seasoned world traveler ready to apply what you’ve learned to your next adventure. Become a savvy, adventurous backpacker on this life-changing trek through Peru’s many natural wonders. This is a unique Rustic experience that puts the journey in your hands. Living out of your pack, you’ll manage your budget, negotiate with locals, and learn to travel like a pro. Camp under the stars in the magnificent Andes, trek to the most beautiful turquoise lagoons and cascading waterfalls, and explore one of the greatest archaeological mysteries on the globe—the Nazca Lines. After an intense yet rewarding three weeks, you’ll return home knowing how to find hidden spots off the tourist track, meet fascinating people, and truly interact with local culture.

142 peru@rusticpathways.com


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u Culture and the Crater, page 150


Tanzania


Tanzania

Population

52.48 million

Capital City Dodoma

Since 2006, we have introduced students to the people and cultures of Tanzania. Outside of safari trips and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, students are exposed to indigenous tribal groups, such as the Maasai of the Great Rift Valley and the nomadic Hadzabe, who still maintain traditional lifestyles. Students also work alongside villagers on collaboratively designed service projects, enabling them to become part of the community and develop a local perspective.

welcoming Tanzania is ____________.

Currency

Shilling (TZS)

Languages

Swahili and English

Attractions

Serengeti National Park – home to Africa’s big five game animals

Zanzibar – the luxurious spice island off the coast of Tanzania with brilliant white sand beaches

Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest point in Africa and the world’s tallest freestanding volcano

What you will remember most from your time in Tanzania is the people. Tanzanians welcome you with big smiles and are genuinely excited to share their culture and customs. Be ready to become part of the community while you sip tea and listen to stories from your host families, community members, and other locals.

Patrick Ziemnik | Tanzania Country Director “When you think of Tanzania, you perhaps think of postcard photos: the vast savannas of the Serengeti, majestic African wildlife, the mighty Kilimanjaro towering overhead, the beauty of Zanzibar. But after experiencing life in Tanzania, you’ll remember the smiling faces of your friendly hosts, delicious food, and charismatic cultural experiences of this fascinating country.” Patrick’s career in experiential education began at Harvard where he managed the First-Year Outdoor Program. He joined Rustic after serving with AmeriCorps. Patrick uses his leadership skills and love of the outdoors to lead our operations in Tanzania, where his dedication to community partnerships and passion for creating meaningful student experiences continue to shine.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

The Maji Safi Project

••

•••

•••••

•••

25 hours

16 days

$4,295

African Wildlife Conservation

••

••••

•••••

••••

25 hours

16 days

$4,495

Culture and the Crater

••••

••••

50 hours

16 days

$3,895

Njoro Village Service Immersion

•••

•••

•••

25 hours

9 days

$2,495

Serengeti to Zanzibar

•••

••

••

••••

N/A

9 days

$3,795

Climbing Kili

•••••

N/A

16 days

$6,495

146 tanzania@rusticpathways.com

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


rusticpathways.com/tz 147


Tanzania

The Maji Safi Project Take action to help address the global water crisis on a local level

Ages

14 and up

Learn about the global water crisis, one of the most critical issues facing our world.

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Partner with communities, NGOs, and government agencies to implement local solutions and scale repeatable processes.

Cost

Help deliver access to clean water to partner communities.

$4,295 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 24

Returns Wednesday July 11 August 8

Connects well with… Culture and the Crater Serengeti to Zanzibar

p. 150 p. 152

Engage with local students and village residents as you’re immersed in the culture, history, and lifestyle of your hosts. Partner with locally-run NGOs to take a deep look into one of the most important issues of your generation—the global water crisis. Droughts and a changing climate have only increased the burden on communities with limited access to clean water. Explore different, location-specific approaches to tackling water, sanitation, and hygiene issues—commonly referred to as WASH. Our NGO partners will explain the challenges of scaling community-centered solutions for use across Tanzania. Get your hands dirty as you serve alongside local masons, engineers, and village residents on various water projects. Model good hand washing, one of the most effective hygiene interventions, to the local primary students you encounter. Critical Issues Program Natural resources accessibility and preservation

148 tanzania@rusticpathways.com


Tanzania

African Wildlife Conservation Hands-on training with animal and environmental initiatives

Participate in a variety of hands-on service projects such as planting trees, collecting forest data, building a tree nursery, or constructing beehives.

Ages

16 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Explore Tanzania to learn about the history and lifestyle of communities that surround wildlife corridors vital to the region.

Service

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Engage with members of local communities as you work together to complete conservation and development service projects.

Cost

$4,495 plus international airfare $800 internal airfare

Track wildlife on an unforgettable trip to one of Tanzania’s world-famous national parks. Join the efforts of young conservationists all over the world as part of Rustic’s environmental conservation program. Travel around Tanzania to aid in habitat restoration efforts, while you work alongside community members on projects that support development and conservation. Spend a day in one of Tanzania’s national parks to see the animals you are protecting in their natural habitat. Cap off your trip in eastern Tanzania to collect forest data and see how the hands-on projects you assisted with are measured and evaluated. Return home an active global citizen and perhaps be inspired to do one thing each day to bring positive change to people, animals, and the environment in your community.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 July 10

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 25

Connects well with… Culture and the Crater Njoro Village Service Immersion Serengeti to Zanzibar

p. 150 p. 151 p. 152

Critical Issues Program Conservation and community development

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Tanzania

Culture and the Crater Village community service on the edge of the immense Ngorongoro Crater

Ages

14 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Service

Up to 50 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,895 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25 August 8

u Culture and the Crater was a truly once in a lifetime experience. Rustic Pathways has this indescribable way of making its students feel less like tourists and more like locals and friends of the village. Henry Fernandez | Pinecrest, Florida

Work with community leaders to implement infrastructure projects in a rural village and befriend local students in and out of the classroom while learning traditional customs. Join a group of Hadzabe tribesmen as they track animals during a simulated hunt. Spot incredible wildlife while on safari in the Ngorongoro Crater, one of Tanzania’s most iconic national parks and home to some 25,000 exotic animals. Experience rural Tanzania on one of our most rustic programs as you work with village leaders on service projects to improve basic living conditions and infrastructure. Partner with small groups of students for educational exchange activities to build communication and teamwork, and forge friendships in the classroom and on the soccer pitch. Take a break from service to hunt for small game with the nomadic Hadzabe people, one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes, visit local blacksmiths to learn to make tools and jewelry from recycled scrap metal, and embark on a safari in Ngorongoro Crater.

Cecelela Tomi | Tanzania Program Manager While at the University of Pennsylvania, Cecelela was awarded two scholarships to study Kiswahili in Tanzania. Upon graduating, Cecelela spent a year mentoring innercity youth in Washington D.C. through AmeriCorps. Her Swahili fluency, Tanzanian heritage, and passion for empowering young people make her a perfect fit in her role.

150 tanzania@rusticpathways.com


Tanzania

Njoro Village Service Immersion Immersion in Tanzanian village life on a one-of-a-kind service adventure

Partner with locals to improve the learning environment at a primary school in Poli Ward.

Ages

14 and up

Lead educational activities for local students and learn some Swahili along the way.

Length

9 days from the United States

Explore local marketplaces and farms, and learn how to prepare local foods.

Service

Live, work, and play under the shadow of mighty Mount Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzania.

