NATURAL EXPLORATION

Explore the diverse natural and cultural heritage of Central America through adventures such as climbing active volcanoes, floating down river rapids, zip-lining, exploring caves, snorkeling on the second largest barrier reef in the world, and trekking in the jungle to Mayan ruins.  Adventure travel offers an opportunity to reconnect with nature, test your physical boundaries, and develop relationships supporting your gap year.

"This weekend the MCR group and three local villagers, including a father, his 8-year-old son, and a 75-year-old man, took on the challenge of climbing Volcán Acatenango, the third highest peak in Central America.  While hiking the never-ending path up the volcano, we managed to stick together and help each other through all of the literal and figurative ups and downs.  Three of the most dominant thoughts going on in my head were: there is no way an eight-year old boy can go to the top and I can’t, the view will be amazing, and I should be proud that I am doing this because very few girls climb Acatenango.  After finally making it to our camp site, I realized that I have the endurance and mental strength to accomplish anything I focus my mind on."


"The natural pools at Semuc Champey are one of the most beautiful and energizing places I have ever seen in my life.  I spent an entire afternoon swimming and rock jumping up and down the tiered pools.  When I wasn't swimming, I sat feeling the power of the river that ran under the pools.  You could actually see the entrance (look below) and the exit of the river.  As we were leaving, howler monkeys climbed above us and voiced a loud and eerie goodbye.  This place alone is reason enough for me to return to Guatemala."




"SCUBA diving or, as I like to call it, Super Cool Ultra Bad A** diving is extremely addictive, as are other methods of traveling to new and wonderful places.   The first thing I feel is euphoria at gaining the ability to breathe under water, completely cut off from the air source above. With my new abilities, I’m able to look at anything from any angle and see the oddest creatures I’ve ever seen before. From giant coral heads with retractable polyps to feather duster worms to neon blue and yellow angel fish, it becomes clear that I’m in another world like no other. But before being able to take in even the smallest fraction of this new and intriguing place it is time to leave. The only thoughts in my mind wonder when I can come back again."