Bulgaria is Stone & Compass’s home away from home. In the small, central village of Stolat, we own 2,200 acres of land that we call The Center, complete with a 980 square foot restored barn, 18 bedrooms, a fire pit, and a pool. The Center is used for service learning trips, educational programs, international forums, and more. The center is our home base for our service-learning programs that teach English as a second language and run free summer camps for local Bulgarian youth. Students who travel to Bulgaria on our high-school trips meet with local high school students in Veliko Tarnovo to participate in a cultural exchange. Activities include interactive games and learning about one another’s similarities and differences in culture.
The Stone & Compass Honey and Bee reserve is set on these 2200 acres of pristine Bulgarian forests. The S&C Center is surrounded by hillsides of Lavender, and Linden trees, and wild roses along with Balkan wildflowers. This natural setting gives our award winning honey an incredibly complex and rich taste. We are completely organic and our honey has been certified as top grade. Profit from each jar of honey that is sold helps to sustain our youth intern program and also goes towards scholarships for students to travel abroad to our Balkan Retreat center to work on sustainable projects in person.
Stone & Compass recently purchased a communist-era theater in Stolat that is in the process of being restored. Our vision for the theater is to provide storefronts for local business opportunities, refurbish the existing theatre for children to celebrate arts and culture, create a medical clinic to provide much-needed health services to the local community, and establish a school, library, and museum to promote education and cultural preservation. During our 2020 service learning trips to Bulgaria, students will help clean up and restore the theater, eventually turning it into a community and cultural center for Stolat by housing a library, museum, theater, a free health clinic, and classroom space. The theater will be open for anyone in Stolat to use for any reason that applies.
With our real estate agents, Stone & Compass is researching the opportunity to purchase a new property in Vidin so that we can expand our programs to this region and help revitalize North Western Bulgaria. Soon we will be expanding our hives to Vidin with a goal of 500 hives producing honey to the public.
Stone & Compass is building a cafe business to bring foods from around the world to Bulgaria. Our first cafe will be located in Veliko Tarnovo with future cafes opening up in Plovdiv, Sofia, Burgas, Varna, and Vidin.
We are partnered with multiple Bulgarian entities to preserve archeological excavation throughout the country.
Grace is a freshman at Fitchburg State University where she is studying Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Her studies will focus on international politics. She also intends to play lacrosse at Fitchburg. She first traveled with Stone & Compass to Bulgaria in the summer of 2018 and went back to Bulgaria in 2019. Shortly after her return, she joined the Intern Program. She will be traveling to the Azores in 2020 and hopes to work with Stone & Compass on future projects designed to help many different people around the world.
Annie is currently a senior at Marblehead High School where she is apart of the swim team. She is also the Vice President of a club called Venture Crew. Annie has traveled to Bulgaria two times for service learning trips, where she soon after discovered her passion to be an intern. She loves to travel, and is very excited to be working on the Bulgaria service learning trips. Annie looks forward to traveling to the United Nations and to work on more projects.
Maya is currently a Senior at Marblehead High School where she sings in the choir and participates in the drama program. She has a fascination with other cultures and countries around the world and hopes to study international relations in her higher education. Maya traveled to Bulgaria two summers ago with Stone and Compass and had an amazing experience. After going on the Dominica service trip last February, Maya has become devoted to the Dominica project, becoming region leader and hopes to expand the relationships with this country and to develop a second trip to Dominica in the near future. Maya also designed the Stone and Compass honey labels and is constantly creating.
Ben is in his second year at the College of William and Mary planning to double major in economics and international relations. Ben graduated St. John’s Prep in 2018, where he volunteered as a tutor for underclassmen and ran the Future Entrepreneur’s Club as president. Ben began his internship in 2017 after traveling to Bulgaria on a High School Service Learning trip and falling in love with the country, people, and organization. Since then, Ben’s involvement with Stone & Compass has consisted of recruiting for and returning to Bulgaria as a tour leader, representing Stone & Compass at the United Nations, and assisting in expanding the business aspect of the company.
Malachy is currently a junior at Essex Technical High School where he is a culinary student. He is also apart of the swim and dive team. This is Malachy’s second summer going to Bulgaria and not his last.