2019 Annual Report

Here at ISL, we believe in giving back to those in need. Many organizations report their annual success in profits. We instead celebrate our annual success in measuring how much of a positive impact we’ve made.

Our mission is to support cultural awareness, service-based learning, and sustainable development through experiential and responsible volunteer travel programs that inspire a lifestyle of service.

Here’s a look at how we upheld our mission in 2019.

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Mariluz Portugal, Panama

International Service Learning (ISL) is very proud of their Country Coordinators and we would like for you to get to know them, before you visit their beautiful country. All of our Country Coordinators are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers, and they all have their own very unique stories. 

Where is she from? Where has she lived?

Mariluz was born in the Herrera Province in Panama City.

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268 Belizians walk away pain-free!

February 28, 2020 San Ignacio, Belize, Central America
ISL Blog Guest Author: James A. Taylor DO 

During a 5 day whirlwind tour of the charming town of San Ignacio, nestled near the border of Guatemala in Western Belize, Dr. Matt Booth DPT, PT,  an American Physical Therapist, lead a cast of specialists to teach, train, and test 12 local physicians in the hot-new treatment for pain with stunning success.

There’s more here than meets the eye.

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Guide to Ecology Volunteering Abroad

Would you like to experience life in a community abroad? Perhaps you’d like to fine tune your skills in ecology too? Well good news – we’re here to tell you that you can do both!

With ISL’s ecology programs, you’ll not only get to volunteer in amazing places around the world, you’ll also get to explore the world of ecology by taking part in environmental and agricultural initiatives.

Want to learn more about our ecology program?

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Guide to Volunteering Abroad in Costa Rica

Would you like to volunteer abroad in Costa Rica? It’s a fantastic country full of exciting opportunities, and we think you’ll absolutely love it!

Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse and socially-diverse countries in the world. It’s warm and welcoming to everyone and its local wildlife and ecosystems are unlike anything else in the world. While it’s full of diverse cultures and ecosystems, there are communities still struggling with basic living needs.

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Dr. Tracey Long: The Namaste Way

Tracey Long (PhD, RN, MS, CDE, CNE, CCRN) is a registered nurse who has served on the nursing faculty at the College of Southern Nevada and at Nevada State College. She loves to take nursing students internationally to travel and serve with International Service Learning. She has lead teams to Belize, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Costa Rica, and now India!

“What is the disease causing the legs to be so twisted and disabled for so many people?” queried a nursing student looking at several people in a small Indian rural village.

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Dr. Tracey Long: Nurses and Nursing Students Bring Las Vegas Luck to Colombia

Tracey Long is a registered nurse who has served on the nursing faculty at the College of Southern Nevada and at Nevada State College. She loves to take nursing students internationally to travel and serve with International Service Learning. She has lead teams to Belize, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and Costa Rica and has an upcoming ISL trip planned to India!

“The only danger in going to Colombia,

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Dr. Tracey Long: An Un-Belizeable Experience!

Tracey Long is a registered nurse who has served on the nursing faculty at the College of Southern Nevada and at Nevada State College. She loves to take nursing students internationally to travel and serve with International Service Learning. She has lead teams to Belize, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and Costa Rica and has an upcoming ISL trip planned to India!

“Do you have a lid on your outhouse to keep out flies and insects?”
“Can you put a net over the bed to detract mosquitos?”
“Do you have a lid to put on the rainwater barrel to keep your water clean?”
“When was the last time you were treated for worms?”

These questions are not commonly asked by nurses in the United States,

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Madison Hopkins: Happiness Comes from Knowing You Impacted Another Individual

Madison Hopkins is from a small town in Massachusetts by the name of Plainville. She is currently a junior Biological Sciences major at Clemson University in South Carolina. At Clemson she is involved in a wide array of campus activities anywhere from tutoring local elementary school students to being an undergraduate teaching assistant. She is on the PR (personal relations) Team for her sorority, the Outreach Committee from Camp Kesem Clemson, and is also the secretary of AMSA (American Medical Student Association).

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Milan Sheth: A Small Imprint of Change

 

Milan Sheth is an alumnus of Eastern Mennonite University’s M.A. in Biomedicine program. Milan’s interests are in clinical/academic medicine and global health. He serves as an ambassador for International Service Learning and PreMed STAR. Milan advocates for students to gain experience in medically underserved areas. Milan intends to apply to medical school next year.

 

My classmates and I traveled to Nicaragua via International Service Learning (ISL).

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Justin Chu: Reflections from Costa Rica

Justin Chu is a third year medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. He was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio where he met and married his high school girlfriend. He enjoys outdoor activities as well as playing and watching sports.

y ISL experience in Costa Rica was valuable to me for many reasons. I got to put into practice the clinical skills I learned in my first year of medical school,

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Taeler Kallmerten: The Power of Education

Taeler Kallmerten is an Electronic Media major at Texas State University. Kallmerten is from Houston, Texas and she loves to travel, play soccer and create videos for her YouTube Channel.

