2019 DCIS Spain & Morocco Program
|Travel Dates:||March 21, 2019 - April 1, 2019|
Airfare not included in program tuition
|Deadline(s):||Final payments are due March 15, 2019|
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What to Expect
Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.
We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|March 21||USA - Madrid, Spain||Today the group will travel from the USA to Madrid, Spain.||Airplane|
|March 22||Madrid||On our first day in Madrid, we will tour our neighborhood and enjoy a snack near Plaza Mayor, which is really close to our hostel. From there we will walk to the Royal Palace to see the grounds, the statues of old Visigoth kings and tour the palace (if we arrive early enough). From there we will walk to the Templo de Debod and enjoy our first evening and sunset together!||TOC Hostel|
|March 23||Madrid & Marrakech||After our morning flight to Marrakech, the group will start their Morocco portion of the program! We will check into our Riad. Lunch will be served at Nomad, a rooftop terrace that overlooks the Spices Square in the old medina. Afterwards the group will be picked up and transferred to ride camels! When our afternoon activity finishes, we will head back to our Riad where we will dine and enjoy live Gnawa music.||Marrakech Riad|
|March 24||Marrakech||Group will take breakfast on the rooftop of the riad and get ready for their last day in Marrakech. Everyone will be picked up by a local guide for their half a day medina tour. We will visit Badi Palace, Saadian Tombs and Bahia Palace. This will be a great opportunity to reflect on the similarities between Moroccan and Spanish arcitecture. Our guide will leave everyone in Jemaa el-Fna (the main square), where we will head across the street to view Koutoubia Mosque. Our afternoon will end there where we will discuss the history of Marrakech’s tallest arcitecture. The night train to Tangier that the group will be taking departs at 9pm, therefore we will head to the train station for dinner in advance.||Sleeper train|
|March 25||Tangier||We will arrive in Tangier in the morning and check into our hotel. The rest of the morning and early afternoon will be spent on a day trip to the Caves of Hercules. The afternoon will end with the group having Moroccan tea at Cafe Hafa (a simple cafe that has a beautiful view of Tarifa’s coastline). Afterwards the group will dine at Le Saveur du Poisson. Once back at the hotel, the program leaders will hold a reflection in order to get everyone ready for the Spain portion of their trip the following day!||Tangier Hotel|
|March 26||Tangier & Seville||After breakfast we jump on a ferry and cross the Straight of Gibraltar, entering Europe again. Upon arrival in Seville, we'll have lunch and then visit the cathedral to see the Giralda and tombs of Columbus and Ferdinand III, both of whom shaped and were shaped by the Reconquista. We will continue with an orientation tour through the old Jewish quarter in Barrio Santa Cruz and the picturesque Calle de Agua. We will end the night in the Alameda de Hercules for dinner.||Hostal Plaza Santa Cruz|
|March 27||Seville||We will start the day in the Real Alcazar, which features a mix of Arabic, Mudejar, and Gothic architectural styles, and learn about the legendary rulers there – which might seem familiar to Game of Thrones fans. We will have lunch at the Mercado de Triana, which sits in an old Moorish fortress and later seat of the Spanish Inquisition or the Mercado Lonja del Barranco, a fish market along the river that was converted into a modern food market. After lunch, we're off to Parque Maria Luisa for a look at the Plaza de España with special attention to the regional decorations that feature scenes of the Reconquista. After that, students will enjoy unstructured time to explore the gardens, including opportunities to visit the Mudejar art museum and Seville’s museum of archeology that contains impressive Roman art and ruins salvaged from Italica.||Hostal Plaza Santa Cruz|
|March 28||Seville & Cordoba||After breakfast in Seville we will take the train to Cordoba for a day-long visit to the enchanting city. Our first visit will be the iconic mezquita. As a church that was then a joint mosque, to only mosque, maintained by Jewish architects and engineers, and then converted into a church, there is no better monument to the conflict and cooperation between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Andalusia. After lunch (which must include the Cordoban specialties salmorejo and tortilla), students will go on a “patio hunt” to try to find the best examples of Cordoba. We'll return to Seville this afternoon/evening for dinner.||Hostal Plaza Santa Cruz|
|March 29||Seville & Granada||After breakfast we're off to Granada. Upon arrival we check into the hotel and then strike out for the Granada cathedral, which took so long to build that its art and architecture reflect many changing styles in Europe. We will visit the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella, who completed the Christian conquest of Spain. If time allows we will also visit the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, part of the University of Granada for students to get an orientation on options for a longer study abroad experience. In the evening, we will tour the beautiful and historic streets of the Albaicin, and end the day watching the sunset over the Alhambra from the mirador San Nicolas.||Hotel Macía Monasterio de los Basilios|
|March 30||Granada||After breakfast, we will visit the Alhambra, the last pinnacle of the Islamic era of Spain. In the evening, we will enjoy dinner and a flamenco show caves of Sacromonte, as well as a guided tour of the Albaicin.||Hotel Macía Monasterio de los Basilios|
|March 31||Granada & Madrid||Today we head back to Madrid to visit the Parque de Buen Retiro and its surroundings so that students can relax and enjoy unstructured time to explore before our final farewell dinner.||TOC Hostel|
|April 1||Madrid & USA||Fly home!||Your own bed, eventually!|
Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.
Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
TOC Hostel is a spacious hostel minutes away from the metro and major tourist attractions. This is a modern and hi-tech hostel with shared rooms or private suites. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Monasterio Basilio is located in the center of Granada. This 3-star hotel can accommodate up to 4 students per room with ensuite and shared bathrooms. Some of the amenities include, but are not limited to, free wifi and gym access. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Grand Hotel Villa de France Tangier
This four star hotel was built in the eighteenth century and is located in the historic center of Tangier. The architecture of the Grand Hotel Villa de France, along with its fountains, pool, terraces and gardens, today create a convivial, relaxing atmosphere in one of North Africa’s most magical cities. Students will have internet access in order to stay connected, and will be grouped in double or triple occupancy rooms according to gender.
Sleeper Train – Marrakech to Tangier
The overnight train is a popular and time-effective way to travel from Tangier to Marrakech. The ONCF overnight train has one couchette car with eleven 4-berth compartments. Each bed is provided with pillow, sheet and light blanket. The car is air-conditioned, the compartment doors lock securely and it is a safe, comfortable and time-effective way to travel!
Riad Star offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech – a little slice of luxury in the heart of the medina. Students will be roomed in double, triple or quadruple rooms based on gender. Wifi is available throughout the hotel. Breakfast will be provided on the rooftop.
Hostal Plaza de Santa Cruz
Hostal Plaza de Santa Cruz is located in the heart of Sevilla, making it ideal for getting around easily on foot. The three star hotel comes with air conditioning, Wi-Fi and breakfast served on the terrace each morning. Students will be split between gender between double, triple or quadruple rooms depending on availability.
DEPARTURE FROM USA
Date: March 21, 2019
Departs: Denver (DEN) – 5:20 PM
Arrives: Munich (MUC) – 9:50 AM (March 22, 2019)
Date: March 22, 2019
Departs: Munich (MUC) – 11:55 AM
Arrives: Madrid (MAD) – 2:35 PM
Date: March 23, 2019
Departs: Madrid (MAD) – 7:00 AM
Arrives: Barcelona (BCN) – 8:15 AM
Date: March 23, 2019
Departs: Barcelona (BCN) – 11:20 AM
Arrives: Menara (RAK) – 1:45 PM
RETURN TO USA
Date: April 1, 2019
Departs: Madrid (MAD) – 8:30 AM
Arrives: Frankfurt (FRA) – 11:00 AM
Date: April 1, 2019
Departs: Frankfurt (FRA) – 1:25 PM
Arrives: Denver (DEN) – 3:40 PM
We will provide additional details on your Group’s Flight and travel day details here.
We 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 Group Organizer.
A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
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 Walking Tree Travel (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 visit the airline’s baggage webpage to find out about baggage fees and options. It is also important to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.
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.
Host Community and Project Details
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.
T-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
Long sleeve shirts
Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
Flip flops (optional)
TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:
Bring the BASIC toiletries you need plus:
Band aids and Neosporin and other basic first aid supplies
Journal and pen
Quick dry towel
Alarm Clock and watch
Visa/MasterCard debit card or US dollars (we recommend students bring between $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
Durable water bottle
At minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every program. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado where we remain available to the group for additional help whenever necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO
Emory University – B.A. Sociology and minor in Latin American History
During college, Luke spent a semester living and traveling in rural Mexico. His experience sparked a fascination with Latin America and a commitment to community service that continues to this day. Upon graduating from college, he joined WorldTeach and lived with a local family in a small village in Costa Rica while teaching elementary English. After this experience, he moved to San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and wrote for The Tico Times newspaper. Luke has since traveled to over 60 countries on five different continents. Now settled in Denver with his family, he continues to crave massive helpings of rice and beans.
Spain Country Director
Loyola University of Chicago – B.A. Spanish, Minor in Psychology
Born and raised outside of Chicago to two avid travelers and teachers, Kelsey has always had a passion for exploration and education, which also led to an interest in language. In fact, her first jobs and volunteer opportunities were as an assistant teacher, translator and interpreter. The opportunity to attend a youth leadership conference in Cuba and a study abroad semester in Spain during university cemented her desire to start a life abroad. She has been living in Madrid for ten years and is currently teaching English to Nursing and Physical Therapy students at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. In her spare time, you can find her exploring new places with friends and family, doing yoga everywhere she can, listening to too many podcasts and desperately trying to add more languages to her repertoire.
