Monday, April 20, 2015

Work Hard, Play Hard


   Last weekend, for our Third Quarter retreat, we traveled to a nearby and active Volcano, Cotopaxi.  Here we focused on exploring and evaluating our individual leadership styles while discussing how we have each grown as leaders through our time with Manna. It was refreshing and inspiring to focus on how we have grown both as individuals and as an organization. This retreat definitely gave us the inspiring break we needed to begin Quarter 4. With tons of new programs, projects and volunteers in the next few weeks, it was great to have this time to revive our group's outlook and energy level. Additionally, while staying here we were also able to have some exciting adventures. Some of us went horse back riding through the mountains (and are still sore 4 days later),  other hiked to the glacier line of the volcano (an amazing albeit cold hike) and others went jumping in a nearby waterfall.
  Staying in the Secret Garden Hostel, we had plenty of beautiful views, free coffee and jacuzzi time. Our leadership retreat was definitely one of our best so far and we are excited to see its impact as we begin our last quarter with Manna. 

April is the Month of Microfinance

April is the Month of Microfinance! 2015 is Manna Project's second year partnering with Month of Microfinance, a grassroots movement of student and professional organizations with a passion for microfinance and an intense commitment to learning.

Over at, you will find daily blog contributions from a range of organizations. Not sure what Microfinance is? Here is a 2 minute overview:

Find Month of Microfinance on Facebook
Find Month of Microfinance on Twitter
Find Month of Microfinance events in your area
Find out what people are saying and join the conversation - search #MoMF15!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Exploring Colombia


   Obviously one of the best things about volunteering abroad is the opportunity to travel around Latin America. This past week, some of us were able to travel to Colombia to celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week).  We discovered that Bogota is huge and beautiful and has so much to do.

            We also discovered that Catholics take Easter VERY seriously which shouldn't really have been a surprise.  Additionally, we learned that the Colombian Peso system can be quite overwhelming.  Why are there so many zeros? After exploring Bogota and drinking a lot of delicious coffee, we flew to the Northern Colombian coast. We visited Tayrona National Park or, as I like to call it, the most beautiful place I've ever seen. It is absolutely unreal! 
        After hiking along the beach and spending the day reading Harry Potter in the sand (basically my ultimate dream), we were able to spent the night in hammocks on the beach before hiking back the next day.  Getting to see a new country and explore was amazing. We can't wait for our next trip (I'm thinking Brazil). It was definitely a pretty memorable Easter holiday.