2018 St Mary’s Argentina Program

2018 St Mary’s Argentina Program

Program Highlights

2018 St Mary’s Argentina Program

Dates: June 22-July 3, 2018   |   Tuition: $4999 Learn More

On this program...

Group Organizer/s: 

Eliza Pfeifer & Amy Voncanon: epfeifer@smanet.org & avoncanon@smanet.org

WTT Contact: 

Luke Mueller, luke@walkingtree.org, 303-898-5135

Deadlines: Interested families should enroll by Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

 Enroll Now Make a Payment

Dear Families – Welcome to the homepage for the 2018 St Mary’s Academy Argentina Program. If this is your first time on this page, please read through the categories under Pre-Enrollment to learn more about this unique travel opportunity, or peruse the other categories as you like.

Once you have enrolled, please check out the Post-Enrollment information. Around one month before departure, we will post the remaining information under Program Prep to review on a call with the entire group. We hope you will join us on the adventure of a lifetime in Argentina!

Click on the sections above to learn more

Program Itinerary

June 22FridayUSA - Buenos AiresToday the group will fly from the US to Buenos Aires, Argentina.Airplane
June 23SaturdayBuenos AiresWe will arrive in the morning and settle into our hotel. After some rest we'll have a brief orientation meeting and then enjoy a delicious dinner of traditional carne asada.Hotel Circus
June 24SundayBuenos AiresAfter breakfast we're off to the recently inaugurated neighborhood of Puerto Madero, a posh residential and commercial area next to the water. After our stroll it's time to venture into the world-famous artisan market in San Telmo! Spend your afternoon wandering among a wide array of performers, vendors and everything in between in one of the coolest urban markets you'll ever see! Once we've had our fill it's back to the hotel to pack before being picked up and transferred to our host families in Recoleta where we'll spend the rest of the days settling in with our new hosts!Host Families
June 25MondayBuenos AiresToday we'll begin our daily Spanish lessons. Students will be divided into groups according to language ability and will take fun and interactive Spanish classes in the heart of San Telmo. After lunch at school we'll visit the Oxford School, a local Argentinian high school, where we'll have an intercambio with the local students with time for a pick-up soccer match. Dinner with families.Host Families
June 26TuesdayBuenos AiresSpanish classes in the morning. After lunch we'll explore the neighborhood of Recoleta, visiting the famous cemetery where Eva Perón is laid to rest, as well as the Museo de Bellas Artes, el Flor de Liz, y el Centro Cultural Recoleta . Fuerza Bruta Circus is an option this evening, assuming they are in town and schedules line up. Dinner with the group out on the town this night. Host Families
June 27WednesdayBuenos AiresAfter breakfast students will attend daily Spanish lessons. In the afternoon we'll strike out for one of the more charming neighborhoods in the entire city, Palermo. We'll explore the large urban park known as Los Bosques de Palermo and also check out the Botanical Gardens and Plaza Serrano, where some of the city's finer shopping and dining can be found. Dinner with families. Host Families
June 28ThursdayBuenos AiresAfter breakfast students will attend final day of daily Spanish lessons. After lunch we'll visit the Abasto neighborhood. Here, students will do a Fileteado Tour, which is a painting style very related to tango culture. In that exercise they learn about the painting style and produce their own fileteado. Later, we'll sharpen our dancing skills by taking a professionally taught tango lessons at along with dinner at the Milonga El Catedral de Tango this evening. Host Families
June 29FridayBuenos Aires - Colonia, UruguayAfter breakfast we're off to Uruguay! Just across el Rio de la Plata lies Colonia, Uruguay, a idyllic colonial town and a fantastic weekend escape. We'll spend the entire day exploring this seaside town. We'll be back with our host families by dinner time. Host Families
June 30SaturdayBuenos AiresToday we have our final day of classes and will enjoy a fun and celebratory good bye! After lunch we're headed to the neighborhood of La Boca, home to Diego Maradona's club team . We'll check out the stadium and the brightly colored facades of the area's center. We'll also stroll el Caminito de la Boca. Back with host families for dinner. Host Families
July 1SundayBuenos Aires - IguazuToday we fly to see one of the seven wonders of the world, Iguazu Falls ! This magical place has to be seen to be believed. We'll spend the day exploring the falls from various vantage points.El Pueblito Iguazu
July 2MondayIguazu - Buenos AiresWe'll fly back to Buenos Aires mid-day, after which we'll enjoy a relaxing afternoon and celebratory final dinner before our international departure the following morning.Hotel Circus
July 3TuesdayBuenos Aires - USAFly home.Your own bed, eventually!

