Colorado, Mexico, Guatemala, and the South-West
Sept 2, 2020 to April 26, 2021
$8,450–Includes travel to and from Guatemala from Phoenix.
September 2 – November 11
This semester is about challenge and new experience in rural Colorado. You will learn the skills of self-sufficiency and community living. As a result you will experience personal growth, learning about what makes you feel alive and how to adapt in challenging circumstance. You’ll do this backpacking through mountains and canyons, canning peaches and making bread, meeting people who inspire you, and living the simple life.
November 12-February 14
Between semesters you will execute a self-designed initiative. The options are endless. You can arrange independent apprenticeships, travel, work or adventure either near your home, in Paonia or elsewhere. During the fall semester we will support you to develop a meaningful project, sharing HDC resources and connections. We provide weekly support on the phone during this phase of the year.
February 15-April 26
You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Guatemala’s rich culture, study the language and the history, and explore volcanoes, jungles, and beaches. As you explore, complex global issues that influence daily life in Guatemala will come into focus. Together, we will travel over land, on public transit, through the entirety of Mexico rather than flying. This gives you a more real experience and spews less carbon.
“My time with the High Desert Center was one of the most pivotal and inspiring experiences that I have ever had. I was in constant awe of the community I had been lucky enough to fall into the loving arms of, the epic places in which we adventured, and the new things that I learned daily. The High Desert Center bestows the gifts of deep compassion and curiosity upon their students. I’m left with their gifts of compassion and curiosity, relationships that will last me a lifetime, and an adventure that will be difficult to forget.”
“At the High Desert Center, I felt for the first time in my life that I had a place and a purpose entirely to myself. The staff engaged each participant earnestly, asking participants to discover what we truly cared about and to explore the numerous options presented by our ambitions. Each day felt like an experience and adventure to itself, and also preparation for the great adventure of life. In short, I cannot recommend this gap year highly enough to any young adult in the process of discovering fulfillment.”
After saying our goodbyes in Arizona, Dev and Marian will drive back to Colorado. Participants who demonstrated a passion for work projects during the year and who love gardening and building will be welcome to join them for six weeks. During this time we will continue to share in community meals and tackle some fun projects that support the continuous growth of the HDC. We will ask for $50/week to cover food costs during this time.
When we ask our students why they chose us, many say words like “community,” “philosophy” or “strong recommendations.” Another thing we commonly hear is that our programs are relatively affordable. Read more about how the HDC offers the most affordable gap year program out there.