May 22, 2017

From May 12-15, 2017, ISLA Academy Phase 5 and 6 students climbed to the highest point in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, in the central mountain range of the Dominican Republic.  They started their trip with a beautiful waterfall hike in Jarabacoa.  On Day 2, they entered the national park and climbed nine hours until reaching the base camp of La Compartición.

Waking up at 3:00 am on Day 3, the team began their final ascent to the peak, at 3,087 meters!  They returned to base camp that evening for dinner and celebration.  On the fourth and final day, the students descended another 6 hours before returning triumphantly to ISLA Academy that afternoon.  

Along the way, they saw unparalleled beauty.  More importantly, they learned about themselves and what it takes to overcome challenges.  We are all so proud of them!

March 22, 2017

ISLA Academy students in Phases 4, 5, and 6 hiked Mt. Isabel de Torres this month as a team building experience. The hike was also training preparation for the Phase 5 and 6 students who will hike Pico Duarte within the next few months.

We had a great group of chaperones that also participated, and offer our appreciation to teachers and staff Paula, Rebecca, Delaney, Hazakyah, Khristiane, and Jerome for their effort, spirit and leadership on the hike.

Mt. Isabel de Torres is 793 meters high and is the highest point of Puerto Plata. Atop of the mountain, there is a botanical garden and a replica of Christ the Redeemer (similar to the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro).  A teleferico (cable car) provides rides to the mountain top, and hiking is also permitted in this protected National Park. The views from the mountain top are spectacular, with Puerto Plata city and the Atlantic Ocean best seen below on a clear day.

Pico Duarte is the highest peak in the Dominican Republic, and all of the Caribbean islands in fact.  The official elevation of Pico Duarte is recorded as 3,087 meters. We are proud of the ISLA Academy students that are training to reach this summit and applaud their efforts.

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