Up to 25 community service hours awarded

Cost

$2,495 plus international airfare

Help transform a rural village school into a more effective learning environment and get a firsthand introduction to Tanzanian culture during this service immersion program. Complete important construction projects with local community members and increase students’ confidence in English and life skills by engaging them in conversational activities. Take a break from service to explore bustling marketplaces and rural farms, and learn how to cook local staple foods like ugali. Live comfortably in a cozy village guesthouse, take in the spectacular scenery during a hike to a nearby waterfall, and try your hands at traditional pottery after a demo from local craftswomen. You’ll be truly engaged in Tanzanian culture during this program, while giving back to the community through meaningful service.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Wednesday June 20 July 4 July 18 August 1

Connects well with‌ Serengeti to Zanzibar

p. 152

rusticpathways.com/tz 151


Tanzania

Serengeti to Zanzibar Incredible wildlife and breathtaking beaches in one compelling adventure

Ages

15 and up

Length

9 days from the United States

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare $450 internal airfare

Explore the world-famous Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, Africa’s premier wildlife preserves, on a thrilling three-day safari expedition. Spot the big five game animals: African buffalo, lion, leopard, elephant, and rhino, and learn about wildlife ecology and endangered species.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3 July 17

Returns Wednesday June 27 July 11 July 25

Connects well with… Njoro Village Service Immersion Climbing Kili

p. 151 p. 153

Feast on the fresh catch of the day, snorkel in azure waters, and sail on a traditional dhow during your stay in Zanzibar. Roam historic Stone Town as your group winds its way through the city’s maze-like streets and learn about its complicated history. Combine an epic African safari with the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania’s island paradise, during this extraordinary program. Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater—two of the most picturesque wildlife refuges in the world—provide the setting for the first half of your expedition. Set out on a three-day safari and learn about wildlife ecology and endangered species in Tanzania as you try to spot Africa’s big five game animals. Then soak up the sun on remote stretches of sand and travel through charming fishing villages in Zanzibar. Take a day trip to nearby islands, visit a fascinating spice farm, and wander the lively marketplaces of historic Stone Town.

152 tanzania@rusticpathways.com


Tanzania

Climbing Kili Experience the adventure of a lifetime during an expedition to the top of Africa

Immerse yourself in the history and the culture of the Chagga tribe as you spend your first few days serving communities in the shadow of Kili. Traverse four climate zones and experience a variety of flora and fauna on your way to the summit with a team of professional guides, porters, and cooks.

Ages

15 and up

Length

16 days from the United States

Cost

$6,495 plus international airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Celebrate the 19,341 foot ascent to Uhuru Peak with your group Adventure to the roof of Africa on this six-day trek to the continent’s highest peak and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. Start with a short introduction to the unique culture of the region as you engage in a community service project, immerse in the tribal history, and acclimate to prepare for your climb. Considered a non-technical climb, the route up Mount Kilimanjaro is highly challenging but can be conquered by anyone with good physical and mental fitness. You’ll hike along scenic trails each day and spend your nights sleeping in tents under the stars. After several days of climbing, wake up before dawn for your final ascent to the summit where you’ll stand above the clouds and look down on some of the finest views in Africa. The program comes to an end in Arusha where you’ll explore the local markets and enjoy a farewell feast with your hiking companions.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 10

Returns Wednesday July 11 July 26

Connects well with… African Wildlife Conservation Serengeti to Zanzibar

p. 149 p. 152

u Our group leaders were involved, compassionate, and, most of all, relatable. My trip to Kili was life-changing, and it was led by two amazing people who helped me embark on one of the hardest challenges I’ll ever face in my entire life. Jeremy Allen Navarro | Framingham, Massachusetts

rusticpathways.com/tz 153


u Come with Nothing, Go Home Rich, page 166


Thailand


Thailand Rustic Pathways began operating in Thailand in 1999, and the country has since grown into the hub of our programs throughout Southeast Asia. We have an extensive team of incredible local staff who are experts at ensuring our students have authentic transformational experiences. Thailand offers the widest range of Rustic programs, from gritty service trips and animal conservation programs to outdoor adventures and immersive cultural experiences.

Thailand is ______________. enchanting

Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand is a country that will immediately welcome and captivate you. The local people are very friendly and truly enjoy sharing their Buddhist culture, spicy food, and love for laughter. There is a peacefulness about the country, and the scenery is always stunning.

Population

68.20 million

Capital City

Bangkok

Currency

Baht (THB)

Languages

Thai is the official language, although dozens of other languages and dialects are spoken

Attractions

The Grand Palace – former residence for the kings of Thailand

Ayutthaya – city built in the 1300s by King U Thong

The Golden Triangle – tri-point of Laos, Thailand, and Burma

Pattiya “Pat” Taedaengpetch | Southeast Asia Regional Director “Home to hundreds of national parks, beautiful white-sand beaches, dynamic cities, historic architecture, delicious food, and fascinating culture, come see why Thailand has been one of the top Rustic Pathways destinations for nearly two decades. You’ll immediately discover why Thailand is called the Land of Smiles with some of the most generous, helpful, friendly, and sincere people that you could hope to meet.” For 18 years, Pat has brought his professionalism, knowledge of Buddhism, zany sense of humor, cheerful nature, and love of adventure to our team. An experienced computer engineer, a talented photographer, a former Buddhist monk, and a fully licensed tour guide, Pat manages our regional operations with the utmost professionalism and legendary work ethic.

Bryan Haggerty | Thailand Country Director “A mystical feel radiates from every corner of Thailand—tastes, colors, and scents seem more vibrant than anything you’ve encountered before. Experiencing village life—where time moves slow, food is home-grown, and family comes first—and witnessing how happy people are with so little is a revelation. It helps remind you how beautiful life can be without distractions and to notice the small things” Bryan studied philosophy at Saint Michael’s College before moving to Southeast Asia, where he has worked for more than a decade. He taught at Chiang Mai University for several years while also advocating for local ethnic minority groups. He speaks fluent Thai and has managed our Thailand operations since 2008. Bryan splits his time between Vermont and Chiang Mai.

Team Thailand at a Glance Rustic Pathways’ Thailand operations are comprised of more than 60 full and part-time staff members who hail from all over the country, including remote highland areas and small villages where our programs operate. Our team speaks eight languages, including English, and many more dialects. They are former medical professionals, teachers, lawyers, monks, professional athletes, and resort managers who spend most of their time living at our Ricefields Service Base outside Udon Thani or the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home. Many staff members are certified Wilderness First Responders and regularly attend international trainings throughout the region. When you visit Thailand with Rustic Pathways, you become part of our extended family and you shouldn’t be surprised if you begin planning your return to the region even before you head home.

156 thailand@rusticpathways.com


Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children

•••••

••

•••

••

39 hours

18 days

Intro to Community Service in Thailand

•••••

••

•••

24 hours

11 days

Community Health and Wilderness First Aid

•••••

•••

•••••

•••

18 hours

11 days

Life on the Margin

••

••••

••••

••••

32 hours

18 days

The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

•••

••••

••••

•••

17 hours

11 days

Children’s Home and Elephant Sanctuary Project

••••

••••

•••••

•••

23 hours

18 days

Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich

•••••

•••

••••

54 hours

25 days

The Thai Elephant Conservation Project

•••

•••

•••••

••

4 hours

11 days

Elephants and Amazing Thailand

••••

••

•••••

••••

4 hours

18 days

Amazing Thailand Adventure

••••

••

•••••

••••

N/A

11 days

Island Hopping and Diving

••••

••••

•••••

••••

N/A

18 days

Backroads of Southeast Asia

••••

•••••

•••

•••••

12 hours

25 days

Wonders and Riches of Southeast Asia

•••••

•••••

N/A

18 days

Ultimate Asia

•••

•••••

•••

•••••

N/A

24 days

Cost $3,795 + airfare

$1,995 + airfare

$2,495 + airfare

$3,795 + airfare

$1,995 + airfare

$4,295 + airfare

$4,795 + airfare

$2,695 + airfare

$4,595 + airfare

$2,395 + airfare

$4,795 + airfare

$6,995 + airfare

$6,995 + airfare

$8,595 + airfare

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Ricefields Service Base Located in the heart of a rural farming village in northeast Thailand, Ricefields is a modern oasis amid traditional Thai life. Surrounded by expansive rice fields and village homes (and with the neighborhood Buddhist temple only steps away) students have the opportunity to witness traditional, rural Thai life. Founded at the Sanboon family home in Ban Chiang Yuen, the Ricefields Service Base has been host to Rustic Pathways students since 1999. Due to our long-standing relationship with the Sanboons and the local community, we are able to offer students a truly immersive experience. Home to some of our most popular programs, including Intro to Community Service and Community Health and Wilderness First Aid, Ricefields provides a comfortable setting to introduce students to international travel.

