Spring Break 2017 created a special connection for several Colorado State University staff and their families, as they joined together for an adventure trip to Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Seth Webb, assistant director of the CSU Mountain Campus, and his family led a trip to the university’s international location in Mexico for 10 CSU faculty and family members.
“Both my wife Sue and I had a great time on the Todos Santos family adventure week,” said Dr. Steve Withrow, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Highlights were exploring the town of Todos Santos, swimming with whale sharks, and glamping. It was very informative to learn more about the Todos Santos and CSU collaborations.”
The group explored the town of Todos Santos, received lectures from faculty working in the region, explored cultural traditions, and went glamping on a remote island – allowing the group to view indigenous wildlife and experience biological diversity.
Webb plans to continue to offer the trip – which he describes as a “marine wildlife safari” – to CSU families during future school breaks, including spring break 2018.
“The Center’s perfectly situated to explore the town and learn about the immediate area of Todos Santos and as a launching pad to the Sea of Cortez on the La Paz side where a lot of the marine adventures await,” Webb said. “Our itinerary was a mixture of cultural, lots of adventure, and town-related activities.”
Carol Seger, a professor of psychology at CSU, said she “enjoyed exploring such a biologically and culturally diverse area with other CSU families.”
Webb agreed, noting that one of the biggest perks to the trip is the inclusive nature of the logistics, paired with an authentic cultural experience.
“We’re doing all the logistics and setting up all the activities and adventures for you and also providing a little bit of free time for you to choose your own adventure. It’s kind of all-inclusive in terms of activities and logistics and opportunities to interact with other CSU families are built in,” he said.
In addition to the learning opportunities, Webb noted that the down time – “the chance to unplug,” and freedom, was also a welcome component of the trip for himself and many others.
“All the kids on the trip loved the ocean, just playing in the water. That’s such a novel experience being from Colorado, even though all of the kids on the trip had been to an ocean environment previously, it was incredible to watch them cut loose and snorkel around on their own and take out the paddleboards and play,” he said.
Webb, who helps manage the CSU Mountain Campus, said the two locations have many similarities in advancing the university’s mission.
“If you look at the multiple prongs of our land grant institution, the service and outreach components, in addition to research and education, both the CSU Todos Santos Center and the Mountain Campus provide an extension of the university to areas and facets of our community that we’d be hard pressed to reach, without having facilities, programs, and staff working to make these opportunities available,” he said.
“The adventure experience, cultural, and hands-on education exposure – that’s what the Center and that’s what the Mountain Campus, in a different way, offers. CSU faculty, staff, and students can research abroad, travel abroad, study abroad in Mexico on their own, without this Center, but the Center provides that unique base to engage in all of these activities.”
About the CSU Todos Santos Center
The Colorado State University Todos Santos Center is the university’s first international location and is core to CSU’s mission of teaching, research, service and outreach.
The Center provides opportunities for CSU students and Baja California Sur residents to collaborate with local partners and businesses to identify needs, conduct research and produce impactful outcomes.
CSU’s vision in Todos Santos is to cultivate generations of global citizens and to be a part of creating thriving communities through collaboration, experience and exchange of knowledge in areas such as agriculture, infectious disease, elementary education, environmental and social sustainability, wildlife ecology, veterinary medicine and public health.