The Odyssey

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Latin America Time Machine

Remember, updates are every Wednesday at 3pm PST, and Saturday at 11pm PST!
US to Guatemala
(Jan 12 - Mar 3)

Guatemala Stay
(Feb 4 - Mar 6)

Guatemala to Peru
(March 7 - 25)

What's in the Current Update?

Kevin enjoys the patio
March 20: Panama - A Small Country with a Large Role
  • Trek through the land without roads! Don't forget to bring a machete and plenty of money for an Indian guide to cross the Darién Gap!
  • Will the Team be trapped in Panama forever? They couldn't get out on a banana boat...what's going to come their way?
  • Fifty-one states? There's Alaska and Hawaii, but Panama!?! Did they forget to tell us about this in school?
  • "Operation Just Cause" and the Panama Canal - the U.S. is involved in Panama in more ways than one.
  • Ocelots and jaguars and bugs! Oh, my! There's a lot of diversity here and we aren't talking about people! Check out the fauna and flora!
  • Three showers a day in Panama City? Kevin must be really clean while he watches The Simpsons!

Trekking - Guatemala to Peru
(February 7 - March 25, 1999)

March 17: Panama - In the Center of It All!
  • Your assignment: Get from Panama to Peru in ten days. Sound easy enough? Did we mention there are no roads between Panama and Colombia?
  • The eigth wonder of the world? The Panama Canal of course! Check it out!
  • Don't eat yellow snow!!! Well, unless it's 95 degrees out and everyone else is doing it...
  • You thought all food in Central America is the same? Think again! Kavitha introduces some of the diverse foods of Central America.
  • Thinking of doing your own World Trek? It's not all fun and games as Shawn explains
  • YOU can make a difference, in resolving why three Americans were murdered in Colombia!
March 13: Nicaragua - The Culture, the Politics and the Environment
  • Enter Oscar Arias' living room with the trekkers to get the inside scoop on Monica's pre-interview jitters.
  • Climb into the crater of a volcano in "Lago Nicaragua" with Abeja and Kavitha as they explore one of the 250 volcanoes in Central America.
  • Dance with the giant dolls, Abeja and the residents of Leon as they celebrate a Nicaraguan folkloric tradition.
  • Kavitha examines the remnants of the historic rivalry between Leon and Granada. Find out who is pro-Sandinista and anti-Sandinista in Nicaragua.
  • Destroyed homes, crushed cars, and missing bridges - Hurricane Mitch has left a permanent mark.
  • Can he really tell in one day? President Clinton stops by Nicaragua for a day to check out the progress associated with American aid.
March 10: Heading South and Witnessing Change
  • You can practically feel the mosquitoes itching as you read Abeja's dispatch about her most-feared critters and diseases.
  • Visit Puerto Barrios with Kavitha, a town on Guatemala's coast that is dominated by American corporations including Chiquita, Dole and Shell.
  • Kavitha got to the capital of El Salvador just in time to give us an eyewitness account of the days leading up to the historical national elections.
  • Down in Costa Rica, Monica finds out how former drug addicts and prostitutes are turning their lives around with the help of a local organization called David's Table.
  • Kids in uniform waving their fists, stomping their feet and chanting cries for educational reform. All this in San Jose, Costa Rica and Kevin and Shawn were in the thick of the action!

The Team in Guatemala
(February 4 - March 6, 1999)

March 6: Goodbye Guatemala, Hello Centroamerica!
  • Travel with Kevin through five countries on his first adventurous week in Central America (watch out for big mamma cockroaches!).
  • Admire artifacts with Shawn at the base of the pyramids of Chutinamit on Lago Atitlán--but first you must row across the lake standing up!
  • Hear from Monica the story of a man who knows first-hand the striking differences between protesting violently in Nicaragua and peacefully in Costa Rica.
  • Discover with us the beautiful and unique country of Costa Rica.
March 3: Final Days in Guatemala

  • Meet Kevin, our newest Trekker! Learn about his last days in America, and hopes for the future.
  • Visit Santiago Atitlán with Shawn. This tranquil village nestled amongst huge volcanoes has seen its share of war and environmental destruction.
  • Abeja reflects on the tragic truths of Latin America's longest civil war and the implications of U.S. involvement in the genocide of indigenous Guatemalans.
  • Kavitha shares Part Two of her story of deforestation in the Peten rainforest.
  • Discover in our team dispatch with the School of the Americas is otherwise knows as the School of Assassins.
Feb 27: Re-Writing History and Preserving the Future

  • Investigate with the team the U.S. government's role in the atrocities of Guatemala's civil war.
  • Witness with Abeja the release of the Guatemalan government's official version of the history of Guatemala during the war. What happened and who's responsible?
  • Parade with Abeja and gigantic floats representing Jesus through the ancient city of Antigua.
  • Monica meets the principal of a school in Concepción, and finds out how we can help the students to learn.
  • Kavitha travels into the depths of the largest rainforest in North America to discover the endangered way of life for the indigenous people who live there.
  • Jamila's last dispatch sends her on a search for a doll that represents the appearance of most of the children in Guatemala.
Feb 24: Modern Webcasts, Traditional Fincas and Everything in Between