Kadum Sanboon | Ricefields Service Base Director A devout Buddhist, Kadum spent six years as a monk before joining Rustic. He has lovingly managed our Ricefields Base for more than 10 years. With fluency in three languages and intimate knowledge of our global operations, Kadum is one of the most experienced and respected members of our Global and Southeast Asia team.

158 thailand@rusticpathways.com

Weekend Side Trips Students staying at the base for two or more weeks have the option of a weekend side trip after their first full week of service. Laos Weekend Escape: 4 days, 3 nights | $495 Head north and hop across the Mekong river into the Land of a Million Elephants. Photograph incredible landscapes, swim in a turquoise-blue jungle lagoon, hike to a mystical cave, and learn about traditional Hmong culture. Buddhist Retreat: 3 days, 2 nights | $395 Spend three days living like a Buddhist monk or nun while learning how meditation and mindfulness are a part of daily life in Thailand. Get acquainted with the basic tenets of Buddhism and leave the temple refreshed and grounded. Escape to Paradise: 3 days, 2 nights | $695 Relax on some of Thailand’s most pristine and stunning beaches in Phuket. Snorkel amid coral and colorful fish in turquoise waters and climb jungle-covered rock formations.


Thailand

Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children Seven rewarding service projects at the Ricefields Service Base

Immerse yourself in Thai life at our Ricefields Service Base, enjoy your host village, try tasty foods at the local market, learn about Thai culture at the local temple, and enjoy a rich social life at the base with new friends and inspiring leaders. Participate in a variety of meaningful service projects that benefit the communities surrounding the Ricefields Service Base. Explore regions of both Thailand and Laos during one or more of our optional weekend side trips—you can choose after arriving. Engage in life at Ricefields where service is exciting and the sense of teamwork is powerful. Ricefields offers seven meaningful service projects to choose from each week: Welcome Homes, Fish n’ Sticks, Meals on Flip Flops, Bobbing and Floating, English Exchange, Teaching and Tutoring, and Hands in the Dirt. We have developed a number of partnerships over our many years in the region, and our service projects produce lifechanging experiences for our students and long-term outcomes for the communities in which they work. Many students who come to Ricefields stay for two weeks, four weeks, or even the whole summer. Choose from several exciting side-trip options during your stay to enhance your Ricefields experience and maximize your summer in Southeast Asia.

Ages

14 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Service

Up to 39 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare $285 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Friday June 29 July 13 July 27 August 10

Connects well with… Wonders of Laos p. 112 The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home p. 164

Base House Program: Ricefields Service Base

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Thailand

Intro to Community Service in Thailand A glimpse of life at Rustic Pathways’ most popular community service base

Ages

14 and up

Length

11 days from the United States

Service

Up to 24 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare $285 internal airfare

Live at our Ricefields Service Base in one of the most welcoming and friendly villages in Thailand where you’ll make lifelong friends. Delve into the warm culture of rural northeast Thailand during seven service projects that help children, the elderly, and families in your host village and surrounding communities. Learn about Buddhism, cook tasty Thai food, participate in basic construction projects, and create English language enrichment activities for local children.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 26 July 10 July 24

Returns Friday June 22 July 6 July 20 August 3

Connects well with… The Cambodia Children’s Project Wonders of Laos Sticky Rice Service Adventure

p. 42 p. 112 p. 113

Bond with our legendary Ricefields base staff as you soak in traditional Thai culture and fall in love with rural Thailand. Join us for an exciting week of service and enriching cultural activities. With several meaningful service projects running each week, Ricefields has something for every student. Each day, you’ll choose a morning and an afternoon service project from a variety of options, from construction to creating English language exchange activities for local children. Over the weekend, work together with new friends on a larger service project and explore nearby sites. In your downtime, cool off with a swim in the pool, play a game of soccer, or join in cultural activities organized by the staff. You’ll quickly see the impact of your service firsthand and begin to feel like a part of this special community. Base House Program: Ricefields Service Base

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Thailand

Community Health and Wilderness First Aid Obtain Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications while gaining hands-on medical experience

Build a solid foundation in emergency medicine by earning certifications in Wilderness First Aid and CPR, which will prepare you for any situation. Enhance your skills while working alongside trained professionals during hands-on medical evaluations in nearby. Put your skills to use during community health service projects in villages and schools. Develop tangible skills, accredited certifications, and a greater understanding of community-based medicine. Earn Wilderness First Aid and CPR certifications at our Ricefields Service Base. You’ll learn how to triage injuries, manage life-threatening medical emergencies, and recognize early warning signs of critical problems. Practice providing basic life support and airway management and learn to determine when a patient needs to be evacuated. Apply your newly acquired knowledge about community health with focused service projects in nearby villages and schools. Return home with a new outlook on the world of health care, holistic medicine, and with the skills to help save lives in emergency situations.

Ages

16 and up

Length

11 days from the United States

Service

Up to 18 community service hours awarded

Cost

$2,495 plus international airfare $285 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 3 July 17

Returns Friday June 29 July 13 July 27

Connects well with‌ The Thai Elephant Conservation Project p. 167 Amazing Thailand Adventure p. 169

Base House Program: Ricefields Service Base

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The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home in Mae Sariang was established in 2007. This initiative provides an opportunity for Karen youth from remote areas of northwestern Thailand to thrive academically and socially. Many of our Children’s Home students graduate high school, continue on to universities, and begin successful careers in a variety of fields. Students who are accepted into the Children’s Home work hard to overcome these challenging circumstances. The Children’s Home provides basic needs, school fees, books, and uniforms, and has a team dedicated to supporting these students daily. Students receive homework tutoring, English lessons, and a host of exchange activities. Yutthana “Yut” Sangtiengnan | RPCH Director Born in Mae Sariang, Yutthana has been part of the Rustic family for more than a decade. A native Karen speaker with a kind heart, Yutthana manages operations at RPCH, one of our largest initiatives in the region. He takes time to mentor each of the children who live at RPCH and loves sharing this place with our students.

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Service Initiatives Education: Rustic Pathways works with three public schools in Mae Sariang and several rural village schools to support English language enrichment and provide cultural exchanges. Our full-time staff members collaborate with these schools to build initiatives that support key priorities and our students make a major contribution to this project through language engagement and cross-cultural learning. Infrastructure: Rustic Pathways and several villages in the region have partnered on the Rural Outreach and Development program (ROAD). This ambitious project was established in 2011 to address the issues facing the Karen villages, where our full-time students live with their families when they aren’t at the Children’s Home. Throughout the years, Rustic students have worked with village residents to construct a kindergarten, two playgrounds, two libraries, and a dining hall. The ROAD program is currently constructing four new classrooms at Mae Lai school.


