Cultural Exchange is the cornerstone of our J-1 program. We plan for at least 2 cultural activities a month, which means we have thousands of participants across the United States experiencing local culture. Cultural activities increase in the participant’s emotional ties to the community they’re living and working in, strengthens the relationships with their colleagues, and introduces Americans to invaluable experiences from the participant’s home culture.
Spirit organized an event for winter participants working in Jackson, Wyoming. On Wednesday, January 21 participants and their employers were invited to attend a sleigh ride through a National Elk Refuge. During the hour long ride, 20 J-1 participants (13 Spirit and six non-Spirit participants), an employer, and Spirit representative Alex Wysocki sat together across two sleighs. All of the participants are from South American countries (Peru, Paraguay, and Brazil) and never experienced an activity quite like this. Each sleigh was pulled by horses while a tour guide led the group through about 2,000 elk that roam the fields throughout the refuge. Participants were able to experience Wyoming’s natural beauty and wildlife for themselves. Participants enjoyed hot chocolate prior to the sleigh ride and blankets were provided for the group to share.