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Every year between 12 and 30 students are beneficiaries of our scholarship and mentorship programs. Carpe Mundi places students in cohorts and gives each cohort a name based on the region where the cohort is traveling to and a value or sentiment that is part of the Carpe Mundi ethos.


Meet the


This year our Carpe College cohort is named, MANDALA, which can mean "circle" or represent “wholeness” in Hindu and Buddhist symbolism.

Hi there! I’m Daniela Baltag.

I am the youngest in a family of six, and I hope to earn a degree in English and use it in some way; I don’t know what career I am specifically striving for, but I am very optimistic about the future. I was born in a small-poor country in Europe named Moldova where I was later brought to America and raised in Oregon up until this point in my life. I have had the opportunity of traveling back to my country a couple of times and I must say, traveling does mysterious wonders to you. I believe we weren't supposed to stay in one spot, but to explore and learn. And I can’t wait to do just that.

I love exploring and learning new things, genuine smiles, and most importantly, Jesus. I believe love should be our highest goal, and therefore, I aspire to live a life filled with so much love that it reaches many people’s hearts. And the one that radiates such love and gives the most fulfilling life is Jesus. I believe life is a gift and that we should make the most of it by experiencing and growing through painful and happy moments. We must always learn new things in order to grow and evolve, and I know that this trip will do just that for me. I really enjoy learning about other cultures; it fascinates me how there are so many people out there living life in various ways with their own traditions and outlooks on life. In that same way, I am so excited to learn about and experience Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand.


Joshua Ward

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Hello! My name is Grace Howard and I will be attending Portland State to receive a degree in business in order to realize my dream to become an entrepreneur!

I’m passionate about environmentalism, and animal rights as I’ve been vegan for almost four years. I enjoy cooking, tattoos, and zodiac signs. I’ve had a passion for traveling for most of my life, which lead me to adventure the jungles of Costa Rica, trek the cobblestone streets of Italy, and stick my toes in the sand of Mexican beaches. As college admissions came around I knew I wouldn’t be able to do college right without traveling abroad. My College Possible coach advised me to apply to Carpe Mundi, and with enough luck, I was accepted! Traveling with Carpe Mundi will allow me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and those around me all the while experiencing life and culture I wouldn’t normally through travel.


My name is Ismael Jaimes Riquelme. I am very excited for this opportunity to travel abroad with a large group of individuals who want to have new experiences as I do. I was born and raised here in Portland, Oregon; however, both of my parents are from Mexico. I am a first-gen in my family and an older brother to my 12-year-old sister Abigail. I currently am deciding whether I want to major in psychology or enter in pre-nursing. Soccer is my passion as well as going on hikes along the gorge and just being out in the sun. Ever since I was young, I was interested in studying abroad, now that the opportunity is here, I plan to make as many friends and memories as possible.


John Edwards

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Hi, I'm Liona Anderson. I'm the second oldest in a family of six and the first to go off to college. I'm quite reserved and I'm always in my head. I like to find enjoyment in the small things in life. Even if it's a simple phrase in a book. However, what I like the most, is the sky. At night, I look for constellations. During the day, I admire how beautiful the colors are.

I've traveled a lot during my life. I was born on Guam. I've been to Hawaii and all around the United States from Alaska to North Carolina. I've been the new student many times. Traveling comes with many challenges but I love the people I met along the way as well as the new things I've learned.

There are many reasons to travel. For me, traveling helps me understand pieces of myself that I would never have understood before. I'm glad to have taken part in this Carpe Mundi program.


Hey! My name is Rosalba. I was born and raised in Oregon, and I have a little bit of experience of traveling outside the U.S., mostly visiting my extended family in Mexico. I have three older sisters and two younger brothers. I am the first generation; currently a sophomore at Portland State University majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a minor of Spanish. As of now, I don't know what sort of career I want to pursue but I would like to work in the Latino community as a speech-language pathologist or a physician.

Traveling the world is a lifelong dream of mine, continually discovering new things along the way. It's a whole new type of excitement that I am yearning to experience. Lucky, I have the opportunity to travel to South America. To visit Ecuador and Peru is a gift that I will cherish forever and hope I'll be able to pay it forward to the people I come across. Hopefully, this will be the start to a long journey of making my lifelong dream come true.





Meet the


The PDXchange cohort is named, NAVEGAR, which literally translates “to sail” in Spanish or can be loosely interpreted, “to find direction”.


Hi, my name is Angie! I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I will be attending Portland State University, I’m still undecided on my major I’m between psychiatrist nursing, and Human Resources right now. I’m hoping traveling will help me find my passion and help me decided what I want to study when I transfer to PSU. I love meeting people and learning new things, it’s always been a dream of mine to travel far and see more of the world. I’m super excited and grateful for the opportunity to study abroad this year and I’m looking forward to be in different environment and further my education.


Hello! My name is Caitlin Hacker. I am currently a student at Portland Community College, and will be in my second year while on this trip. I have a wide variety of interests like, criminal justice, healthcare, animals, information technology, aviation, the environment, etc. You can see I have a hard time choosing just one! Actually, a goal I would love to achieve is to be a jack of all trades.

