Meet Henry, a first time gap year traveler in Up with People from Mexico!
Learn more about Henry, what his first experiences in the United States have been like for him, and what he hopes to gain out of his time traveling with the cast.
Why did you decide to travel in Up with People?
“It’s a way for me to help the communities I visit while still traveling and meeting people from all over the world with similar interests as myself. I have met people that I can call real friends and people that I can build bridges over the years with.”
What was arrival day in Ruston, LA like for you?
“Humid, and warm, yet it was amazing! We had a reception with homemade peach cream and songs for all the cast. It was truly amazing.”
How have the first couple weeks on the road been?
“Exhausting and amazing, but then again that is what I expected. It has been a journey full of positive experiences and opportunities for me to learn about various topics I’m passionate about and then portray them in our show to a worldwide audience.”
How did you hear about Up with People?
“My parents grew up listening to many of the songs. When I showed musical interest in my life, they introduced the idea of Up with People to me. After seeing the show for the first time, I was hooked after hearing ‘Footsteps of a Girl.’ It was really powerful.”
What were you most nervous about at the beginning of the semester?
“I was definitely nervous about the dancing. It’s pretty much the only thing I’m very insecure about because I had never done it before. Now I actually think I’m starting to like it!”
What were you most excited about at the beginning of the semester?
“I was most excited about meeting new friends and having a chance to have a fresh start. I would have a whole new group of people that had never known me before.”
What do you hope to gain out of your experience in Up with People?
“A more oriented passion that might help me decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. I also want to learn new skills to communicate and educate the youth in positive leadership.”
What was it like meeting your host family in Ruston for the first time?
“It was actually very strange and kind of funny. In Mexico, it’s a very common thing to hug people when you say hello. Here it is not quite the same, so it was very funny when I reached out to hug my host sister to say hello. She stepped back and looked at me with a weird face, but now we just laugh about how funny it was. Staying with my host family has been so great. They have been amazing with my roommates and I.”
Why do you think a program like Up with People is important?
“It’s important because a lot of people want to help others and create a positive impact in the world, but they don’t know how. This program is a very good platform to help you do that.”
What has been your biggest challenge on the road?
“Overall sleep, changing beds every week, and experiencing different lifestyles every week. It can be very exhausting, but it’s also an incredibly fascinating adventure. It’s very hard to describe, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
“Like the children we all were once, unafraid and filled with light
Always reaching, always soaring, though the world may be filled with fright
If they can learn to see beyond this, can we make this simple promise?.”
Keep Hope Alive © Up with People
Questions? Click Here To Contact Up with People.
Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers young adults an unparalleled study abroad experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time. Click here to learn more about the internationally acclaimed program, Up with People.