Author Description

About Teresa

Hi! Welcome to our website!

About a year ago, I decided to leave a job that I love, to take my kids, Jennifer, Alex and Bella, and my best friend’s daughter Meagan, on a year long adventure around the world to volunteer in various non-profits, experience the world together, and learn what other organizations are doing for people in need and what we can do to help.

The project has evolved into something much more!  I started thinking that as long as we are volunteering, why not try to raise some money for the non-profits we would visit.  Then I thought about how little many of us (including me) know about the rest of the world, and we could use this opportunity, not only to learn about the world ourselves, but to share that with others.

My significant other has been very encouraging and we ended up getting some friend and colleagues together and starting a non-profit called “Round the World with Us”.   You can read more about our education initiatives and our projects, including a day care and community kitchen in Peru, a school in Cambodia, a reading room in Vietnam, and a peer-to-peer health and sex education program in India on our about and projects pages.

The trip will be a challenge for us in many ways – not the least of which are the drastic changes of suddenly having no home, no job, and no schools, figuring out how to spend as little as possible on travel, food and lodging, and the fact that my two youngest kids don’t actually want to travel around the world :-) I am hoping they will change their minds in a big way once we begin.

Right now, I work for the Archaeological Institute of America.  Doug Tilden (my significant other), Ben Thomas and Samantha Stein, who – with several other key people at AIA and hundreds of volunteers – have created and funded one of the best programs in the US to educate kids about other cultures and countries. We are at one of our AIA Archaeology Fairs – where my daughter Bella (one of 5,200 who visited) “excavated” more than her fair share of chocolate – learning how to record each find properly.

Even though I love my job, I am leaving because I have always wanted to do something to help people in need – especially those in developing countries. I also find, like so many other people, that I work too many hours (in addition to a three hour a day commute), so the idea of spending 24/7 with my children for a year is great!

I came up with the idea of this trip while on a plane on my way back from Peru, where I was speaking at an international responsible tourism conference. Even though I am the Executive Director of an international non-profit, it was my first time out of the US! I was there on Palm Sunday and experienced a bit of the holiday with some of the people of Peru – who were full of spirit and enthusiasm. Amidst this celebratory atmosphere, a very young boy asked me to buy a pack of gum to help support his family. Outside the city of Trujillo, I drove by a huge number of makeshift shelters that people called home. Seeing that kind of poverty first hand had a big impact on me.

I was also going through a tough time in my life.  The trip will serve many purposes, but one of them is to show that people can reach for their dreams and create something good, even when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Please explore our site, enjoy traveling with us (we leave August 1st!) and learn a little more about the ways others live on our little planet, while helping to do some good in the world.  Just visiting our site helps, as one donor has pledged 5 cents per web visit per day.

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Teresa's Blog

Funniest archaeology video ever!

George, one of our service learning students, makes his debut as “Archaeology Man”!
Don’t miss this earlier trailer of one of next summer’s biggest blockbusters…

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Belize SL workshop June 2307
Breaking the Ice – Reflections on a True International Service Learning Project

The leadership and service learning training we’ve been doing separately over the past several months with the Belizean and American teens moves into the next stage…meeting in Belize and getting down to business with an actual project. Would they come up with a compelling project to do?

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Stairblock in the Penultimate phase of construction. you can see that we dug pass the last phase of construction to get to the stairblock
Opening a stairblock – just like tearing into presents on Christmas morning!

Why is a Maya stairblock like a present on Christmas morning? The Maya often filled them with precious and valuable offerings and sometimes burials. This makes anyone eager to open them!

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Bungee Thailand5
Bungee Jumping vs. Service Learning

When it comes right down to it, I think they are pretty much the same.

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Mat excavating b1
Video: 6/28/12 another Maya tomb discovered!

Another Maya tomb is discovered and Mat Saunders is the first to retrieve and touch an ancient Maya Vessel to celebrate his birthday!

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Belize excavating week 101
Video: Day 3 of excavating & service learning

another day in the trenches…

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Belize excavating week 113
Video: the excavations and service learning projects continue…

Anther look into a day’s work at Cahal Pech and students working on their service learning projects.

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Belize excavating week 11
Video: First Day of Excavations!

This is the first day our Belizean and American students are working together, excavating a Maya pyramid and starting their service learning projects! Blog to follow.

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Belize Che Chem Ha Waterfall121
Video – Che Chem Ha Cave and Waterfall in Belize

Our teens from the US continue their adventure in Belize by touring Che Chem HaCave and waterfall.

Tomorrow we start brainstorming our service learning project with our Belizean partners – nine teens from the local area.

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Visiting Che Chem Ha Waterfall & Cave – awsome sites in Belize

a site worth visiting if you are ever in Cayo, Belize. Beautiful and powerful waterfall, cool birds, animal and plant life, and a Maya cave with artifacts estimated to be about 2,000 year old and a ceremonial chamber

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