New Community Project
...Turning the world upside down...
Looking for a mission trip? That's not us. But if it's a spirited and spiritually uplifting visit to another part of the world you're seeking, you're at the right place. And these trips aren't just for youth or just for "old people"--they're intergenerational experiences intended to challenge, change and renew us, while building relationships with our neighbors and a better appreciation for our amazing planet (more about the purpose of Learning Tours here). Sounding good? Then read on...
Upcoming Learning Tours
Ecuadorian Amazon - Deep Jungle: May 26 - June 2, 2018
Co-leaders: Delio, David Radcliff, Dr. Dustin Wilgers
See photos from the 2015 Learning Tour
For the first time, our group will head into the Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse and imperiled (by oil drilling) places on earth. We will explore the rainforest, guided by Siona shaman Delio, and hope to see all manner of monkeys, birds, insects and medicinal plants; pink dolphins; the ceiba ("Spirit Tree") - maybe even a jaguar. In the Yasuni, we will visit and learn about Waorani and Sequoia indigenous communities, led by members of Yasunidos, an advocacy organization. Along the way we will observe the impacts of oil drilling, ranching and other factors. The group will stay in tents (provided) while in the forest.
Learn more about the rainforest! http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm
Leaders: Jim Therrien, David Radcliff
Visit the Dine' (Navajo) reservation northwest of Albuquerque. Work alongside community members in gardens, at the Thrift Shop and on small-scale construction projects. Tour areas affected by hydraulic fracking; see its impact on the land and people. Learn from elders about traditional crafts as well as about the history of the Dine', including boarding schools and The Long Walk. Explore current social issues and spiritual practices. Camp at nearby Chaco Culture National Historical Park, one of the best-preserved archeological sites in the Southwest.
Leaders: Bartolo Incarnacion, Joan Peterson, Tom Benevento
The Dominican Republic is best known for its emerald blue oceans, white sandy beaches and beautiful all inclusive resorts, but NCP will take you to a different side of that world. Live in a Batey community, learning about life for poor and marginalized immigrant Haitian/Dominican sugarcane workers who earn less than a dollar a day; explore environmental issues of the Caribbean region including deforestation, water scarcity, and the direct impacts of the climate crisis. See community development projects in action, learn from inspiring local activists, and get your hands dirty working along side villagers to reforest their rugged mountainous homeland, creating edible forest ecosystems. Stay with village families and sleep on concrete floors in remote places.
Leaders: David Radcliff
Read Wolves by Merle Crouse, 2006 participant
See photos from the 2016 Learning Tour
Camp at Savage River campground 15 miles inside the Park; hike along streams and up a nearby peak; see moose, grizzlies, Dall Sheep, a dogsled demonstration, and (if we are lucky) Mt. McKinley. The group will volunteer for a day doing a work project, and spend time exploring environmental issues facing Alaska. In Seward on the SE coast, enjoy a day-long fjords cruise to observe whales, walruses, seabirds, and a glacier; visit a sea life center and fast-retreating Exit Glacier; and stay (indoors!) in a cozy hostel.
Leaders: Charlie Swaney, David Radcliff
Visit this north-of-the-Arctic Circle community Gwich'in by birth, caribou by culture. Hike and camp in sight of the Brooks Range. Learn about the threat of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the impacts of global warming. Enjoy traditional foods, experience Gwich'in life and customs, maybe see migrating caribou. Spectacular!
Myanmar: January 2019
Trek into the Paloung hill tribe areas, travel by boat through the delta to visit this SE Asian country in transition. Quality time with our reforestation partner and trekking guide Jimmy Zan in the hills and with women's groups in the delta who are thriving, thanks to NCP-supported microloan programs. Lodging in village settings for an up-close encounter with the life, culture and hospitality of communities.
New Community Project Learning Tours will take you to places where earth and its people are struggling. Whether it's the rainforest, the Arctic, or places where people live in poverty and desperation, you'll have a first-hand look at troubling situations as well as the resilience and determination of those who live there--and in the process have the experience of a lifetime!
Learning Tour goals:
NCP hopes for intergenerational groups for each Learning Tour, and past trips have included folks from high school sophomores (and sometimes younger when accompanied by an adult) to senior citizens. Youth and young adults may apply for scholarship assistance. See the list of up-coming trips for more information about specific Learning Tours. Contact NCP director David Radcliff (phone and email below) for more information.