July 2017

This summer I had the pleasure of embarking upon one of the greatest journeys of personal development that I have ever experienced. I sincerely thank the individuals who made this voyage a reality, and would like to share some highlights of my mission with you.

Bocas del Toro had this unusual influence which highlighted my strengths and exposed my weaknesses, resulting in what can only be described as an expedited format for self-development. One of the greatest impacts on my personal growth was due to this being my first time traveling for any great distance alone. I felt like a young boy who had just discovered chocolate! After fully understanding the impact this journey has had on me, I have promised myself to continue traveling solo in the future. While on this journey, I came across the following quote, and it will forever resonate with me: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” - Mark Twain. Touring solo challenged my perspective on the world, and the realization that I am able to have a positive impact on it. While planning activities and managing finances, my awareness and sense of responsibility were tested and tempered. Travelling on my own forced me into social situations that rarely would I engage in during my normal life. I was required to create positive interactions with other people. Fortunately, at the beginning of my journey there was considerable time for reading and research. Subsequently, my involvement in many team activities granted me both the time to observe and then apply the concepts I had studied. As well, I learned about various other forms of communication such as body language and timing. These forms of communication were used as a means to combat my “hablo espanol pocito..... lo siento”.

Bocas del Toro is very beautiful in so many ways, which kept me motivated even in the face of adversity. The people are a friendly and encouraging conglomerate of individuals and were a joy to interact with. Their ability to love taught me so much. I will never forget this summer. It was a momentous chapter of my life. A simple “thank you” does not accurately encompass how grateful I am.
— Adam Lopez, Board Member