2019 JFK Cambodia Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 JFK Cambodia Service Adventure! We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info, that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and get excited for Cambodia!
Travel Dates: June 12, 2019 - June 26, 2019
Dates are Tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $4,490 USD
Deadline(s): Enrollment deadline forthcoming

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.


We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs 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. 

June 12WednesdayUSA & Phnom PenhToday we'll depart from Seattle, WA to Phnom Penh, CambodiaAirplane
June 13ThursdayPhnom PenhArrive at Phnom Penh International Airport where your Khmer facilitator will welcome you and transfer to your locally owned hotel. We’ll dedicate some time to settle, rest, and refresh. Activities will depend on arrival times, but where possible we’ll schedule an orientation meeting to officially welcome you to Cambodia and prepare you for your adventure ahead! We’ll celebrate your arrival with a nice welcome dinner at a social enterprise restaurant.Starwood Guesthouse
June 14FridayPhnom PenhToday we'll learn about the 20th century history of Cambodia, with a specific focus on the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge period and genocide. First visiting the Toul
Sleng Genocide Museum (a.k.a. S21) housed in a former school that was converted into a prison camp during the height of the regime’s brutality. After touring
the museum, we'll have lunch on our way to the notorious Killing Fields on the outskirts of the capital. We'll end the day with a peaceful and reflective sunset boat cruise along the Mekong River.
Starwood Guesthouse
June 15SaturdayPhom Penh and BattambangWe’ll hit the road today for our longest transfer of our trip, heading west to the cultural capital and second city of Cambodia – Battambang! Regular breaks, toilet and snack stops will be scheduled to break up the long journey (approx.7 hours). Upon arrival we’ll soak up the evening rays at the pool and relax before dinner together.Seng Hout Hotel
June 16SundayBattambang - A vast majority of Cambodian people live in rural communities
and there is no better way to connect with the countryside than at handlebar height. To explore Battambang’s surrounding area we’ll spend the morning with local social enterprise, Soksabike. Led by local students, we’ll learn about
local livelihoods and culture by visiting a range of cottage industries, and enjoy a
delicious home-cooked lunch at a family home. After we freshen up back at our hotel, we’ll explore the city’s peaceful streets and participate in a fun market challenge activity!
Seng Hout Hotel
June 17MondayBattambang Visitors often refer to Cambodia as one of the friendliest and most peaceful nations; today we’ll learn more about behind the scenes of the people and the Kingdom’s journey to rebuild peace. We’ll spend the morning visiting the newly opened Peace Museum, meeting peace-builders and understanding more about reconciliation after the war. In the afternoon, we will attend a circus skills workshop with Phare performing arts school.
Seng Hout Hotel
June 18TuesdayBattambang and Banteay ChhmarThis morning, we’ll learn about how after the war a culture of charity and an increase in poverty has impacted Cambodia today. We’ll connect with the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT), an NGO helping to keep families together and transition children out of institutions like orphanages.

