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 with God's creation. Sounding good? Then read on...
Upcoming Learning Tours
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
The Dominican Republic Learning Tour will focus on the crucial justice and ecological issues facing this beautiful and unique Caribbean country. Learn about Haitian-Dominicans living on sugar plantations and their struggle for basic human rights and dignity. Engage with cutting edge ecological and social projects in remote mountain communities that are making a difference for its citizens and the planet. Learn about the effects of climate change on the delicate tropical coral reef environment, while swimming in crystal clear aqua blue waters. Finally, find out how you can make a difference both in the DR and back home. Participants will travel from Santo Domingo to the Samana peninsula and to the far western mountain region of El Cercado.
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 at the top are 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
Leaders: Charlie Swaney, David Radcliff
Visit this north-of-the-Arctic Circle village flanked by the Brooks range and bordered by the Chandalar River. This Gwich'in community of 150 people depends on the Porcupine Caribou Herd for food and for the cultural grounding of their people. Learn about native life and Gwich'in concerns about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, hike and camp in ANWR south of the Brooks Range (no backpacking), experience the untamed beauty of one of the most spectacular areas in North America. Trip begins in Fairbanks with background meetings, heads to Arctic Village, then returns to Fairbanks for wrap-up.
Learn to live more sustainably through workshops on ecological gardening (keyhole sheet mulch and spiral herb), permaculture design, energy efficiency, cob oven, greenhouse and roof water catchment construction, bike lane promotion and more. Share with a diverse community of people; visit local cutting-edge farms, restaurants and markets.
Click on image to view photo tour
Join a delegation to the fascinating and troubled 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 by the Burmese government. Travel by boat to villages in the southwest delta area. Take a 3 day/2 night trek (moderately strenuous) to Paloung hilltribe villages. In both places visit communities that have received NCP support for women’s development, girls’ education and reforestation, and meet the poor but gracious people of this Southeast Asian nation.
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 NCP partner Women Empowerment.
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. 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.