Week of Welcome - Key West, Florida

Endless sparking blue ocean, laid-back lifestyle of the locals, energetic downtown scene… Key West is one of our coordinator’s favorite locations to welcome participants! The Key West participants are incredibly lucky to call this postcard perfect island home for three months while they immerse themselves in a unique side of American culture.

The place is very beautiful! The beaches and sunsets, ocean view and the island feels. The people here are generally nice, the city is clean, and there are always things to explore every single day!
— Rina Trixia Villanueva Pacho

After the long drive from Miami to Key West (a longer distance than Key West to Cuba), the participants spent a couple days with a WWCE coordinator while they settled into their new life in Key West.

Our coordinator helped them accomplish logistical aspects of living in the USA and being on the SWT program, but the highlight of the week was the cultural event. One sunny afternoon, we took a leisurely tour through old Key West with Key Lime Bike tours. Our kind and entertaining guides led us across the island while the participants became acquainted with the layout of the island, learned interesting facts about the Conch Republic (Spanish settlers originally called Key West Cayo Hueso, which translates to bone island, referring to the bones of the Calusa Indians who had once lived in the Florida Keys), and snapped photos at traditional tourist spots like the Southernmost point and Hemingway’s House. After our two hour tour, the participants were treated to a Key West culinary staple - Key Lime Pie! 

I did like the bike tour, even though I have struggled a lot in riding a bike since it was my first time. The bike tour was so informative that it made me see another side of Key West. While staying here I am planning to go back to the places we went from the tour and visit their museums.
— Winah Mae Avanzado

As our participants enjoy a summer of island life, we can’t wait to see their program unfold. When asked what cultural activities she has participated in, Ven Andre Miole replied with FOURTEEN different activities including: “1.)  I encountered different individuals with different nationality such as the Americans, Spanish, Cuban, Haitian, and Jamaican, etc. 2.)  I was able to learn new words in some respective languages. 3.)  We were able to cook a Filipino dish and let out foreign friends taste it. 4.) We went to Fort Zachary Beach together with our friend Kayti whom we befriend in Publix. We did snorkeling there and do some picnics”. Ven Andre is definitely living her program to the fullest, and we hope other participants follow her lead! 

K.Leigh Furzerswt, wow