Philosophy Of Travel

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to become global leaders by taking an active interest in the world around them. With a dedication to learning, along with an enduring passion for exploring the world, Walking Tree Travel designs transformative and meaningful travel programs that uncover the authentic culture of each destination and inspire students to take action in their local and global community.

Walking Tree Travel stands for a more open, curious, and compassionate approach to travel. We partner with select schools around the world to provide memorable small-group experiences, and invest in cultivating and maintaining longterm relationships with our partner communities. If you are interested in our organization and philosophy of travel, click here to learn more about us.



In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our students, teachers, and staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.

Student participants will always be grouped in rooms and/or sleeping areas by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with Walking Tree. Group Organizers and Program Leaders will be roomed separately from each other and from other students. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three star or equivalent hotels that are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
Below are a few examples of our partner hotels. Although these are our preferred providers, they are subject to change based on availability. Your final itinerary will provide complete information on your accommodations in the cities you will be visiting.

Buenos Aires: http://hostelcircus.com/

Puerto Iguazú: www.tripadvisor.com.ar/Hotel_Review-g312806-d7905406-Reviews-El_Pueblito_Iguazu-Puerto_Iguazu_Province_of_Misiones_Litoral.html


Tuition & Fundraising

Tuition Includes:

Tuition Excludes:
Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.

Tuition is an estimate until dates and itinerary are finalized. 

We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from having the opportunity to join an WTT program. We are pleased to offer opportunities for fundraising and payment plans to help make this goal a reality. Please visit our Tuition and Funding page to find out more about tuition, fundraising, payment options, referral discounts, and more.

Visit Tuition & Funding

Standards of Behavior

WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.


  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.


  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with WTT.

Continue to the next section

Passport & Visa Check

Passport & Visa Check

Passport must be valid for six months after the final day of your travel program, including one open visa page.
No Visa Requirements for US Citizens traveling to Argentina.

Non US citizens should check with their country’s embassy abroad to verify vaccination and visa requirements.
US citizens traveling from a country other than the United States should check the State Department website (www.travel.state.gov) for more information regarding additional visa or vaccine requirements.

Please contact us for further information regarding vaccination and visa requirements.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Argentina website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Beyond these recommendations, our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

Travel Insurance

Our experience has taught us that international travel can sometimes be unpredictable. As such, WTT will purchase basic secondary travel and medical insurance for all WTT travelers via Travel Insured International. This service provides the following coverage at no additional cost to our participants:


$500 Return Airfare for Trip Interruption
$750 ($150 per day) Trip Delay of six hours or more
$500 (Three or more hours) Missed Connection
$1500 ($250 per article) Baggage/Personal Effects
$300 Baggage Delay – 24 hours
$25,000 Accident & Sickness Medical Expense
$100,000 Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation
Emergency Assistance Non-insurance Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services Included


The following additional optional coverage upgrades are available upon request for an additional premium charge to the traveler. For further information on the premiums associated with these optional coverage enhancements, please email your inquiry to our travel insurance program administrator, Hayashi Insurance Solutions: travelinsurance@jshinsurance.com

– Trip Cancellation Coverage – Reimburses the traveler up to the trip cost insured up to a maximum of $10,000 per person if the trip must be cancelled for unforeseeable life events including but not limited to; medical/health reasons, bereavement, etc.

– Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) – Reimburses the traveler for 75% of the non-refundable trip cost. Cancellation must be made 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. Must be purchased at the same time as initial plan purchase and prior to final trip payment. *This benefit is not available to residents of New York State.

The Plan is administered by Hayashi Insurance Solutions (CA DOI 0F61680) a licensed Insurance Agency authorized to transact this insurance under the express authority of Travel Insured International, Inc. and its representatives, and on behalf of Walking Tree Travel, Inc. The Plan contains insurance benefits underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Fairmont Specialty and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2015. The Plan also contains non insurance Travel Assistance Services that are provided by an independent organization, OnCall International, and not by United States Fire Insurance Company or Travel Insured International. Review the Plan Document for complete terms, including benefits, conditions, limitations and exclusions that apply. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions.

Global Leadership Curriculum

WTT has developed a curriculum that helps each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame the experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on our programs and in the future.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Language Resources


Want to learn a new language and be better prepared for your travel program? Duolingo is the easiest, most entertaining way to start learning and using a new language right away! The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to communicate with locals in your host country and help your fellow travelers navigate a foreign environment.

Tap the Duolingo owl to get started, or download the app to your mobile phone.

duolingo owl logo

Continue to the next section

Travel Day Details

Group Flight Information

Walking Tree will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the group organizer before departure. Nevertheless travelers will need to check in at the airport and we recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure. For details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your teacher/Group Organizer.


Airline: Air Canada
Flight:  AC1038
Date:  June 22, 2018
Departs:  Denver (DEN) 10:25 AM
Arrives:  Canada (YYZ) 3:26PM

Airline:  Air Canada
Flight:  AC94
Date:  June 22 – 23, 2018
Departs:  Canada (YYZ) 7:20 PM
Arrives Next Day: Argentina ( EZE) 7:05 AM on June 23.

Airline:  Air Canada
Flight:  AC95
Date:  July 3, 2018
Departs:  Argentina (EZE) 8:55 AM
Arrives: Canada (YYZ) 7:00 PM

Airline:  Air Canada
Flight:   AC1037
Date:  July 4, 2018
Departs:  Canada (YYZ) 8:25 AM
Arrives:  Denver (DEN) 9:58 AM


Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event WTT is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please also make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

To see more about Air Canada’s baggage policies, please click here.

Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Program Staff

WTT will send a minimum of one experienced Program Leader on every program. In addition to this Program Leader, we also have a support staff in our host countries that are available to the group for additional help when necessary. Please read below to see who will be part of the support team on your program. Below you’ll find a list of the Walking Tree staff involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

  • Juan Palacios
    Juan Palacios Program Leader

    University of Buenos Aires, Social Anthropology

    Patagonia born, I lived my whole life in Argentina. Currently residing in Buenos Aires, where I moved 20 years ago. That being said I lived for almost 2 years in Europe between the UK and France, where I lived great experiences that marked me for life. But my whole family is here, and as a good Latino, family and friends always comes first.
    I’m a curious person, attracted by a variety of topics and subjects, from culture to science. I love traveling, I’ve chased the northern light (January in Norway!) and roundtripped Morocco without a planned route. My last adventure took me through the Balkans, my first solo trip. I love beautiful landscapes and being in touch with nature, but my background in anthropology drive me towards people and getting to know different cultures. I’m a pretty active person, my bike is my main way of transportation, love to swim and a week without football game with my friends is not a well spent week. I´ve been working in tourism for the past 6 years and I love it, I get the chance to meet new people all the time and introduce them to this beautiful country. I’m naturally patience and a people’s person, so it fits perfectly with me.

