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EPI's Global Gathering in La Paz


Ecology Project International (EPI) staff from across all program sites recently journeyed to the organization's La Paz, Mexico campus, underscoring EPI's commitment to creating meaningful connections and experiences for its participants and its people.



Congregating on Campus

Katherine Martinez Campos, EPI Costa Rica's Coordinator of Field Programs, shows off the fresh corn tortillas she made for the workshop's Costa Rica cultural snack break

Staff and instructors from the Yellowstone program, as well as from offices and field sites in Missoula, Costa Rica, and Mexico, were able to gather together for a weeklong workshop filled with collaborations, educational workshops, and cultural sharing.


From showcasing program innovations to training sessions on environmental literacy, psychological first aid, and participant management, each day of the workshop covered core aspects of EPI programs and mission. The itinerary also included daily cultural breaks, allowing each program team to host a "snack break" and share a taste of their home culture. Much like on EPI participant courses, team-building games and activities were included that knit the teams closer together.


Tyler Eisenhand, one of EPI's Field Experience Coordinators based in the Missoula office, typically serves as a liaison between program staff and visiting teachers and students, from managing course enrollment, ensuring courses run smoothly, and gathering feedback from both parties post-course.


As one of the workshop participants, he was able to better immerse himself with the people and places he works to connect others to. "I think expectations for me were to think about how we as admissions staff can best prepare students and chaperones for their course experience. It was important for me to understand all of the ins and outs of each program and how we can best prepare participants out in the field."


Read on to hear how his week in La Paz unfolded!


What were your impressions of La Paz?


"I've had the chance to go to La Paz twice now and it is such an incredible place," Tyler says. "The whole city feels very safe and the Malecon is full of good food, art, and shops. I LOVE that La Paz doesn't feel as touristy as other nearby cities like Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, and around every corner is a beautiful mural painted on the wall of a building. This tidbit is quite sad to share but compared to my time in March of 2022, I did see a significantly more amount of bleached coral this year."


In your opinion, what makes this site a good location for EPI programs?

"The landscape is unlike any place I have ever lived in or visited, it is amazing that in a matter of minutes you can go from deep in the desert to one of the most biodiverse ocean ecosystems in the world."


What were your impressions of EPI Mexico as a program and campus?

EPI Mexico's campus features a stunning whale skeleton sculpture in the courtyard.

"The campus is such a central part to our programs down there and feels like such a great way to stay connected to the community as a whole. The Californios Verdes, an eco-club comprised of EPI Alumni, often meet up there and describe the campus as their second home and a place to feel safe. I would echo that feeling after living on campus for just a week.


The surprising thing to me was learning about how deeply embedded EPI Mexico is in the community. They have so many local programs going on and a massive alumni program- it's not something the admissions team knew much about, so I was excited to learn about it in person."


As the new year approaches, workshop attendees are excited to take all they learned back to their program sites for a bigger, better 2024!


Learn more

  • Take a virtual tour of our La Paz campus over on Instagram!

  • Learn more about our Baja program and impacts here.

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