Hey Glimpsers!

I’m Lauren Levites one of the leaders for the Matagalpa trip on 6/25!  I teach Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in CPS, and I am so excited to travel with you this summer!

Words do not do justice to how much I LOVE to travel!  Personally, my ideal classroom would be on the road, going place to place to see the content in action (maybe I stole that from Mrs. Frizzle, but it really would be great!).  I enjoy going to new places, seeing new worlds and meeting local people who will tell it like it is. I have traveled around quite a bit, in Europe, Asia & the Middle East, and South America, still working on getting to Africa & Antarctica.

There is one trip in particular that has made a profound impact on my life, and that was traveling to Guyana (in South America) through a class focused on indigenous knowledge and conservation that was designed for science teachers & zoologists.  We were only allowed to bring a small bag for 2 weeks because we had to take small 8-seater airplanes (we all had to stand on a scale with our bag before we got on!) to the North Rupununi in the middle of the rain forest. There is one main road, unpaved, that goes from the capital in the north of the country on the coast to connect it to Brazil. We were truly in a whole new world. Most importantly, I learned significantly from the local people who came in to talk to us, who invited us into their homes, & who showed us how they live & what they advocate for in terms of conservation. I saw firsthand the importance of environmental education for youth in a community and how that can change the trajectory of conservation.  It is something I refer back to quite frequently, in and out of the classroom! I’d love to talk more, so feel free to ask me about it on our trip!

Every time I travel I am reminded over and over again that we are more alike than different & kids all speak the same language.  I hope our trip to Matagalpa, Nicaragua leaves you with priceless memories, new friendships & a greater understanding of the world we live in.  Please comment below and introduce yourself (parents feel free to comment too!) and let me know what travel has taught you or what you hope to gain on this trip!

PS: One of my favorite short documentaries is The Guide, it is only about 35 minutes and looks at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. #bucketlist #travelgoals
I love to show it in class every year!

Me in the Galapagos Islands hanging with a giant tortoise in Summer 2014!