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Fortaleza Cohort 


Alesa Pritchett


My name is Alesa and I'm 18 years old. I had just graduated from De La Salle North Catholic high school. I will start taking classes at Portland Community College in the fall of 2016. I haven't had very much travel experiences, so I am very excited to be traveling to Central America for two months. Although I am excited and nervous to start school in college, I am more looking forward to learning and broadening my knowledge with Carpe Mundi. I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am today and excited to see where my journey takes me. 

Arisbeth Garcia Delgado

I am Arisbeth, I am a first generation college student, attending Portland Community College. I was born in the U.S. but my parents were born in Mexico. I am very excited to be able to be a part of an education abroad program. I am excited to meet awesome people in a different country and learn to write and read in Spanish. I am excited for a hands on learning experience. 

Kelly Martinez


Hi, my name is Kelly. I'm 19 years old and I graduated from Westview High School in Beaverton. This is my second year at Portland Community College and I want to either go into graphic design or be a veterinarian. I'm really excited to go on this trip and meet new people. I want to learn more Spanish and experience different cultures. I'm nervous to be leaving but can't wait to see where this journey takes me. 

Maria Hernandez 

My name is Maria. I am 19 years old and I am a first generation college student. I have lived in Portland most of my life and love to travel. This is my second year at PCC. My dream is to be a veterinarian for exotic animals. In Central America I will see a range of unique animals that I would love to someday work with. I'm excited to learn more about what conservationists do. Learning about the culture of Nicaragua and Costa Rica also greatly interests me. I plan to return to the US with a lot of new knowledge and great memories. 

Michael Vang 


My name is Michael Vang and I am 19 years old. I’m a first generation Hmong American college student. I am currently attending Portland Community College, and working on my transfer degree to Portland State University. My goals are to double major at PSU in Political Science and Criminal Justice. I wanted to be apart of Carpe Mundi because I don’t want to limit myself with the average american life. i.e Find a job, buy a house, have a wife and kids. “I want to learn to live in the moment, embark on all the possibilities made available to me and thus to learn more about myself.” So when the opportunity of studying abroad in Central America came I jumped on the wagon, knowing that if I would have denied myself of this amazing opportunity with Carpe, I would regret it. I believe in the quote, “All it takes is your courage and that very first step to change your life”.

Rebekah Lathan


My name is Rebekah Lathan, I recently graduated from Jefferson High School and I will be starting classes at PCC this fall. I will be traveling to Central America next spring and I'm really excited! This will be my first time leaving the country. I'm mostly excited to see the different environment. I love to study plants, animals and weather. I can't wait to live in a new environment. 

Trey Slyapich

Hello, my name is Trey Slyapich! I'm an enthusiastic and caring individual who is also a first generation college student attending Portland Community College. I always strive to be on the peak of the mountain, whether that be internally or externally. I have many goals to study abroad, but some include learning about my cultural conditioning, learning about sustainability in a more hands on fashion, and improving myself through the means of a foreign environment. I look forward to having an abundance of informing and life changing experiences through the amazing organizations that wish to help me do so. 

Ganesha Cohort


Martin Farias 

My name is Martin and I am a sophomore at Portland State University.  I enjoy playing soccer and watching films.  One of the reasons I want to travel abroad is to find a new passion that could influence my education and career. I am really excited to volunteer with local communities and learn more about myself and others.  I am the first person in my family to go to college and I want to be an example for my younger siblings that anything is possible.  When I graduate I hope to inspire others in my community to travel, try new things, expand what they know and have more global awareness.  I love Carpe Mundi because it allows me to have this experience along side other students from diverse backgrounds.  They really help make this dream a reality.  

Hamdi Ali 

My name is Hamdi Ali. I am currently a sophomore at Portland State University, studying mechanical engineering. I enjoy playing sports, hiking, and hanging out with friends. My motivation for traveling abroad would be my passion for traveling as well as learning about new cultures and communities. While abroad, I wish to develop and grow as an individual as I gain a new perspective on the world. By traveling to South America, I hope to expand my knowledge of other cultures and find new interests and passions. 

Nelyn Phillip

"Rananim" (Hello in Chuukese), my name is Nelyn Phillip. I am a young Pacific Islander, who will be attending Portland State University this fall. I am ambitious and curious; so traveling the world is definitely on the bucket list. I love to paint because it is my way to escape from reality sometimes. On my free time I like to get involved with my community and friends, and act as a mentor to help them by translating or with school work. I would like to major in community development because it is something I am very passionate about. As Ghandi once said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I want to be that change in my community and for all young Pacific Islanders. I want to teach them anything is possible with hard work and determination. I come from a small island of Chuuk, and I am filled with big dreams. One day I will change those dreams into reality. I am very excited to be apart of the Ganesha cohort. 

