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    The High Desert Center: Mexico and U.S. Gap Year for Adventurous Spirits

    The High Desert Center: Mexico and U.S. Gap Year for Adventurous Spirits


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: Mexico, United States
    • Credit Awarded: None
    • Program Length: Semester
    • Start Month: August
    • Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
    • Selective: No
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Cabins, Homestay, Other, Tents
    • Financial Aid: Not Available
    • Minimum Cost: $5,000 - $9,999
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    Take a semester to challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. Can tomatoes, climb mountains, create community, travel off the beaten path.   Explore the Colorado wilderness and local rural community living. The program finishes with an immersive group road trip through the desert southwest and into Mexico. You will emerge from the program with skills and self-knowledge that are strong assets to whatever life-path you choose to take.   

    This Semester has two parts (1) Colorado Community and (2) Road trip to Mexico.  The first section is about wilderness challenge and life experience in rural Colorado.  Together we will practice the skills of self-sufficiency and community living. We will explore what makes us feel alive and how we adapt to challenges. We spend a lot of time outdoors: backpacking, camping, hiking and watching sunsets. Canyons, mountaintops and swimming holes on the river will be our playground. When we aren't out in the wilderness, we'll explore at home: canning peaches, making bread, meeting people, making music and enjoying the simple life.

    With hints of Autumn in the air, we jump in our multi-colored bus and head south.  We will travel and adventure throughout the southwest and Mexico having memorable moments along the way.  We will explore the people and the landscapes in a way that is raw, real, and spontaneous, We will minimize the tourist feel and maximize the connection. We will camp in hidden special places, climb to ruins, learn about border issues and desert landscapes, and climb sandstone towers to watch the sunrise.  In the end, the southwest and northern Mexico will feel like home.

    WHO: 12-16 participants, ages 17-23; plus our staff team.

    WHERE: Colorado wilderness,  the Southwest, and Mexico.  Post program options to travel to Mexico, Australia, Thailand, Spain and more.

    WHEN: August 23, 2023 to November 15, 2023

    COST: $8,300–Includes travel during the program (but not travel to Paonia to begin or home from where we end).