Pacific Ridge students have global adventures


Nathan Cheng and Tai Eubank of Encinitas are two of more than 500 Pacific Ridge School students and staff who spent the past few weeks experiencing academic, service learning, and cultural experiences abroad.

During the school’s year-end global travel period, students in grades 7-10 travel to the Santa Monica Mountains (seventh grade), Williamsburg (eighth grade), China (ninth grade) and the Northern Sierras (10th grade). Juniors and seniors have the option of choosing from numerous school-designed trips or designing their own year-end trips or internships.

Cheng, a senior, traveled with a group to El Salvador, where he worked with children in the Angeles Descalsos (Barefoot Angels) Urban Youth Program. Students spent their days organizing activities for the children that included English lessons, crafts, and a community soccer tournament. The group also had a chance to explore the countryside through visits to rural villages, a zipline tour over the Apeneca Canopy, and exploration of the volcanic hot springs in scenic Lake Coatepeque.

Eubank, also a senior, traveled with a group to South Africa, where students split their time between Capetown and Kruger National Park. The trip gave students an opportunity to expand on their Post-Colonial Studies curriculum by engaging in discussions about diversity, poverty, xenophobia, and social justice with native South Africans and South African immigrants. The group visited District Six, the Apartheid Museum, and Bo-Kaap, and students performed service work at a primary school, foster home, and a wilderness conservation agency. The trip also included safaris, a Cape Point hike, a South African cooking course, and rafting down the Sabie River.

Cheng and Eubank weren’t the only Encinitas residents to take part in Pacific Ridge School’s global travel program. On trips to more than 20 destinations worldwide, students learned about the fight against human trafficking in Thailand, explored astronomy and rugged landscapes in southern Chile, studied conflict resolution in Northern Ireland, and more.