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    Carpe Diem Education | South America Semester: Spanish Immersion & Conservation

    Carpe Diem Education | South America Semester: Spanish Immersion & Conservation


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Destinations: Ecuador, Peru
    • Credit Awarded: College
    • Program Length: Semester
    • Start Month: February, September
    • Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
    • Selective: Yes
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Homestay, Other, Tents
    • Application Fee: $100
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships, Payment Terms
    • Minimum Cost: $10,000 - $20,000
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    Carpe Diem Education’s South America semester takes you to some of the most culturally and ecologically diverse regions of the world. 

    Through hands-on, experiential learning, intensive Spanish study, and discussions specific to resources, economics, and community, the journey through Ecuador and Peru allows us a deeper understanding of the realities of globalization.  

    Trek to the sprawling Incan ruins at Machu Picchu and try your hand at bartering in the indigenous markets of Otavalo. Discover traditional music, hike near the surrounding lakes and waterfalls, and visit the traditional market in Peguche. Spend time in Peru's Sacred Valley studying yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda from local teachers.

    Live with local families, experience traditional, rural Ecuadorian life, and learn about the political issues affecting communities in the cloud forest community of Morochos.

    Learn about natural building, sustainable agriculture, and organic coffee farming in small communities on the Ecuadorian coast. Participate in Spanish classes and help in the local schools of Baños with arts and English teaching.

    Through small groups of no more than 12 students, you will experiment with leadership roles, self-awareness, and purpose.

    Semester Highlights Include:

    Small Group / One-on-One Spanish Lessons

    Trek to Machu Picchu

    Volunteer and learn about sustainable agriculture and biodiversity in the Amazon

    Live with Indigenous Homestays

    Study the Impacts of Globalization through Service Learning


    • My experience in this South America Carpe Diem program was incredible. My Spanish language skills improved drastically, and so did the skills of everyone in the group. We had students who had never spoken Spanish before and by the end of the trip they were conversational! Some themes continue throughout the program such as permaculture, coffee production, and the government, so it’s easy to learn about the subjects from many different perspectives. Our contacts were amazing and I still keep in touch with a few of them. Although this was not the case for everyone in my group, my homestay experiences were not very personal, and at times felt more like a bed and breakfast. I was hoping to build strong connections with my homestay families as I have done in the past, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Again, other members of my group had different experiences with host families. I am a Latitudes student, and am so excited to begin my volunteer placement soon! I believe that my experiences on this group semester have definitely prepared me to travel more independently.

      - Ava - December 12, 2019