Meno Vongdara


My name is Meno Vongdara and I was born in Portland, Oregon. I heard about Carpe Mundi through a previous alumni and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be a part of Carpe because I was ready to embark on a new chapter in my life. I was looking for something new. I knew it had to be challenging mentally and physically. I want to be around a positive environment so I can work on my communication and social skills. This will be my first time leaving home for this long, and to be honest I'm pretty nervous. But I'm excited to add some new recipes to my cooking skills from South America. 

Janie Do

My name is Janie Do, and I come from a Chinese and Vietnamese background. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I am a 19 year old girl that enjoys the adrenaline rush of being on my toes and taking risks in life. I graduated from Madison High School in 2015 as an honor student as well as a cheer captain. I have been attending at Portland Community College as a Future Connect Scholar for a couple months as a freshmen for my Associate Arts Oregon Transfer Degree. Later on, I plan on transferring to Pacific University to further my education. What inspires me to be in this program is to expand my knowledge about other cultures. I believe that studying abroad is something that every student should do to help avoid ethnocentrism, to expand their horizons, and to appreciate everything the world has to offer. My soul is thirsty for the cross cultural awareness and recognition.I want to be able to look back at my life and know that I didn’t let fear and anxiety hold me from my dreams, and this is my inspiration.

Brenden Dunne

Brenden currently lives with his mom and stepdad in Oregon. He is taking prerequisites classes at Portland Community College for a transfer degree in Business, and hope to complete his Bachelor's in Business through Portland State University. Brenden has started to explore the local hiking trails throughout Oregon, and was inspire to explore more of what the outdoors has to offer. He looks forward to tasting the different flavors of Southeast Asia, and participate adventures abroad like hiking trips, rafting and scuba diving with his group. Brenden is excited to try new things, and hopes to persuade his mom upon his arrival on the importance of education and the endless opportunities that it offers. He plans in incorporate the skills he learned abroad, through group dynamics, leadership opportunities, and cross-culture immersion, into his workplace as a supervisor and later in his education. In the same way that Brenden is excited to learn the social skills, and how to interact with other cultures, it is this interaction that scares him, yet he anticipates for what this adventure will bring and how he will change as a member of society. 

Brenda Tirado Ramirez

My name is Brenda Tirado-Ramirez I am currently a student at PCC. I am working towards a transfer degree to Portland State University to pursue my dreams and double major in Spanish and Social Working. I enjoy playing soccer and going out to explore different pizza places with my significant other. I want to travel because I want to explore the world and the variety of cultures that are out there and learn about them. I want to be able to expand my understanding and to value life more as well as helping them with my knowledge. Through the program I hope to find myself through the experience and have the chance to be my authentic self towards others without the fear of being judged. I also hope to improve my relationships with others and find positive individuals who are excited about the same things as I am. This opportunity will play a very important role for my future and my decisions about the direction my life will be taking.

Moreh Stewart

My name is Moreh Stewart I grew up as the youngest of ten and have learned a lot by watching and being a part of my sibling’s lives. I aspire to take all that I have learned and experienced and use it be a source of love and joy in others’ lives. As for my desire to travel, I live in an overwhelmingly beautiful world yet have only seen a small fraction of it; I want to continually expand that fraction and experience more and more of what this beautiful world and its people have to offer. My hope for travel is to grow as a person. I want to be someone overflowing with kindness and understanding. I want to become bold and ever willing to attempt the “impossible”. I hope to build relationship with the wonderful people I have yet to meet. Through my travels I want to learn, building my knowledge and awareness, and hopefully share some of my own experiences with those I am learning from. I am filled with excitement at the adventures yet to be taken and the mysteries yet to be discovered.

Nanci Vasquez Rios

My name is Nanci Vasquez Rios and I was born and raised in Hillsboro, Oregon. I come from two immigrant parents who have raised me and my three younger siblings with lots of love and hard work. I am an 18 year old girl who likes challenging herself physically, mentally and spiritually. Over the past year I have learned to love yoga, draw (even though I'm not the best at it) and dance. I am currently a Future Connect student at Portland Community College seeking an Associates of Art Oregon Transfer degree. My goal is to transfer to PSU or Lewis and Clark and earn a Bachelor's degree in political science. The next step is to attend Law school and earn a Juris Doctor degree. I want to be an immigration attorney and help keep families united.

Jovin Mazawa

My name is Jovin Mazawa.  I am 19 years old and attending PCC.  I am originally from Chuuk, an island that is part of the Federated States of Micronesia. I grew up in Guam and moved to Oregon when I was 15.  I hope to be a flight attendant some day so that I can always be traveling.  I am excited to travel to India this spring because I will learn about cultures and religions that are really unique.  I want to learn more about myself and I think being away from my family and having to be responsible for my own well being will help me learn and grow.  I love to dance.  It makes me really happy and it takes away any stress that I have and its easier to be myself.  I hope to learn Bollywood moves while in India!