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
Experience the majesty of the Himalaya Mountains, the richness of south Asian Hindu culture, the poignancy of the poorest country in the region. Visit Kathmandu as well as rural villages and natural areas. Learn about challenges facing women in a society where they say “to be born a daughter is a lost life” and meet women assisted by NCP grants for skills development and girls receiving NCP scholarships. Visit Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and a Tibetan refugee camp; trek to amazing Annapurna II viewpoint (optional outing available). Hosted by Shakti Samuha, a Nepali organization working to end sex trafficking and recuperate young women who have been victimized by it.
Leaders: Gladys Mannanyu, Agness Amelito, David Radcliff
Learn about politics and culture in the world’s newest nation, South Sudan. Our group will experience the poverty, resilience, faith and incredible hospitality of people who have had more than their share of hardship during decades of war and displacement. We will visit communities where NCP supports girls’ education, women’s development and reforestation. At trip’s end, enjoy two days at Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park to see giraffes, elephants, hippos, lions and more (additional cost).
Co-leaders: David Radcliff and Mariana Almieda, Siona shaman Delio
Explore the incredible beauty and biodiversity of the Ecuadorian Amazon! See monkeys, pink dolphins, loads of birds, caiman (crocodiles), leaf-cutter ants, sloths--and perhaps the elusive jaguar (yes, we saw one on one of our trips!) and anaconda (ditto!).This trip is hosted by Selva Foundation: Life Without Frontiers, an organization committed to indigenous rights, sustainable development, and preservation of the rainforest. The trip will begin with an overnight in Quito, then proceed to the Cuyabeno National Park. The group will stay in a modest jungle lodge, complete with beds and running water, and explore the surroundings by boat and walks through the forest over easy-to-moderate terrain. We'll be led on these outings by Delio, NCP friend and spiritual and political leader of the Siona people with an astounding knowledge of the forest. We will also enjoy plenty of good discussion with seasoned analyst Pieter Jan Brouwer of SELVA. There will be first-hand observations of the impacts of oil drilling, poverty and ranching on the rainforest ecosystem. A stop at a renowned artisan community and a visit to a rose production facility in the highlands will close the trip. Learn more about our host organization at: http://www.selvaeco.org/
Learn more about the rainforest! http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm
Leader: Tom Benevento
Join us for travel to the often forgotten regions of this Caribbean Island where you will learn about and be in solidarity with Dominican/Haitian sugar cane workers. Hear the struggle for their basic human rights and see first hand the inspiring work of local leaders, lawyers, and community organizers who stand up for change. Get your hands (and feet!) dirty working along side villagers in the western mountain region as they seek to improve their lives and land through reforestation, sustainable agriculture, healthcare, and potable water projects. Make the connection between climate change, coral reefs, sugar cane, and US consumption. Be ready to return home inspired and an agent for positive change.
Leaders: David Radcliff, Daniel Radcliff
Read Wolves by Merle Crouse, 2006 participant
Denali National Park is one of the natural wonders of the world. Human impact is kept to a minimum in this vast wilderness area, with animals ranging freely and often in plain view. Among those frequently sighted are moose, caribou, grizzly, sheep, and a variety of birds. We've also seen wolves on about half of our trips. A bit more elusive is Mt. McKinley - at over 20,000 feet, it is the highest mountain in North America. When it emerges from its self-generated cloud cover, it presents an awe-inspiring sight. The Denali portion of the trip includes hiking (not backpacking), camping, group reflection, and a day-long bus tour of the park. The most strenuous hike is up 5000-foot Mt. Margaret. It's a long hike up a moderately steep incline (approx. six miles roundtrip, including walking the park road to the trail), but rewarding us are lots of blueberries along the trail and at the top, often close encounters with dall sheep and fields of flowers, a panoramic view of the park (including McKinley, if it's out), and often a caribou or two. The Learning Tour begins with a foray down the southeastern coast to Seward for exploration of glaciers and sea life, including a boat trip into the Kenai Fjords National Park complete with whales, orcas, sea lions and plenty-'a puffins. Lodging in Seward is at the Moby Dick hostel.
Click on image to view photo tour
Join a delegation to the fascinating country of Burma (Myanmar). Learn about Asian culture, Buddhist religion, and the economic, political and social realities of one of the poorest nations in the region. Visit out-of-the-way villages as well as typical cultural sites; possibly have a chance encounter with Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner now freed from house arrest and elected to Parliament. Travel by boat to villages in the southwest delta area. Take a 3 day/2 night trek (moderately strenuous) to Palaung hilltribe villages. In both places visit communities that have received NCP support for women’s development, girls’ education and reforestation, and meet the gracious people of this Southeast Asian nation.
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 (888-800-2985) for more information.