Thailand

Life on the Margin Service at the RPCH, in remote villages, and at a refugee camp along the Thai-Myanmar border

Immerse yourself in the rich Karen culture and experience the exuberant and open-hearted communities in this region.

Ages

16 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Embark on a multi-day excursion through remote border outposts, including a refugee camp, where you’ll meet people who have carved out a living here for generations.

Service

Up to 32 community service hours awarded

Collaborate with people who have access to limited resources and learn about the beauty of living simply.

Cost

$3,795 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

Develop an understanding of the marginalized Karen people in the mountains of northwestern Thailand. You’ll start at the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home, a year-round facility that offers access to education for ethnic Karen students. Learn about their lives, help them improve their English, and explore Mae Sariang together during cultural outings. Then head into the remote border region where Rustic has developed longterm partnerships with Karen communities that will host you as you work on ongoing service projects. Spend extended time at a refugee camp that houses more than 13,000 Karen refugees who have escaped civil unrest in Myanmar. Finish your program with a trip to the border town of Mae Sot, where you will cross into Myanmar to gain new perspectives on the dynamics of the region.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 26 July 10

Returns Friday July 13 July 27

u We all have the same yearning for inner peace, love, and happiness. I saw this firsthand in Mae Sariang’s diverse population in how the locals communicate and live together in harmony. Rebecca Rosenzweig | Los Angeles, California

Base House Program: The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

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Thailand

The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home Join our Karen family and give from your heart at the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

Ages

14 and up

Length

11 days from the United States

Service

Up to 17 community service hours awarded

Cost

$1,995 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24

Returns Friday June 22 June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3

Live at the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home alongside ethnic Karen teens, and learn about their culture, lives, and aspirations. Serve as an English conversation partner with your new Karen friends, and assist them with their reading and writing studies. Soak up the idyllic atmosphere of mountains and rice paddies while relaxing on the breezy veranda of the Children’s Home. Meet like-minded students who want to make a difference in the lives of these exceptional, young Karen people. Delve into the warmth and camaraderie at the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home and you may never want to leave. Join our community and get to know the hill tribe students who live here year-round. Service initiatives take place either at the Children’s Home or at one of several public and village schools in the Mae Sariang area. Help with development projects in the surrounding Karen communities as part of our outreach program. Lead English exchange activities, tutor your new friends, help our team tend to the Children’s Home gardens, and join service excursions to remote communities. If you’d like an even deeper immersion experience, consider the Life on the Margin program. Base House Program: The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

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Thailand

Children’s Home and Elephant Sanctuary Project Volunteer at RPCH before delving into all things elephants at a progressive conservation center

Spend time at the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home in Thailand’s western frontier.

Ages

14 and up

Experience life at the Children’s Home, and take an overnight excursion to a nearby village to learn about life in the rural mountains of Thailand’s western frontier.

Length

18 days from the United States

Service

Up to 23 community service hours awarded

Cost

$4,295 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

Learn about elephants through activities and service projects at a world-class facility that is home to well-respected experts in the field. Explore Chiang Mai, mountaintop temples, cascading waterfalls, picturesque rice fields, and develop a new appreciation for this diverse country. Become a part of our extended family at the Rustic Pathways Children’s Home, where your journey begins. This gorgeous facility is a year-round home to Karen students who attend school nearby. Design and implement lesson plans with help from trained educators, spend a night in a nearby village working on a construction project, and gain important perspective on how people live in this part of the world. Take off to Chiang Mai, then onward to a progressive elephant sanctuary. Spend several days completing elephant-related service projects and learning about these majestic creatures. In between sessions with the elephants, you’ll enjoy engaging discussions about the diverse experiences that you’ve shared with the rest your group.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24

Returns Friday June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3 August 10

Base House Program: The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home

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Thailand

Come With Nothing, Go Home Rich An advanced and challenging service program in three remote villages

Ages

16 and up

Arrive with only one change of clothing and buy the rest of your supplies in Thai markets.

Length

25 days from the United States

Service

Up to 54 community service hours awarded

Travel to rural villages along Thailand’s western frontier and live among tribal communities in these rarely-visited places.

Cost

Work alongside village members on construction-based service projects and other hands-on initiatives to help the community reach its long-term goals.

$4,795 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

Depart richer in spirit and with a better understanding of another part of the world.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 July 3 July 24

Returns Friday July 6 July 27 August 17

Connects well with… Floating Village Service Expedition Island Hopping and Diving

p. 43 p. 170

Pack only your basic necessities—hygiene products, medicines, and a few personal items of your choice for the trip and leave all other possessions at home. You’ll only need what you can fit in a backpack for this adventure. Head to three rural villages along Thailand’s western border, where you’ll live and work alongside local people on development initiatives. Your program leaders will ensure access to clean food and water, but expect living conditions to be very basic and humble. As you travel, you’ll reflect on what you’ve seen and the contributions you’ve made to both short- and long-term service initiatives. This program is challenging yet rewarding as you are immersed in the real life of the many ethnic highland populations that inhabit this stunning mountainous region.

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Thailand

The Thai Elephant Conservation Project A hands-on project working directly with elephants at a world-renowned facility

Learn how to feed, ride, bathe, and care for elephants while working with professional elephant handlers called mahouts. Ride your elephant deep into the jungle and spend a night camping in the wilderness and laughing around a bonfire with your group. Become a certified elephant handler with instructions from professionals Live at the Thai National Elephant Conservation Center, the largest conservation center in the country dedicated to the preservation of Asian elephants and under the patronage of the Thai royal family. Through this course, you’ll earn a certificate in elephant handling from your mahout, a Thai elephant caretaker. Learn to ride, bathe, feed, and care for your elephant as you help to ensure its healthy future. This program includes formal classes, practical training, an overnight camping adventure deep in the jungle, an excursion to the world’s finest elephant hospital, social time with the mahouts, and plenty of quality contact with the elephants. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with an amazing team who have dedicated their lives to caring for elephants, while preserving the ancient and sacred customs developed to live harmoniously with these magnificent beings.

Ages

14 and up

Length

11 days from the United States

Cost

$2,695 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7

Returns Friday June 15 June 22 June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3 August 10 August 17

rusticpathways.com/th 167


Thailand

Elephants and Amazing Thailand A fantastic adventure combining elephants with the best of the Land of Smiles

Ages

14 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Cost

$4,595 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24

Returns Friday June 22 June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3 August 10

Connects well with‌ Wonders of Laos p. 112 The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home p. 164

Learn to feed, ride, bathe, and care for Asian elephants at a renowned conservation center in northern Thailand. Venture through Thailand on an action-packed trip after spending a week in the jungle caring for elephants. Explore charming Chiang Mai, visit the Grand Palace and Wat Pho in the bustling city of Bangkok, and take a chartered boat cruise down the Chao Phraya River. Experience two programs, Thai Elephant Conservation Project and Amazing Thailand Adventure, in one action-packed trip. Spend your first week at an elephant conservation center. Attend classes, gain hands-on experience with Asian elephants and their mahouts, and receive a formal certificate of participation. Start the second week by visiting ancient temples, swimming under waterfalls, and shopping at the Chiang Mai night bazaar. Then, head north to experience picturesque village life in the shadows of Doi Chiang Dao mountain before continuing on to the Chiang Rai region. The journey finishes with the highlights of Bangkok, including the Grand Palace, a championship Muay Thai match, and a nighttime dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River. College Program: For students 18 and over we offer a special version of this program, which also includes three days on the beaches of southern Thailand, starting in-country on June 2th, 2018. For more information, please visit rusticpathways.com/college.

