Maya Yucatan

Marine ecosystems. Responsible development. Cultural richness, just beyond the average tourist’s eye.

Thoughtful Preparation

Thoughtful preparation is the foundation on which the transformative expedition stands. It gives vital context allowing you to experience your expedition more fully; it teaches you about the people and places you’ll visit, providing deeper connections; it pushes you to grow, giving you a toolbox of skills you’ll use the rest of your life.

No Barriers Youth provides a variety of resources to help ensure the preparatory process is as impactful, informative and efficient as possible:

Fundraising Travel is expensive. We understand the burden of increased costs in airfare and program fees on families and that fundraising usually needs to be a priority during the preparatory process.  We also believe that working to raise funds can be a vital step in the personal growth and development among participants, resulting in increased commitment and investment in their experience. To that end, we have developed a user-friendly online fundraising tool which enables groups to customize their own messages and share them seamlessly. Simply visit this site and follow the step by step instructions. Once registered, the tool provides a variety of fundraising strategies, ideas and support.  

Support Embarking on a program of this nature can seem intimidating… but rest assured you won’t go at it alone! Every group is assigned a Group Manager or Liaison who is always just a phone call or email away. From booking airfare to questions on the packing lists, he or she supports groups through every step of our program. For groups traveling with a lead teacher (or chaperone), a set of additional resources is also provided on top of the Curriculum to aid in the preparation. Sample items include: destination-specific materials (books, maps, wildlife guides, etc.) and a series of No Barriers Youth program handbooks outlining everything from required forms to packing lists to parent meeting agendas and recommended immunizations.


Transformative Expedition

Pristine white sand covers your toes as you gaze into the aqua blue waters of the Caribbean. Warm sunshine blankets your shoulders and fresh fruit tantalizes your taste buds. You see large scale all-inclusive resorts nestled up against the waters that contain our world’s second largest barrier reef system.

You see excessiveness and waste and wonder how the community and environment are affected. And later you discover a rich and alive culture that appears nothing like what the tourism TV commercials boast. You hear people speaking ancient Maya dialects. You’re amazed by the beauty and intricacy of their hand-embroidered dresses.

You hear the grinding of corn in a stone bowl and smell the sweetness of freshly baked tortillas. You hold the hand of young girl and kick the soccer ball with her brother. And you’ve only just arrived. You decide you want to understand. You decide you’re ready to unleash your potential and discover the power you have to make a difference.

Meaningful Return

You take a trip to the beach with your friends after you’ve been home from Mexico for a while. You’re all enjoying the sand and sun until one of your friends throws his plastic bottle into the waves. Seeing the plastic floating away, you’re suddenly transported back to your time in the Yucatan.

You remember the beach clean-up you did and the promises you made to change your behavior at home. And that reminds you of the priceless smiles on the little kids’ faces you played soccer with, how their attitudes gave you fresh perspective on life.  You can feel the newfound confidence you gained through living out of your comfort zone, and you laugh remembering the silly joke your guide told you. It all comes flooding back, and it dawns on you: This really was about far more than just a cool trip. This was a fundamental shift in perspective, a new mindset, a new path to travel.

Just as the preparation lays the groundwork for the expedition, the return process is fundamental in rounding out the transformative journey. To help with integrating the experience into day-to-day life, every No Barriers Youth participant creates and implements a Global Citizenship Project after their return home. And now what?! Well, it’s time you start looking for your next call to adventure!

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