Dominican Republic, Freshmen Discovery Program

ACES 298: Trip to Jamaica

One of my favorite memories from this trip has to be when we went to the Blue Mountains.  This is where one of the most popular brands of coffee beans are grown.  When we first got there we were talked to about coffee and its origin and how it is the second most drank drink in the world (coming after water).  We then made our way up the mountain on about a twenty minute hike.  This was a change of pace compared to what we had been doing on the trip the previous days which was nice.  On the way up we had a chance to look at the coffee beans growing and why the damp environment they grow in is so important for success.  Once we got to the top the view was breathtaking.  Although it was raining that didn’t stop us from taking pictures.  There was a beautiful rainbow overlooking the mountains making the hike up the mountain  even more worth it.  This was one of my favorite of many memories on this trip.


#guatemala, Freshmen Discovery Program, Uncategorized

ACES 298 Discovery Course to Guatemala

Caoba Farms Volunteer Work Day

Today started off with a delicious breakfast of eggs, hash browns, toast, a variety of breads, and yummy fresh fruit. We then headed to a Caoba Farm for a fun day of work.

Once we arrived, we had a quick tour of the land, split into our teams (so cleverly named strawberry, mango, and kale), and went off to do different tasks. I was on team Mango. Each team had a separate last to do. Kale helped plant new crops, Strawberry learned how to pluck weeds, and Mangos made a fence and seeded wheat grain. Mangos also picked the berries that were given eaten as treats as the end of the work day. Surprise, raspberry bushes have thorns!

After hard work at the farms, we took a trip to Paraiso Azul (Blue Paradise) where we were treated to a relaxing afternoon at the pool. The pool was really cool because it was constantly filled by the natural springs from the mountains. According to our friend Emilio, a dip in the pool will have you coming out ten years younger (which would make most of us 9)!

Afterwards, we returned to the hotel and changed from our sweaty clothes, in order to prepare for the walking tour around Antigua. Unfortunately I had to sit out of this activity due to a sprained ankle. Instead, I practiced a little Spanish by trying to talk to some of the hotel staff. They were very nice.

We closed out our day with the usual free time/dinner. Some of the group enjoyed barbecue with a twist from Pappy’s while I and a few others ventured off to a wonderful meal at Mr. Sushi’s. After the meal we walked around and even made our way into a cute little bread shop. They had amazing banana bread. All in all it was a wonderful day, and now it is time to pack for the bright and early journey to Panjachel tomorrow.


Alexis Davidson

#ILLINOISabroad #ACESabroad #imagineaces