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Thailand

Amazing Thailand Adventure A classic journey from Chiang Mai and the northern mountains down to Bangkok

Hike through remote hill tribe villages, discover Thailand’s rich culture, and gain a deep appreciation for Buddhist traditions.

Ages

14 and up

Length

11 days from the United States

Admire mighty mountains, a majestic waterfall, colorful cultures, and mystical caves in the peaceful town of Chiang Dao.

Cost

$2,395 plus international airfare $325 internal airfare

Shop in funky local markets, check out the view from Doi Suthep, visit the Grand Palace, and make lifelong friends during this nonstop week of adventure and touring.

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Wander around ancient stupas, browse eclectic markets, and check out the mountain temple of Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. Then head for the hills, where the road snakes through lush mountains and terraced rice fields. Explore a waterfall and a holy cave, learn about local cultures, and enjoy the view of the mighty Doi Chiang Dao peak. The final stop is Bangkok, where you’ll visit the Grand Palace, see a championship Muay Thai match, and hop on a chartered long-tail boat ride. Surasak “Koko” Kengla | Thailand Senior Program Manager Born near Chiang Dao Mountain, Koko is an avid outdoorsman, teaches jungle survival, and leads biking and trekking excursions throughout the region. With over 8 years of experience, Koko loves introducing students to Buddhist philosophy and his positivity tends to make a lasting impression on everyone he meets.

Departs Tuesday June 12 June 19 June 26 July 3 July 10 July 17 July 24 July 31 August 7

Returns Friday June 22 June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3 August 10 August 17

rusticpathways.com/th 169


Thailand

Island Hopping and Diving Discover the tropical wonders and exotic islands of beautiful southern Thailand

Ages

16 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Cost

$4,795 plus international airfare $375 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday July 10 July 24

Returns Friday July 27 August 10

Connects well with… Ricefields, Monks, and Smiling Children p. 159 Amazing Thailand Adventure p. 169

Discover the rich culture, pristine waters, lush tropical jungles, and towering limestone cliffs of southern Thailand. Plunge into the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea as you snorkel or scuba dive at some of the region’s best reefs. Earn your PADI Open Water or Advanced Open Water certification. Challenge yourself on the cliffs of Railay Beach while rock climbing with professionals amid a stunning tropical landscape. Experience some of the best destinations in southern Thailand—from the quaint fishing villages and coconut farms of Ko Yao Noi, to some of the most popular destinations like world-renowned Phuket and Ko Phi Phi. You’ll spend time on the beach, in the jungles, and atop the stunning limestone cliffs that define this majestic landscape. Earn your PADI Open Water or Advanced Certification in Ko Phi Phi as you snorkel and scuba dive within its spectacular coral reefs. Climb the world-renowned cliffs at Railay Beach, and finish the experience on the relaxing beaches of Phuket. You’ll begin the program learning about traditional culture and local industries, and throughout your journey consider how the people in this region have adapted to the influx of international tourism.

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Thailand

Backroads of Southeast Asia An epic journey through some of the most beautiful and serene locations in the region

Explore places, make friends, and visit villages that most tourists never see in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Delve into the region’s diverse cultures while helping with service projects and learn how people live in these remote and traditional villages. Discover the majesty of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the awe-inspiring ruins of Bagan, the unique floating villages of Inle Lake, the traditional Vietnamese culture in Hanoi, and the picturesque beaches of Thailand. Start your backpacking adventure in the town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the cultural heart of Laos. Explore caves and the turquoise pools of Kuang Si Falls, and climb the steps of Mount Phousi for a panoramic view overlooking Luang Prabang. Leaving Laos behind, you’ll travel to Hanoi, where traditional Vietnamese culture collides with the modern world. Trek into the mountains for a village homestay before visiting the otherworldly Trang An Grottoes. Your next stop is Myanmar, the Golden Land. Visit the home village of several of our Rustic staff members, situated on an island in the Irrawaddy River, and explore the shores and floating villages of Inle Lake. Your trip comes to an end on the beaches of southern Thailand, where you’ll reflect on your journey with new friends in an idyllic, tropical paradise.

Ages

16 and up

Length

25 days from the United States

Service

Up to 12 community service hours awarded

Cost

$6,995 plus international airfare $1,295 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 19 July 10

Returns Friday July 13 August 3

u My group leaders changed my life the same, if not more, than the actual trip. This program changed the way I viewed the world. As cliché as it sounds, it truly changed my life. Emily Leonard | Calabasas, California

rusticpathways.com/th 171


Thailand

Wonders and Riches of Southeast Asia Experience the best of Southeast Asia with Rustic Pathways legends

Ages

16 and up

Length

18 days from the United States

Cost

$6,995 plus international airfare $1,495 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 12 July 10

Returns Friday June 29 July 27

Connects well with… Intro to Community Service in Thailand p. 160 The Rustic Pathways Children’s Home p. 164

Visit four fascinating countries in one spectacular adventure featuring premier hotels and incredible local attractions. Thailand: Visit the Royal Palace, get fitted for custom clothes by the country’s top tailor, and catch a Muay Thai fight from a ringside seat as you see the best of both bustling Bangkok and hip Chiang Mai. Laos: Explore historic Luang Prabang, swim under towering waterfalls, and ride a long-tail boat to seldom-seen villages. Cambodia: Take in the wonders of the endlessly fascinating Angkor Wat and learn about Khmer culture as you tour the floating village region. Vietnam: Tour old Hanoi, cruise Ha Long Bay on a luxurious teak boat, and witness the contrast between Vietnam’s history and its modern reality. Travel in style, staying at luxury resorts and enjoying the finest cuisine in the region. Take an overnight chartered boat through the tropical island wonderland of Ha Long Bay, cheer ringside at a championship Muay Thai match, witness Hanoi’s Old Town from the back of a rickshaw, and explore the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Learn about the complexities of Southeast Asian cultures from monks, shamans, and our team of local all-stars in each location. Hone your bargaining skills while shopping for funky artwork, teakwood carvings, rare silver jewelry, and just about anything else you could imagine.

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Thailand

Ultimate Asia Explore Asia over three weeks in this exclusive program just for Rustic alumni

Engage with a variety of Southeast Asian cultures during this immersive experience through Cambodia, China, Laos, and Thailand. Venture to some of Asia’s most iconic sites and cities, including Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, Luang Prabang, and Bangkok. Interact with the hill tribe communities along the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Travel with other Rustic Pathways alumni through China, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand exploring world-renowned cultural sites and getting off the beaten path to experience unexplored corners of Asia. Explore the 12th-century ruins of Angkor Wat, learn about the resilient Khmer culture, and gain a deep appreciation for Cambodian daily life. Walk along the expansive Great Wall in China, feel the electricity of historic Beijing, and try tasty Chinese delicacies. Stroll down the quaint side streets in Luang Prabang, swim in a cool blue lagoon, and learn about Laos’ animistic traditions and the role of the village shaman. Meander through the bustling markets of Bangkok, stand in the splendor of the Royal Palace, and get to know the incredible hill tribe communities along the mountainous border between Thailand and Myanmar. Most people only dream of being able to experience Asia’s most renowned cultural gems, but you’ll get to explore them all and dive into the unique cultures you’ll discover along the journey.

