As the U.S. Department of State focuses increasing attention on promoting the rights of people with disabilities, the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is seeing increasing numbers of participants studying this topic. The implementation and design of exchange projects on disabilities policy, some with participants with disabilities, have unique logistical and administrative needs and require a high degree of skill, creativity and sensitivity. This article provides IVLP programmers and associated colleagues with a framework for providing disabled participants the same productive (and fun) experience as others. Continue
After Easter I returned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to direct the next mural in the Colonia Estados Unidos. I was reunited with my team of assistants who I trained on mural painting techniques and community engagement strategies. This mural put what they learned into practice. Continue
Huntington, West Virginia is not a city I imagined myself visiting. But I embraced the opportunity when I traveled with the University of Maryland’s Alternative Breaks program during my spring break. The trip focused on childhood nutrition and wellness and I saw firsthand the economic disparities in West Virginia. Nutrition isn’t simply in the food choices you make. Environment and economic status contribute greatly to the issue too. It’s time to recognize the causes and start taking action. I can honestly say that I gained more from a week in West Virginia than I imagined. Immersed in the community...Continue
The mural in León, like the one in El Viejo, was completed in three days with about 30 participants. The atmosphere was very different there, though – it was more urban, had more colonial architecture, evidence of a tourism industry, and was pretty diverse – as far as I could tell from my short time there.