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December 2014

One of the defining pieces of this Ridge to Reef expedition—and one which communicates quite a bit about the values of its parent organization, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)—is the commitment to having a local Belizean student on each expedition. Javier Alegria went through a competitive application process to be here, then helped with the crowd-funded online campaign to cover the cost. His presence has made our experience in Belize that much richer, more interesting, and fun. Jav

Ridge to Reef created the Individual Placement volunteer program for the traveler who is more interested in studying Belize’s ecosystems than resorts, but needs more flexibility than Ridge to Reef’s eight-week-long expedition. Individual Placement Volunteers can come for a period of time that fits their schedule, and have more personalization in terms of the activities they choose. Alison Shepherd is the first Individual Placement Volunteer. She’s getting quite used to personal firsts this year—in February, the 58-year-old completed the notoriously challenging

The eight weeks of the first ever Ridge to Reef expedition flew by. It’s only now that it’s over we can begin to reflect on what the experience has meant, and how the vast amount of memories, skills, and relationships we’ve cultivated over the last two months have impacted us. The video below shares footage from our favorite expedition moments, from cliff jumping to mud fights, and touches on the major themes this amazing experience has embedded in all of us—lessons