Who We Are

We are two female educators and outdoor adventurers from California who want to create the opportunity for students to learn about Mesoamerican issues and communities in an innovative manner. We will share with students our passion for physical challenge and cross–cultural learning through website documentation and online communication during our bike trip from Panama City, Panama to the US ⁄ Mexico border in the Fall ⁄ Winter of 2004. This project will be carried out as part of our Master's practicum with the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont under the guidance and expertise of Educational Safaris– an organization in Santa Barbara, CA dedicated to education through experiential learning. Thanks for joining us as we travel over 3,700 miles through six countries of Central America and Mexico.

Erin Riley:  Ever since the training wheels came off and the scratches from crashing into the neighbors' rosebushes healed, Erin has enjoyed biking. Erin began traveling internationally at age 13 when an eighth grade teacher piled 9 students into a van to explore Baja California. Since then Erin has traveled, studied and worked throughout Asia, India, Kenya and the Americas. Erin has been involved in education as a teacher, naturalist and director of an outdoor program. For the past 7 years Erin has been combining her passion for travel, the outdoors and education by taking groups of middle school and high school students abroad during the summer months: a bike trip in Bolivia, Tibetan studies in North India, community service in Thailand, and language studies in Japan. Yahoo to another adventure!

Marin Aldrich:  Marin began her traveling career with a trip to Mexico in high school and she has been exploring the world ever since. While attending Whitman College she became fascinated by Latin American politics and US ⁄ Mesoamerican relations and in her senior year had the opportunity to travel in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, studying the organic coffee trade with Professor Bud Kenworthy. After college she became a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, where she learned the joy of biking on roads also populated by fast, angry buses bearing pigs, people, and papayas. Upon returning home she was lucky enough to get a job teaching at Woodside High School while being able to simultaneously backpack, climb, and bike as much as possible. Her love of teaching and being outdoors has often led her to combine the two activities, and this bike adventure is the most recent incarnation of that effort. Marin dedicates her ride to the memory of Jim Mellinger and Bud Kenworthy.