Dear Rio de Janeiro,


Thank you. Obrigada. You have giving me far more than I could every give you. You presented me with new experiences, new perspectives, new friends, an open mind, and astounding views.

One of my favorite quotes is, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” You cannot truly learn and grow if you stay only with in what you are familiar with. sugarloaf My time in Brazil allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone to truly learn and grow.

The kids at Obra Do Berco taught me that you don’t need to speak the same language to communicate and impact one another. The people living in the favelas taught me to be thankful and non-judgmental. Overall Brazil taught me to be open. This beautiful country and its people taught me to be open to new cultures and life beyond my comfort zone. Brazil taught me to listen to the untold stories and get to know people whom are different from myself.

Thank you, Rio de Janeiro, for giving me new perspectives and allowing me to see a different point of view. Thank you for allowing me to meet people whom are uniquely different from myself. I am grateful for all of the conversations and interactions. Thank you for opening rio2me up to appreciate, experience, and participate in a new culture. Thank you for challenging me and pushing me outside my comfort zone, which allowed me to learn and see the World in new ways. Thank you for giving me an open mind to the people and cultures around me. Thank you for instilling in me a love for adventure and travel. Thank you for the experience of a lifetime.


I will never forget my experiences in Brazil and the people I met there. I will be forever grateful. Obrigada Rio de Janeiro, I will miss you.


Lauren Baker