Argentina can be considered a case study for success. With bountiful natural resources, a highly educated and diverse population, and an industrialized economy, Argentina is a strong member of the G-20 group of economic powers. As the birth-place of the tango, Che Guevara, and Jorge Luis Borges (not to mention Lionel Messi), Argentina’s cultural and historical legacies have impacts that spread far beyond its borders.
However, Argentina is also a case study in ‘should haves’. Since reaching a peak as the world’s seventh-wealthiest nation in 1920, the twentieth century has seen Argentina follow an often tortuous path of political turmoil and economic crisis. Traveling through and experiencing this vital and vibrant nation provides the perfect context for considering development models and the role of external forces in mitigating (or exacerbating) crisis.
[Envoys] knows kids extremely well…they know how to be cool with them while still commanding authority and establishing ground rules…I was incredibly impressed with the protocols established and put in place by Envoys.Micah M., Traveling Faculty Friends Seminary Peru 2015
With its emphasis on empathy and general intelligence in planning, Envoys has quickly emerged as a premier global program provider. They are well worth the attention of any of our schools.Paul Miller Former Director of Global Initiatives,NAIS
Envoys was at the top of their game from start to finish. What initially interested me was their focus on curriculum during pre-departure meetings and the program itself. Envoys cares deeply about the experience of the participants and faculty. [They] constantly ask for constructive criticism and make changes when necessary.Joe Vogel, Executive Director Global Education Benchmark Group
Envoys carefully constructed an educational trip for students that purposefully engaged them to think, reflect, act, and enjoy. The travel logistics were always well-planned, and I had peace of mind knowing that my teen-aged daughter was in safe, responsible, and caring handsAlice T, Parent Deerfield South Korea, 2015
I could not have been more satisfied with the performance of Envoys throughout the entire process of planning and executing this trip. All Envoys staff demonstrated the utmost professionalism and dedication, as well as knowledge and competence. I am so glad that [we] chose to partner with Envoys!Rick S, Traveling Faculty Hingham Japan 2015
The team at Envoys did their very best to ensure that the the “i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed.” The staff was also quick to respond to any and all questions that arose prior, during and after the trip. My husband and I greatly appreciated the time Envoys took to provide preparation tips as well the planned activity schedules to help make our child’s South African trip a safe and memorable adventure”Regina J, Parent Dalton South Africa 2014
We had an amazing program. It was a biology teacher’s dream and Felipe and his crew couldn’t have been more thorough and professional to work with. Thanks for all of your efforts to organize an unforgettable experience for us all.Gerry, Traveling Faculty LCC Colombia, 2016
As a parent I felt the experience was well orchestrated and managed by Envoys. As a participant my daughter loved the whole experience; it is something she will treasure for the rest of her lifeLinda T, Parent Hingham Japan 2015
I don’t think it is possible to pull a trip like the Amazon and the many activities that you directed without the sense of purpose you have, without your drive for experiential learning for teenagers. All our experiences with the envoys team were amazing!Angela, Traveling Faculty RoundSquare Colombia 2015
It was not only the good times with our friends or the relationships we built but how we were after we came back, returning to this agitated society with a new view of ourselves and not just our impact on the world, but the world’s impact on us.Gabriela, Student Deerfield Colombia, 2014
The individuals we worked with, without exception, were all professional, courteous, patient, and greatly attentive to detail. As stated above, Envoys is flexible and works hard to make sure that if you have custom aspects to a trip that you want to add, they will work hard to make it happen for you.Adam H, Faculty Belmont Hill Japan 2016
I can honestly say that this was the best 10 days of my entire life. I feel as though I have grown as a person, and that I have made lifelong connections. This experience changed my life, so thank you very much to the entire Envoys staff!
Eliza C, Student Hingham Japan 2015
Every single person working for Envoys is excellent and committed to the kids and their experience, not just during the trip, but before and after. We would recommend Envoys to anyone looking for a high quality and enriching summer experience.Amy G, Parent Envoys Malawi 2014 & 2015
The Envoys staff has been amazing. I have bonded with each of them in different ways and they made the trip to Colombia nicer that I expected. Envoys helped me open myself up to interacting with the locals wherever we traveled!Illeana G, Student Deerfield Colombia 2014
My goals were to learn about post-conflict Colombia and step out of my comfort zone. These were fulfilled each and every day through activities, reflections, and first-hand experience.Julia D, Student GEBG Colombia 2016
I was incredibly impressed by the care taken by Envoys. Before we even hit the ground, there was an emphasis on comprehending impact on our destination’s environment that I appreciated..Throughout the trip, our Envoys leaders made sure that we continued to be conscious of impact. That awareness of cause and effect is something that often gets lost when traveling, and Envoys did not allow it to. During this trip, there was never a moment I did not feel safe and cared for nor a moment where I did not feel I was learning something!Keylee S, Student Dalton South Africa 2014
“Many student groups participate in ‘Voluntourism’. This trip did not attempt that, but rather funneled the collective energy of each member into meaningful, mutually beneficial cultural interactions..Thank you so much for this unforgettable and transformational experience.Altana, Student Friends Seminary South Africa, 2016
The Envoys staff were very open about sharing their first-hand experiences, which was a game-changed in terms of learning about post-apartheid South Africa. Also, having everything planned to the T made me feel very safe. I knew that I was in good hands.Gio H, Student Friends Seminary South Africa 2016
The Envoys Staff were exceptionally committed to us and to the goals of our trip. They were thoughtful, kind, caring, friendly, with great sense of humor, yet serious in their connection to the ethos of professional development that was our trip’s purpose. I was struck over and over again by how they literally RAN to be in the right place to respond to any given situation.Constance, Traveling Faculty Friends Seminary Colombia 2016
Day 1 (Travel to Argentina)
We fly into magnificent Buenos Aires, one of the world’s great cities. Following a thorough health and safety review, Envoys staff lead a ‘hopes and fears’ session for all participants.
