Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Walking Tree Travel Visits Spanish 1 Class
Luke Mueller, one of the three founders of Walking Tree Travel, came to talk to Señora Thompson’s Spanish 1 class on November 18, 2014. Walking Tree Travel is the world’s largest student-travel organization, open to all high school students. Travel opportunities will allow students to have a life changing experience in a country for anywhere from ten days to four weeks, where they will do community service, visit attractions, try the country’s signature foods, and live with a native family.
Countries that Walking Tree Travel offers travel to include Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Perú, Germany, Italy, China, Senegal, Brazil, Thailand, Uganda, Spain, Vietnam, and many other countries to fit every student’s liking. Activities are designed to best show the country’s qualities, such as hiking mountains in Italy, exploring the Great Wall in China, and community service in Senegal.
Students who have attended one of these trips have been sharing their positive remarks about all of the different countries that they have been to. Don’t worry, just because you can’t speak the language, that doesn’t mean you can’t go. Most students who have been a part of this organization have said that they have discovered different forms of communication with their sponsor family, and have made a strong connection with the people they meet. One student said, about her stay in Guatemala, that “We were dancing, and we couldn’t speak to each other, we couldn’t communicate, but there was love.” This shows that even though language can and always will be a barrier, you can still communicate and have fun with the native people of the country you visit. These trips can help one to develop confidence, leadership skills, and knowledge to be used throughout life.
It is fairly easy to apply to go on a trip, simply fill out an application online. While the prices for the trips (all inclusive) range from $1500 to $4000, there are various ways to help with the costs. There are scholarships, journalism fellowships (where you would commit to writing an article about your stay), and fundraising opportunities, such as selling coffee from Guatemala. The trip that you go on can give you up to 100 community service hours, can be put on your future college and job applications, and you can also write about your trip for your college essay.
People who have gone on a Walking Tree Travel trip have made bonds and connections with people they would have never met, not going on the trip. You become great friends with your group members, and become like part of the family with your host family that you stay with. Going on one of these trips can change your life, and you will want to keep going back to the country you chose again and again, just to relive the great experiences.
To learn more about Walking Tree Travel, visit www.walkingtree.org.
Written by: CHS Freshman Maddie Mahoney
Posted: Nov 19, 2014 by Paula White