    • Faith Marden
      Faith Marden Program Leader

      University of Georgia – B.A. Sociology

      Faith was bit by the travel bug at 15 when she was selected by the Atlanta Public School
      system for a semester long study abroad program scholarship in Reims, France. While at
      the University of Georgia she studied abroad her junior year in Buenos Aires, Argentina
      at the Universidad del Salvador. After graduation, she made Buenos Aires her home, and joined a traveling English educational theatre company, The Performers. She toured for 3 years, traveling to almost every Latin American country. Since that time, she has been involved in the Buenos Aires theatre and film scene, acting in both Spanish and English, imagining herself to be a grand Hollywood actress.

      • Natalia Boquet
        Natalia Boquet Argentina Country Director

        College Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)- Degree in Lettres, Technical degree in Film Directing

        Natalia was born and has always lived in Buenos Aires, where she graduated from Universidad de Buenos Aires with a degree in Lettres and from CIEVYC with a technical degree in Film Directing.
        She co-founded a Spanish School when she was 24, just after her first solo travel, which started a long saga that took her to more than 20 countries in South America, Europe and Asia.
        Natalia lives with a beautiful white cat that loves hunting doves to offer them up to her. She loves plants, red wine, sci-fi movies, thai food, live music, biking, cooking, reading and, of course, traveling.

        Group Roster

        Please have all travelers check to ensure that their name is spelled correctly. If you have any questions or edits please contact our Admissions Director Lacey Merkel at lacey@walkingtree.org.

        1. Amy VonCanon (Group Organizer)
        2. Eliza Pfeifer (Group Organizer)
        3. Grace Oakes
        4. Zoe Holland
        5. Carolyn Johnsen
        6. Madalyn Klefeker
        7. Anne Hoogerwerf
        8. Adeline Harrington
        9. Alexandra May
        10. Marygrace Adam
        11. Aarushi Gupta
        12. Adelyn Dwyer
        13. Madeline Wilten
        14. Katheryn Frankmore

        Community & Project Details

        Not applicable for this program.

        Communication & Blog

        The easiest way for students to keep in touch with family and friends at home while traveling will be using Wifi (available at most hotels and some restaurants) via Viber, Whatsapp, Skype, and Wechat for free.

        WTT tries to keep families and friends updated as frequently as possible with text and photo blogs. If parents would like updates regarding the group beyond these blog posts and email updates, they should direct all general inquiries to info@WalkingTree.org. We are always checking this email inbox and will respond promptly to inquiries. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the U.S.

        Here is the link to your blog: -Coming Soon-

        Packing List

        What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

        Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

        Argentina Packing List
        6 pairs of underwear
        6 pairs of socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks)
        4-6 t-shirts (some quick dry)
        4-6 long sleeve shirts
        2-3 sweaters or sweatshirts
        1 warmer jacket
        1 rain jacket
        2-3 pairs of travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
        2-3 pairs of comfortable, everyday pants
        1 nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions)
        1 pair of durable athletic/walking shoes
        1 pair of sandals (optional)
        1 hat

        Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
        Mosquito repellent
        Band Aids and Neosporin
        Hand Sanitizer
        Medication in properly marked original container

        Journal and pen
        Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
        Power Converter
        Alarm Clock and watch
        Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
        Durable water bottle
        1 quick-dry towel
        Deck of cards or other portable games
        Host family gift
        STUDENT ID
        Spanish/English Dictionary


        Travelers often contact us regarding what an appropriate gift might be for their student’s host family. Host families are often curious about where our students come from and their families in the U.S. As such, we recommend a simple gift that describes, represents or depicts your home. Well-received gifts in the past have included calendars or picture/coffee table books from your city or state, a framed picture of your family, paraphernalia from a local sports team, toys, soccer balls, school supplies, or something produced or grown in your hometown, like chocolate, local candy, t-shirts, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about this… Anything, no matter its value, will be well received!

        Tuition Details

        Tuition Includes:

        Tuition Excludes:
        Baggages fees, airline minor fees, personal shopping, passport or visa fees, and activities not listed in the itinerary.

        Tuition is an estimate until dates and itinerary are finalized. 

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