Xperitas

Xperitas

About

Want to be immersed, be inspired and create change?
Ready to take the next step towards becoming a global citizen?

Xperitas provides custom and public programs for academic groups, families and individuals that offer cross-cultural immersion and collaborative projects with people of diverse cultures across the globe.

In partnership with our primarily indigenous communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Canada and the United States, Xperitas promotes cross-cultural understanding and interconnectedness through authentic immersion experiences.

With more than 20 years of experience, first as Global Citizens Network and now as Xperitas, we have formed deep and intentional relationships with our community partners. We are committed to long-term, sustainable partnerships.

Join us on your journey to global citizenship!

Founded
1992
Headquarters

129 North 2nd Street Suite 102
Minneapolis, MN 55401
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Brendan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My trip to La Push this last April was the first immersion experience I was embarking on with GCN. I believed so much in the veracity of their assertion that they were providing unique immersion experiences to local communities worldwide and that's partly why I came to work for the organization. But belief and experience are two different things! This was not my first immersion experience given that I was born in a small village in the hinterlands of Cameroon, where vehicles hardly went, and we had neither running water nor electricity! So yes, coming to this country 2006 was the biggest immersion of my life.

We arrived La Push and life slowed down to an unquestionable rhythm that seemed to mimic the Pacific waves that rolled unto the beautiful beaches and the sounds of the winds in the lush forest that surrounded this village. On our very first day we could not but marvel at the beautiful setting sun that hung suspended over the Pacific Ocean as we watched the eagles flying and disappearing into the gleaming light.

The entire week, everywhere we went, we were welcome with open arms and presents. From the tribal craftsman, whom I visited together with the elder of elders, Roger to the visits with James Jamie my friend and warm hospitality of Marie (the smell of indian tacos as we arrived their home......yum!). Mr Wilson, Roger and I talked about the origins of the Quileute, and Roger then sang his family song that could not be recorded or performed by even the other tribes members without the permission of his family. He prayed for the craftsman, his friend and tribal brother and I was invited to sing a song from my own tribe the Nso of the North West Province of Cameroon. In that little circle of friendship and kindred spirit, Mr Wilson, the craftsman, stated that it felt as if we had always known each other; as if there was no beginning to that moment and no end. I felt a peace of self I hadn't felt in a long time. A knowledge that I was back home in my little village Ndzeru, but yet miles away in La Push.

How can I begin to describe the music we made with Roger, who welcomed the entire GCN team to his home and in the true hospitality of the Quileute, gave us tribal musical instruments to practice a song on and then performed both Nso and Quileute Songs with us. What about the opportunity to sing and drum at the sacred circle that holds on Wednesday evenings and Roger performing for the GCN team on his Harmonica - a feat that even some old tribal members had never seen! What about the presents of necklaces, and a symbolic walking stick and medicine bag from the tribe's leading spiritual healer and craftswoman!

The GCN's team learned to listen to the voice within us that bid us to express our experience through art, guided by the tribal craftsman - a process and education in the myths and legends of the Quileute that I'll never forget. The cleaning projects, the trip to the rain forest and the overwhelming feeling of acceptance by the tribes' members are memories that are unforgettable.

I went on a trip that turned into a journey home.

What would you improve about this program?
If the tribe would allow for more trips then more trips could be arranged so that more people get a chance to learn about the Quileute and enjoy the chance to come back as fulfilled as myself.
Default avatar
Sue
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Nation within a Nation. Story telling of ancient and current life. Building raised flower beds for elders, planting heirloom seeds, all surpassed only by witnessing the life giving energy of the Pow Wow.

What would you improve about this program?
The reservation is spread out requiring us to drive to work sites and social/cultural events. The up side of this is the deep, quiet beauty we passed thru everyday! Deer, eagles, thick pine forests.

Default avatar
Sue
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

All three times I've been to La Push I was welcomed as family. The impact of drumming circle,listening to stories from elders, renovating much needed housing all contribute to shifting my world view.

Programs

Displaying 10 - 12 of 12

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Laura Nuñez

What position do you hold at Global Citizens Network? What has been your career path so far?

Laura: I am currently serving as the Academic Partnerships Manager at Global Citizens Network. I studied international relations & Spanish as an undergrad and later received a M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. I began working directly with indigenous communities in 2006 as a Fulbright student in Puno, Peru. My research and volunteering work on the shores of Lake Titicaca introduced me to the challenges and opportunities of grassroots community development work as well as the need to be respectful, authentic and collaborative when engaging with communities like those with whom Global Citizens Network partners. I also worked in Lima, Peru for a year at a small non-profit which helped travelers and explorers organize their travel throughout the country and all around South America. When I returned to the US after 3 years in Peru, I joined the GCN team here in Minneapolis. I have been with GCN for almost four years!

Did you volunteer abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?

Laura: I actually fell into volunteering accidentally. When I first arrived to Peru, I did not seek out any specific opportunities, but the chance to help with a literacy project on the islands of Lake Titicaca was presented to me and I was very excited to get involved. I had been a camp counselor for many years, and getting to support fun, engaging literacy work with children was very exciting to me. It also allowed me to understand the local culture more deeply, meet amazing people and support a great cause.

What does the future hold for GCN - any exciting new programs to share?

Laura: We are very excited to be collaborating directly with universities, colleges and high school groups to provide opportunities with educational components! We have always received student groups over the years, but are now working in partnership with schools and colleges around the country! It is a wonderful way to mix our traditional volunteering program model with academic goals and student organization projects.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think volunteer abroad will change over the next 10 years?

Laura: The volunteering field has exploded over the past 20+ years! GCN has been offering authentic immersion experiences for over 21 years and it has been quite incredible to see how many options are offered today. With so many opportunities, I think we will see volunteers hold organizations more accountable for meaningful, deep, responsible and carefully planned and executed programs that are serving the needs and expectations of both the volunteer and the people being served. I believe (and greatly hope) that volunteers also will understand that the central component of their role as a volunteer is to learn. When volunteers enter the locations where they want to help listening, watching and being curious is the first step in order to understand how they can best support local needs.