With the somewhat unexpected results of the US presidential election now clear, we want to take an opportunity to reach out to you on this historic moment in our country and world. The rhetoric of this election season has been painful for a lot of us. I want to reassure you however that we, as an organization and a part of the broader community of international exchange organizations, will continue to work tirelessly for ideals of cultural understanding, inclusion, acceptance, tolerance, education, personal growth, and people to people diplomacy upon which our programs are based.
As we move forward in the days and months ahead, we will be there for our current and prospective students, volunteers and teachers, as well as our alumni who have questions about the situation in the United States. We will keep supporting our travelers to ensure that we continue to foster the ideals of cultural exchange.
Undeniably, the 2016 campaign was fueled by negative and fearful rhetoric painting a picture of a world we know not to exist in reality. Greenheart Travel will continue to work tirelessly in support of citizen diplomacy and the expansion of one’s worldview through our mission of cultural exchange. Beyond international headlines and media portrayals of the United States, as travelers and citizen diplomats we have the unique opportunity to be true representatives of Americans abroad.
We know that it is only through you and your experiences abroad that this is made possible. You are the ones teaching English to that eager class in Thailand. You are the ones volunteering to rehabilitate animals in Costa Rica. You are the ones stretching your comfort zones by attending high school across cultural and language barriers. Many of you are even going beyond the scope of your programs and bettering your communities by volunteering your time under the Greenheart Club.
By expanding your worldview through travel and engaging in your communities, you are learning that as humans we share more similarities than we do differences. Share your experiences abroad with anyone who will listen. Share stories about your host family that treated you as one of their own, the kind stranger who helped you on the street, the meaningful interaction you had with someone who didn’t even share the same language as you. Preach understanding. Promote awareness, acceptance, and inclusion.
We thank you, sincerely, for pursuing your passion for adventure and meaningfully traveling for a change. Our mission and the work that we are all doing together is more vital now than ever.