We have been busy, busy, busy, here at the Project World School Teen Retreat! Since our crazy insane day in Valladolid we have had ANOTHER adventure day, an orientation with Coco’s Animal Welfare in preparation for our day of service next week, and a day of chilling out at Cenotes. We also got rained in and had some incredible teen-lead workshop sessions.
We met up with our favorite person and the-best-guide-ever, Nelson, for a day of exploring Cobá’s ruins on bikes on Sunday (Valentine’s day). We were able to climb the Pyramid, a whopping 117 steps to the top, and butt-scooted the whole way back down. After 4 hours of biking through the jungle and exploring the history of the Mayans, we had a Nutella filled lunch and headed off to Punta Laguna. We were all a little excited and nervous at the idea of a zipline and even more so about the idea of a cenote we would need to rappel down into, but we did it anyways! And boy, was it worth it. The zipline lasted approximately .03 seconds and let me tell you, that was the best .03 second burst of my life. But the adventure didn’t end there. We saw (and heard) Howler Monkeys and a momma Spider Monkey and her baby on our way to the Mayan ceremony we got to join, a truly beautiful site. Our shaman blessed us and welcomed us into the jungle in the Mayan language and sent us on our way to more adventure. To the cenote we went, and down into the dark we rappelled. It was absolutely terrifying on the way down, but the moment I hit the water, it was peace. I knew I was in a sacred place and was safe. Adventure is definitely out there, and definitely is awaiting at Punta Laguna Monkey Sanctuary for anyone ready to push their limits!
The rest of the week has given us the opportunity to learn from the people in our own community. Most evenings, we have a participant lead a workshop. The only guidelines are that they teach us something they’re passionate about and take up approximately an hour. We had our teen Erin teach us how to make wonderful bracelets, which are now occupying everyone’s time; we also had our teens Austin and Aria show us the Blue’s Tap, a ballroom dance that everyone is now obsessively practicing. Miro showed us the art of a 4-line rhyming poem, and Dylan brought us the musical brilliance of the kazoo. Lainie taught us how to work through conflicting thoughts and Sydney taught us the badass art of Krav Maga. I am so excited to see what else is in store from our awesome participants in the next week and a half!
Our next week holds volunteering with Akumal Eco Center and Coco’s Animal Welfare for a few days and getting to work with their kittens, puppies, and turtles. We will also be touring Chichen Itza and taking some workshops on storytelling and writing, along with some surprises!