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
Dates: May 25-June 4, 2017
Join this first-ever Learning Tour to the Democratic Republic of Congo, an East Africa nation with a troubled history, yet rich in resources and in resilient and welcoming people. Visit and learn about the challenges facing women's groups and school girls receiving NCP support, pygmy communities, and the Congo Rainforest. Planned visit to Itombwe protected area, one of the most remote and well-preserved mountain forests in Africa.
Amazon Rainforest - Ecuador: June 11-18, 2017
Co-leaders: David Radcliff, Siona shaman Delio
See photos from the 2015 Learning Tour
Explore the beauty and biodiversity of the Ecuadorian Amazon! See monkeys, pink dolphins, loads of birds, leaf-cutter ants, anaconda--and perhaps the elusive jaguar (yes, we saw one on one of our trips!) and sloth (ditto!). Along with exploring this fabulous ecosystem, we will learn about indigenous rights, sustainable development, and preservation of the rainforest--and have first-hand observations of the impacts of oil drilling. The trip will begin with an overnight in Quito, then proceed to the Cuyabeno National Park--with a stop at a breath-taking waterfall. The group will stay in a comfortable jungle lodge, 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. The group will also spend a day in a Cofan village, visiting a 500 year-old ceibo tree in the company of Cofan leader Aurelio. A visit to a famous craft village and a stop at the equator close the trip.
Learn more about the rainforest! http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm
Leaders: Jim Therrien, David Radcliff
Hosted by Lybrook Community Ministries, the delegation will help with building projects for elderly members of a native community northwest of Albuquerque, while learning about the history of the Diné, including boarding schools and The Long Walk. There will also be an exploration of current social issues, spiritual practices and the impacts of fracking, and a visit to nearby Chaco Culture National Historical Park, one of the Southwest's outstanding archaeological sites.
Leaders: David Radcliff
Read Wolves by Merle Crouse, 2006 participant
See photos from the 2016 Learning Tour
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 concludes with a foray down the southeastern coast to Seward for exploration of glaciers and sea life, including a day-long boat trip into the Kenai Fjords National Park complete with whales, orcas, sea lions and plenty-'a puffins. On the final morning of the trip, participants can choose between visiting a local aquarium and nearby Exit Glacier, fast retreating toward the Harding Ice Field. Lodging in Seward is at the Moby Dick hostel.
See photos from the 2016 Learning Tour
Visit this South Asian country with the world's highest peak and some of the world's lowest living standards. Hosted by Shakti Samuha, the NCP partner group working to recuperate victims of sex trafficking, the focus will be on challenges facing women and girls due to poverty, gender bias and the sex trade. We will also learn about the recent earthquake and on-going efforts to recover, including increased risks of sex trafficking in light of the economic impacts of the quake. Visit cultural sites and communities; meet women and girls benefiting from programs NCP supports; take an overnight trek to a spectacular view of the Annapurna Range (vehicle transportation available). Accommodations in modest but safe and comfortable motels; possibility of a village stay. Check out photos from our 2016 Learning Tour.
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.