This afternoon, we’ll transfer north (2-3 hours) to the picturesque village of Banteay
Chhmar. As well as being home to ancient temples to rival Angkor Wat,
this village has also established an inspiring equitable tourism model and
hosts regular visitors. We’ll be spending the next couple of nights in
traditional Khmer homes, learning about everyday life in rural
June 19WednesdayBanteay ChhmarToday we’ll immerse ourselves in village life. There are several opportunities to learn about rural life – including informal interview projects, or spending time with a local farmer and participating in agricultural activities, or both. To celebrate our final evening in Banteay Chhmar, dinner will be served by candlelight with live traditional music!Homestay
June 20ThursdayBanteay Chhmar and Siem Reap This morning we’ll explore the rest of the community’s beautiful temples and enjoy a picnic lunch together. We’ll hop on our bus and travel (approx.
3 hours) to Siem Reap, the city of Angkor. En route, we’ll stop by a silk farm to discover how silk is produced and processed through traditional techniques.
As a special welcome to Siem Reap, tonight we’ll celebrate by attending the Phare circus! Performers are graduates from the arts school in Battambang and come from a range of marginalised backgrounds.
Kourprey Hotel
June 21FridaySiem Reap Following years of war, Cambodia continues to be affected by landmines that litter
remote parts of the country. We’ll have a guided tour of the world-famous Landmine Museum, founded by child-soldier turned anti-landmine activist, to learn more. After lunch, we’ll visit the unique NGO APOPO, a landmine clearance organisation that works with rats to identify their locations.
Kourprey Hotel
June 22SaturdaySiem ReapIn a nation where almost 70% of the population are under 30, learning about the challenges that face Khmer youth is important. First we’ll participate in an eye-opening workshop about education in Cambodia, and then we’ll spend the afternoon with a local NGO working to address these challenges and empower disadvantaged youth.Kourprey Hotel
June 23SundaySiem Reap - Today will be an early one! We'll wake up to see the sun rise at the famous Angkor Wat Temple. We'll ride around on tuk-tuks to reach the rest of the Small Circle Complex, and visit Bayon and Angkor Thom, best known for it's remarkably realistic human faces carved into the rock. In the late afternoon, we'll have free time to explore the city market.Kourprey Hotel
June 24MondaySiem ReapSiem Reap sits on the northern shores of the region’s largest freshwater lake, and to learns more about this fascinating ecosystem, we’ll spend the day with OSMOSE, a communitybased eco-tourism NGO that provides tours through the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary on the mighty Tonle Sap Lake. Our day will include an informal Khmer cooking class, a weaving workshop with a community handicraft centre, and a paddle-boat tour around the incredible floating village. Kourprey Hotel
June 25TuesdaySiem Reap - Phnom PenhThis morning we’ll take a short trek (2-3 hours at a leisurely pace) through the beautiful wooded slopes of the Kulen Hills to the enchanting Kbal Spean. Unlike other nearby places of worship, Kbal Spean is not a physical temple, but rather a section of intricate riverbed carvings. Our trek will take us uphill through beautiful forest, past a string of small waterfalls (please note: during dry season water levels can get very low), and ancient spiritual etchings. We’ll spend the afternoon with conservationists at the Angkor Centre for Conservation and Biodiversity, learning about rescued wildlife, environmental pressures, and endangered species. During your visit, expect to learn more about beautiful creatures like the leopard cat and slow loris. We will take an evening flight to Phnom Penh prior to our international departure to the USA tomorrow. Starwood Guesthouse
June 26WednesdaySiem Reap After breakfast, we'll head to the airport for our mid-day flight back to the USAYour Own Bed... Eventually.

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In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Bou Savy Guesthouse

One of the highest quality budget guesthouses in Siem Reap, the Bou Savy Guesthouse a is family owned and operated tropical paradise. With modern comforts, a pleasant and courteous staff, and a quiet setting, it is the perfect place to relax after visiting the temples of Angkor.

Group Flight

SEA – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, USA
June 12, 2019 at 1:50AM
TPE – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan
June 13, 2019 at 5:10AM
TPE – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan
June 13, 2019 at 8:45AM
PNH – Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
June 13, 2019 at 11:15AM
PNH – Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
June 26, 2019 at 12:35PM
TPE – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan
June 26, 2019 at 5:10PM
TPE – Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan
June 26, 2019 at 11:40PM
SEA – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, USA
June 26, 2019 at 7:35PM

Once your flight has been secured the itinerary will appear here. Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure, but travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

Air travel is unpredictable, especially in a pandemic.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

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.
“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all our travelers. The below list should cover everything you would need, but we frequently hear that travelers feel “overpacked” if they follow all of our suggestions. Know yourself and what you are comfortable traveling with. We suggest bringing only as much as you would be able to carry on your own.
Please consult the 10 day weather forecast in https://weather.com and enter the cities listed in your itinerary if you desire a more detailed look at the weather you might encounter.

