Isabel Burns

Isabel is passionate about many things, including music and the theater group she helped direct at her high school. She is involved in performing arts, volunteering as a tutor, and teaching guitar. Her goals for the year are to gain perspective, learn about a new culture, and to have a positive impact on the people she meets.


Hola, Shalom

The first time I ever realized that being Jewish was rare in some parts of the world was when I visited Mexico at age 13. In the border city of Tijuana, helping to build a house, one of the kids asked me if I was Christian or Catholic. To be fair, I was there with…

18 March, 2014


“You’re blessed, you know. You can do anything. Not everyone has that opportunity. You can do whatever you want.” Growing up, I heard that kind of phrase a lot. Usually, it came from my parent’s friends, adults who’d had the same opportunities when they were young. The difference between us was that I was only 18, and I…

16 December, 2013

A Clearer View

The first day that I got onto a bus in Quito, something seemed off. It wasn’t that no one looked like me, or that I couldn’t understand anyone around me. It wasn’t the fact that I was clutching my bag out of terror that someone would slash it if I looked away for even a second. It wasn’t…

19 September, 2013

No Problem

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me why I was taking this bridge year, and why I was going to Ecuador to do it. “There are a lot of starving, poor people here. Don’t you think we ought to fix our own problems before we start trying to fix someone else’s?” This…

19 July, 2013

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Isabel Burns