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Transformative Travel 

Connections Team

About TTC’s team
Jennifer Spatz

Jennifer Spatz founded Global Family Travels’ (GFT) with a mission to “Learn, Serve and Immerse,” using travel as a means to build cultural bridges and to foster global citizens.  GFT offers trips for families which include a unique mix of educational sightseeing, cultural immersion, home stays, and participation in meaningful service projects aimed at improving the lives of people in the communities we visit.  GFT’s enriching tours offer visiting families and host community participants opportunities to make a difference together, and to learn from each other in ways that will open their hearts and minds. Expect to expand your family circle when you embark on a Global Family Travels trip!

Vicki Weeks

Vicki Weeks, through her company Global Weeks, collaborates with schools and other organizations to develop meaningful global and experiential education programs and strategies that foster empathy, perspective, and intercultural skills. She has dedicated her 40-year career in education to helping people meet, work and play together as a means of increasing understanding and compassion. She spent 13 years at Lakeside School, where she developed and ran a robust global service learning program in 10 sites with pre- and post-trip activities. She believes hope for our planet lies in people’s ability to embrace difference while celebrating that which unites us. You can learn more about her work at

Lisa Merrill

Lisa Merrill is a photographer whose compelling images of vibrant cultures and human resiliency and ingenuity have been featured in National Geographic Traveler and other magazines, books, and websites around the world.   Her powerful visual stories add impact to the communications of travel companies, tourism organizations, and nonprofits working to improve education and tackle other societal challenges.  She believes in the power of sustainable tourism to transform lives, strengthen communities, and build family bonds.  An inspiring educator, Lisa enjoys helping people of all ages unleash their creativity and tell vital stories through photography. Learn more and view online galleries at Merrill Images.

Jennifer Geist

Jennifer Geist, founder of Zeitgeist Creations, has 15 years of experience in the growing field of Global Education to schools, foundations, NGOs and universities, connecting students across the globe in meaningful collaborative learning. Jennifer has extensive experience in curriculum development and curation, communicative language learning and project based learning. She incorporates innovative tools such as digital storytelling, video conferencing and photography to make cross cultural communication truly expressive and authentic.  Her experience and understanding of what it takes to foster meaningful, global collaboration keeps Zeitgeist Creations in the forefront of the worldwide effort to create an equitable, open-minded and healthy planet through empathic education.

FNE International

FNEI promotes education and sustainable development projects worldwide and works in Chacraseca, Nicaragua,  the local community with whom the TTP participants will live and work.  With a hand-in-hand philosophy, FNEI

  • works with impoverished communities to identify pressing needs

  • networks with local and international organizations

  • facilitates collaboration, and

  • empowers individuals to actively participate within their communities

FNEI seeks to facilitate projects that help people to help themselves with self-sustainability as the ultimate goal. Collaboration with organizations in the United States and abroad expands our network of volunteers and spurs innovation in projects. FNEI seeks to lead by example in the field of sustainable development. 

reading to community
Nicaraguan students on computers
Related blog posts
Lisa Merrill
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