Ages

16 and up

Length

24 days from the United States

Cost

$8,595 plus international airfare $1,595 internal airfare

See rusticpathways.com/flights for international airfare costs.

Departs Tuesday June 13 July 11

Returns Friday July 6 August 3

rusticpathways.com/th 173


u California Rush, page 180


United States


United States One theme that runs throughout all programs in the U.S. is the notion of home. Some students work with refugees who are assimilating into a new home, some help the residents of New Orleans rebuild their homes, and some learn to feel at home amid the vast natural beauty of our national parks system. International students gain a new perspective on the U.S., and American students often feel as though they are rediscovering their home country.

Population

323.99 million

Capital City

Washington, D.C.

Currency

U.S. Dollar (USD)

Languages

English (unofficially), 11 percent speak Spanish

Attractions

The Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park – two of the country’s most incredible natural wonders

The French Quarter – home to historic Jackson Square and jazz

District of Columbia – the U.S. capitol packed with museums and monuments

The United States is ____________. surprising

Even though these programs are based in the U.S., you are bound to encounter something unexpected. The United States is diverse in every sense, boasting a wide range of sights, activities, people, food, and cultures. You’ll be surprised by the issues you are exposed to and amazed at how much you will discover.

Marc Mankowski | United States Country Director “The United States is as beautiful and diverse as any country in the world. Explore the last frontier of Alaska or California’s vast national parks. Experience the vibrant energy and sounds of New Orleans or the history and complexity of the nation’s capitol in Washington, D.C. Whatever you choose, our programs in the states will challenge and surprise even the most experienced traveler.” Growing up playing a number of sports led Marc to several jobs in coaching and teaching after graduating from Alma College. His love for travel, teaching, and the outdoors led Marc to Rustic in 2012 and makes him a natural fit to lead our USA operations where he continues to create new and exciting programs.

Programs at a Glance Program Name

Accommodation Amenities

Adventure / Physicality

Educational Activities

On-Program Travel

Service

Trip Length

Cost

The Refugee Education Project

•••••

••••

35 hours

14 days

$3,995

Rebuilding New Orleans

•••••

••••

•••

40 hours

14 days

$3,795

Off the Map: Alaska

•••••

••••

N/A

14 days

$4,795

California Rush

••

•••••

•••

••••

10 hours

14 days

$4,195

Key Largo MarineLab

••••

••••

•••••

N/A

7 days

$2,795

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+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare

+ airfare


United States

The Refugee Education Project Tutor refugee students and explore the monuments and museums of Washington, D.C.

Enrich and mentor refugee children recently resettled in Baltimore.

Ages

16 and up

Learn about the history of refugees in the area and help students improve their English literacy and conversation skills.

Length

14 days

Service

Up to 35 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,995 plus airfare

Engage with the community and make connections with neighbors and nonprofits. Explore the national monuments and museums in nearby Washington, D.C., and catch a Major League Baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Partner with the Baltimore City Community College Refugee Youth Project to assist students and their families as they make the difficult transition to life in a new country. Young adults tend to adapt and learn languages and cultures more easily than their parents, often becoming interpreters and case workers for their loved ones. You’ll build relationships with students by serving as an English language conversational partners and by assisting them with life skills during a nonprofit summer camp. Learn about refugee and humanitarian issues during meetings with groups like the International Rescue Committee. Explore lively Washington, D.C. with visits to Smithsonian Institution museums, Arlington National Cemetery, and other spectacular national landmarks. Critical Issues Program Refugee resettlement, access to education, citizenship

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for arranging their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights.

Starts Sunday June 24 July 8 July 22

Ends Saturday July 7 July 21 August 4

u The program was incredible! It was wildly empowering; I left feeling more informed and independent. I made so many great friends and took pride in the work I was doing. I actually felt that I could make a difference in someone life. Abigail Goldfarb | Voorheesville, New York

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United States

Rebuilding New Orleans Summer service helping to rebuild a great American city

Ages

15 and up

Restore New Orleans’ homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina and assist displaced community members through hands-on service work

Length

14 days

Service

Up to 40 community service hours awarded

Cost

$3,795 plus airfare

Help preserve the rich cultural heritage of the city’s historic neighborhoods for future generations to enjoy.

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for arranging their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights.

Starts Saturday June 16 June 23 June 30 July 7 July 14 July 21 July 28

Ends Friday June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3 August 10

Connects well with… The Refugee Education Project

p. 177

Immerse yourself in New Orleanian culture as you eat fresh crawfish on the banks of the Mississippi River, listen to live jazz, and spot alligators in the bayou. Assist in the ongoing Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. Repair damage caused when the levees failed and submerged more than 80 percent of New Orleans under 20 feet of water in August 2005. Work with residents and organizations to rebuild homes as well as social, environmental, and cultural features of the city. Help with projects in schools, urban gardens, community centers, and neighborhoods. Soak up New Orleans’ famous atmosphere as you enjoy music in the birthplace of jazz. Live bands, fresh jambalaya, and friendly locals will show you the true meaning of Southern hospitality. Base House Program: New Orleans Service Base Spring Break Program: We also offer a one-week version of this program between March and April for spring break. For more information and dates please see page 27 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/spring-break.

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United States

Off the Map: Alaska A challenging and rewarding journey for outdoor enthusiasts

Challenge yourself in the rugged lands of the 49th state of the union—Alaska.

Ages

16 and up

Kayak on a glacial lake, whitewater raft in glacier-fed rivers, and ice climb in beautiful Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

Length

14 days

Cost

$4,795 plus airfare

Watch for whales as you cruise by boat past breathtaking fjords and astounding glaciers. Venture into the last frontier as you trek through untouched lands, conquer tough hikes, and take in the beauty surrounding you. Set out for an adventure of a lifetime. Alaska comes from the Aleut word alyeska, meaning great land, and this journey will show you how the state earned its name. Home to 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 3,000 rivers, and more than 3 million lakes, Alaska is a land full of awe-inspiring places to explore. Trek through Denali National Park and set your eyes upon North America’s highest peak while on the lookout for diverse wildlife, such as black bears, mountain goats, and caribou. Learn how to ice climb, hike the Root Glacier trail in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and whitewater raft down Six Mile Creek in the Matanuska Valley. Develop practical survival skills from a wilderness guide as you build shelters, make fire, and learn to live off the land. Even the most active wilderness lovers and adventurers will be struck by the wild beauty of Alaska.

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for arranging their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights.

Starts Saturday June 16 June 30 July 14 Connects well with… Rebuilding New Orleans California Rush

Ends Friday June 29 July 13 July 27 p. 178 p. 180

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United States

California Rush Hike, bike, surf, and camp on this epic road trip

Ages

14 and up

Length

14 days

Service

Up to 10 community service hours awarded

Cost

Camp under the starry skies, surrounded by redwoods in several of California’s beautifully picturesque national parks. Hike the Sierra Nevadas and explore the beaches and waterfalls of Big Sur. Revel in the diverse outdoor adventures and landscapes the Golden State has to offer.

$4,195 plus airfare

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for arranging their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights.

Starts Saturday June 16 June 30 June 28

Learn to surf on the historic beaches of Santa Cruz.

