To cap off the Spirit staff’s summer travel to visit our participants and Host Employers, Spirit representative Gloria traveled to see Spirit Work and Travel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in action. The airport in Jackson Hole is situated within the Grand Teton National Park. Upon touching down at the airport, Gloria was able to experience what our participants see when they arrive.
The splendor of the Teton Range is the backdrop of this beautiful area.
As she checked in at her hotel, two of our Spirit participants who were working as front desk attendants were there to greet Gloria. What a treat it was to witness our wonderful participants in all their glory!
Gloria had the opportunity to meet some of our current Host Employers involved in Work and Travel in Jackson Hole, as well as many of our participants who are enjoying their time in this beautiful, buzzing town. Many participants indicated that they feel their English is improving, they have countless opportunities to enjoy cultural activities, and there are also quite a few second job options available.
Gloria then made her way to Alta, Wyoming, including a pit stop in Driggs, Idaho to visit some participant housing. Participants who work in Alta live in a different state. Their housing is in Idaho, which is just in the neighboring state. Locals refer to the area as “Wydaho.” Participants live in a small community along with many of their Host Employer’s seasonal American employees. It seems to be the ideal cultural exchange experience.
Participants in this area of Wyoming seem to be having a great experience as well. Their Host Employer is situated at the top of a mountain. Participants described their experience this summer as serene, full of nature, and one in which they made many new friends.
Gloria then attended a Host Employer sponsored river float, where she witnessed the relationships and friendships that our participants have established with their American co-workers. One of our participants tried paddle boarding for the first time and was motivated and cheered on by his co-workers. It was heartwarming to see.
During the relaxing two-hour river float, they encountered a moose, a beaver, some free-range cows and some howling coyotes. It was indeed serene and full of nature!
To close out the trip, Gloria made her way back to Jackson Hole to visit the Teton Village area. Although this is a skier’s paradise in the winter, it is teaming with activity in the summer as well. She met one participant who was hanging out on the patio of one of the resorts just enjoying his free time as well as the view.
Gloria was able to meet participants while they were working and who reported loving their time in Jackson Hole. She was able to connect with participants from a variety of countries including Colombia, Jamaica, Mongolia, and Turkey. It was great to be able to see firsthand what our participants are living and experiencing.