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Callista Helms

Callista is passionate about working with children, learning Spanish, and the environment. Throughout high school, she was involved in a program called Juntos that mentored younger Spanish-speaking kids and helped with their academics. Her club Walking for Water was able to raise 20,000 to put in two wells in Burkina Fafsa to help with the lack of water in Africa. She was a part of her school's Wind Ensemble and ran track for four years. Her goals for her gap year to Ecuador are to make a difference, discover another culture and have the opportunity to contribute something special to the community around her.


From the End to the Beginning

June 5, 2018

Adapting to a new culture and country was more than difficult when I first lived in Ecuador, but contrary to popular belief going back home was even harder. In my town in Chordeleg, I felt like I held an important role in my community. I was an assistant English teacher and I also worked in...

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Saying Goodbye

April 1, 2018

This year has been a constant cycle of goodbyes— starting off by leaving our family and friends to start off our adventure in Stanford. This cycle continues as we prepare to say goodbye to our communities, new friends, host families, and apprenticeships that we have experienced for the past eight months. During high school, I...

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La Gringa con la mochila azul

February 6, 2018

Every time I took a standardized test in school I would simply check off the box that said White/ Caucasian. Growing up, I never stood out or was targeted because I had the privilege of being a middle to an upper-class white girl. I have never had a problem fitting in, but now it is...

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Settling In

November 15, 2017

Two months ago I was given a piece of paper that would dictate my next seven months in Ecuador. It had my permanent host family, the town I would be living in and what my apprenticeship would be. We didn’t get to choose where we were placed or what our jobs would be. I was...

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Live From The Field

October 17, 2017

From being in Ecuador for a little over a month, I have been catching on to the differences in this culture from the one I left back home. Here is a list of things that I have either observed or experienced from my time here. Differences in Culture/Daily life Rice is served with every meal...

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Live From The Field

September 12, 2017

And so the adventure begins. The saying “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong” came to be very true throughout the start of my travels. It began after landing in San Francisco. I discovered that my suitcase wheel had broken, and there was no way I could carry two fifty pound bags when one...

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3,548 miles

August 27, 2017

August 27th. I’m not going to lie, this date has been giving me many tears and butterflies for the past couple of months. With only a few days it is hard to put my feeling into words. For eighteen years I’ve lived in the same small town, Laguna Beach. Some call it a bubble in...

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