Hello Everyone!

My name is Christabel and I am one of your (two) GGL leaders for our trip to Esteli, Nicaragua, coming up this week! Hopefully you all read Don, my co-leader’s, intro blog post. I also wanted to introduce myself and tell you a little about me so we can start getting to know each other!

First of all, I want to say how excited I am to have the opportunity to experience such an awesome adventure alongside you all! I have always loved to travel and I try to take advantage of every new travel opportunity. Every time I have traveled, the experience has changed me and taught me so many new things. I look forward to supporting you all to make sure you also love the experience of traveling!

A little about me – I grew up in the mountains in Colorado so I feel very at home in the mountains and love outdoor activities. In my free time I love doing anything outdoors – hiking, swimming, rock climbing, camping, snow-boarding – and I love to try new things! I love learning about different people, cultures, and ways of life. I read a lot of biographies and watch a lot of documentaries 🙂

I was fortunate to have a few similar immersion experiences when I was in high school, focused around learning Spanish. Ever since then I have had the travel bug! I attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where I studied Social Psychology and Spanish. While at Smith I studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador where I lived with a family, studied Spanish, and Ecuadorian culture and history. Upon graduating I moved to San Francisco where I have worked as a manager at a nonprofit for the last 5 years, coordinating donated surgical care for low-income uninsured Bay Area residents. Through this work, I spent a lot of time coordinating resources for and with the local Latino communities and also became a Spanish-English Medical Interpreter. Traveling is very important to me and I try to make it a big part of my life. Three months ago I traveled to rural Guatemala as a Medical Interpreter on a surgical mission and had an incredible experience. I am already eager to go back to Central America! This past year, I also spent two and a half weeks backpacking across Thailand and Malaysia, where I experienced and learned about Southeast Asian culture.

I am very passionate about the power of foreign language and immersion education and I will be pursuing a Masters in International & Multicultural Education this coming Fall. Throughout the last five years I have also spent a lot of time volunteering and tutoring at a Bay area high school and absolutely loved it!

I will be your Health Leader for the trip and I want you all to feel very comfortable coming to me with any health issues at all. I am VERY comfortable with all forms of health-related issues you may have or be concerned about – most likely I have experienced the travel-related health issues you will experience through my own travels so don’t hesitate to come to talk to me! Don and I are in the process of getting in touch with you all via phone before departure so please let us know if you have any health-related questions at this point, but there will be plenty more to come about this!

I can’t wait to take off! I hope you all are as excited as I am!
Hasta Miércoles!