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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

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Spring break trips around the globe

Being a global citizen is essential to education at LFA. In classes, we learn to explore the question of how we fit into the school and the world. The curricular and co-curricular trips are an extension of learning inside classrooms, allowing students to engage in the global community with curiosity. In this year’s spring break, five groups of students, a total of more than 100, traveled to Washington, Seattle, Cuba, Guatemala, and Kenya. 

 

In all trips, service-learning is emphasized as a way to engage students in a global context. Yet, “it was not necessarily our students coming to help them,” said Erin English, Director of Experiential Learning Health and Wellness & Community Department Chair, “but it really is learning about them—what is it about their lives, the situation, and the obstacles.” With the redefined service-learning experience, students have the opportunity to connect with local people, participate in various activities, and reflect on their identities.

 

During the one-week service trip to Guatemala, LFA students worked with the organization Friends of San Lucas to learn about the Mayan culture, help construct homes, and collaborate with the Women’s Center as well as community leaders. “The trip to Guatemala was an incredibly enjoyable and meaningful experience for me as it introduced me to the beauty of the country and the richness of its culture,” Benjamin Xu ‘25 talked about his experience on the Guatemala trip. 

LFA students on the Cuba trip go on a nighttime walk around the city. 

Wold’s Human Rights Class and Boldson’s Civilization & Culture of Latin America Class traveled to Cuba to experience its food, culture, music, and arts. While Cuba has often been portrayed negatively as a less-developed country in the news, 

 

“the architecture of this place is so different from the places that I’ve ever lived, with all the colorful buildings and spirited people surrounding me,” commented Angela Zhang ‘24. On this trip, students also immersed themselves in Cuba by dancing with Cuban music bands, visiting a local junior high school, and playing soccer with Cuban teenagers. When recalling the most nostalgic experiences throughout the trip, “It was the time when I bonded with the workers in the hotel,” recalled Zhang, “Even though we speak different languages, we both have a passion for getting to know each other…I really felt that people here are living in a carefree and supportive community.” 

 

“It was an awesome trip, and I would’ve done it again within a blink of an eye!” said Yue Chen, the leader of the Kenya trip. Of all five trips, the most dramatic one is awarded to this: the students arrived at the airport after a 25-hour-flying and were told that their check-in luggage did not arrive. In the next three days, everyone lived a “luggageless” life. However, despite the occurrence, the group fully engaged in the programs, worked through challenges, and embraced the core values of “service.” The activities include learning about women’s power, refurbishing school equipment, deworming livestock, preventing human-wildlife conflicts, and a safari game drive.

 

Along with students’ increasing interest in going on LFA trips, next year there are more options for destinations such as Berlin, Miami, Spain, Turkey, and the UK. LFA trips not only give students a time to travel and bond with friends, but also provide a platform to experience worldwide culture in a life-like and entertaining way.

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