  • Did you miss the live webcast with Rigoberta? You can still catch the interview and go behind the scenes with Kavitha.
  • After all the stories about human rights violations in Guatemala, find out the truth about the U.S. government's treatment of Native American peoples.
  • Where do all these coffee beans come from? Kavitha visits one of the largest coffee fincas.
  • Abeja invites you to join a Guatemalan Youth Project.
  • Say goodbye to Todos Santos as Shawn gives two final reports from the Guatemalan highlands.
Feb 20: Post-war Guatemala

  • You think traveling and coordinating schedules with four other people is easy? Think again. Abeja gives the low-down about the mini civil war amongst the group.
  • Abeja opens up to Jamila about meeting a mother of six who survived the thirty-six year Civil War.
  • Kavitha meets with the man who founded Youth for Peace, a support program for teens in Todos Santos - a pueblo where students must travel three hours to get to the nearest high school.
  • Sean meets with the town shaman or medicine man. He might suggest you throw eggs on the ground or sacrifice a rooster to cure a particular problem.
Feb 17: Traditional Life and Hope for the Future

  • Discover maize, the corn crop and Guatemala's most important food.
  • Meet traditional communities.
  • Journey with Abeja to the Quichua Highlands to attend a human rights conference.
  • Got a health problem? Hire a comadrona, a traditional Guatemalan healer.
  • Get ready to meet Rigoberta Menchu.
Feb 13: Guatemala - Diverse People with Diverse Needs

  • Jamila sets off alone to a classroom in Belize where kids use machetes instead of scissors.
  • Find out why school children are barefoot.
  • Visit a hospital and then follow Jamila on the wrong boat to the wrong city.
  • Jamila gets tongue-tied when she realizes out of the five languages spoken in Livingston, Spanish and English are not included.
  • Meet the Garifuna people whose ancestors are from Africa.
  • Jamila hangs out with local high schoolers and learns the meaning of a "Garifuna heart."
  • Work alongside Monica with the human rights organization GAM.
Feb 10: Guatemala - Its Beauty and Its Pain

  • The gang meets their homestay families in the mountain village of Todos Santos where the houses have dirt floors.
  • Don't worry- even though there is no electricity, the team will do its best to stay in touch.
  • Talk with Maria Toj from Defensoria Maya, the indigenous rights organization in Guatemala City.
  • Look deeper at the atrocities committed against indigenous people during the 36-year civil war.
  • Countdown to the live webcast with Rigoberta Menchu.
Feb 6: Guatemala - Maya Civilization

  • Jamila and Klaus begin exploring Mayan culture with a visit to tropical Coba, the ruins of a civilization.
  • Visit a local school, tour a traditional Mayan home, and feed a crocodile.
  • Sacrifice a cigar and beer to the Mayan god, Maximon.
  • Stroll through the metropolis of Guatemala City with Abeja and glimpse its history and cultural diversity.
  • Visit five Mayan sites including Tulum and Uxmal, site of the legendary Pyrmaid of the Soothsayer.

Trekking - US to Guatemala
(January 12 - March 3, 1999)

Feb 3: More on the Maya and the Markets

  • Scattered throughout Mexico City, Jamila and Klaus battle the countless stairs of Chichen Itza and Palenque in the rain.
  • Learn how the city of Merida prepares for Carnival, Latin America's biggest party.
  • Get lost with the vegetarian trekkers in a Mexican meat market.
  • Settle in with Monica in her new home in Concepcion, where she begins three weeks of working with the indigenous rights group, GAM.
January 30: Trekking: Mexico - Guatemala

  • Monica and Abeja explore the magical ruins of Tikal and then head off to the capital city.
  • Sean and Kavitha head south from San Cristobal, stopping in Quetzaltenango, a city of mostly indigenous Mayan people.
  • Go with Klaus and Jamila to the other Mayan cities of Uxmal and Chichen Itza. They are heading to Belize by way of Tikal.
  • If all goes according to plan, the group will meet up once again on Feb. 7.
January 27: Entering Maya Territory - Southern Mexico

  • Tour Teotihuacan, home of the world's third largest pyramid.
  • Travel with the entire group to the ancient city of Palenque and experience a run-in with monkeys.
  • Explore the region of Chiapas and learn about the Zapatista revolutionary movement and environmental concerns of the region.
January 23: Mexico City

  • Reunite in Mexico City after a 44-hour bus ride from Tijuana.
  • Glimpse modern day life in Mexico through the eyes of hip skater kids.
  • Experience the diversity of the capital - from ancient ruins to the set of a modern Mexican soap opera to a Cuban-style dance hall to a street-side restaurant.
January 20: Trekking: Mexico-Guatemala

  • Try out three different methods to cross the border into Mexico.
  • Dive into Mexican history with an introduction to the Aztec heritage.
  • Learn about the historic controversy of migration to the US.
January 16: San Francisco - School Visits & Departure

  • Visit participating schools for special send-off ceremonies.
  • Share expectations about the trip with other students.
  • Say goodbye to the trekking ambassadors as they begin their adventures dedicated to service, education, and exploration.
January 12: San Francisco - Meet the Team

  • Meet the individuals that make up the trekking team.
  • Get ready, get set, go. . . Prepare for two years of world trekking.
Time Machine
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