In my time spent documenting health clinics in the villages outside the city perimeters of Managua, Nicaragua, I learned one very important thing. I learned about the power of education. The majority of my time in Managua was spent following the two respiratory therapy students on the trip and their professor Sharon Armstead.

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Melissa Francois: The True Meaning of Pura Vida

Melissa Francois currently lives in the “Empire State,” New York. She received both her Bachelors of Science in Human Biology and Masters of Public Health from the University at Albany. In her free time she loves writing, arts & crafts, all things D-I-Y, traveling and learning new languages! She served on a Global Health team with ISL in 2015.

The summer after graduating college, I traveled to Costa Rica as a Global Health Volunteer with International Service Learning.

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Evelyn Puello, Dominican Republic

A few months ago, we interviewed some of our country coordinators so we could share with you a little bit about their lives. All of our CCs are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers, and they all have their own very unique stories. This week, we are featuring the lovely Evelyn Puello, our Dominican Republic Country Coordinator!

Where is she from? Where has she lived?

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Glen Galindo, Colombia

Over the last few months, we have been interviewing our awesome country coordinators so you could get to know them a little better! All of our CCs are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers, and they all have their own very unique stories. This week, we interviewed Glen Galindo, our Colombia Country Coordinator!

Where is he from? Where has he lived?

Glen was born in Stockton,

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Yusra Iftikhar: My Medical Mission Trip to Mexico

For this week’s blog post, we are featuring an article written by Yusra on her blog The DPT Diaries last year about her service learning trip to Mexico. Yusra traveled with International Service Learning to Baja in May 2016, and here she reflects on her trip and the impact it had in her life:

Discovering humility in service.

2-year-old Gabriel* squealed in delight as he lunged for the sunglasses that dangled from my outstretched hand.

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Teddy Chuwa, Tanzania

The next country coordinator featured in our Country Coordinator Spotlight series is Teddy Chuwa! A couple months ago, we interviewed some of our country coordinators so we could share with you a little bit about their lives! All of our CCs are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers, and they all have their own very unique stories. Here’s what we learned in our interview with Teddy!

Where is she from?

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Dr. Monika Sawhney, India

We are planning our first ever trips to India this June! So, of course, we wanted you to meet your lovely country coordinator. This week, we interviewed Dr. Monika Sawhney, our India CC! We are sure you will enjoy reading about her exciting life and traveling with her!

Where is she from? Where has she lived?

Dr. Monika was born and raised in India. She came to the US to earn her PhD in Public Health,

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8 Reasons Why a Gap Year Is a Good Idea

We know what it’s like. You’re graduating from high school, and you’ve been a student your whole life up until this point. It looks like your options are to continue being a student or… what? Is there another option? There is.

Maybe you’re sure you want to go to college. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you just aren’t sure at all yet what you want to do with your life. Guess what?

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Partner Spotlight: Mario Polo, Spain Program Coordinator

In June, we are sending our first Sports without Borders Spain team to Madrid! So, naturally, we wanted you to get to know the awesome leader of the trip. This week, we interviewed Mario Polo, the founder of our program partner Show Me Madrid and the program coordinator for Sports without Borders Spain. His story is unique, and you will definitely enjoy reading about (and traveling with) him!

Where is he from?

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Research with International Service Learning

This week, we have a guest blogger: our very own international director, Dr. Sonia Hernández! Dr. Sonia has done a great deal of research in her life, ranging from oncology to service learning related projects (Read more about Dr. Sonia in our Staff Spotlight from last week here!), and is excited to post her very first blog post right here on our website. Here is what she has to say to inspire YOU to get involved too:

What is the health profile of vulnerable communities in Jamaica?

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Staff Spotlight: Dr. Sonia Hernández

We are featuring Dr. Sonia Hernández for our Staff Spotlight this week! We interviewed some of our team a few months ago so we could share with you a little bit about their lives. All of our staff are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers, and they all have their own very unique stories. This is what we learned in our interview with the international director,

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Pavel Guevara, Nicaragua

This week we are featuring Pavel Guevara for our CC Spotlight! A couple months ago, we interviewed some of our country coordinators so we could share with you a little bit about their lives. All of our CCs are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers, and they all have their own very unique stories. Here’s what we learned in our interview with Pavel, the country coordinator in Nicaragua!

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Country Coordinator Spotlight: Gabriela Pérez, Costa Rica

Continuing with our Country Coordinator Spotlight series, this week we are featuring Gabriela Pérez, one of our country coordinators in Costa Rica! [See the Spotlight for our other Costa Rica country coordinator, Pouchi, here!] A couple months ago, we interviewed some of our country coordinators so we could share with you a little bit about their lives! All of our CCs are hardworking, passionate individuals who enjoy serving their communities and working with ISL volunteers,

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