ARCC's New Frontiers Patagonia & Cuba Spring Gap Program provides access to some of the world's most intriguing and undiscovered regions, ranging from the picturesque frontier and jagged spires of Chile's Patagonia to the historic enchantment of Cuba, a land timeworn and unendingly magical.

Taking advantage of our unparalleled access, we delve into conservation efforts that include a study of the fisheries off the coast of Chile, the effects of climate change on the melting glaciers in Patagonia, and a glimpse of the contentious debate surrounding proposed hydroelectric dams of the region’s waterways. Starting up an ESL program, we teach English to aspiring tour guides and eager school children. Swinging our packs upon our backs we embark on a trek through some of Patagonia’s most spectacular trails. During a homestay we have the opportunity to learn about the Gauchos and their ongoing fight to protect their local traditions and to preserve their lands. Witnessing this community that subsists below the poverty level, we observe a people known for their hard-work and positive outlook on life.

We journey from the rugged peaks of South America to the tranquil caribbean shores of Cuba. With unusual access to Cuban citizens, we encounter a nation and proud population emerging from a 60 year time capsule, ready to enter the 21st century. We view history in the making firsthand as we crisscross Cuba for a month refurbishing local schools and orphanages. We teach English classes to a population eager to learn, knowing that this skill will soon be invaluable as the nation continues to open its doors to outsiders. We work with a special organization that prepares and delivers food to a shut in elderly community, giving us unique access to a side of Cuba that most never witness. We bask in the crystal clear waters off improbably white sand beaches. Finally, we experience the color and vibrancy of La Habana, Cuba’s historic capital city, its streets echoing the notes of the ever-present salsa music. After experiencing two of the world’s most fascinating, and stunningly beautiful nations, we return to the U.S. with broader perspectives and a new passion to learn.

Cost and Session Information

February 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020

Duration: 90 days

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