Morocco Country Director
University of Arizona
Stafford was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana and then graduated High School in Dallas, Texas. After attending the University of Arizona, she set off traveling with her sister through Southeast Asia, Europe and Northern Africa in 2013. After traveling through Morocco, she decided to make it her home a year later and started an online shop, selling artisanal handicrafts from Morocco back to the States. While living in Tangier, she met her husband in 2014 while she was traveling through Marrakech. He learned to speak English for her and she moved to Marrakech for him. They now have small wholesale company together and both work of Walking Tree Travel! She enjoys photography, decorating and taking family vacations to small Moroccan villages on the Atlantic coast.
Said Ait Said
Morocco Country Director & Program Leader
ISTA NTIC Syba Ofppt, Marrakech
Said was born in Marrakech, Morocco and was raised in the old Medina as well as an off the grid Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains. He enjoys camping, taking road trips and carpentry projects. In 2012 he graduated in IT Development and started working as a freelance contractor for Technical Specifications Development. A year later he started managing accommodations and excursions for travelers in Morocco, where he met his wife, who is American. They are a combination of Berber, Moroccan and American; speaking English, French, Arabic and Tamazighit. He also has a two year old son, named Solomon. Said and his family are currently living in Marrakech, embracing their multi-cultural lifestyle!
Country Operations Director - Denver, CO
University of Kansas – B.A. Latin American Studies; Global and International Studies, Minor in Brazilian Studies
Jordan is a Midwesterner at heart, born and raised in Kansas City. He spent his first summer after high school in Guatemala where he began learning Spanish and cultivated a deep interest in everything Latin America. In college, Jordan spent almost half of his university career studying abroad in both Costa Rica and Brazil. During that time, he mastered language skills in both Spanish and Portuguese, spent a lot of time at the beach and met the love of his life in Costa Rica. After college, he moved to Costa Rica where he taught Portuguese to Costa Ricans and began his career in student travel. After almost six years of living in Costa Rica, Jordan, his partner and their two dogs moved to Denver where they currently live. As with the rest of the SSA team, Jordan has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Jordan is passionate about languages, history, social justice and eating great food.
Oussama was born and raised in Morocco and has a love for adventure. He has worked in the tourism industry for many years and earned his degree in tourism and management. He has traveled to almost every corner of Morocco and has lived in both Tangier and Marrakech. Whenever he has the opportunity, he always takes the chance to explore new places. Oussama plays the djembe (a Senegalese drum) and guitar, and loves music. He speaks Arabic, French and English and one day, he hopes to open his own hotel in Morocco or somewhere else in the world.
See below for a list of travelers enrolled on the program.
- 1 Alondra Lopez-Varela
- 2 Alyssa Morales
- 3 Amy Gonzalez Chavez
- 4 Andrea Barron
- 5 Angelee Vigil
- 6 Asher Gettings
- 7 Benjamin Keyse
- 8 Beyra Orbe Ferrer
- 9 Celeste Crain
- 10 Daniel Conner
- 11 Edward Keyse
- 12 Ellie Lorenzen
- 13 Ernest Samora
- 14 Genesis Suarez Vegas
- 15 Ian Lopez Kilpatrick
- 16 Karissa Vergel Macedonio
- 17 Kimberly Zazueta
- 18 Larry Scherer
- 19 Leila Jones
- 20 Melanie Large
- 21 Patrick Garvey
- 22 Quinn Pecsok
- 23 Solomon Kieler
- 24 Sonia Burns - Group Organizer
- 25 Thandi Glick
- 26 Unique Hernandez
- 27 Yadira Diaz DeLeon
Blog and Communication
We work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program. Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, and can check back any time via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page or the link included in the email.
Beyond our proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.
For any general inquiries during travel, please email your Walking Tree Representative (see top of page) or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the United States.
We have developed a curriculum of activities designed to help each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple and engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.
Standards of Behavior
Walking Tree 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.
- Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- 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.
GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE
- Getting a piercing or tattoo
- Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
- Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
- Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
- Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
- 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 us.
Health and Safety
We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Spain 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.
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.
While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing Premier travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason or loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. While most travelers have opted in for us to purchase basic travel insurance on their behalf during the enrollment process, this plan does not cover trip interruption or trip cancellation. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.
-Recommended Travel Insurance-
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.
Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.
Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.
Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.
Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.
24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.
*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101C series or 101P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or email@example.com.