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Community Links International Immersion Trip Proposal for River Glen Families Jim Petkiewicz, Founder April 04, 2012. Community-Based Education. Environmental Work. Sustainability. Cultural Immersion. Contents. Who We Are What We Do Logistics & Accommodations Safety & Health Concerns

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Community links international immersion trip proposal for river glen families

Community Links International

Immersion Trip Proposal for

River Glen Families

Jim Petkiewicz, Founder

April 04, 2012


  • Who We Are

  • What We Do

  • Logistics & Accommodations

  • Safety & Health Concerns

  • Travel and Cost

  • Sample Activities and Excursions

  • References

  • Contacts

Who we are
Who We Are

Community Links is an environmental, service-learning, immersion, volunteer, and international educational organization. Through cross-border, cross-cultural immersion experiences we provide people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to learn about the interconnectedness of our local, national, and global realities. We also teach participants to recognize how our lifestyles, values, choices and consumption patterns affect people, cultures and the environment the world over.


Through our project we work with local NGO's, community leaders, local governments, families, friends, and other organizations at the grassroots, regional, and international levels in order to develop opportunities of encounter and solidarity among people from both hemispheres in the Americas. 


  • Nov 2000 – Founded by Jim Petkiewicz and Arturo Ortega

  • Jan 2003 - Incorporated in the state of California as an LLC. 

  • 2007 - transferred organizational status to 501(c)(3) and received tax-deductible status

Why pick cli
Why pick CLI?

  • The CLI team has more than 25 years of experience working as a non-governmental organization in Oaxaca, Puebla and throughout Mexico

  • Hundreds of Immersion Trips Organized since 2001

What we do
What We Do

  • Solidarity and Service Trips to Mexico and South America focusing on language, cultural exchange and immersion

    • Middle Schools

    • High Schools

    • Universities

    • Organizations / Corporations

  • Seminars, Workshops & Retreats at our ranch in San Juan Bautista, California

  • Holistic development projects in the countries in which we have a presence

Areas of work
Areas of Work

  • Environment - organic composting and gardening, reforestation, recycling, greenhouses, water cachement systems with cisterns, composting latrines, solar ovens, litter campaigns, etc.

  • Community-Based Education - with children, youth and their families focusing on environmental issues. Mentoring and tutoring programs.

  • Fair Trade - catalyzing fair trade opportunities for local producers, creating fair trade partnerships, and promoting the growth of fair trade in the communities where we have a presence.

  • Social Justice - it all begins with working to create a reality that is just and equitable for all, including the planet.

Countries in which we work
Countries in Which We Work

Mexico –


Mexico –


Bolivia - Cochabamba

California -

San Juan Bautista

Peru –

Lima and Chuquibamba

Trip overview
Trip Overview

  • Cultural and Language Immersion Trip to Mexico, including Puebla and Oaxaca

  • 11 days total: 2 days roundtrip travel and 9 days in Mexico: Cholula/Puebla (5-6 days), Mizteca Alta/Oaxaca (3-4 days). Oaxaca is ~4 hr drive from Puebla

  • Cost = ~ $765 per person

  • Highlights: tour of ‘CEDICAM’ reforestation project in Oaxaca, home stays, cultural excursions, activities with local youth

About cedicam

In the Mixteca region of Oaxaca, Mexico, Jesús León Santos leads an unprecedented land renewal and economic development program that employs ancient indigenous agricultural practices to transform this barren, highly eroded area into rich, arable land. With his organization, the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development in the Mixteca (CEDICAM), a democratic, farmer-led local environmental organization, León has united the area’s small farmers. Together, they have planted more than one million native-variety trees, built hundreds of miles of ditches to retain water and prevent soil from eroding, and adapted traditional Mixteca indigenous practices to restore the regional ecosystem. Efforts are paying off as barren hillsides turn green again, aquifers are recharged, and the high rate of migration slows as indigenous farming families find they are able to make a living at home.

For his work with CEDICAM, Jesús León Santos won the ‘Goldman Environmental Prize’ in 2008 for North America.