Day 2 (Buenos Aires)
After a re-affirmation of our Spanish language pledge, we move through the city at a relaxed pace, stopping for lunch in the waterfront Puerto Madero district. During the day’s explorations, students undertake a series of ‘communicative challenge’ activities designed to push their linguistic limits. We pass through the famed Colón Theatre, one of the best Opera Houses in the world and close our day learning about the history and traditions of La Recoleta Cemetery.
Day 3 (Buenos Aires)
We rise early and depart by local train for San Isidro, where we tour the cobbled streets and contrast the towering 1898 Cathedral with the modern Rugby Museum. Prior to our explorations, students are given the challenge of creating a tourism guide for the area, including prices, times, and points of interest. This task provides motivation and a framework to ensure constant interactions with the local people. During the afternoon, we journey along the delta of the beautiful El Tigre river, then return by train to Buenos Aires.
Day 4 (Buenos Aires)
After breakfast, students are divided into teams (each with a chaperone) for a Spanish scavenger hunt through San Telmo, the city’s oldest barrio and home to some of its most fascinating architecture. The afternoon provides us with a unique opportunity to visit the famed ‘El Monumental” soccer stadium, home of Argentina’s national team, the Albicelestes. In the evening, we experience another Argentinian passion: a succulent beef dinner.
Day 5 (San Antonio de Areco)
We depart for the ‘Pampa Argentina’, the grass-land region surrounding the capital city. We begin with a visit to a typical farm, where we witness traditional ways of living from the land and inter-view rural farmworkers. The evening brings us ‘La Fiesta Gaucha’, a great time to practice our tango skills!
Day 6 (San Antonio)
We break into small teams to explore the town and countryside, setting the stage for a lunchtime workshop session on the best use of natural resources and the interplay between political decisions and rural livelihoods. After a visit to the famed Museum Guachesco Ricardo Güiraldes, we return to our hotel for reflection and a close to the day.
Day 7 (San Antonio – BsAs)
Following breakfast, students have the opportunity to ‘get their hands dirty’ and learn the art of silversmithing! This communicative challenge of learning from a foreign native pushes student language development while also building confidence in their own abilities. We return to Buenos Aires in the late afternoon, arriving in time to take in an evening tango performance.
Day 8 (Puerto Iguacu)
We travel by plane to Puerto Iguacu, arriving in the early afternoon. During the evenings students practice and record stories for home, explaining both the experiences they have had and the lessons that they have drawn.
Day 9 (Puerto Iguacu)
We rise early for our visit to Iguacu, one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls. Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Iguacu is both a local treasure and international landmark. We return to the town and move through the community, speaking with the locals to understand how the closeness to the Falls impacts livelihoods.
Day 10 (Puerto Iguacu)
We journey to the historic San Ignacio Mission, founded by the Jesuits in 1632. Our tour and interviews provide the context for a discussion on the ‘missionary movement’ as the earliest model of development aid. Following lunch, we stop by the Wanda Mines, an operating gemstone quarry, for a tour of the facilities.
Day 11 (Buenos Aires)
In the morning, we travel to the indigneous Iriapu community, learning about their traditional ways of life and how they have been impacted by modernity. Following our flight back to the capital, students engage in a guided discussion on the definition of ‘development’, drawing examples from what they have experienced during the program.
Day 12 (Colonia, Uruguay)
We ‘seize the day’ and journey across the border by the Buquebus ferry to the city of Colonia in Uruguay. After lunch and a discussion of the differences between arriving in a new country by sea and air, we break into groups for a walking tour of the historic Colonia del Sacremento.
Day 13 (Colonia, Uruguay)
During the morning, we return to the old quarter of Colonia to engage with the locals and learn more about the past of this UNESCO World Heritage site. For lunch, we try ‘the best sandwich in the world” the chivito uruguayo, and then return to Buenos Aires by Buquebus. We close the program with a discussion on our learning points and remaining questions on the development within the region.
Day 14 (Travel back home)
We board a late morning plane for the international flight home.