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We work hard to keep costs down because we like being an option for students who need to pay their own way. We live simply ourselves, we don’t hire accountants, we drive older cars and use our personal vehicles. All these things help with costs. But this isn’t the main explanation for our cheap gap year programs.
We know that being thrifty has benefits on top of being kind to your wallet. Our programs help you learn new skills and see different ways of being in the world, sometimes even more so than when you’re dropping a ton of money.
Our Gap Year Programs are designed for people who want to have fun in life. Not the kind of fun that comes with escaping our lives but rather the kind of fun that comes from living with a sense of adventure and curiosity; the kind that comes from continually choosing the courage to be real and vulnerable and go for what matters; the kind that comes from being okay with messing up because you went for it.
One of our goals is to unlearn conventional institutional ways of thinking, to recognize and transform staff/student divisions and power hierarchies that we often create by habit since most of us have grown up surrounded by power hierarchies in school, work or our families. These habits are obstacles to what we all crave, which is a sense of connection, shared purpose, mutual respect, and freedom.
We inspire people to thrive and to contribute to the well-being of human and natural communities.
We ask questions. We dialogue. We adventure and take on real-world challenges.
- Live the good life while climbing mountains and hiking canyons, baking your own bread, learning community living skills, and exploring sustainable living.
- Experience small town, off the beaten path Mexican culture and learn about pressing border and environmental issues.
- Be part of a homespun family that challenges you to deeply understand and experience your inner self, your world, and your options.
- Adventure with fellow participants who are creative innovators, young people in charge of their own education already making things happen in the world.
- Imagine sleeping on top of the van under the stars, listening to coyotes, being with best friends, knowing that the next day anything could happen.
Join us for a year of travel and adventure in Colorado, Mexico, and Guatemala. Guatemala is a place for adventurous visitors and most folks who go fly there on a luxurious airplane. Not us. We’re going overland, on public transit, through the entirety of Mexico. Our goal is to have more real experiences and also spew less carbon. Once we arrive in Guatemala, we will dive into experiencing the place.
The purpose of the Writing Retreat is to support budding writers in accomplishing an ambitious, self-paced writing challenge. The Writing Retreat is modeled after National Novel-Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo: the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month) with a community of like-minded aspiring writers. This is your opportunity to set your sights high and expand the limits of your creativity.
Part of the full gap year includes an opportunity to travel to Australia. Enjoy the fun of a family homestay in a wonderful old seaside home nestled among the urban Henley Beach. With good public transport and cycling path access, the city of Adelaide is in full summer swing for adventures and exploring. Learn about permaculture, the indigenous Kaurna culture, and seaside lifestyle in Australia.
Experience Thailand while living in a community center focused on building the skills of self-reliance. You will learn how to save seeds, garden, and practice natural building. Take advantage of getting to know the indigenous cultures of the Karen, Hmong, Lisu, and Lahu people and experience life from the vantage point of a vastly different worldview.