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

Socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks)
T-shirts (some quick dry)
Long sleeve shirts
Rain jacket or strong poncho (it will be the rainy season in July)
Swim suit
Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light (no short shorts please)
Comfortable/hiking/everyday pants (NOT all jeans)
Nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer and guys a polo or button up shirt with jeans for such occasions. Please have the skirt reach your knees)
Durable athletic/hiking shoes
Work gloves
Work pants
Sarong/scarf (something to cover knees when entering Temples and holy places *this may be purchased in country)
Rain boots (for volunteer activities – *we encourage you to be purchase these when in country for cheaper)



  • Sunscreen (You will use a lot! Natural products/lotions are preferred over aerosol)
  • Mosquito repellent (non-deet/lotions are preferred to reduce environmental impact)
  • Band Aids
  • Neosporin
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medication in properly marked original container
  • Over the counter anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Dramamine


  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen Book
  • Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
  • Power Converter (220 volts AC)
  • 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
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Batteries
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • Host family gift for each host family
  • Pictures of family, friends, home
  • Student ID
  • Thai/English Dictionary
    ***Please keep in mind that the villages we will be staying in are generally more conservative. The people usually wear long covered up clothing and do not appreciate seeing a lot of exposed leg, cleavage, or bare shoulders.

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. 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. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Gabriel Duncan
Gabriel Duncan
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO

Colby College – B.A. International Relations and Government

While at Colby, Gabriel spent a semester in Spain at the University of Salamanca studying contemporary Spanish politics and Spanish language. He also lettered for four-years on Colby’s lacrosse team and earned All-American honors. After graduating, Gabriel hit the road. He fished commercially in Alaska, taught in Chile and China, led programs for students in Spain and Costa Rica, and traveled to over 50 countries and all 50 states in the USA. Regardless of where Gabriel is located, he is constantly haunted by his naive faith and unconditional love for Denver sports teams.

Chhon Chhea Yut
Chhon Chhea Yut
Program Leader

Yut is an award-winning tour guide and brings with him a wealth of knowledge on Cambodian history, culture, and Buddhism philosophy. He has been guiding for a decade, specializing in transformative learning journeys on development, and is one of Ayana’s senior facilitators for educational trips for students. Having been a Buddhist monk for 17 years before embarking on a career in tourism, he is also a specialist in providing spiritual travel experiences.

Devin Peyton
Devin Peyton
Admissions Director - Costa Rica

Virginia Commonwealth University – B.A. in Communications and a Minor in Spanish

Devin was born and raised in Virginia by two Caribbean parents. She was exposed to travel at a very young age when she took her first trip abroad as a teen to her mother’s home country of the Bahamas. Since then she’s never looked back. She began studying Spanish in middle school and continued through college, when she traveled to Antigua, Guatemala to study abroad. After a few years working in her field she completed the TESOL certification and began a career as an English teacher in Central America. After teaching for several years, she became the Foreign Language Program Director for a language center located in Heredia, Costa Rica. After 3 years of directing she decided to leave the “Pura Vida” life for a new adventure in Hanoi, Vietnam with her “tico” husband Andres and their two rescue pups Cooper and Marley. Since then she has returned to Costa Rica to work as the Admissions Director with Walking Tree. When she is not working she enjoys adding to her collection of 31 passport stamps, moonlighting as an armature photographer, or studying local languages. Devin is very passionate about sustainable travel, social justice issues, and women’s empowerment. One of her most memorable experiences was traveling to Durban, South Africa to spend Christmas at the LIV Village, which provides residential care for orphaned and vulnerable children.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Adrien Regelbrugge
  • 2 Chloe Sewell
  • 3 Cristin VanderPlas
  • 4 Elizabeth Lovell
  • 5 Ethan Grassley
  • 6 Grace Ginther
  • 7 Griffin Terry
  • 8 Haley Moore
  • 9 Kateri Rinallo
  • 10 Kelsey Harington
  • 11 Mara Davis
  • 12 Mark Davis
  • 13 Mason Stallworth
  • 14 Ngoc Giang
  • 15 Payton Hayes
  • 16 Robert Richards
  • 17 Teng Zhou
  • 18 Yarangel John
18 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will 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, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.


GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

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

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, 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.


  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. Failure to abide by COVID-19 restrictions.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Possessing weapons.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  5. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  6. Being out after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

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

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Cambodia 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. WTT 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.

Vaccination information and requirements can change frequently. Because of this, and for more information, we suggest that you consult your local travel clinic and/or family physician for specific details.


While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.