A Leap of a Lifetime
Yes, the guy suspended in mid air without the tan is me...
Hi, my name is Mathew Zirkelbach. I am a recent graduate of Stetson University, where I earned a B.A. in Environmental Science and minors in Spanish and Geography. This picture was taken my senior year at the Cenote Azul in Quintana Roo, Mexico, during the winter break of 2001. Four Stetson students, including myself, were selected to participate in a mentored field experience course that led us through the Mexican states of Yucatan, Campeche, Chiapas, and Quintana Roo under the guidance of Dr. Bob Sitler. While in Mexico, our purpose was to familiarize ourselves with the history of the ancient Mayan civilization and to better understand the lives of modern Mayans living in Mexico today.
The picture above is one of my favorites from the trip because it symbolizes a monumental leap taken in my life. Our trip to Mexico granted me the opportunity to learn about the country's ancient Mayan civilization while experiencing the diverse environments and culture of a region that I had only read about in textbooks before. Many of our destinations led us off the beaten path through tropical forests, over mountains, and to remote Mayan homes and villages.
I hope that the following pages will help you to understand why this unique and invaluable educational experience was a leap of a life time.