It seems hyperbolic, but it’s hard to overstate the overwhelmingly positive effect that my experiences at Rancho Mastatal have had on my life, and my current career path.
When I was a teenager thumbing rides around Mexico, I quickly realized my vegetarianism would not survive. If my friend Valente and I got in some dusty car with a family that brought us back to a tin-roofed house and gave us chicken soup, we ate that soup. The kindness of strangers humbled my big picture ideas of right and wrong.
The journey starts with a 5am wake up; just as the sunlight is starting to spread through the jungle. I take a couple deep breaths as I admire the beautiful place that I am in.I take a last look around, heave my heavy backpack on, and head down to make a cup of coffee before embarking on what will be a 36+ hour adventure back "home." I have done this journey multiple times now, from California to Costa Rica and back and forth, and each time presents new challenges and exhausting travel times.