Most of my life has been uneventful and isolated until recently. I am so very lucky to be where I am now and to be able to experience this wonderful opportunity to see the world and expose myself to change!


My name is Delana Wilkins. I am from Portland, OR and have lived here my entire life. I'm 18 and currently attending PCC and plan to transfer to PSU for my Business Major. I'm excited to be traveling to Central America next year, seeing as this is be my first time traveling. I'm also excited to meet everyone who I'll be traveling with!


Hi! My name is Jasmine Acevedo! I was born in California, but grew up in Portland, Oregon. I’m attending Portland Community College as a second year student. I’m currently undecided about my major, however I’m leaning towards majoring in business management!

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to be apart of this once in a life time learning experience! I am excited to grow and learn from the many different cultures and to spend time with my group. I hope this trip can help me decided what I want to major in!


Hi, my Name is Khim-Ellac but you can call me Khim. I’m from the Philippines and I moved in the United States back in 2012 and ever since then my life changed forever. It was hard trying to get used to the different environment. I mean not just the weather but the community also because I didn't know how to speak English. I had a hard time communicating with my classmates but they were very patient with me. Years have past and I learned how to speak English and yes, I still pronounce words with an accent but that’s okay because I’m not perfect. I graduated high school back in 2018 with a diploma and I’m on my way to my second year of college at PCC (Portland Community College). Personally I really like PCC because it’s small, it’s very diverse and you feel like you know everybody! Also I’m a full time student and I work part time. I’m really excited to travel and study abroad with really cool people and I hope they are too!



My name is Lester Fermin Ramos Sagastume and I am working towards earning a degree in Automotives services technology. In truth, I am not sure what career I am specifically striving for. All I know is, I am very positive about what the future holds, and I hope to be “Someone”.

I was born the youngest in a family of five in a small and really poor country in Central America called Honduras. At the age of fourteen I immigrated to the United States. Not knowing the English language made it very difficult to adapt to the new environment, culture, and beliefs. Now, a few years later, I have the opportunity to travel to Central America, where I haven’t been for five years and it feels like going back home. I have always thought that traveling changes you in mysterious ways we can’t really explain. I also believe that we need to keep moving, that we’re not supposed to stay in the same place. Being an outgoing person helps you explore other places and learn from them. I can’t wait to have an amazing experience and life-changing trip.


Hi! My full name is Maritza Gabriela Rodriguez-Zapien, but you can stick to that first one since it’s too long to even remember. I was raised here in Portland, OR and will be attending Portland State University to major in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.

I’ve always been a sucker for animals and all things nature, along with capturing beautiful moments through a camera. I absolutely love trying new things and love experiencing lifestyles different from my own.

I am beyond excited to get to be a part of Carpe Mundi this year and I look forward to participating in something I believe could seriously change my life forever.


My name is Oscar Moreno Lule, I was born in San Francisco California on May of two thousand. I am the second of three children, both of my parents are Mexican which makes me a Chicano. My whole childhood and a couple of teenage years were in Mexico. While in Mexico, I attended Catholic schools, and when I turned 13, I had to go out of town to study. The change from my little town to a big city was challenging and fun at the same time.

At the age of fourteen I began to practice mountain bike with my big brother, and one year later we both were representing our state in a national level, in where I got ranked in the top 5 of Mexico. My big brother and I kept racing at this level for two more years until we move to Portland, Oregon. Once in Portland the challenges were just beginning for me, new people, new cultures, new mindset, new mentality and a new language. Although here I am, in college, still mastering my english and thirsty for knowledge and new adventures.


My name is Suley Yazmin Vazquez. This will be my first year attending PCC, where I am planning to major in Health Sciences. I am a big fan of the woods but an even bigger fan of the beach! Everything about the beach makes me fall in love with nature all over again, especially during sunset.

I come from a family of 7 and am the second to oldest sibling so, I never thought I would be applying to such a beautiful opportunity. I consider myself very fortunate to have been accepted into the Carpe Mundi program. I am excited to see what my future with this program holds for me, and will teach me when I come back.


Hi everyone! My name is Tiaralyn Joseph, but I go by Tia for short. I was born and raised in a small island called Saipan. I moved to Portland, Oregon around 2009. This year will be my second year at PCC, but I do plan to transfer to PSU once we come back from Central! I plan to Major in Criminology & Criminal Justice.

Growing up, I was never allowed to really go anywhere besides family events. Going on this trip would mean a lot to me and be a big change. I’m excited for this new adventure I am going to experience with this group, and what we will take out of it.


My Name is Zachary Wegner. I was born in Fresno, California, but raised in St. Helens, Oregon. I’m excited to be starting my freshman year at Portland State University. I’ll be majoring in Film and minoring in business. Some of my favorite things to do are go on adventures with friends, trying new foods, I like to be in nature which entails, hiking, swimming, and rock climbing. Oh almost forgot about making people laugh, my friends say I should be a comedian so please laugh at my jokes.

I am absolutely stoked to be traveling with Carpe Mundi to Central America. This trip will be my first my time out of the country. Immersing myself in new environments, foods, and culture, it has been a big dream of mine. Also happy to make new friends along the way.