Ends Friday June 29 July 13 August 10

u We were always on the go exploring new exciting places around Northern California. There was never a moment when I felt like I was bored or not doing something fun and interesting. The trip impacted me because it helped me broaden my horizons. Evin Nesburn | Pacific Palisades, California

Road trip along the California Coast and discover places in the United States you didn’t know existed. Explore the beautiful, diverse landscape of California on this epic road trip. From stunning mountains to incredible beaches, the Golden State is home to limitless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Camp in the world-renowned Sierra Nevada mountains and Yosemite National Park, visit preserved ghost towns and impressive tufa towers at Mono Lake. At night, you’ll cook meals and tell stories around the campfire. Then head west and up the coast along historic Highway 1 through Big Sur, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. Explore the incredible natural wonders found across California and leave with an experience you’ll be dreaming about forever. Young Explorers: We also offer a Young Explorers version of this program designed for students ages 12 to 14. For more information and dates please see page 26 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/young-explorers.

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United States

Key Largo MarineLab Dive into the marine ecological systems in the Florida Keys

Learn about coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove ecology.

Ages

14 and up

Snorkel through reefs identifying fish, coral, and other natural wildlife.

Length

7 days

Discover an entire world under the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

Cost

$2,795 plus airfare

Take learning in a traditional classroom to the Florida Keys to explore marine life.

Airfare is not included. Students are responsible for arranging their own airfare. Please see rusticpathways.com/flights.

Spend a week in Key Largo discovering an entire world under the ocean’s surface with MarineLab, a local non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of sea resources. Learn about complex oceanic ecological systems, then hop on a boat to head out to the crystal clear water to put your new knowledge to work. Snorkel through lagoons and coral reefs to see the beautiful structures and ecosystems of the ocean floor firsthand. You’ll also contribute to the health of this marine environment with coastal cleanups and by surveying fish populations to identify and count the different species for research. This program is jam-packed with underwater adventures, plenty of time to soak up the sun, and practical experiences that will give you a head start if you want to introduction to studying marine conservation.

Starts Saturday July 7 Connects well with… Rebuilding New Orleans

Ends Friday July 13 p. 178

Young Explorers: We also offer a Young Explorers version of this program designed for students ages 12 to 14. For more information and dates please see page 26 or visit our website at rusticpathways.com/young-explorers.

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Rustic Pathways Group Travel We’re more than a travel company. We’re also educators who understand the value of providing a learning experience outside the classroom. Because every school and class is different, we customize our Group Travel programs specifically for educators and their students. To keep it easy for busy educators, we’ll even do all the work!

Our programs are designed to align with:

Six Themes of Travel Our Group Travel programs are classified by theme. These program types help educators more easily identify the experience that is best for their class. 1 Beyond Service

The mission and values of any school

Coursework or a specific content area

Purpose for traveling with students

One of six themes of travel

School’s curriculum

School service-learning goals

2 Curriculum-Based 3

How to Design the Perfect Travel Program Step 1: Partner with a Rustic Program Coordinator and discuss program options and customization, get proposals in 1 to 2 days, make adjustments or ask questions Step 2: Recruit students with a custom program webpage, posters, flyers, email templates, and other materials that we’ll design (travel for free when six students enroll) Step 3: Travel on an incredible adventure—immerse in local culture, participate in meaningful service, create lasting memories, and apply lessons to the classroom after returning Call 800.321.4353 (United States) or +1 440.975.9691 (international), email groups@rusticpathways.com or visit groups.rusticpathways.com to begin planning your travel program.

u “I can't even begin to describe just how incredible our trip to Peru was for our group. It was an AMAZING and truly life changing experience! Everything about this trip was mind blowing! Our welcome, our guides, our schedule, our visit to the village, our community service project, the people in the village, the food, the sights and history lessons, the language immersion, the mountains and adventure... everything was outstanding! It was incredibly well organized. Each day brought something new and exciting! We all laughed everyday and cried when we had to leave.” Cori Dykeman Cheshire Academy Cheshire, Connecticut Peru, 2016 and Cuba, 2017

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Cultural Exploration 4 Local Immersion 5 Pushing Boundaries 6 Schools to Schools


Rustic Pathways Gap Year A gap year is anything but a year off. Deciding to defer college for a semester or a year is often the most important educational decision a student makes, and is supported by top colleges and universities. Gap years are formative experiences that encourage personal growth while helping students determine how they want to spend the next four years and beyond. Rustic Pathways Gap Year programs each last for one semester and are designed to provide different opportunities for travel, cultural immersion, service and non-cognitive skills development. Among the many possibilities, students can immerse themselves in Latin American culture, learn marine conservation in the South Pacific, or intern with a partner organization.

What does a gap year with Rustic look like? Service and Adventure Spend time exploring, learning, and volunteering in the South Pacific, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Intentionally designed to provide adventurous, well-rounded, and team-oriented experiences, students learn valuable skills by contributing to community-driven service projects, immersing themselves in local culture, and embarking on outdoor adventures. Spanish Language Immersion Discover the stunning natural wonders, friendly people, and rich cultures of Latin America while studying Spanish and engaging in meaningful community-driven service projects in Costa Rica, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Personal Spanish language classes, homestays with local families, and service projects will offer you endless opportunities to practice and learn Spanish.

u My gap year ignited a passion for seeing the world in me that I don’t ever see fading. I learned that the world is huge and diverse and full of different people living different lives, but there are certain common values that belong to any person and any culture. Whether you grow up in Fiji or America or Germany or India or Australia, there are traits that connect us all as humans. Being a global citizen to me means realizing that although we all are different and unique, we’re also so similar. Jenny Harding Seattle, Washington South Pacific Service and Ocean Skills, 2016

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Frequently Asked Questions Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions at Rustic Pathways. Upon enrolling, each family is assigned a Personal Travel Advisor to help them prepare for their trip. We hope having a single point person helps simplify the process and provides a personalized touch. If any of your questions aren’t addressed below, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

General Questions

Travel Arrangements

Is Rustic Pathways right for me? Our programs are designed for positive and level-headed students with interests in experiential learning and travel. Our programs are not suitable for students with conduct disorders, chemical dependencies, an inability to work constructively in team environments or follow instructions, or an unwillingness to behave in a culturally sensitive manner.

Listed below are some common questions and answers regarding traveling with Rustic Pathways and how our international and internal flight pro­ cesses work. For more information specific to each travel destination, please refer to rusticpathways.com/flights.

Where do Rustic Pathways students come from? Rustic Pathways students come from all over the world. Approximately 80 percent of our students are from the United States, and we are thrilled to welcome more and more international students each year. How old are most Rustic Pathways students? What about gender? This varies for each program and program date. If you are curious about the age and gender of other participants on a particular program, let us know and we’ll tell you! Do most people travel with a friend? No, most Rustic Pathways students do not know anyone when they arrive. However, some students do choose to go with friends and we accommodate for this. Are Rustic Pathways staff members certified in first aid? Every program includes staff members with a minimum certification of First Aid and CPR. Many of our programs include staff members with Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Ocean Lifeguard, and other certifications. What are Rustic Pathways’ Rules? At Rustic Pathways, we value community. We cherish diversity and inclusivity and we actively strive to create a culture of acceptance, tolerance, and respect. Students are expected to be respectful of their peers and the communities in which they visit and work. They are also required to follow the instructions of their program leaders at all times. In addition to respectful behavior, Rustic Pathways has a few zerotolerance rules. Any student involved in bullying, drugs or alcohol, or sexual activity during their program may be removed immediately. By no means is this an exhaustive list of rules. Please refer to our website rusticpathways.com/rules for more information. Can you cater to my needs? Rustic Pathways Personal Travel Advisors are always available to work with you to meet your specific needs. Whether you have special dietary needs, wish to combine programs, or want more details about a program, we are here to help you.

