Fruitvale Station, Oakland, California - Summer 2013
Bringing together current students, alumni, and friends, Traveling Spirits organized a trip to
Oakland, California to visit the Fruitvale BART Station and see the film Fruitvale Station. The
trip included an overnight camping trip in Big Sur and sightseeing in San Francisco and
Oakland. The trip culminated with a visit to Fruitvale Station, a viewing of the film, and an
evening of intense dialogue with a diverse group of AMAZING people!
     
  CAFE Conference, UCLA - Spring 2013
On April 12, 2013, participants from the Traveling Spirits trip to Egypt presented at UCLA's
annual CAFE Conference. The conference is sponsored by the Paulo Freire Institute, and the
theme for this year's conference was "Education as Critical Consciousness." The high school
students along with the co-founder of Traveling Spirits shared the narratives of their
transformative trip to Egypt and their ongoing journey of promoting global awareness.
     
  Egypt - Winter 2012-2013
From December 17, 2012 through January 2, 2013, seven high school students from South
Central Los Angeles and two chaperones traveled to Egypt for two transformative weeks. The
participants learned firsthand about the Arab Uprising, acquired a deep understanding of the
experiences of women in Egypt, and connected with the highly marginalized and culturally rich
Nubian communities in Southern Egypt.
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  Puerto Rico - Spring 2012
Nine students participated in the Traveling Spirits' educational program in the U.S.
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico from March 29 through April 6, 2012. Through dialogue with
university students and community members and visits to locations throughout the island, the
student participants learned about a variety of topics, including Puerto Rican history, culture,
economics, environment ,and tourism.  
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  Belize - Winter 2010-2011
The Traveling Spirits trip to Belize from December 29, 2010 to January 7, 2011, introduced
participants to a range of critical issues, including the impacts of globalization, legacies of
colonialism, personal and societal consequences of tourism-driven economies, and
international trade inequities. Additionally, several participants were reunited with relatives
during the trip and learned about their families' histories and life experiences.  
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  Thailand - Summer 2008
The Traveling Spirits trip to Thailand from August 20 to September 2, 2008 was a
transformative experience. Students met and talked with people from a wide array of social
situations including Burmese refugees at Mae La refugee camp, students at Bangkok
University and Has Thoo Lei Learning Center, families at Suwit Watnoo Homeless Center, and
HIV/AIDS victims at the Wat Phra Baht Nam Phu AIDS hospice.
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  Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program - Summer 2008
From July 27 through August 2, 2008, three Traveling Spirits Thailand trip students -- Angel
Moore, Sal Rodriguez and Leticia Solis-Guzman -- participated in a leadership exchange with
24 Iraqi high school students and 11 U.S. high school students. The program was funded by
the US Department of State and conducted by
Relief International and UCLA's Center for
International and Development Education.
     
  CAFE VII Annual Conference, UCLA - Spring 2008
On May 15, 2008, six Traveling Spirits founders, Thailand trip participants, and organizers --
Sal Rodriguez, Leticia Solis-Guzman, Imogene Williams, Neftali Gutierrez, Brian Johnstone
and Leslie Mejia -- conducted a presentation entitled "Critical Travel Pedagogy" at
UCLA's
Paulo Freire Institute CAFE VII Annual Conference to a packed room of education activists
and scholars.
     
  Guatemala - Winter 2007-2008
The student trip to Guatemala took place from December 25, 2007 through January 4, 2008.
Eleven students participated - six high school students and five university students. The trip
included visits to several cultural and tourist destinations, five-nights of homestays with
Guatemalan families, and conversations with a variety of people throughout the trip.
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  Veracruz, Mexico - Spring 2007
From April 16 through June 30, 2007 Coni Valle was in Veracruz, Mexico researching,
interviewing and filming for a documentary entitled
el puerto que no mereces about social
inequalities in the marginalized zones in the Veracruz port. Coni also worked with Mayte
Barrios (film and editor) and Tere Hernández (scriptwriter). The documentary was premiered
on November 29, 2007 at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
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  Mexico - Spring 2006
The second expedition for what would become Traveling Spirits occurred in April 2006. Six
students from King/Drew Magnet High School and their teacher, including two of the founding
members of Traveling Spirits, traveled to Guadalajara and Colima, Mexico.
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  Venezuela - Summer 2005
The student trip to Venezuela from August 7 through 15, 2005 represents the first expedition
by what would become Traveling Spirits Nonprofit Organization. The following is an account of
the Venezuela trip published in the Los Angeles weekly community newspaper, "OurWeekly"
by the participants themselves on August 19, 2005.
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