Amizade: Volunteer in Navajo Nation, Arizona

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The Navajo Nation (in Arizona) is like no place on earth with its beautiful sandstone mesas, towering buttes, colorful canyons, and dramatic desert scenery. As a sovereign nation and people, the Navajo are working to enhance their families and communities while embracing their traditional lifestyles.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to tutor elementary school children in a local community school, where they will directly impact the students' ability to excel in the classroom. Volunteers will be provided with tutoring materials and receive teacher guidance. In addition, volunteers may have the opportunity to complete a small construction project, such as building a school playground, creating park areas, and helping renovate the community center.

Questions & Answers

Unfortunately there's no easy answer, as there are different projects at different lengths.

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9.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 75%
  • 7-8 rating 25%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.8
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Yes, I recommend this program


Virtually everyone of our hosts for the various events except while at the school were various members of Melissa's family. I was very glad that our concluding speaker had his own agenda and presented a view somewhat at contrast with the rest. Highlights for me were:
1. Eating and sharing at Melissa's 'Mothers'
2. Hearing about the language
3. Sacrificing and later eating the lamb.
4. The "sweat lodge" experience
5. Having time with my teacher's husband during which I learned that they had lost three of their four children.
6. Safety day with the class
7. The concluding lecture by the former member of the tribal council.

What would you improve about this program?
The leader tailored the program to our needs and the availability of hosts. Though no fault of the leader(Melissa), the Principal of the BIE School had obviously not given enough time to selecting teachers. The first assignment my 5th grade science teacher gave me, for example was to make 150 copies of a two-page information sheet to be used the next day.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


My service-learning trip to the Navajo Nation was by far the best experience of my life thus far. I went thinking I would learn about the culture; I had no idea it would be such a personally transformative experience. I had the chance to build relationships with genuine people who come from a beautiful, realistic, loving culture. We stayed a few days in Tuba City, Az, then drove to Crownpoint,NM, stayed there for a week, then went back to Tuba City for a week. I didn't want to leave! In Crownpoint, we had presentations about Navajo culture at the tribal college by extremely influential people. One was involved in the American Indian Movement and one helped implement the Uranium Ban law of 2005. I learned what I missed in my public education that has been restricted by leaving out atrocities committed by white people in the past, such as the real situation in Indian Boarding Schools, the Long Walk, and Native American sterilization. I feel more complete and well-rounded knowing the truth. However, it wasn't all seriousness! We went to the Grand Canyon, Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly (a lot of beautiful canyons!), the painted desert where we saw Newspaper Rock and DINOSAUR TRACKS, and a lot more! The main thing I got out of the Navajo culture is the importance of knowing yourself. You must know where you come from and who you are to know where you're going. They also place great importance on listening to your mind and body and taking breaks/alone time when you need to. They see those in mainstream society as "busy ants" who need to take more breaks. The service we did was not extremely hard labor, and we were given plenty chances for break time. In short, I highly recommend Amizade and their trip to the Navajo Nation!

What would you improve about this program?
I wish it was longer!!
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Navajo Nation Review

The Navajo trip was a great experience. I saw lots of amazing things. My group went to Coal Mine Canyon, Little Rock Gorge and the Grand Canyon. Those were all amazing sights. Also it was completely safe. There was never a time when I felt unsafe. My group cleared a field for a youth program. That was very fun. Also I got to see dinosaur tracks. That is something you don't see in New York outside of a museum. Being introduced to fried bread was also very interesting, not to mention tasty! Participating in the Sweat Lodge was also very amazing. It is hot in the Sweat Lodge, obviously, but when you come out you are drenched but not from sweat, from steam. Also you could leave the sweat lodge at any time. No one was keeping you in there. The tour guide was also fantastic. I give her credit for the trip being such a great sucess.

What would you improve about this program?
I would not change anything it was very fun.
2 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Knock Knock, Opportunity Here!

I recently returned from a volunteer trip through Amizade to Crownpoint, New Mexico (Navajo Nation). I am personally from the United States and went through my community college. The biggest thing about this program for me was that wow, there is an entirely different yet similar culture right in my backyard (well maybe a day of traveling away haha). We went sight seeing to Santa Fe where there is a beautiful cathedral and MANY shops downtown (GO TO TIA SOPHIA'S THEY HAVE THE BEST AUTHENTIC NEW MEXICAN FOOD EVER); Gallup where there are many shops, most of the Navajo teens hang out and shop here, and boy, can you find amazing deals; Canyon de Chelly where you hike 2.5 miles down into the canyon and see GORGEOUS ruins and the echoing of this little cave makes the experience surreal because it sounds like there are people working, you also get this great sense of accomplishment once you climb back to the top; Window Rock where there is a huge hole in this large rock and I cannot describe how beautiful it is when you can look at it with a cloudless blue sky; and Chaco canyon where there are ruins of the Pueblo Indians and the ruins called Pueblo Bonito are a MUST SEE because they are the most intact and you get to walk through them including the insides of rooms! I volunteered in the kindergarten classroom, although you can be in basically whichever grade you want. The kids were so cute and intelligent. The best part was the last day when myself and several others from my group got to teach the kids how to sing "I'm a little Tea Cup" and other really fun songs. The worst part was leaving. I have a picture where its a bunch of blurry kids and myself. One boy wanted a picture but ALL the kids started swarming to get in the picture and shook my phone so much it came out blurry! It was SO FUNNY! I miss those kids. I could go on and on. We also help in this library that is the only one for miles! It's in the process of being set up and we sorted hundreds of books and placed them on the shelves. It was completely fulfilling and fun. And we all worked together so well that it made us feel even closer. The last major part of the program was the presentations. We had so many people come and talk to us about everything and anything. Ms. Jean White Horse talked about the Long Walk where the U.S.A government moved the Navajo over 300 miles by walking them through harsh conditions. So many die or were killed if they did not comply with the soldiers' orders. We had a medicine man explain so many traditional views of why things are the way the are and how you can be healed. They are really big into the balance between humans and nature. Everything you need can be found in nature. He was absolutely spectacular!!! We also got to learn how to weave and go to a sheep camp where they get their wool. We learned about how if companies start uranium mining the pure (delicious) water will be contaminated for a very long time resulting in many MANY health issues. Gosh, there is so much more but I must limit myself. Just go on this trip if you're open to new things. There is SO MUCH to learn and it's really eye opening. Aside from all this there is beautiful authentic jewelry and pottery to buy. Every aspect of this program was wonderful and by the end I can promise you will be tired, but it is SO worth it.

1 person found this review helpful.