2018 CHOICE Expedition to Mexico
- What: A week-long trip to a CHOICE Humanitarian community, including a community-determined work project and time to learn about CHOICE’s work.
- When: Saturday, March 3 – Saturday, March 10, 2018
- Where:Mexico (village/community TBD)
- Why: Travel to a new culture and country, deepen your connection to ending extreme poverty and our partners’ work, and meet your fellow human beings!
- Who: You! Peggy! Other FeelGooders! Other CHOICE investors! In-country CHOICE staff and community members!
- Cost: $1750 for current FG students, $1850 for FG alumni + airfare (see below for information on scholarships and fundraising!)
*The FeelGood movement is invited to EVERY public CHOICE expedition! If you are ever interested in a CHOICE expedition, you don’t need to wait for a special FeelGood invitation.
Not ready to commit to registration, but want to learn more? Fill out this quick form.
Expeditions are structured around a work project, decided upon and lead by the local community visited. This could be installing new stoves, building a medical facility, painting a schoolhouse, or even bio-gas digester installation. While the project provides the structure of the trip, the true purpose of the trip is to meet, connect with, learn from, and interact with our fellow humans around the world. (See CHOICE Expedition Program Director, Jordan Menzel’s take on what CHOICE is and how expeditions fit in.)
- A contingent of wealthy Americans showing up to a poor village uninvited to take pictures of brown people
- A contingent of oblivious do-gooders who come in to show the villagers how to live
- A bunch of westerners teaching indigenous and/or rural villagers what they’re doing wrong
- In any way shape or form glorifying poverty
- Based on the idea that we (Westerners) are better and know better
- An opportunity to see and invest in poverty-ending work on the ground
- A chance to meet fellow human beings whose lived experience is different than our own
- A dynamic, engaging intercultural exchange
- Travel to a new, beautiful part of the world
- A chance for a renewed perspective on life
- A chance to reconnect with yourself
- Based on the idea that we are stronger when we empower and learn from each other
TELL ME MORE!
Saturday, March 3 – Saturday, March 10, 2018
Itinerary has not been set yet, but you can find a similar Mexico expedition itinerary here.
CHOICE began operation in Mexico in 1990 with an agreement between CHOICE Humanitarian and Brigham Young University students who came to Mexico to teach adult literacy in three Mexican communities. The students stayed for a month and then returned every year to these same communities. In time, a relationship developed between CHOICE Humanitarian and Juan Luis Alducin who helped to host these students and other summer interns who were coming regularly to help Juan and his efforts to improve the conditions of those in the area living in extreme poverty.
To date, CHOICE has worked in 87 villages in Mexico, impacted 34,800 Mexican villagers directly, and impacted 48,720 Mexican villagers indirectly.
Check out the full CHOICE Mexico history and program information here.
Often living in America, extreme poverty feels very far away and something that happens to other people. And while this is true, in order to be strong and effective advocates for those who don’t have a voice, it’s crucial to have an understanding of what this work looks like.
Being able to physically visit our partners work on the ground is a huge privilege and opportunity. There’s no doubt a trip like this will change you and make you a more effective, engaged advocate for the end of poverty by 2030. Whether you’re making grilled cheese on campus, working at a large corporation post-graduation, or something in between, we can all benefit from a stronger connection to this work and the people directly affected by our investment efforts.
You’ll meet and engage with CHOICE Mexico in-country staff, your fellow FeelGooders, your fellow CHOICE investors, and the CHOICE community members you’ll visit — the combination of which is more powerful than words can explain.
But seriously, will you join?
This expedition is open to the public, which means we’ll have the opportunity to connect with fellow CHOICE investors from all over the country. With a FeelGood contingent, we can represent FeelGood as a dedicated partner and investor in CHOICE’s poverty-ending work, share the FeelGood story, and learn from every other expeditioner as to what has brought them to CHOICE.
Additionally, you’ll be able to meet and learn from CHOICE Mexico in-country staff.
UVM FeelGood alumna and former staff member, Peggy Snider will be co-leading this trip. As a student, Peggy was involved in UVM FeelGood from 2009 – 2011. After graduating with a B.A. in Sociology and Community Entrepreneurship, Peggy moved out west to intern with FeelGood as a Logistics Intern for the 2011 Big Cheese, Social Media Strategy Intern, and eventually joined staff in October of 2012 until August 2015. During her time on staff, Peggy directly supported students on the ground both at established chapters and chapters just beginning their journey with FeelGood, managed and supported almost all communications, and managed behind the scenes event logistics.
In December 2014, Peggy joined the CHOICE Expedition to Bhorletar, Nepal on behalf of the FeelGood movement. In July 2017, Peggy embarked on her first expedition as a leader along with two FeelGood students and one FeelGood alumna to Mexico. She is extremely excited about and focused on getting representatives from the FeelGood movement to join her for another trip!
Peggy is an avid traveler. She has extensive experience traveling internationally, has been on two CHOICE expeditions, as well as direct experience traveling to Mexico (November 2016). Look to her as your resource with regards to the CHOICE model, expedition expectations, FeelGood history and partnership with CHOICE, travel and packing tips, and more.
Cost & Scholarships
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated cost of the trip per person:
- Trip Fee: $1750 for current students and $1850 for FG alum (includes $200 discount from CHOICE for our FeelGood community!)
- This fee includes international airport pick-up at Del Bajío International Airport in Guanajuato (airport code BJX), all ground transportation within Mexico, all meals from Saturday dinner to Saturday breakfast, hotel lodging in Guanajuato, and community lodging in rural Mexico.
- The rest of your fee left after covering costs gets directly invested into CHOICE projects like the one we’ll see in Mexico.
- Initial deposit of $300/person is upon registration with CHOICE and is part of your total fee.
- NOTE: All expedition paperwork and remaining fees are due to CHOICE by February 1, 2018.
- Estimated airfare: $350-$700 depending on origin
- Estimated other (vaccines, food while in airports): $50-$150
Total estimated cost: $2200-$2700
- There are two (2) $250 scholarships up for grabs! These scholarships have been generously donated to us by an anonymous alumni.
- If you’re interested, please fill out the scholarship application here.
- **Scholarship applications are due by January 5, 2018.**
- Scholarship winners will be announced by January 12, 2018.
As always, you may gift your scholarship to another student, chapter, or alumni that you know is working hard to save up to make this trip happen.
TIP: Chapters who are hoping to send a representative can pool CHW scholarships, work together as a chapter, and gift multiple scholarships to your chapter’s representative(s)!
REGISTRATION + DEADLINES
- Applications for the $250 scholarships are due NO LATER than Friday, January 5th.
- Recipients will be announced by January 12th.
- Consider asking for miles donations from parents, friends, family members, etc.
Registration & Next Steps
- Download the CHOICE Expedition Application + Medical Form. Fill it out. Send to Peggy via email.
- An initial deposit of $300/person is due upon registration to CHOICE. Contact Peggy for instructions for check or card payment.
- Once you’ve sent in your application to Peggy, she will follow up via email with immediate next steps.