Have you ever had the chance to help someone truly in need of compassion and aide? Did you step outside your own comfort zone and travel to a foreign land to offer that help? We often hear about atrocious acts or disasters that have taken lives and ruined others, but not many of us flock to the source and literally lend a hand. By reaching out during times of such hardship, it profoundly changes all of those involved. To assist others in the hardest moments of their lives it inspires our own inner strength and encourages the sense of community that allows us as humans to thrive. For those facing these hardships, it reminds them that there is still good in this world. It lets them no that there is someone out there that really does care. 

The program Adventures Cross-Country offers programs for students to provide assistance on a global level. This program guides students through 21 countries on six continents, and it puts their efforts to good use by helping people in simple yet profound acts of kindness.  

Cambodia
Recently, Adventure Cross-Country had a group of thirteen students only hours from their flight to Thailand when a military coup appeared to thwart their plans. Instead of canceling the trip and throwing out months of planning, the school administrators and Adventure Cross-Country worked through the night to create a new trip. In mere hours they managed to produce a whole new itinerary for Cambodia. Working through all hours of the night, they were able to put together service projects for the week, find lodging and transportation as well as get new visas and airline tickets for the students (not an easy task, visas usually take weeks). Even with such short notice, the trip still contained the essence of the humanitarian work that is the foundation of Adventure Cross-Country. The students met with survivors of human trafficking and interacted with them as they began rebuilding their lives. The survivors were learning a new trade in order to support themselves, and the students got to hear their powerful stories. Many of the survivors are around the same age as the students. To see peers struggling with such bleak realities certainly changes how one looks at their own life.

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In addition, the students aided in building water filters and taught in village schools. During their visit, they also traveled to see Angkor Wat, the Killing fields and other sites of Khmer Rouge regime during which over 2 million Cambodians died. They witnessed the truth of the present, the pain of the past, and managed to help build hope for the future. In a matter of 10 hours, a life changing trip was brought to life. When it would usually take a year to make such travel plans, the Adventure Cross-Country made it possible to recover the spirit of the original trip and give these students a life experience they will carry forever. 

They witnessed the truth of the present, the pain of the past, and managed to help build hope for the future.

Scott con Eschen, the President of Adventures Cross-Country, was more than thrilled that the trip was salvageable and felt pride at the fact that the “school partners and the family trusted [them] so much that they allowed [them] to take their kids to Cambodia instead of Thailand.” It spoke “volumes to their faith in Adventure Cross-Country.” Can you imagine months of planning your child’s trip across the world to Thailand only to have it completely change overnight? There was obviously an immense confidence in this program to put their children completely in their hands. Adventure Cross-Country is opening the world to students and providing support to communities that might not ever receive it otherwise. It is teaching students to be aware of the world around them and inspiring them to be global advocates.

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Adventures Cross-Country was founded in 1983 and has been providing community service opportunities to children ages 13 to 19. Scholarships are available to give these students the chance to make a difference in this world before they have even truly hit adulthood. The two to four week programs take small groups of students internationally to teach, build water purification projects, enhance native language fluency, and much more while managing to squeeze in sightseeing for some of the most historic and beautiful natural sights in the world. These trips allow students to face the harsh realities of other countries and give them a glimpse of the world beyond their narrow scope. At such an impressionable age, it is the time to expose students to worldly difficulties and ingrain a strong sense of humanity.        

For more information on Adventure Cross-Country visit the website.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 8.43.36 PMSome of their upcoming adventures include

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