Can I connect between countries and programs? Yes! Many Rustic Pathways students choose the exciting option of combining multiple trips. While many of our programs are designed to easily connect, others take a bit of coordinating. Contact us if you have any specific questions about connecting programs or countries. How does air travel work? Do I purchase international flights through Rustic Pathways? In most cases, chaperoned international flights leave from our gateway airports within the United States. We highly recommend that all our students arrive at their gateway airport at least four hours before the flight. Prior to departure, we will send detailed airport information and flight times to parents. If you are beginning and ending your travels in North America, Rustic Pathways will handle your international ticketing. We purchase blocks of seats to ensure that all students travel on the same chaperoned flight. International airfare costs can be found at rusticpathways.com/flights. Are your flights escorted? How will I know my child has arrived? Yes, Rustic Pathways Flight Leaders escort our international flights from each gateway airport. We also have staff in these airports to ensure safe travel. On certain routes outside of the United States, students may not be escorted, but they will be checked in for their flight by our staff and met again by staff at their arrival airport. Once your child arrives safely at their final destination, you will receive a safe arrival email from us. Why does Rustic Pathways arrange international flights? After more than 30 years, we have found this is the safest and most reliable way to operate. We can control ticketing, changes, and have a chaperone on board. There have been times in the past when parents ticketed their children to San Jose, California instead of San José, Costa Rica by mistake, and our group tickets minimize some of these wrinkles. Group flights are part of the Rustic experience, where students first meet and start to develop lifelong friendships. They’re also part of your program cost so enroll early to reserve your spot. What about visas? Visas depend on both your nationality and the country you will be visiting. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you meet the entry and exit requirements for each country. However, Rustic Pathways partners with G3 Visas and Passports, a well-known visa service provider to ease the process. We will provide you with more information once you have enrolled.

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Information About Your Trip What medical information do I need to know? Be an informed traveler! We are here to help, but you also must consult with your physician prior to travel. All participants have access to the services of HX Global, a world-renowned medical and travel security company. Visit rusticpathways.com/hx-global to learn more about this service and let us know of any specific medical needs you have.

What about international exchange rates and fees? Rustic Pathways pays for most of its international programs in local currencies. Should currencies fluctuate and thereby increase our operating costs, we reserve the right to increase our program fees proportionally and invoice participants for the increase in costs. We are also in the process of reducing our fees. For a full list please see our website at rusticpathways.com/fees.

Do I need travel insurance? Students must have international medical insurance coverage for the duration of their travels. Rustic Pathways partners with Trip Mate to provide clients with an option of enrolling in travel insurance (including primary medical coverage). In the event of injury or illness, we will take care of your student, however, the family is ultimately responsible for any expenses. Visit rusticpathways.com/trip-mate to learn more.

What forms does Rustic Pathways require? Once you enroll in a program, you will be assigned a Personal Travel Advisor. This will be your main point person at Rustic Pathways. Your Personal Travel Advisor will help you with all the required forms and make sure your questions are answered.

Will I hear from my child or Rustic Pathways during the trip? Once your child arrives safely at their final destination, you will receive a safe arrival email from us within 24 hours. Most programs are also able to send mid-trip email updates. We encourage students to stay off their phones, however, depending upon the remoteness students may have the opportunity to email or contact you. We suggest working out these expectations with your child before the trip starts. Is there a packing list? What should I send with my child? Each of our programs has a packing list online at rusticpathways.com. To make packing for your program easy, you may also purchase some of our favorite travel essentials on our gear site at rusticgear.com.

Administrative Details Is there an enrollment deadline? No, but many popular programs begin to sell out in the late winter. You can still enroll up to a few days prior to departure, as long as we can make appropriate travel arrangements, but we recommend enrolling as soon as you can to save your spot on the program and one of our chaperoned group flights. What does the program cost cover? Your program cost covers all essential elements of your program from the time you arrive at the starting location until the program is over. This includes meals, lodging, and most activities. This does not include spending money or activities listed as “add-on” activities. What is your cancellation or revision policy? To make a change to your itinerary after you have enrolled, you may fill out a revision request form at rusticpathways.com/revision. Revisions incur a $100 fee plus any cost difference—as long as they are not made within 30 days of your first start date. If you enrolled through our Star Alumni, Friends and Family, or Early Enrollment discount programs, please see your specific program details or Welcome Letter for more information. Refunds for program cancellations are issued on a sliding scale based on how soon the start date is. We highly recommend you purchase the Optional Cancellation Waiver which provides you with the security of a full refund of your program costs (airfare costs are dependent upon each carrier) up until 72 hours prior to departure. Should you choose to cancel your program, you can receive your refund according to which cancellation waiver your purchased or escrow those funds for up to two years to use at a later date. See rusticpathways.com/cancellation for more information.

I Still Have Questions Check out rusticpathways.com for detailed information, maps, itineraries, and updates about programs that interest you. You will also find answers to more frequently asked questions on our website. Our global travel experts are available to speak on the phone. Call us at 800.321.4353 from within the United States or +1 440.975.9691 if you are calling from outside the United States. You can also email us at any time at rustic@rusticpathways.com or use the online chat function on our website. We can accommodate most home visit requests or visit you at your neighborhood coffee shop. We have staff in most major cities who would love to meet with you and your family. Request a home visit online.

Important Information This catalog provides a brief summary of some of the 2018 travel programs (“the programs”) offered by Rustic Pathways Australia (U.S.A.), Inc. (“Rustic Pathways”), a tour promoter based in the state of Ohio. All program participants and their parents and/or legal guardians (collectively “the participants”) are required to read, sign, comply with, and abide by a comprehensive Statement of Terms and Conditions and various waivers and liability limitations that govern and regulate participation in the programs. Rustic Pathways will furnish these various materials to all qualified participants. All travel can be dangerous, and adventure travel to the more remote areas of the world poses unique risks. Rustic Pathways insists that all participants and potential participants seriously consider the dangers of any program undertaken. Participants should not apply for or participate in any Rustic Pathways program if they are unwilling to accept any and all of the potential risks and dangers such a program could pose.

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u Tanzania: Climbing Kili, page 153


Get In Touch Enroll Online Enroll online by visiting rusticpathways.com/enroll. If you still can’t decide between programs, contact one of our global program experts. Our Global Program Advisors are here to answer your questions, discuss our various program options, and find the perfect fit for each and every student. They can also walk you through the enrollment process and connect you with both parent and student references from programs that interest you. This experienced team has collectively worked in just about every role at Rustic Pathways, from leading programs to running our in-country operations. After you’ve enrolled, a member of our team of Personal Travel Advisors will be assigned to you. They’ll assist and support you before, during, and after your amazing Rustic adventure with everything—invoices, medical forms, flights, packing lists, etc. You can even have the same PTA year after year! To connect with one of these travel experts, call 800.321.4353 or email rustic@rusticpathways.com.

Meet Us We’re hitting the road and heading to a city near you. Meet us in person and hear more about our 2018 spring break, summer, and gap year programs. Many of our events are hosted by families of students who have traveled with us, and all events will be attended by a Rustic Pathways staff member to answer your questions. We also host online information sessions and Facebook Live broadcasts to provide families with additional opportunities to connect with us. Visit rusticpathways.com/events and keep an eye on our social media pages for more information.

Connect With Us Join the larger Rustic Pathways community. Follow us on social media: @rusticpathways

@rusticpathways

@rusticpathways

/rusticpathways

/rusticpathways

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Rustic Pathways

®

PO Box 429  |  Chardon, OH 44024 800.321.4353 | rustic@rusticpathways.com rusticpathways.com PRINTED IN THAILAND

RP 2018 HS Catalog  
RP 2018 HS Catalog