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CARIBBEAN LEADERS ANNOUNCED, SUMMER 2019!

ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES

This summer, students on the Global Routes Caribbean program will find their new home on the Windward side of St. Vincent in a rural, picturesque and traditional community in the Saint George parish of southern St. Vincent. It is a 45-minute drive from Kingstown, the largest city and the capital of the island. The population of their host community is roughly 500 people. Families raise chickens, goats, and cows in addition to growing mangos, plantains, and bananas.

Working as a team, Global Routes students will design, market, and orchestrate a free 2-week “friendship camp” for their surrounding communities. These friendship camps are the core of the LIA (Leaders-in-Action) Caribbean program: they offer teenagers interested in education and leadership development the chance to work with younger children and share new sports, games, theater, dance, arts, crafts, music and other creative activities. This program filled up very early for the 4th year in a row and is a perennial GR favorite.

How We Prepare Our Leaders:

Extensive Training! Every summer, we run an intensive 10-14 day training to ensure all trip leaders are fully prepared to lead the best programs possible. During training, we focus on risk management, safety, and group dynamics, making sure they know how to facilitate small group community building.

2019 Caribbean Co-leaders, Odessa Armstrong, Jasmin Van Malderen and Andrew McDaniel

ODESSA ARMSTRONG

Odessa is devoted to transformational learning and has worked in diverse classrooms throughout the U.S. and across the globe for 12 years. Her educator journey has included living and teaching at a tribal-run school in South Dakota where she served students from over 15 different tribal nations, working in Thailand in the cities of Chaiyaphum and Phuket, and serving in her hometown of Baltimore City. Adventures with Odessa often involve spontaneity, photography, laughter, beekeeping, live music, empowering others and meeting community members. Odessa is stoked to return to the Caribbean with Global Routes for her second year in a row leading this program and is psyched to continue to foster cross-cultural experiences in authentic and meaningful ways.

Most epic place you’ve ever had breakfast?
Karakoy Ozsut in Istanbul for a breakfast of kaymak.

What’s your favorite part about leading these trips? Why do you do it?
Building bridges of understanding, watching friendships grow, and individuals develop self-confidence as they step out of their comfort zones and embrace the unknown in order to grow.

What makes you believe in the power of immersive international travel experiences?
Experiencing it for myself and seeing it with my own eyes. Immersive international travel has the power to create peace across the world one connection at a time.

What’s your superpower?
Adapting and adjusting to diverse energies to create peaceful spaces.

What is one unique item you always bring with you on international journeys?
A pair of funky earrings to help start conversations.

What is one piece of advice you have for a Global Routes student?
Challenge yourself to be here now, present in your journey, unworried about what’s going on back home or what is happening next so that you can soak up this incredible experience in the present and grow.

Lastly, share one quote that resonates with you and is a guiding beacon in your life.
“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

JASMIN VAN MALDEREN

B.S. Biomedical Engineering & Management Minor, University of California Irvine. A California native and resident of Colorado, Jasmin grew up snowboarding, backpacking, kicking soccer balls and jamming on the piano. She loves spending time with her parents, sister and two pups. With a Belgian father and Korean mother, her house is always filled with a mix of cultures and foods. This has allowed her to travel the world, visiting her family that live across many continents. When she’s not leading with Global Routes, she leads road trips across America as a certified guide, coaches soccer for the Special Olympics, and competitively snowboards in the winter. She most recently spent the last few seasons working as an ESL teacher in Thailand and guiding in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana. She is super excited to be a part of Global Routes for a second season and to return to St Vincent to share her love of giving back to the community while immersing herself in local culture!

What’s your favorite part about leading these trips? Why do you do it?
Getting to meet amazing individuals from all over the world. The more locals I meet, the smaller of a place the world feels. I also love the cultural exchange aspect. Trying a new dish, playing a new sport, learning a new game… there is so much out there to share with each other!!

What makes you believe in the power of immersive international travel experiences?
The sense of family and community that you make almost instantaneously. The communities we help are so grateful to have us there; they take us in as if they have known us their whole lives. From both sides, there is nothing but joy and love to share with one another!

What’s your superpower?
Bringing the enthusiasm, energy, and positivity out of people.

If you could wake up anywhere on earth tomorrow, where would it be?
Seoul, South Korea. I haven’t seen my grandfather there in 25 years.

What is one piece of advice you have for a Global Routes student?
Say YES to new experiences! Have an open mind and step out of your comfort zone.

Lastly, share one quote that resonates with you and is a guiding beacon in your life.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

ANDREW McDANIEL

Andrew is a New Orleans’ native with Central American and European roots. He’s traveled, lived, and worked all across Central and South America, and has a deep passion for social justice. He’s a people-person with a strong knack for building strong relationships. Since graduating from Loyola University of New Orleans, he’s managed farmers markets and networks of growers from all across south Louisiana and Mississippi, taught ESL, worked with young people and their families as an educational advocate, and served as lead organizer for an Interfaith Immigrants’ Rights Coalition. He’s a folk musician and dancer with a zeal for exploring new cities and talking to strangers. This is his first year leading with Global Routes and he’s beyond excited!

What makes you believe in the power of immersive international travel experiences?
I learned so much about myself and how I relate to the world through my time living with a host family in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala during my time at a Spanish language immersion school. Placing oneself in an environment with different social and cultural norms fosters new personal growth.

If you could wake up anywhere on earth tomorrow, where would it be?
Oaxaca, Mexico

What is one unique item you always bring with you on international journeys?
A small instrument!

What is one piece of advice you have for a Global Routes student?
Do some brief reading on the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines!

Lastly, share one quote that resonates with you and is a guiding beacon in your life.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” – Rumi

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Read more about our phenomenal trip leaders on our Staff Page.

Interested in becoming a trip leader for Global Routes? Start Your Application for Summer 2020.

 

 

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