For the past few years, we have focused the attentions of Journey Weavers and Aventuras Yemaya on programs in Costa Rica. Birding and outdoor adventure opportunities abound in the ecologically diverse natural environment of this small, friendly country. Internships, volunteer opportunities, and individually designed programs tailored to meet your particular interests and dates are also available.

Future plans will include biking and art history in the Netherlands, watercoloring in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and a variety of trips in Guatemala. In addition, Journey Weavers, in conjunction with the Spanish Language Institute (SLI) in Cuernavaca, Mexico and The Costa Rica Spanish Institute (COSI) in Costa Rica, offers Spanish language programs for the general public and special summer programs for teenagers. Working with the Cuba AIDS Project, Journey Weavers also provides ways for U.S. citizens to travel legally to Cuba as part of a licensed humanitarian project.



SANDRA POLLACK

Sandra Pollack - Journey Weavers: Educational Travel, Ithaca, New York. For many years, Sandy taught English, English to Speakers of Other Languages, Women's Studies, and directed the Study Abroad Program at a community college in upstate New York. As part of her work, she regularly took students and community people to Mexico to study Spanish and traveled to Peru, Venezuela, and Chile to train teachers in methods of teaching English.

Sandy's educational travels also include research trips to Russia investigating the ways in which women combined work and family responsibilities. For two years, she directed the Antioch Women's Studies in Europe program, traveling with a group of twenty students for three months at a time. She is also currently a group leader for Elderhostel and Road Scholar, and as such has taken groups to Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Upon her retirement, Sandy started her own business, Journey Weavers: Educational Travel, as a way to continue doing what she most loves — sharing different learning experiences with others. Her interest in Costa Rica began while she was still teaching and designed a course exploring women's development and environmental projects in the country.

Her connection with Ana Zamora was crucial to the success of that program, and Ana and Sandy decided to continue working on future projects. In 2003, they began with three extremely successful trips — two birding and one women's hiking — and have many new projects planned for the next few years.

ANA ZAMORA

Ana Zamora - Aventuras Yemaya, San Jose, Costa Rica. Even as a young Costa Rican woman, Ana had been involved with people who were working, studying, and volunteering in her country. She is very interested in learning about other cultures as well as sharing her native country and culture with others.

In 1982, Ana was a participant in an exchange program with Canadian Crossroads, a volunteer organization designed to promote cross-cultural understanding, where she worked at the crisis center for battered women and children in Manitoba, Canada and assisted with counseling and program development with the local Native Indian community. On her return to Costa Rica, she continued to work with the organization and was in charge of setting up placements for Canadian participants as well as encouraging additional Costa Rican participation.

In 1988, Ana was awarded a U.S. scholarship for professionals which enabled her to complete a Masters degree in Social Science and Women's Studies at Mankato State University. In Costa Rica, she organized an exchange program for women from other countries interested in learning Spanish, participating in various outdoor adventure activities, and traveling in Costa Rica. One of her projects was the founding of Casa Yemaya, a conference center and residence which offered opportunities for women to participate in a variety of cultural and sustainable development projects.

For over 20 years, Ana worked at the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA), a governmental organization that develops training programs for men and women throughout the country. Her focus was on programs for women to help then learn to work together to improve their economic and personal lives.

In 1998 when she met Sandy, who had similar interests, they put together a trip for students and community people from the U.S. Since then they have been organizing programs and providing opportunities for others to experience the pleasures of Costa Rican culture and natural beauty.


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