Find out more:

What will the students do
What will the students do?

  • Learn Spanish

  • Immerse yourself in local cultures

  • Learn about green technologies & sustainable practices

  • Stay with a family

  • Make new friends

  • Participate in workshops

  • Explore local treasures

Cultural visits activities
Cultural Visits & Activities

  • Great Pyramid of Cholula (largest in the world)

  • World famous museums, convents & cathedrals

  • Indigenous & local markets

  • Beautiful, colonial city of Puebla

  • Atlixco (land of eternal spring)

  • Tonanzintla (indigenous, baroque church)

  • Cooking classes available at additional charge

Community service afternoons
Community Service Afternoons

  • “Heal the earth” program

  • “Juguemos a aprender” with local children

  • Tutoring

  • Arts & sports

  • Organic composting and gardening

  • Alternative, green tech projects

  • And more!


  • CLI takes every precaution to assure the safety of travelers on the immersion program. 

  • CLI leadership stays abreast of the current conditions in Mexico and checks regularly on reports issued by the US Department of State.

  • Chaperones from visiting organization are not required but welcome

  • On-site team consists of 5-12 adults, depending on country and size of visiting group

  • Participants are chaperoned at all times

  • Team members have cell phones at all times. Sites contain landlines

Us dept of state travel advisory
US Dept of State Travel Advisory

  • Excerpts from Travel Warning issued by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs for Mexico on 2/8/12

  • “Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day.  The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality.”

  • For the state of Puebla: No advisory is in effect.

  • For the state of Oaxaca: No warning is in effect.

  • According to the Government of Mexico, as of August 2011, the murder rate in Puebla was less than 2 per 100,000.  For comparison, the highest murder rate in the US is in New Orleans, Louisiana (49 per 100,000 in 2010) . And Oakland is 22 per 100,000.

Health concerns
Health Concerns

  • We drink purified water only

  • Food is prepared with extra caution for visitors

  • Grapefruit seed extract is recommended

  • Doctor/hospital care is available if required

  • No special immunizations are required

Community links international immersion trip proposal for river glen families

  • Trip fee = $75 per person per day. This includes: meals, lodging, transportation to/from Puebla to Oaxaca, translations, miscellaneous fees, volunteer program, field trips, speakers and presentations, home stays

  • Roundtrip transportation from Mexico City Airport to Cholula/Puebla = $90

  • Total = $765 / person (9 days @ $75/day + $90)

  • Airfare is not included. Paid separately by participants. Average cost between $400-$600 roundtrip

Sample itinerary
Sample Itinerary

  • 8:30-9:30AM – Breakfast

  • 10:00AM-2:00PM - Volunteer project or excursion

  • 2:00-4:00PM - Lunch break and free time OR Presentations and discussion with invited lecturers

  • 4:00-6:00PM - Afternoon activities (e.g. tutoring, sports, arts & crafts, cooking classes, etc.)

  • 6:30PM – Dinner

  • 7:30PM - Evening Activities

    • Reflections, journaling, viewing documentaries, etc (at community center)

    • Relationship-building, language immersion, etc (at home stays)

Suggested packing items
Suggested Packing Items

  • $50-$100 cash for airport meals/purchases, optional ATM card

  • Participants can purchase an inexpensive cell phone plan for Mexico (e.g. Prepago with Movistar or Amigo with Telcel for M$250+ (US $12+) or can optionally purchase pay-as-you-go cell phone in Mexico

  • Reusable water bottles

Sample references
Sample References

  • Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA

  • Notre Dame High School, San Jose, CA

  • Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix, AZ

  • Creighton College Preparatory, Omaha, NB

  • Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA

  • Fordham University, Bronx, NY

  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

  • Boston College, Newton, MA

Contact us
Contact Us

Community Links International916 Wren Drive

San Jose, CA 95125Phone: (508) 280-0287

Jim Petkiewicz, Founder,

Arturo Ortega Vela, Founder,

Find out more
Find Out More